Forever stamps

How many of you are still using 37-cent stamps that you purchased before first-class postage went up to 39 cents? If you are, you're having to add an additional 2 cents of postage every time you mail a letter. For many postal patrons, having to deal with out-of-date stamps can be just as aggravating as an increase in postal rates.

But the U.S. Postal Service may have a solution. It's called the forever stamp. If approved, the forever stamp could be purchased when a proposed increase in first-class postage goes up to 42 cents sometime next year. Here's the almost-too-good-to-be-true part: The forever stamps could be used to mail letters no matter how much postage goes up in the future. In the past 32 years, postage has gone up 14 times.

The forever stamp has a lot of appeal. And it's a concept that has been widely tested. Nearly 30 other nations already have tried the forever stamp concept with success.

Right now there is no detailed plan of how to implement forever stamps in the U.S. The postal service might, for example, set a limit on how many of the stamps you could purchase at one time. But for postal patrons who always seem to have a few of the old stamps left over whenever rates go up, the forever stamp would be a godsend.

Both the proposed rate increases and the forever stamp still need an OK from the Postal Rate Commission. We would encourage the commission to give forever stamps its stamp of approval.