|Let me tell you how not to pay for at least one aspect of freedom-scoffing government. 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:
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.
|What’s the Bottom Line?|
|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.
|While Crony Telecoms Argue It’s for the Social Good,
They Stuff Their Pockets with Cold Hard Cash…
A Bloomberg report revealed a shocker – the lion’s share of Lifeline cash goes to TracFone, a Mexican-owned wireless pre-paid phone company. You’d think that U.S. based providers might have been preferred, to at least keep these funds in the country. But in the strange world of Obamanomics, exporting your tax dollars to foreign countries is seen as a social good.
TracFone gobbled up 28% of the 2011 Lifeline payments. AT&T and Sprint took second and third place respectively. How much? Those three companies alone raked in over $1 billion!
|How to Opt-Out of the Universal Service Fund Tax|
|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.
So you think your guns are safe? Well, 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. Think about that as the Administration seeks yet another opening to steal away our gun rights and other treasured freedoms handed down to our descendants by the Founding Fathers.
|Yours in Freedom,
Lee Bellinger, Publisher