Big bucks: Postal bosses salaries give stamp cost hike a bad taste

At a time when the U.S. Postal Service is again raising the price of a stamp and considering ending mail delivery one day a week, revelation comes that Postmaster General John E. Potter received more than $800,000 in compensation and retirement benefits in 2008.

At least four other postal officials got more than a quarter-million dollars in total compensation the same year, according to Postal Service records reviewed by The Washington Times.

The newspaper said that lawmakers, already trying to limit compensation of Wall Street executives, will investigate postal salaries when the House Oversight and Government Reform federal workforce, Postal Service and District of Columbia subcommittee meets during this term of Congress.

That the postal service needs good, competent executives to oversee it goes without saying. But whether such level of compensation should take place when stamp prices continue to escalate and service cutbacks are contemplated is what riles the public.

“There is something to be said for attractive compensation. But at the same time, the Postal Service has a government guaranteed monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail, and UPS and FedEx don’t have that. Because of that, there is a fundamental difference in the Postal Service’s business model and that of package delivery firms,” Pete Sepp, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, a nonpartisan group that monitors government spending.

Last week the Postal Service announced it would raise the price of first-class mail stamps to 44 cents, up 2 cents, effective in May.

Potter’s $800,000 annual compensation makes the stamp increase all the more hard to swallow.

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