Currently you can get shipping materials for free https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10001&categoryId=10000036&parent_category_rn=10000002&top_category=10000002 which is ludicrous. They need to stop giving away shipping materials and charge for it like everyone else does. Countless times I have known of folks to hoard the materials, and use them for shipping using other carriers, or for personal storage. This needs to stop NOW.
Raise the rates on the bulk mail, even if it requires congressional approval to do so. Bulk mail companies already pay way less than the general public to send their spam direct to your box, and at times they receive hefty discounts as well ( http://www.dmnews.com/usps-provides-more-details-on-summer-sale/article/131151/ ) which should be stopped. The First Class postage we pay subsidizes junk mail. It is high time they pay their own way. The ridiculous threat that bulk mail companies will stop using USPS if rates for them are increased is pure bullshit. Call their bluff, and raise their rates, for they can afford it. Do you really think they will start using FedEx or UPS to deliver their junk? The US mail is a government monopoly they must use, due to the cheapness of it when compared to other options. A friend of mine who works in the sorting of US mail told me that bulk mail has steadily increased every year.
Additionally, the Postal Regulatory Commission believes that bulk mailers do not pay their fair share, and that their rates should be increased roughly 22% overall. An audit found that the current rates bulk mailers pay run afoul of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act http://www.prc.gov/PRC-DOCS/UploadedDocuments/ACD%202010_1697.pdf , which is hotly contested by the lobbyists in the bulk mail industry. The current Postmaster General caters to the whims of the bulk mail industry, and needs to be gone.
Create a Do Not Mail registry, which works similar to the Do Not Call registry. Currently I have no way to stop all the loose-leaf flyers/advertisements from infiltrating my mailbox. The sorting and delivery of this bulk-junk takes up a considerable amount of time, including mine. The junk mail problem alone has me flirting with the idea of eliminating my mailbox entirely, for I can pay all my bills, and do all my banking electronically now. Granted, this may cost money initially, but I can dream, can't I?
Granted, there are many problems leading to the current crisis, and I have only touched the tip of the issue. We have to start somewhere.
As a collector of NFA weapons myself, I can say that the article is incorrect about private citizens in the US not being able to purchase a 40mm grenade launcher. The 40mm grenade launcher is classified as a Destructive Device (DD) by the BATFE, and is regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934, commonly referred to as NFA. All NFA weapons are tracked with mandated registration with the BATFE. Weapons regulated by the NFA are Title 2 weapons (Title 1 weapons are "normal" firearms you see in most gun stores) include Destructive Devices, Suppressors (aka Silencers), machineguns made prior to May 1986, Short Barreled Rifles (SBR), Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS), and lastly the Any Other Weapon (AOW) category. These items can be purchased and transferred to you from any FFL who has paid an annual Special Occupation Tax (SOT) on file with the BATFE. Not all states allow you to purchase or posses these items, but most do. That being said, Federal law is clear that you can own these items if you pass the background check done by BATFE, which generally takes a few months due to the volume of applications they process. State law however, can limit or prohibit your possession, as well as use of the items. When you purchase any of the items above, you pay a one time $200 transfer tax to the BATFE per serial numbered item. The only exception are the AOW's which have a $5 transfer tax.
To own any of the above items, it simply must be legal to posses in your state with the proper federal registration. You purchase the item, then the dealer or individual you purchased it from helps you to complete what is called a Form 4, finger print cards, and a certificate of compliance. Put all that in an envelope, then mail it off with a check for the appropriate NFA transfer tax. If you have a clean criminal record the item will be transferred to you in a few months, and you can take possession of it when an approved Form 4 is returned.
The purchase price for a M230 40mm grenade launcher starts around $1300 and goes up from there, depending on who makes it and the configuration or collectability. Suppressors are much cheaper for the most part, and transferable (to the public) machineguns are the most expensive of all, starting at $3500 and going up as high as 500k depending on what it is, for the supply is fixed and cannot be replenished due to the ban in 1986.
You can learn more about the National Firearms Act here:
Places which make or sell various NFA items:
The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.