Skip to comments.Taxpayers foot bill for free [low income] government cell phones [$1+ billion per year!]
Posted on 06/12/2012 5:17:25 PM PDT by kevcol
New questions have emerged about a government program that has given away millions of free cell phones and service to people with low incomes and those in rural areas.
The money comes from the federal "Universal Service Charge" on your phone bill. It has its roots way back in the 1930s. The goal was to make sure people in rural areas and the poor had access to telephone service. In the 1990s, it expanded to include wireless phones.
Since then, the numbers have exploded. The cost of the program is now more than $1 billion dollars a year. The FCC, along with some Democrats and Republicans, are trying to reign it in.
On an abandoned lot on the West Side of Chicago, a sign on a bright green tent advertises a deal too good for many to resist.
"My daughter told me about it. It's a government phone," said Jeanetta Anderson.
When asked if she had to pay anything for it, Anderson said no.
She's right. This is one case where "free" really means free -- at least, for the people receiving the phones.
When asked who pays for the program, cell phone user Michael Brown said, "The government or the taxpayers. Someone. I don't pay for it. Like I said, I can't afford it. It helps me."
An FCC spokesperson said: "Since 1985, [the wireless service program] has helped low-income consumers find jobs, contact friends and family, and call 911 in emergencies, and we will not allow fraud and abuse to destroy this valuable program for the nation's most vulnerable citizens."
(Excerpt) Read more at abclocal.go.com ...
There is no doubt in my mind I officially become a geezer, lol.
A phone, landline or cell, is actually not a necessity. They are nice to have, but one can live without them. Sort of like tv or cable.
People need to eat, have shelter and warmth or cool in extreme climates and education.
I know government programs supporting these things are abused. But I won’t gripe as some people actually are in need. Bad on the abusive ones.
A phone does not fall into the category of necessities.
but it makes people easier to keep tabs on.
The Amish have one phone on a pole for emergencies. Seems to work for them.
i’m paying for cell phones?!?!
bad enough i paid to buy people cars (cash for clunkers) .. now i’m paying their freakin phone bill?!
it’s time for a major freakin tax revolt ... take our money out of their hands.
WTF? He has a J-O-B and he qualifies for a FREE phone? Yes, I am shouting.
Well, maybe he needs the phone because he's been late to work too many times and he will be out of a job soon.
The world has turned upside down.
And to insure that they vote the “right” way.
If it wasn't for the 90% who abuse government programs for the needy we could take care of the truly needy in a dignified way.
I’ve seen the commercials.....I’m OK with helping pay for food and shelter for people that need help, but the line should be drawn well before buying them a cell phone. When my mom-in-law’s health started failing and we decided that she needed a phone her family pitched in and got her one, never considered getting a freebie from the gubmint.
I don’t have an issue with the elderly.
But as usual, something that started out good has been abused.
I suggest you study the writings of the Founders. It is 100% irrelevant if some bill helps someone in need.
The only question that should be asked when evaluating a proposed government program is this: is it allowed under the United States Constitution?
Well meaning people in government have done irreparable harm to our Republic.
Our Founders were wise to warn us against those who would use the taxpayer money for charity. Such undertakings corrode a civil society and ultimately impoverish it.
The money would be better left in the hands of the people who earned it. Private charities are always better at serving the truly needy.
Government programs are always designed for one reason -- to increase the power of the State. They have successfully produced what the Statist desires: a captive voting block who become literal parasites on those who actually work for a living.
Our Republic is in serious trouble because of one reason -- Government.
You're right on top of it 'FCC spokesman'
I know people who have 3 or 4 of those phones. You've got Safelink and Assurance that I know of, probably half a dozen more.
I have to ride the bus to work every day (my own fault, seems the DMV and me don't agree on me having a license) and hear welfare moms, street punks, ex-cons, etc. bragging about their 'obama phones'. NO LIE! These idiots will definitely be in the voting pool for the Zero.
I could tell you all so much more about these people by having to live amongst them because of my own bad choices. I was once upper-middle-class (whatever that is) and never thought I'd be seeing and hearing what I do these days.
It is truly shocking.
Actually if you lived in Massachusetts you’d be paying for free cars too! Plus: free AAA, free insurance, free repairs, free everything!
Correction: welfare baby momma's
hope/pray good fortune swings back your way FRiend, hang in there...