Of course they can't. That's a job for the Treasury Department. [rimshot]
Somebody has to pay for the mail-irradiation equipment, the Anthrax containment, the first response training for each facility, etc, and so on. These are all operating costs, and don't really scale with mail volume. By creating a mandated increase in mail volume, the per-letter cost goes down. If the per letter fee remains unchanged, more money comes in, and is used to pay for these improvements.
Sure, the government would have to pick up the tab of these things anyway, but this way is as good as any - and less likely to provoke the same ire that yet another penny increase in stamp costs, or some obscure tax increase would.
It's robbing Peter to pay Paul, to be sure, but since when do fuel prices go down again when an "expected shortage" does not materialize, or OPEC increases production? This seems like a similar tactic - increased revenue, one way or another.
Besides, I'm sure they have loop holes in the regulations, such that excess money is moved from one account into another, and thus is made to benefit someone who otherwise would not get it. The USPS depends quite heavily on the Dept of Transportation.
|"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"|
[ Parent ]