Skip to comments.FCC chief: Reagan could be proud of 'Obamaphone' program
Posted on 09/12/2013 5:00:51 PM PDT by Sub-Driver
FCC chief: Reagan could be proud of 'Obamaphone' program By Brendan Sasso - 09/12/13 05:58 PM ET
Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn forcefully defended her agency's phone subsidy program for the poor in a speech on Thursday.
Conservative critics have claimed the FCC's Lifeline program is a wasteful government handout and referred to it as the "Obamaphone program."
"Heres the truth. The Lifeline program long predates the current administration," Clyburn said in the speech at the New America Foundation. "It was actually created during the Reagan administration, so let's give credit where credit is due. The Lifeline program is a legacy President Reagan could be proud of."
Congress first enacted the Lifeline program in 1985, and the FCC expanded the program to cover cellphone service in 2005 during the George W. Bush administration.
The program pays for phone service, not the phones themselves. But many companies that receive funding through the program offer free and low-cost phones to their subscribers.
The program is funded through fees that the telephone companies pass on to consumers on their monthly bills.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Tim Griffith (R-Ark.) have introduced bills to end the cellphone portion of the program.
This phone program has expanded far beyond its original intent, and as so many middle class Americans struggle underneath this economy, it is really offensive for Washington to make taxpayers pay for free cell phones for others, Vitter said in a statement when he introduced his legislation.
But Clyburn said the idea of restricting Lifeline to landline phone service is "one of the most illogical things" she's heard since her appointment.
"Even suggesting this is taking a major step backwards and ignores the critical telecommunications of needy Americans and is out of step with the communications evolution," she said.
Clyburn acknowledged that the program had been subject to fraud and abuse, but she touted the commission's efforts at reform.
Last year, the FCC toughened Lifeline's eligibility standards and created a database to ensure that multiple companies were not receiving subsidies to provide service to the same customer.
Those reforms trimmed $200 million from the program last year and are on track to save $2 billion by the end of 2014, according to Clyburn.
could be, but he wouldn’t be
I’m sure Ronald Reagan would have been totally against stealing money from those who earned it to give to people who did nothing all day other then sit on their a$$.
Reagan’s history doesn’t show that he was fond of that.
“Mignon Clyburn” hasn’t a clue about Reagan.
He would be spinning in his grave if he knew how badly this program is being abused by Clymer’s and Clyburn’s alike.
Damned near anyone on any kind of government assistance is eligible:
Here’s my middle finger back at ya, Mignon.
Another one of those threads where all I have to say is: see the tag line.
Reagan favored freedom and free enterprise a lot more
Next they will be saying that Reagan would approve of Zero’s Anti Constitutional behavior and Obammycare,
‘gibsmedat’ Reaganites? Who’d a thunk it?
Libs like to claim Reagan’s approval for all their tax and spend programs.
Another BS leftist article.
I have written on FR before that I am a volunteer triage interviewer at a local food/clothing bank.
Almost everyone that I interview refers to these phones as “Obama Phones.” Why is that? Why aren’t the phones referred to as “Reagan Phones?” It’s because of the aggressive advertising of these phones done by the nobama regime.
It is rare for me to interview somebody that has just one phone. Most have two. Some have one for each family member including the young kids. Hell, they’re “FREE” so why not?
I really doubt Mignon Clyburn has a clue about the extent of the fraud and abuse.
And we’re paying for it every month. YES, I AM PISSED!
Clyburn’s closest confidante is her father, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.). Many close allies of Rep. Clyburn attended Mignon’s confirmation hearing, including defeated Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Rep. Henry Brown (R-S.C.).
Prior to Mignon Clyburn’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced her to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “It’s [South Carolina’s] a small state,” said Graham. “We all pretty much know each other. All of us who know her and have worked with her throughout the years trust her to be honest with you and to put the best interests of her community ahead of her own.”
“”Even suggesting this is taking a major step backwards and ignores the critical telecommunications of needy Americans and is out of step with the communications evolution,” she said.””
What is a needy American? Someone who cannot step out of their house without a cell phone in their hand? What is so important??????? Multi-million dollar deals, perhaps?
Do away with the program PERIOD!
Be interesting to learn how many freepers grew up without a phone in the home.
I’ll go first... And for the first 15 years of my life, no bathroom either. Now we were needy!!!
Conservatives are champions of charity, as long as those contributing to the charity do so by choice.
Government should not be in the charity business:...they shouldn't be choosing who is deserving of charity, and they shouldn't be taking dollars out of our hands, in taxes, that we could otherwise direct toward the charity of our choice.
They have three cars in the driveway and two flatscreen TVs and they can’t afford to buy basic home phone service in order to call 911. Give me a frickin break.
Lol! ObamaKitchen! My boy is waiting for his new ObamaCar.
Right! Phones for the the poor.
Actually, the article is full of bull. The 1934 Telecom Act first started with the idea of telephones for everyone. Gosh, what Communist was in office then? Oh, that’s right, FDR.
P.S. The Universal Service Fund was only set up in 1996, not during Reagan’s term.