D.C. Post Office Rationing Stamps (Still Excited About Government-Run Health Care?)

One of my co-workers, who is managing a particularly large mailing, has just returned empty-handed from a quest to obtain 3,000 stamps from nearby post offices.

Not even the official stamp store attached to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum – which celebrates the ability of mailmen to deliver to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and to the front lines during wartime, and which has a vault system to handle the valuable bulk quantities of stamps – could spare 3,000 44-cent stamps.

Not a square to spare.

Why? According to some of the counter staff, there is a new district manager overseeing post offices in our area. This manager is setting a limit on how many stamps any one post office can have at any one time. Therefore, area post offices are being forced to ration their stamps. If we bought 3,000 at this point, there might not be enough left later for other customers.

So the U.S. Postal Service turned away our business for lack of resources.

It reminds me of a comment President Obama made earlier this month when asked about private insurers possibly being better than a government-run “public option”:

“My answer is that if the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining – meaning taxpayers aren’t subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do – then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the post office that’s always having problems.”

Still interested in a “public option”?

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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