Obamaphones cost taxpayers $2.2 billion last year; millions who were ineligible got free phones

Ah, the Obamaphone! The gift that keeps on giving.  If you’re an Obama supporter, he gives you a phone an you give him a vote.  If you’re an Obama donor, you give him campaign cash and he give you a lucrative contract to provide tax-subsidized cell phones.  If you’re a taxpayer, you give Obama $2.2 Billion of your hard earned cash, and he gives phones to his million  of his supporters who aren’t even eligible for the program! It’s just a beautiful little circle! 

from Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.

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The Obamaphone is the perfect example of the welfare state being used to reward political cronies and potential voters with “free stuff.”  

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