Skip to comments.Washington Footing the Cell Phone Bill for Millions of Low Income Americans
Posted on 02/09/2012 6:46:26 AM PST by C19fan
Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills. But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don't qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
broadband internet is the next entitlement it looks like.
America cannot afford this crap!
So my question is, how do I go about sucking on the govt teet. It’s obvious that the “poor” qualify for pretty much everything up to and including new homes. I’m tired of fighting the tide and want my freebies too before we all go bankrupt.
So the Feds need We the People to support Verizon and ATT?
Yet when it was Cellular One and Telecomm and Cingulair nobody needed any taxpayer support.
yet again another dysfunctional American industry needing Federal life support...having used the regulatory club.. has crushed and squeezed out all competition that made the industry functional and healthy.
This is advertised regularly on tv in Miami Florida. Makes me angry, as I pay $100 a month for my cell phone.
As much as you have to blame the welfare queen moochers, you also have to blame the cell companies.
This is their dream program to sell their product to people who have no money and yet never have to worry about whether the bills get paid.
Crony Capitalism at its very worst.
Ahem—Washington isn’t footing the bill, I am!
Someone ought to alert the geniuses at Time of the truth....TAXPAYERS are paying cell phone bills, not “Washington”.
Someone ought to alert the geniuses at Time of the truth....TAXPAYERS are paying cell phone bills, not “Washington”.
“Washington Footing the Cell Phone Bill for Millions of Low Income Americans”
Brad Tuttle, the reputed author, or whoever wrote the title, doesn’t appear to have the vaguest notion that Washington doesn’t foot any bills.
The bills are footed by American workers, who have part of their incomes confiscated to send to people that don’t work.
It’s called buying votes with other peoples’ money, Washington-style, Mr. Tuttle
Why, that's awful nice of him to do that.
What? Oh, you mean the TAXPAYERS, people who actually earn a living, are paying for them! Different story!
the Treasury is continually plundered by the thieves in the district of corruption.
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I think that's what PO's the rest of us the most. They are buying their "wants" with money they obviously have that could be spent on their "needs".
But the rest of us, the RESPONSIBLE people, have to forego a lot of our "wants" in order to pay taxes in order to pay for these other people's "needs".
And further, I despise even more the "advocates" who push for these programs, not really out of any concern for the needy, but simply in order to feel good about themselves for their advocacy.
The commercials for this are all over the air here in Utah. It shows really nice people calling the doctor and calling in late for work or calling their grandkids. It makes me so mad! I have seen HOMELESS people who don’t have a pair of gloves but they have a cell-phone, and I doubt they are calling their grandkids.
Actually, this is one of those “unintended consequences” or more appropriately - careful what you wish for, you might get it.
I was working in the phone industry when the 1996 Telecom Act was being argued. The large companies (and some medium ones) were fighting government infusion! These small start-ups were telling the government that they could offer services to remote areas and “under-served” people IF the government would FORCE the large companies to lease them lines and services at a discounted rate.
The government decided to force larger established companies to offer services and lines at discounts to these off-shoots, etc... These off-shoots popped up EVERYWHERE! They were hoping that they could establish name and service recognition that would allow them to stem the rate changes when the GOVERNMENT FORCED PRICE DISCOUNTS ran-out.
What the government failed to realize - like usual - the free-market, i.e., PRICE, is the number one motivation for consumer loyalty. So, when the prices of these parasitic companies reached comparable rates of the name brands, people started dropping these off-shoots and they started dropping left and right! Of course, these little start-ups made HUGE money for the last 10 or 12 years, but now they are flying the coup with their government-forced profits!
So, what looks like the government helping and working with the large companies, ACTUALLY was FORCED on these companies by the government under the guise that it would help create local competition. All it did was drop the profits for the large companies for a few years, but ultimately these little companies could not compete with the large ones - PERIOD!
Stealing your money to buy phones for losers. Great! Just Great!
A couple weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh mentioned an article or the results of a recent study that found the welfare class has more disposable income than the middle class.
This is exactly why. We pay for their food, shelter, medical care, clothes, utilities, cell phones....
They pay for their Air Jordans, nice cars, acrylic nails.
What a crock of S*%t.
I pay 100 zops a year for my Tracfone....spend 99 bucks annually for additional airtime, and your minutes roll over and you get another year.
I've accumulated so much airtime - 66 hours worth - that I just got one of their smart phones so I can do the internet thing while on the road.
Do they get a data plan? They would if iPhones were as much in vogue as Air Jordans.
But they’ve so engrained the fear of being called a “racist” that we don’t dare complain about this “unfairness”. This is TRUE unfairness, not the “unfairness” that 0bama & his ilk talk about - that some have more income and wealth than others.
This is unfairness where one group of people is using violence (government) to take away from those who earn their wealth in order to live a lifestyle that they aren’t willing to work for themselves.
That was my first reaction, as well, that the bill is paid by TAXPAYERS. Who are also paying for their OWN cell phone bills, if they can afford them, after paying their TAXES.
Economists refer to items that we purchase in order to reveal our prosperity to others as wealth signals. But why use sneakers, as opposed to phonics toys, as a wealth signal? First off, for a signal to be effective, it needs to be easily observed by the people we're trying to impress. This includes not just those near and dear to us, but also the person we pass on the street, who sees our sneakers but would have a harder time inferring how much we're spending teaching our kids to read. For a wealth signal to be credible, it also needs to be hard to imitateif everyone in your community can afford $150 sneakers, those Zoom Lebron IVs would lose their signal value.
How much airtime do you get with that $99 annual thing? I have double minutes for life and get 90 days each time I purchase a air card. Right now the scroll on my phone is telling me I need to add more air time before November 2015!!!
It's NOT Washington that's footing the f*****g bll- it's YOU and ME!
I assume these ACORN phones receive daily text messages from David Axelrod.
The reason I mention this is that I regularly get mail that tells me I should apply for this Federal cell phone deal because I have such a low income and am disabled. I don't see how anyone can justify paying for services like this if I can even save up the money to get the minimum service each year.
guarenteed bucks from the government.
Based on my volunteer work as a triage interviewer at a local food bank, I can testify that this program is very popular and horribly abused.
Some people have two or three phones. One woman I interviewed freely admitted to having five phones, one for each family member. To her credit, I don’t think she realized she was abusing the system.
The FCC better get it’s stuff together on this pronto.
I pay $20 a month for 600 minutes and the minutes roll over. (net 10) I now have 6700 minutes as I seldom use my cell phone.
Not to mention those 50inch TVs. That money should go directly to lowering the national debt. If some old lady needs a phone for an emergency, give her a tracfone with thirty minutes a month.
Everybody who pays a phone bill is paying for “low income people” having free cell phones.
It’s the Federal Universal Service Charge on your phone bill, one of the many taxes on your phone bill.
Far too many people think that Federal money just grows on trees.
This may be a good policy. The beneficiaries may only be able to shoplift half as much while holding the phone to the ear with onbe hand.
This crap really gets me PO’d. I make very good money as part owner of a business. My budgit says I shouldn’t spend the money on a cell phone account... so I live without it. Some sorry asshole in “da hood” apply’s for gubmint funding of a cell phone, which my hefty taxes pay for, and they use it to play games, listen to muzak, and view porn among other things, all the while making drug deals by phone. The government has NO right to do this yet they have gotten away with it to the tune of 14 trillion dollars of debt. We need a power change.
How else could they manage to assemble all the yutes together at the same time so they can swarm and knock off the local 7-11?
So past Time magazine finally noticed this. I guess when you are in bed with the liberals its hard to see when youre under the covers. This has been going on a long time. The next is the follow up on studies about the digital Divide uncovered with stimulus funds. Some cable companies are giving the bundle (phone, cable, and internet) for $9.99 to the poor.
Ohh, they are already doing broadband inter-net. Right now, it goes to underserved Tribal areas, where there were no lines, but wait, they will bring it to the inner cities eventually.
We have lots of areas in our county with no broadband service at all, but the only area that the government provided service was to one of the Tribes.
Pisses me off. With our family plan, we are being sacked at $175 a month ...of course, tho, we have a couple of I-phones.
Are the moochers receiving basic models, or souped up smart phones?
I guess if you could get a phone for free, that’s $150 you can spend gettin’ your “hair did” for the month.
I read the headline only, and wondered how many posts before a FReeper would bring up the truth about WHO really is paying those cell phone bills.
You are right on the mark. WE the taxpayers are being ripped off by government in D.C. to pay for those cell phones, which in turn is just another angle to promote the donations, and votes to, and for the Democrat Party.
Again we are being ripped off to pay for our own demise. It’s the Democrat way.
I bet they do get data, already set up with Tweets and instant messages from the Obama administration.
Many of those ‘advocates’ get a cut. They work for agencies and “NGO’s” that help administer these programs. Useless, pointless bureaucracies. IMO.
Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House when this legislation was approved of and signed into law. Thanks, Newt!
In my town we have LOTS of people in the homeless population with cell phones paid for by the taxpayers.
I heard it directly referred to as “Obama Phones” by them.
I remember seeing an ad on the internet and one of the models available was a touch screen. Not sure if it was a smartphone exactly, but it blew me away seeing it.
I highly doubt that AT & T and Verizon need Federal support, this is a giveaway to the poor for votes - plain & simple.
Title should read, “Taxpayers are funding cellphones for millions”
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