Skip to comments.Georgia Slaps $5 Fee on Free Cellphone Service for Poor (Obamaphones)
Posted on 10/17/2013 7:06:14 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
Georgia has become the first state to charge a fee to low-income people who receive free cellphone service through a federal program, saying the move would combat fraud.
The Georgia Public Service Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve a $5-a-month charge on participants in the Lifeline program, which is designed to ensure low-income households have access to basic communications services.
Georgia Public Service Commissioner Doug Everett, who proposed the rule, said the program's structure encourages wireless providers to sign up as many customers as possible to rake in taxpayer-funded subsidies, without first verifying their eligibility. Each eligible household is supposed to get only one phone with free service.
Mr. Everett, a Republican, said his rule was motivated as much by carriers' aggressive sales tactics as by consumer abuse. "I believe the program is broken," he said. "We found multiple phones in the same household because no one is verifying or checking information."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Dept of Just Us is not going to like this.
Half of them will be shut off.
And to quote one recent Walmart EBT glitch shopper I personally heard.
“F**k that, I ain’t spendin my own money”
Oh the humanity!
What’s “basic” about a product that didn’t exist 10 years ago? What else is considered “basic,” 3D HD TV with 800 channels? If they want “basic” they should get free postage stamps and that’s IT.
Oh yeah, this will be as popular as a new voter ID law with the DC crowd.
Didn't BO call it "skin in the game"? If you aren't working and paying FICA taxes, you don't have skin in the game.
You mean, the state of Georgia is actually charging the USERS? Not just the vague “rich folk”? I say more power to ‘em!
Maybe *basic* cars for all, basic car insurance for all, basic house full of basic furniture and basic clothes. Maybe that’s what’s next on 0’s *Free$#it* list.
If opposing a program is blatently racist doesn’t that mean that the program was inherently racist to begin with?
In Democrat lingo that means you hate poor people.
But...that’s taking cigarettes out of the mouths of children!!!!
I’d like to take the “skin in the game” idea a little further: you don’t pay federal taxes = you don’t vote in federal elections.
never saw a cell phone til I was 35 or so. First one was a bagphone.
Now it’s a necessity??
Nobody gave me jack; I went to work and pulled myself up by my own bootstraps. Ate mackerel and bread and peanuts until I figured it out.
I think we all ought to quit our jobs and go on welfare. I wonder how congress would react if millions of working Americans walked into work Monday and quit. Tell the takers it’s their turn.
Waivers for everybody!
.......... give-em phones that can ONLY call 911, and their doctor. ......................
Hay yo! Would you’se call Dominoes, so’s that I can buy me a pizza on my super card??
I think they'd love it. It would be the excuse they need to end this pretense of liberty and nationalize industry so hey can control labor directly.
And basic cigarettes!
I think I like this charge. At least the state is getting something from these parasites.
Why not just give them a roll of quarters every month so they can use the pay phone?
GA FReeper ping.
While I am generally against new taxes, this one I think I can agree with.
It’s a link to Online WSJ that requires log in so I can’t read the whole story.
My gut tells me that this ‘fee’ is just another revenue stream for government. Nothing in what is freely visible in the excerpt tells me HOW they will combat the potential fraud. For instance, how will that fee be used? Will it be used to verify eligibility? Will it go to the vendor? To some nondescript fund that gets used up for other things?
I need more information before I’d say good or bad.
The point here is that people will be less likely to have multiple phones that they sell to others if they have to shell out $5/mo. It’s not about how the revenue is used, it’s about discouraging fraud.
These phones are an insult to self-sufficient US citizens everywhere. They include 240 minutes, free cell phaone, and no fees or taxes.
Here is an AJC article about this:
I think they will now buy them for 5 and sell them to the pimps and pushers for 10. Isn’t that how capitalism works? :)
From the articles I’ve read it doesn’t look like it is a tax. The state is requiring the phone carriers to collect $5 from the “customer” instead of all costs being paid by the government program. I don’t think Georgia gets anything out of this but a reduction in fraud.
They are, of course, being sued by a phone company who see Georgia and throwing a block under the wheels of the chuck wagon.
Each cell phone is billed a certain amount each month for 911 service. I wonder if Obama Phones are billed that? I wonder if the vendors that collect the Obama Phone money from the government actually turn it over to the state which disburses to the counties?
I’d start there. And I’d increase that tax significantly just for Obama Phones, sending the tax bill to the user.
I don’t have a problem with this. While they’re at it, they might as well start hitting them up for that Spanish-American War tax that the rest of faithfully paid for 108 years.
I agree. First I find the idea that some people should get free cell phones offensive, stupid, and totally lacking in logic. Why not free TV's and free cars and free food and free housing - OH wait, they already get free food and free housing, but the food and housing is at least covered by the thin venner of "necessity" (as in keeping the terminally lazy from starving) Cell phones OTO are not a necessity. they didn't even exist 30 years ago. How did the parasites get along without them then?
They are not My FRiend. You [and I] are paying for them. And the good part is that it is just one more thing we pay for that they are using against us. Kinda like the Chinese having to pay for the bullet used to kill them.
I’m fully aware of who pays for the parasites’ food, housing, medical care, etc. By free i meant free to them.
I love Georgia.
Yes, I’d like to see revocation of voter registration upon 3 consecutive years of being on government “assistance”.
Fraud and waste on a govt program. Hard to believe. :-)
States will almost always go after the providers and never the welfare recipient fraudsters, Go after both of them!
The articles I have read lead me to the same conclusion. At $5 (which ain’t all that much), the end user will have some skin in the game
Under the new rule, participating carriers in Georgia must bill Lifeline consumers $5 every month starting Jan. 31, or provide them with 500 minutes of call time per month.
They'll go with the 500 minutes.
our “leaders” are insane