Editorial Roundup for Monday — November 28, 2005

• Oil dependence; postage stamp price Increase


Oil dependence; postage stamp price

increase

The Indianapolis Star, Nov. 21, 2005

Richard Lugar and Sen. Evan Bayh are not given to hyperbole. When both warn that the nation’s security and economic future are at stake in cutting the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, Americans should listen.

And when legislation to save 2.5 million barrels of oil a day over the next decade — 10 million barrels a day by 2031 — is jointly endorsed by a mainstream Republican and a mainstream Democrat of their stature, it’s a measure worthy of serious consideration.

The proposed Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act they have signed onto uses incentives to encourage the production of gas-electric hybrid vehicles, advanced diesel technology, alternative biomass fuels and lightweight material for cars. It also would promote mass transit. The bill focuses on transportation, which guzzles two-thirds of U.S. oil consumption. …

Lugar, Bayh and other supporters of this new energy measure are on the right path. Others need to follow.

Muscatine (Iowa) Journal, Nov. 10, 2005

The price of a first-class postage stamp has been increased seven times since 1985.

Now, the Postal Rate Commission has recommended another increase, this one for 2 cents, effective Jan. 1, 2006. …

The proposed increase would bring the cost of mailing a first-class letter to 39 cents — nearly double the 22 cents it cost 20 years ago. …

After all, the competition is just too keen. E-mail. Cell phone text messaging. Faxes. All much faster and generally less expensive ways to send messages and other information. …

One other thing we noticed about this proposed increase: While first-class mail would increase 2 cents (for a letter weighing 1 ounce or less), the cost of presorted advertising mail would rise only 1.1 cents to a total of 21.4 cents (2 ounces or less).

That doesn’t seem right.

Advertising mail accounts for at least half of all the mail handled by the Postal Service. You know, the stuff many of us call “junk mail.”

We’re not advocating lots of restrictions on advertising mail. The free flow of advertising is important to a free nation’s economic prosperity.

However, those responsible for sending out advertising mail should bear a bigger share of the postal price increase. They’re filling up more mail bags than anyone else and should pay accordingly.

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