President Obama thinks beer and wine are just the thing to help the U.S. Postal Service with its financial problems.
The "President's Plan for USPS Reform" includes "acceptance of beer and wine in the mail," according to a recent presentation by Postmaster General Pat Donahoe. Current law prohibits shipping alcoholic beverages by mail.
The Obama Administration may also have altered its USPS plan in a way that would definitely give mailers a hangover, the Donahoe presentation indicated. The Administration announced last month that it would propose "a modest one-time increase in postage rates." (See Obama Supports Postage Increase: Is He Dissing the Print Industry?).
But Donahoe's description was a bit different: "Give USPS ability to raise postage rates above current price cap." Have "one-time" or "modest" been dropped from the plan?
The beer-and-wine language is also a bit mysterious: "Allow USPS to increase collaboration w/ state and local governments; e.g. non-postal products, acceptance of beer and wine in the mail." With many states having tight controls and hefty taxes on beer and wine, it's not clear how enabling the Postal Service to deliver such products would constitute collaboration rather than competition.
Perhaps the states will enjoy a spike in their liquor-tax revenues when mailers are notified of the new postal rates.