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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network station 
November 9-10, 2002:

A sigh of relief.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

This past week the Postal Service announced it had made a mistake and had
been paying too much into a retirement fund. That frees up money for debt
reduction, helps balance the books....and means no postage rate hikes for an
extra two years, until Two Thousand Six.

And THAT means there won't be another glut of rate-hike stamps for another
four years. Stamp collectors are still reeling from one of the busiest falls
in memory, after the June 30th increase. Not only were there many extra
stamps issued for the new rates, but also, many commemoratives were delayed
until the second half of the year. After all, what sponsor wants a favorite
stamp to be outdated soon after it's issued?

So three subjects -- nine different stamps -- were issued in as many days in
mid September. We also got new Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Eid and Happy Birthday
stamps -- same designs, but higher rates. And the 50-stamp Greetings from
America sheet issued in April was reissued last month.

We need a break!

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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