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Growing Lifeline Program Is Costing American Consumers and Taxpayers (Free Cell Phones)
http://www.masscops.com/threads/growing-lifeline-program-is-costing-american-consumers-and-taxpayers.107516/ ^

Posted on 05/03/2012 7:33:01 AM PDT by kcvl

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after introducing the Stop Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act (H.R.3481), which will save American consumers billions of dollars in a program many view as an example of government waste:

“I have heard from numerous Arkansans who have shared stories of dead relatives receiving free cell phones in the mail, individuals abusing the system by obtaining numerous free cell phones and recently I saw an electronic kiosk in a convenience store promoting free cell phones, all through a government run and taxpayer funded program called Lifeline. My bill returns the Lifeline program back to its original structure by ending federal subsidies for free cell phone services. This growing government cell phone program is costing American consumers and taxpayers, and my bill puts an end to it.”

The Lifeline Program was established in 1984 to subsidize landline phone service for low-income individuals. Under the program, telecommunications carriers submit reimbursement requests to the government-run Universal Service Fund (USF) to receive a subsidy for services provided to qualifying low-income subscribers. The USF is funded through fees collected from telecommunications carriers which are directly passed onto their customers, as part their telephone bill.

In 2008, the Lifeline Program was expanded to include wireless service providers. Between 2008 and 2009, non-landline costs for the program doubled – from $143 million to $384 million – and then doubled again, totaling over $719 million in 2010. Before the certification of the first wireless carrier, the overall Lifeline Program cost $822 million per year, an amount consistent with the previous five years. That number grew to $1.025 billion in 2009 and to $1.315 billion in 2010. According to the Federal Communications Commission, it is common for multiple wireless service providers to seek reimbursement for Lifeline services provided to the same household.

http://griffin.house.gov/press-rele...gram-costing-american-consumers-and-taxpayers


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: sourcetitlenoturl

1 posted on 05/03/2012 7:33:05 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
Cloward-Piven.

Overwhelm the system, then say "See! See! We told you freedom doesn't work!"

2 posted on 05/03/2012 7:34:24 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: kcvl

The commies with the agenda KNOW these programs will be abused, and they WANT them to be abused.

The sheeperals are the frustrating ones.
They think they’re doing “good” with these programs.
“Why would you want someone to not be able to make emergency phonecalls?”


3 posted on 05/03/2012 7:39:01 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: kcvl

Internet services are now subsidized as well.

More spending - yay! (sarc)


4 posted on 05/03/2012 7:47:07 AM PDT by fruser1
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To: kcvl
Free Cell Phone Ad
5 posted on 05/03/2012 7:47:25 AM PDT by preacher (Communism has only killed 100 million people: Let's give it another chance!)
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To: kcvl

Some to me like phone company welfare....Its how you keep big companies from running campaign ads against you!!


6 posted on 05/03/2012 7:49:37 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: kcvl
I'm glad this issue has surfaced.

I have long had a problem with subsidizing others' phone bills. The original Universal Lifeline tax on our phone bills was to make sure that seniors had access to 911 in case of emergency. Okay, but who, other than skid row bums, doesn't have telephone service, and can't dial 911? It's my understanding that if you have a phone plugged in, and no other service, you can still dial 911. I believe that to be fedgov law. I could be wrong.

NOW! We're supposed to subsidize those with cell phones? If a person can afford to buy a cell phone and the access charges, why do they need anyone to subsidize their phone bill? Someone, please explain this to me. Seriously, I don't get it.

7 posted on 05/03/2012 7:50:08 AM PDT by A Navy Vet (An Oath Is Forever)
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To: kcvl

FORWARD!


8 posted on 05/03/2012 7:51:40 AM PDT by Piranha (If you seek perfection you will end up with Democrats.)
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To: kcvl

While I share the same outrage at this theft of my money to buy votes from the democrat plantation crowd this link really raises my blood pressure to the tune of $4+ billion.

Please take the time to view this.

http://www.wthr.com/video?clipId=7054149&topVideoCatNo=103348&autoStart=true


9 posted on 05/03/2012 8:01:25 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I wish it were as simple as Cloward-Piven.

This is more like “Corporate America allowing itself to be co-opted by government in order to gain more business”.

I’m sure that T-Mobile, Cricket, Verizon...all of them lobbied for a program like this to sell phones to people who had no money. They had, after all, pretty much maxed out market share of people who could afford them. So from where is the next growth spurt to come?

Not unlike how the health insurers were not too unhappy to get 50 million new paying customers at gunpoint (the joke may be on them though)


10 posted on 05/03/2012 8:25:20 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: kcvl

ALL cell phones, past and pressent, access 911 by law.
That’s free—and good enough.


11 posted on 05/03/2012 8:27:31 AM PDT by Flintlock (THE TRUTH: It's the new hate speech..)
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To: Wurlitzer

WOW...ILLEGALS getting tax refunds?!!!


12 posted on 05/03/2012 8:29:04 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Buckeye McFrog
This is more like “Corporate America allowing itself to be co-opted by government in order to gain more business”.

I call it the big-government/big-corporate continuing criminal enterprise.

13 posted on 05/03/2012 8:34:08 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

It Gets Worse

As if it’s not bad enough that you’re paying for free cell phone service for other people when it’s tough enough to pay for your own, it gets even worse.

There are three primary companies providing the LifeLine service – SafeLink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and ReachOut Wireless. Safelink, the largest player in the business, is owned by the world’s richest man, Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim.

The free government cell phone scam is very profitable for the companies involved. Obviously. A billionaire like Carlos Slim wouldn’t be involved otherwise.

Each customer costs the cell phone company about $3 per month for phone and minutes. But the Universal Service Fund pays the cell phone companies $10 per month for each customer.

http://www.fortliberty.org/the-government-handing-out-free-cell-phones-and-youre-paying-for-it.html


14 posted on 05/03/2012 8:40:30 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: fruser1

FCC Adds Broadband to Free Government Cell Phone Program

CheapInternet.com applauds FCC’s decision to offer Lifeline internet, a low-cost, high-speed broadband service for low income Americans.

February 07, 2012

They’ve been looking into it, studying it, and debating it for years. But now the Federal Communications Commission has finally approved a cheap internet-for-the-poor program similar to Lifeline, its existing free government cell phone program.

“Millions of low income Americans have been waiting for this,” Mark Henry, editor of CheapInternet.com said. “Lifeline internet is going to make it a lot easier for low-income adults to get jobs and a lot easier for poor children to succeed in school.”

Participants in the program, officially named Connect America, will be required to pay just $10 per month for high-speed broadband service. But the program is so closely allied with the Lifeline free government cell phone program that Henry expects the monthly fee to be eliminated in the future.

According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, they intend to fund a $25 million pilot program by cracking down on fraud in the Lifeline phone program and using the savings to pay for the new benefits. Genachowski says they have already begun auditing Lifeline phone vendors to ferret out fraud and the effort has so far uncovered almost 270,000 fraudulent subscriptions in 12 states.

The FCC Chairman predicts that the changes will save as much as $2 billion over the next few years, far more than is needed to fund the beginnings of the cheap internet program.

“Broadband has gone from being a luxury to being a necessity,” Henry added. “This program is exactly what low income Americans need to succeed.”

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9168784.htm


15 posted on 05/03/2012 8:45:22 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl

An easy way to fix this is to make the “Lifeline Phone” a dedicated one function device. It has only one button, and that button dials “911” (or the equivalent cell number).

Keeps the desired original functionality and eliminates the possibility of abuse.


16 posted on 05/03/2012 8:56:07 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Flintlock

See post #16


17 posted on 05/03/2012 8:57:30 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: kcvl
What I can't understand is why a phone meant for “emergencies” is able to *receive* calls and comes with 250 free minutes and free voice mail? *Calling* 911...OK,maybe...250 free minutes and voice mail? WELFARE SCAM!!!!!
18 posted on 05/03/2012 8:58:18 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
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To: kcvl
Hmmmm...”lifeline” internet.Ten bucks says that porn sites and radical moslem websites won't be blocked but Foxnews,for example,will.
19 posted on 05/03/2012 9:03:09 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
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To: kcvl

The FCC raised the tax on all phone service to 17% in order to fund this outrage.


20 posted on 05/03/2012 9:30:02 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: kcvl

Assurance Wireless is the name of the program in Florida...they advertise for people on welfare on the local tv news shows....makes me want to throw up. I pay more than $100 a month for cell phone service....and now my taxes are paying for welfare recipients to get it,.too.


21 posted on 05/03/2012 9:48:47 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: kcvl

Assurance Wireless is the name of the program in Florida...they advertise for people on welfare on the local tv news shows....makes me want to throw up. I pay more than $100 a month for cell phone service....and now my taxes are paying for welfare recipients to get it,.too.


22 posted on 05/03/2012 9:49:45 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: Gay State Conservative

I’m not sure how many people know this, but...

if you pick up any cell phone that doesn’t have any service whatsoever, and dial 911, it will go through.

I’m with you - 250 “free” minutes is simply another reparations scam.


23 posted on 05/03/2012 9:52:32 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: theBuckwheat
The FCC raised the tax on all phone service to 17% in order to fund this outrage.
24 posted on 05/03/2012 9:53:10 AM PDT by kcvl
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