The U.S. Postal Service will handle almost twice as much mail today — 830 million pieces — as on a regular day, but that extra business is doing little to make mail carriers jolly. This fall, the Postal Regulatory Commission denied the agency’s proposal to raise a first-class stamp by two cents, to 46 cents — the fifth rate-hike request since 2006. In its plea, the post office pointed to declining revenues and a $6 billion deficit for fiscal year 2010. In its rejection, the commission argued that, by law, rates cannot raise beyond the level of inflation unless there’s an emergency and criticized the USPS’s “overly ambitious” attempt to fund retiree health-insurance premiums. We wonder if the commission sent the news by email (ouch). — Brigid Sweeney
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