The U.S. Postal Service may have gotten tens of billions of dollars of federal aid during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, but it wasn’t nearly enough to balance the USPS’ books.

That’s why the cost of first class postage is going to go up on Aug. 29 from 55 cents to 58 cents:

Once the new rates go into effect, USPS told lawmakers, mail volume will decrease annually by 2.3% but will bring in $1.7 billion in additional revenue — a more than a 4% increase from what the agency currently brings in.

Peter Pastre, USPS vice president of government relations and public policy, told Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) that the price hike was an “essential component of our plan to achieve fiscal solvency.”

First-class mail, the agency’s most profitable product, saw a decline in recent years that only accelerated under the COVID-19 pandemic.

First-class mail volume declined by about 2.9% every year from 2014 to 2019, but fell by 4.8% in 2020, and dropped by 4.6% as of May 2021.

Volumes continue to fall…costs continue to rise…it sounds an awful lot like an additional three cents per letter won’t solve the Postal Service’s problems.  There’s still time to privatize it and allow market forces to determine who gets to deliver mail, at what cost.