To make up for recession losses, the Postal Service says the cost of first-class stamps will temporarily rise by 3 cents in late January. In other words, the price for those non-Forever stamps will increase, but not forever. Are you confused yet? 

The move was announced yesterday to help the ailing agency recoup a loss of "$2.8 billion, caused by a substantial drop in mail volume, totaling about 25.3 billion pieces, between 2008 and 2011." First-class stamps will bump up from 46 cents to 49 cents starting on January 26 of next year (364 days after the rate took a one-cent hike from 45 cents to 46 cents).

 What's especially strange about this change is that it's temporary. The Postal Service lobbied for a permanent rate change, but the Postal Regulatory Commission rejected the request. So how long will the new rate last?

"Just long enough to recover the loss," according to Chairwoman Ruth Goldway. Pressed for specifics, Goldway predicted that the change would last about two years. Should the increase work, perhaps it will stamp out all doubt among those who say the Postal Service is falling philately