The story is going around that the Obama administration is giving free cells phones to welfare recipients. That doesn’t sit well with some taxpayers who want the government to cut spending, pay off the debt and balance the budget. Is it true? Why would the government give away free cell phones? Who pays for this?
YES, it’s true! Read this short article for the details of the FCC program.
In 1984, the FCC enacted a government program, Lifeline, to assist low-income families and update services in areas affected by disasters.
Lifeline is a government-supported program for low income-eligible households that insures available and affordable telephone service.
September 29, 2009, the first year of Obama’s administration, prepaid wireless cell phone provider TracFone Wireless, Inc. announced the launch of SafeLink in Illinois, Obama’s home state. Note that SafeLink Wireless in Illinois is the FIRST and ONLY completely free offering of Lifeline.
Obama’s new administration took care of his state. Recipients in other states’ didn’t receive the program for free. In fact, the program is only available in nineteen states plus the District of Columbia.
Where does the funding come from for this government program? The funding is collected from surcharges added to telephone and cell phone bills. This means that other people pay surcharges on their phone bills to fund those receiving free service in Illinois. Do the payers know they’re paying for phone service to recipients of free service in Illinois and subsidizing the others?
The interesting thing about the FCC’s decision to implement this program is their unnoticed creation of a new right! According to a Reuter’s article, the FCC decided to “enhance its Lifeline program and keep the right to communicate in pace with technology.”
Lifeline program and “keep the right to communicate in pace with technology.” A quick check of the Constitutional Bill of Rights finds no such right enumerated. We are guaranteed the right to free speech, press, religion. While our right to communicate cannot be abridged by the government, it is not a right that requires the federal government to provide and fund. The government is only responsible for maintaining a free society whereby individuals can freely communicate. How they communicate and use services available for purchase is entirely the responsibility of individuals.
Besides the free cell phone, recipients also get sixty free wireless phone service minutes per month. According to the SafeLink web site, they’re also offered additional free minutes for referring a friend!
The choice of TracFone Wireless, Inc. is an interesting one. It is a subsidiary of América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V. based in Mexico City, Mexico. The government doesn’t even choose an American company. TracFone says it expects the program to go nationwide soon.
Is it any wonder that America is deep in debt and has a high jobless rate? The Obama administration seems intent on keeping U.S. that way.
Want to apply for your free cell phone with sixty free wireless minutes of service?
Don’t forget to refer a friend. Or two or three. It’s all free!
Fine print: Your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers are all picking up your tab and the money is going to Mexico.
Have a nice day and thank you for shopping with the U.S. FCC – Obama administration.
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