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Free Phones Costing Taxpayers $2.1 Billion Per Year

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posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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story from Breitbart
by John Sexton

Free Phones Costing Taxpayers $2.1 Billion Per Year
 

The Federal Food Stamp program also has a side program that gives qualified people a free cell phone.

The total Food Stamp cost in 2008 was something like $35 Billion.

2011 was $75 Billion.

The cost for the phones plus the fraud and corruption has skyrocketed from $8.6 million in 2009 to an estimated cost of $2.1 billion in 2011. And a further estimate of $3.3 billion by 2014.


A program called Lifeline provides free phones and free monthly minutes to anyone on food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Head Start, and several other government programs. And just like food stamps, Lifeline (aka "phone stamps") has been growing by leaps and bounds since 2008, at significant cost to taxpayers.

Lifeline was started in the mid-'80s to reduce the cost of phone service to rural and needy customers. The program's costs are covered by a tax included on every monthly phone bill called the Universal Service Charge. The program eventually grew to include discounted cell service but took off in 2009, partly because TracFone announced a new program whereby eligible individuals could get a free phone and free monthly minutes. As a result, participation in the program (and costs) skyrocketed:

Program participation was stable from 2005 to 2008, from 6.9 million to 7.1 million participants, but increased to 8.6 million in 2009. Likewise, support payments were relatively stable from 2005 to 2008, from $802 million to $823 million annually, before increasing to approximately $1 billion in 2009.



Read the article for the "Cost & Fraud" charts !!!





posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 03:57 PM
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A program called Lifeline provides free phones and free monthly minutes to anyone on food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Head Start, and several other government programs


A free phone is a necessity for living today?

Seriously?

Food and shelter yeah but a damn phone?

No!

What a waste of taxpayer money.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 03:57 PM
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That actually isn't very much, when compared the the hundreds of billions worth of corporate welfare and bailouts taxpayers have to pay for. As a taxpayer I'd rather be forced to help poor people eat than help banksters screw over the nation and get off scott free.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:01 PM
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I Have One ....................Virgin Mobile .........Assurance Wireless

I'm on a SS income........its a very small absolutely NO F____ing FRILLS - no texting or no other features - 250 min a month free........... big #ing deal...............nag nag nag nag

BTW--------its NOT an extension of the Food Stamp program............its for fixed and otherwise low income households

nag nag nag nag ...............nag nag nag nag ...............nag nag nag nag
edit on 14-6-2012 by Vitruvian because: SPELLED



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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A free phone is a necessity for living today?


How do you find a job to get off food stamps, if you have no way to be reached? You prefer they can't even get what few jobs there are because they have no way to communicate with prospective employers?

You people are in a dream world if you think it's as easy as 'get up off the lazy ass and get a job.' I hope you can get the help you need when your little dream is shattered...and it will be.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:07 PM
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Some facts about the program breitbart fails to inform their readers of:

SafeLink phones are not paid for by taxpayers or the federal government. TracFone Wireless pays for the phones and also the cost of promoting its SafeLink program to make sure that eligible consumers know about the program. This program was first started durring the Reagan Admin, and was enhanced and passed again in 1996.


The federal "Lifeline" program was created during the Reagan Administration. Lifeline is a federal program created by the Reagan era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1984.

The program was enhanced under Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was supported on a broadly bipartisan basis in Congress. The FCC’s Low Income Program of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), is designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at just, reasonable, and affordable rates. Lifeline support reduces eligible low-income consumers' monthly charges for basic telephone service.


www.factcheck.org...

www.connectednation.org...

www.safelinkwireless.com...


edit on 14-6-2012 by stanguilles7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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How do you find a job to get off food stamps, if you have no way to be reached? You prefer they can't even get what few jobs there are because they have no way to communicate with prospective employers?


Well hot damn!

Call a few places ask for any job openings and go sit on the sofa for a "hard days work".

How about getting off the sofa and put the feet to the pavement and go to an employer and nag the hell out of them until they get a job eh?

Oh too much work but hey least they get a free phone out of it.

Edit to ad:

Hell Free:

Food
Housing
Education
Cell phones
Internet


Following a laughable United Nations declaration that high-speed internet access is a basic human right, the Obama Administration is investing north of $400 million to expand broadband into poor, rural areas of the U.S.


www.judicialwatch.org...


The FCC is announcing a terrific new program but only if you're poor. According to the Washington Post, the Federal Communications Commission is "vexed" that all the citizens who can get the Internet aren't choosing to get the Internet . The solution the FCC has devised is to pressure private cable companies to give poor people internet service for free, or practically so, at a rate of $10 per month. Anyone eligible for the federal free lunch program -- that's $25 million people -- can sign up and get free installation, no monthly rental charge for the cable modem for two years and a computer for $150. Read more: www.nypost.com...


With a 16 trillion deficit and cbo projections that put that at 21 trillion in the next 4 years.

Yeah Get those free Cell phones and internet and everything else free!![
edit on 14-6-2012 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by neo96



Following a laughable United Nations declaration that high-speed internet access is a basic human right, the Obama Administration is investing north of $400 million to expand broadband into poor, rural areas of the U.S.



Yes and ironically the lion's share of that expanded internet access goes to the rural south and apalachia. Whilst the goal is to offer them more economic opportunity via internet access, often they spend thier days posting birther threads on the internet rather than improving thier economic circumstances.

I appluad the administration for at least trying.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by Indigo5
 


What part of this country is broke and can not continue with welfare programs are people not getting?

Applaud him for what?

Hey how about a job and welfare isn't needed, whoops that makes too much sense.

www.usdebtclock.org...
edit on 14-6-2012 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:50 PM
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Thanks for posting this.
These commercial for free phones have bothered me for a long time and I was curious how much it cost and who was paying for it.
It looks like I am.

Me and everyone else who pays for their phone service.
Did you catch where the FCC was discussing including broadband service in the program?
I guess that's so these poor folks can order pizza online.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 04:57 PM
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Originally posted by Asktheanimals
Thanks for posting this.
These commercial for free phones have bothered me for a long time and I was curious how much it cost and who was paying for it.
It looks like I am.


Again, no. you are not paying for these phones. TracFone Wireless is.

www.factcheck.org...



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:05 PM
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These programs to help the poor don't cost nearly as much as the illegal wars and the bank/corporate bailouts and the subsidizing of products we don't even need.. Think of how many things at home that could be taken care of by simply diverting the cost of a few bombs.

Or- you must think that bombing nations and otherwise policing the world, is much more important than taking care of things on the old homestead.
You people amaze me.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by stanguilles7

Originally posted by Asktheanimals
Thanks for posting this.
These commercial for free phones have bothered me for a long time and I was curious how much it cost and who was paying for it.
It looks like I am.


Again, no. you are not paying for these phones. TracFone Wireless is.

www.factcheck.org...



Myabe I'm reading it wrong but if you have a phone that you pay for, yes you are paying for it. See bold
edit .. taken from your source



Rather, it is funded through the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, an independent, not-for-profit corporation set up by the Federal Communications Commission. The USF is sustained by contributions from telecommunications companies such as "long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers." The companies often charge customers to fund their contributions in the form of a universal service fee you might see on your monthly phone bill.



edit on 6/14/2012 by DelMar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by DelMar
 


Right. But the breitbart article claims its taxpayer funded.

It isnt'.

Breitbart is lying. 2 minutes of fact checking will tell you that.

But the rubes in this thread all just eat it up wth nary a shred of critical analysis.

Hang your heads in shame, rubes.

edit on 14-6-2012 by stanguilles7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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People who pay phone bills get taxed to fund this.


The program's costs are covered by a tax included on every monthly phone bill called the Universal Service Charge.


It's a tax.

I think.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by Vitruvian
I Have One ....................Virgin Mobile .........Assurance Wireless

I'm on a SS income........its a very small absolutely NO F____ing FRILLS - no texting or no other features - 250 min a month free........... big #ing deal...............nag nag nag nag

BTW--------its NOT an extension of the Food Stamp program............its for fixed and otherwise low income households

nag nag nag nag ...............nag nag nag nag ...............nag nag nag nag
edit on 14-6-2012 by Vitruvian because: SPELLED


Well, if we can bail out AIG (the ones who I paid insurance premiums for full coverage for years, and they screwed me when I had my first accident). I am glad we can give our own some basics.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by xuenchen
People who pay phone bills get taxed to fund this.


The program's costs are covered by a tax included on every monthly phone bill called the Universal Service Charge.


It's a tax.

I think.



Again, no. IT. IS. Not. A Tax.



It is a fee levied on consumers by the phone company. Not the Government. Stop saying 2+2= 22


Rather, it is funded through the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, an independent, not-for-profit corporation set up by the Federal Communications Commission. The USF is sustained by contributions from telecommunications companies such as "long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers." The companies often charge customers to fund their contributions in the form of a universal service fee you might see on your monthly phone bill. The fund is then parceled out to companies, such as América Móvil, that create programs, such as SafeLink, to provide telecommunications service to rural areas and low-income households.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by stanguilles7
reply to post by DelMar
 


Right. But the breitbart article claims its taxpayer funded.

It isnt'.

Breitbart is lying. 2 minutes of fact checking will tell you that.

But the rubes in this thread all just eat it up wth nary a shred of critical analysis.

Hang your heads in shame, rubes.

edit on 14-6-2012 by stanguilles7 because: (no reason given)


Touchy Touchy.


SafeLink is run by a subsidiary of América Móvil, the world’s fourth largest wireless company in terms of subscribers, but it is not paid for directly by the company. Nor is it paid for with "tax payer money," as the e-mail claims. Rather, it is funded through the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, an independent, not-for-profit corporation set up by the Federal Communications Commission. The USF is sustained by contributions from telecommunications companies such as "long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers." The companies often charge customers to fund their contributions in the form of a universal service fee you might see on your monthly phone bill. The fund is then parceled out to companies, such as América Móvil, that create programs, such as SafeLink, to provide telecommunications service to rural areas and low-income households.


from the included link:

This is a summary of your charges for this billing period:
Recurring Charges
Local Telephone Service:................................................................................. $18.00

Charge for Network Access (Subscriber Line Charge): Subscriber Line Charge explanation ........................... $6.50

Voice Mail: Voice Mail explanation ............................................................................................. $4.00

Universal Connectivity Fee (Universal Service Fund (USF) ), Federal: Universal Service Fund explanation...... $0.50

Local Number Portability: Local Number Portability explanation ......................................................................... $0.30

Emergency 911: Emergency 911 explanation ...................................................................................... $1.00

TRS (Telecommunications Relay): Telecommunications Relay explanation .............................................. $0.90

Federal Excise Tax, Federal: Federal Excise Tax explanation .................................................................... $2.25

Utility User Tax, City: ......................................................................................... $0.50

State & Local Taxes: State and Local Taxes explanation ................................................................................ $2.50

Total Balance Due:............................................................................................ $36.45


Touchy Touchy.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by xuenchen
 


What part of THIS IS NOT A TAX do you not get?

Specifically, so I can explain it to you in baby talk.



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