The U.S. Postal Service — which is currently in the throes of snowballing debt — wasted $1.2 million on the production of “Simpsons” themed stamps, according to an inspector general’s report.
One billion stamps featuring the cartoon family were produced — and only 318 million were sold, the Washington Post reports.
Each year the USPS prints commemorative stamps based on a recommendation by an “advisory board” made up of a group of everyday, regular schmucks. The most popular stamp of all time was a 1993 stamp commemorating Elvis Presley’s 58th birthday, followed by a 1995 Marilyn Monroe stamp. While “The Simpsons” are definitely a cultural phenomenon, it doesn’t quite live up to the iconic status of the King, nor does it share the shapely curves of Monroe.
Somehow, the Postal Service thought that making one billion “Simpsons” stamps was a good idea, even though the only time people use snail mail is when they send their grandparents birthday cards with enlarged type. And if you asked those grandparents their thoughts on “The Simpsons” they would probably think you were talking about the new neighbors, rather than the satirical parody of the American experience.
The overproduction of “Simpsons” stamps is just one example of just how bad the USPS is at managing its balance sheets. The inspector general’s report said that the process the Postal Service uses to determine how many stamps to manufacture is unscientific — and that no stamp in 2009 and 2010 met the demand for the quantity produced.
In 2011 alone the Postal Service lost $10 million, and it is on track to lose $15 million by the end of this fiscal year.
Perhaps it’s time to send Dennis Kucinich on that hunger strike.