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    Cost of Stamps, Postal Rates to Raise

    Postal Service officials will meet Tuesday to propose raising the price of stamps to 46 cents due to a huge budget shortfall from the recession. After Tuesday’s meeting (the agency is required to fund future medical costs in advance for retirees), the proposed rate hike will then go to an independent commission for review. Usually the rates are allowed to rise only with inflation, but in unusual circumstances, they can be raised higher. And its budget woes could certainly count as special circumstances: The Postal Service lost $3.8 billion in 2009, even though it cut 40,000 jobs, and it felt big losses in 2010, too. The post office has considered dropping Saturday service to save money, but that move would have to be approved by Congress.