Enter insidious purposes of the “Obama Phone” federal cellphone handout program. Millions of government aid takers are now carrying pricey cell phones in their pockets at your expense. And the government is using them to encourage people to apply for food stamps, subsidized housing, welfare checks, and other government goodies, all at the expense of productive taxpayers.
These “free” phones are also used as platforms for receiving encouragements to vote – just ask Mitt Romney and the residents of Ohio.
Like many government programs cloaked in charity, what’s now known as the Obama Phone started as a program to help the poor and needy by subsidizing their phone service. Over a few decades, additional laws, mandates, and large cash infusions have been piled on until the whole thing has metastasized. Here’s a brief overview:
||1985 – “Lifeline” was established during the deregulations of the 1980s. It subsidized landline phone services to protect low income and rural areas from losing coverage while the all-knowing government was chopping Ma Bell (AT&T) into little pieces.
1996 – The Telecommunications Act of 1996 passed, overhauling the Communications Act of 1934, which among other things, gave birth to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). One of the fundamental changes was making “universal service” for phone coverage explicit rather than implicit as it had been. Very similar to Mr. Obama’s discovery that everyone has a “right” to healthcare. The Telecommunications Act set in stone the fees regular Americans who pay their own way would be forced to cough up to provide phone service for everyone else. You can see this fee listed on your phone bill as USF – Universal Service Fund. It also paved the way for the eventual rollout of Obama Phones.
2005 – The FCC chairman at the time made a few “minor” adjustments. He expanded the program by allowing both land line AND wireless phone carriers to stake a claim on the booty.
2008 – A Forbes article gave this explanation to the birth of the term Obama Phone: “Eligibility and type of program may vary from state to state… In Florida, for example, cell phone service was added to the existing program – in 2008, the year that Obama was elected to office. The conclusion from many folks was that it was a new federal program. It was not. It was an expansion of the existing program and implemented on a state-by-state basis…”
It was likely not a coincidence that residents of a number of key political battleground states, such as Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida have been targeted recipients of Obama Phone marketing.
|Lifeline gives phone companies $9.25 per qualified low-income customer per month, plus additional money for landline installation or the initial cost of a phone (mobile phone).
This money comes straight from the tax that shows up on the phone bills of productive Americans every month.
How much? The pre-Obama total in 2008 came to $772 million. By the end of Obama’s first term in the 2012 election year, it nearly tripled to $2.2 billion! Telephone service providers who pocket this form of corporate welfare mimic the government propaganda that everyone deserves a phone. But here’s where it gets even worse, because what they never tell you is that their $2.2 billion dollar treasure chest is riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse.
|The best way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for the Lifeline tax is to cancel unneeded phone lines. For example, it may be far cheaper to use an online fax service or local office services store to send occasional faxes rather than have your own dedicated fax line. Also consider switching your “phone” service to Internet-based conferencing (such as Skype and TurboBridge’s SIP Access), which are not defined as a telecommunications service, at least not as of this writing.
Government forces are organizing dependents to become Internet activists as well. The FCC is currently proposing an expansion beyond free cell phone service to include free or subsidized broadband internet access. The proposed cost is a staggering $24 billion – “to close the broadband availability gap,” in the parlance of public sector bureaucrats.
These free cell phones are nothing less than a platform to activate millions of unemployed people around electoral goals intended to steal what’s left of our freedoms.