Skip to comments.Consumer Groups Fight $5 ‘Obama Phone’ Fee In Georgia
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 ...
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.
How about the outrage over the $5 fee?
Just call it The Entitlemented States of America.
What is the point in doubling the air time?
Obamaphones are inner city scams...
“I gots me a obamaphone, sucker!”
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?
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
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.
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
> 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
LOL They mad
thanks, the two options seemed contradictory on the surface but that has some logical flow.
Charging them seems the better option.
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.
No need to apologize. The article says "500 hours". I was criticizing your source, CBS Atlanta, for not having an editor.
In the FCCs 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.
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.
To think I’m paying for my own phone and get only 20 minutes a month. That’s not a typo.
“This represents one of the most direct attacks on low-income consumers in recent memory,...”
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.
If my math is right, in Georgia, alone, the free phone service is costing us approximately $89 MILLION per year. Is this correct? WOW
Receiving stolen property used to be a crime.
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.
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.
Wasn’t this scheme introduced for landline phones by Reagan & extended to cell phones by W?
I’m guessing the regime wants to push videos, not just texts.
Need more minutes & bandwidth.
No and yes:
To this day the government provides discounts on landline phones for financially disadvantaged people in the United States and U.S. territories. The Link-Up portion helps with the installation and the Lifeline Assistance part helps with the monthly bills, to the tune of roughly ten dollars a month.
So, the subsidization of phones began under President Clinton, and has continued under Presidents Bush and Obama.
Over that time, the usage of cell phones rose and the costs came down. Assuming one believes in the Lifeline program in the first place, and remembering that the FCC has mandated the program, it only makes sense to expand the phone assistance program to include cell phones. So, in 2008 the first application of this program for mobile phones began when a company called Tracfone started their Safelink Wireless service in Tennessee.
Aha, some say, thats the same year Obama was elected! Well, thats true. But the service in Tennessee was launched three months prior to Obama being elected. And that means the discussion and approval of the extension of the program occurred under President Bushs watch.
The Bush Phone, anyone? Source.
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.
“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. Theres a whole new world out there I didnt know exists.
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.
Diagnosed by THE Willie Green. A high honor indeed. I’m jealous :)
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.
I reckon that’s possible. Still, that a hell of a lot of taxpayer dollars.
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