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Consumer Groups Fight $5 ‘Obama Phone’ Fee In Georgia
CBS Atlanta ^ | Dec 19, 2013 | Benjamin Fearnow

Posted on 12/19/2013 7:35:03 AM PST by upchuck

The Federal Communication Commission program, “Lifeline,” subsidizes the wireless service and allows carriers to dispense phones for no cost. Recipients of the free service are considered eligible if they do not earn more than 135 percent of the federal poverty level or if they participate in at least one other federal assistance program such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or public housing.

Georgia alone has nearly 800,000 residents which use the service, but a new policy aimed at cracking down at fraud and wasteful spending forces companies to either increase free airtime to 500 hours or charge subscribers the $5 fee, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

“This represents one of the most direct attacks on low-income consumers in recent memory,” said a statement released Thursday by Consumer Action, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Community Action Partnership, and the National Consumers League and the National Grange.

The non-profit Universal Service Administrative Company which administers the program reports that the percentage of low-income households with phone service increased from 80 percent in 1985 to 92 percent last year.

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that low-income Americans continue to lead the switch to abandon landlines and use only wireless phones.

The CDC survey shows that nearly 55 percent of American adults with income below the poverty line use only mobile phones in their homes – about a 3 percent increase from last year. That compares with only 35 percent of Americans whose income is more than double the poverty line.

The U.S. government pays companies $9.25 a month per customer to offer phone service to the poor.

(Excerpt) Read more at atlanta.cbslocal.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: gibsmedat; obamaphone
Fraud in this program is completely over the top and out of control. There has been little, if any, effort to insure a family has just one phone. I know a low income woman that has six kids aged 10-18. Guess how many "free" Obamaphones she has? You're right! SEVEN!!

Maybe I'm not smart enough, but I don't understand how increasing air time to 500 hours (they get 250 free minutes/month now) or charging a $5/month fee is going to stop the taxpayer-paid fraud and abuse.

1 posted on 12/19/2013 7:35:03 AM PST by upchuck
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To: upchuck

How about the outrage over the $5 fee?

Just call it The Entitlemented States of America.


2 posted on 12/19/2013 7:38:05 AM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: upchuck

What is the point in doubling the air time?


3 posted on 12/19/2013 7:38:59 AM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: upchuck

Obamaphones are inner city scams...


4 posted on 12/19/2013 7:39:30 AM PST by GOPJ ("Remember who the real enemy is... ")
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To: upchuck

“I gots me a obamaphone, sucker!”


5 posted on 12/19/2013 7:47:17 AM PST by Westbrook ()Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: upchuck

Attack on the “poor”? The same poor who receive thousands of dollars in subsidies every year and use it to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and dope?


6 posted on 12/19/2013 7:48:10 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (From time to time the.tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.)
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To: upchuck

These phones are generally resold by the bag full as throw aways for $20 each. The poor are too embarassed to use them, and generally have nice phones


7 posted on 12/19/2013 7:48:24 AM PST by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: upchuck
Maybe I'm not smart enough, but I don't understand how increasing air time to 500 hours (they get 250 free minutes/month now) or charging a $5/month fee is going to stop the taxpayer-paid fraud and abuse.

Later in the article it says "500 minutes". You really earned your pay today, Mr. Editor < /s>.

It looks like the push is to get those who want the subsidized phone to toss in a minimal $5 per month. The jump to 500 minutes per hour on the same $9.25 subsidy is to make it less profitable to the companies to pass out free phones to everyone and their kids.

Another article at http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/12/18/judge-blocks-georgias-5-fee-on-cellphone-service-for-poor/ said that a judge blocked the $5 fee.

8 posted on 12/19/2013 7:49:36 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Everyone get online for Obamacare on 10/1. Overload the system and crash it hard!)
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To: sickoflibs
What is the point in doubling the air time?

To make it less profitable to the phone company so they are less eager to give them away to everyone to get the $9.25/month per phone subsidy

9 posted on 12/19/2013 7:51:10 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Everyone get online for Obamacare on 10/1. Overload the system and crash it hard!)
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To: sickoflibs

> What is the point in doubling the air time?

Black thugs airtime minutes cutoff midstream playing the knockout game makes it more difficult to setup whiteys if they can’t call their buds to let them know he’s about to turn the corner and walk down their street


10 posted on 12/19/2013 7:56:40 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: upchuck

LOL They mad


11 posted on 12/19/2013 7:57:54 AM PST by wastedyears (The Ender's Game movie was a stupendous, colossal, galactic failure to me.)
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To: KarlInOhio

thanks, the two options seemed contradictory on the surface but that has some logical flow.

Charging them seems the better option.


12 posted on 12/19/2013 7:58:50 AM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: upchuck
It should be $500.00, same as the pair of sneakers that the same "poor" people somehow manage to afford.

13 posted on 12/19/2013 8:00:55 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: KarlInOhio; All

My apologies for writing 500 hours. That doesn’t make sense at all.

In the FCC’s eyes, this problem can be fixed by charging the vendors ans users more? Doubt it.


14 posted on 12/19/2013 8:01:51 AM PST by upchuck (I can't stand people that don't know the difference between 'than' and 'then.' Their so stupid...)
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To: upchuck
My apologies for writing 500 hours. That doesn’t make sense at all.

No need to apologize. The article says "500 hours". I was criticizing your source, CBS Atlanta, for not having an editor.

In the FCC’s eyes, this problem can be fixed by charging the vendors ans users more? Doubt it.

Obama's FCC likes it as it is now: take money from me and give it to the phone companies to pass out "free" phones. The only "fix" they think is needed is to hide this from the public heat taken after that one screeching woman publicized this whole scam. Yell "squirrel" and maybe this whole problem of bad publicity might go away.

15 posted on 12/19/2013 8:12:41 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Everyone get online for Obamacare on 10/1. Overload the system and crash it hard!)
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To: upchuck

I was behind this woman at the store. She had on a pair of Ugg boots, a Coach purse, talking on a blinged out IPhone, and she was buying diet soda and candy bars with an EBT card. In the parking lot, she got into a really nice mustang . I have never been so mad in my life. My tax money goes so this parasite can get expensive brand name Crap and I am scrimping to get by? There will be a reckoning, and people like her will not be happy.


16 posted on 12/19/2013 8:35:40 AM PST by chae (I was anti-Obama before it was cool)
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To: upchuck

To think I’m paying for my own phone and get only 20 minutes a month. That’s not a typo.


17 posted on 12/19/2013 8:45:31 AM PST by bgill
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To: upchuck

“This represents one of the most direct attacks on low-income consumers in recent memory,...”

Consumers????

They get a free friggin’ phone that you and I paid for and they are a “consumer”???

Give me a damn break. And then they have the gall to call it an “attack”. One thing’s for sure - These people have ten pound brass balls.

How about we call them what they are: Looters.


18 posted on 12/19/2013 8:46:18 AM PST by Nik Naym (It's not my fault... I have compulsive smartass disorder.)
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To: upchuck

If my math is right, in Georgia, alone, the free phone service is costing us approximately $89 MILLION per year. Is this correct? WOW


19 posted on 12/19/2013 8:48:24 AM PST by NEMDF
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To: Nik Naym

Receiving stolen property used to be a crime.


20 posted on 12/19/2013 8:49:08 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: chae

Try walking a 5mi round trip to the grocery only to watch 250#+ EBT mamas sumo wrestle over the last electric cart.

Then when I’m at checkout with my chicken, beans and noodles, they buy the ingredients for one expensive meal, and then as many cases of the cheapest generic canned soda as the cart will get to their car trunk in one trip. Aluminum.


21 posted on 12/19/2013 8:50:19 AM PST by Anton.Rutter
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To: Nik Naym

I have often wondered what was wrong with me. Having read your tag line, now I know. This has been a truly eye opening experience for me. There’s a whole new world out there I didn’t know exists.

Thank you!


22 posted on 12/19/2013 9:11:34 AM PST by upchuck (I can't stand people that don't know the difference between 'than' and 'then.' Their so stupid...)
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To: upchuck

Wasn’t this scheme introduced for landline phones by Reagan & extended to cell phones by W?


23 posted on 12/19/2013 9:40:50 AM PST by freeboy70
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To: upchuck

I’m guessing the regime wants to push videos, not just texts.
Need more minutes & bandwidth.


24 posted on 12/19/2013 9:42:19 AM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: freeboy70
Wasn’t this scheme introduced for landline phones by Reagan & extended to cell phones by W?

No and yes:

IMHO, the error was in extending the program to cell phones. That's when the fraud and abuse started.
25 posted on 12/19/2013 1:07:41 PM PST by upchuck (I can't stand people that don't know the difference between 'than' and 'then.' Their so stupid...)
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To: NEMDF
If my math is right, in Georgia, alone, the free phone service is costing us approximately $89 MILLION per year. Is this correct? WOW

Your math is incorrect: (800,000 users) times (9.95/month) times (12 months) is $95,520,000. WOW, indeed!

However, I question the 800,000 number. According to Wikipedia, the 2012 population of Georgia was 9,919,945. 800,000 seems high.

26 posted on 12/19/2013 2:00:51 PM PST by upchuck (I can't stand people that don't know the difference between 'than' and 'then.' Their so stupid...)
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To: upchuck

“I have often wondered what was wrong with me. Having read your tag line, now I know. This has been a truly eye opening experience for me. There’s a whole new world out there I didn’t know exists.

Thank you!”

Don’t thank me. I was diagnosed by the late Willie “choo choo” Green after replying to one of his stupid socialist railroad proclamations. It fit, so I made it my tag line.


27 posted on 12/19/2013 2:43:54 PM PST by Nik Naym (It's not my fault... I have compulsive smartass disorder.)
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To: Nik Naym

Diagnosed by THE Willie Green. A high honor indeed. I’m jealous :)


28 posted on 12/19/2013 2:50:15 PM PST by upchuck (I can't stand people that don't know the difference between 'than' and 'then.' Their so stupid...)
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To: upchuck

It might be accurate as to the number of 0bama phone accounts are in GA. It seems that people have no trouble getting several phones.


29 posted on 12/19/2013 2:53:43 PM PST by NEMDF
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To: NEMDF

I reckon that’s possible. Still, that a hell of a lot of taxpayer dollars.


30 posted on 12/19/2013 3:48:16 PM PST by upchuck (I can't stand people that don't know the difference between 'than' and 'then.' Their so stupid...)
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