Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/27/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Called 'Obama phones,' program has cost taxpayers $1.6 billion

A program to provide low-income Americans with free cell phones - including the phone, free minutes and no contracts - has recently incurred the wrath of conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The irascible Rush was surprised to just recently learn of the program, which has been in effect for awhile and has been dubbed by the public as "Obama phones."

'They've spent $1.6 billion, up $772 million since 2008. SafeLink is one of these free Lifeline providers (they're the biggest, in fact) and, if you get food stamps, you can get a free cell phone,' Rush Limbaugh says.

"They've spent $1.6 billion, up $772 million since 2008. SafeLink is one of these free Lifeline providers (they're the biggest, in fact) and, if you get food stamps, you can get a free cell phone," Rush Limbaugh says.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/27/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Free cell phones, free minutes, President Obama, Obama phones


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The federal program paid out $1.6 billion to pay for free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. Overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, the program has been a popular one. Participation in the program has risen since 2008. Initially costing $772 million for phones, since Obama, $772 million has become $1.6 billion -- more than doubled.

"But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don't qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone," Limbaugh says.

"They're not smart phones at least, but that's probably coming."

The program also covers 250 free minutes each month. As many as 5.5 million residents in Pennsylvania alone could qualify for the program, which is funded primarily by the Universal Service Fund fee added to the bills of land-line and wireless customers.

"Some of these people have more than two phones, more than two accounts. That's the thing. Obama's stash. What else is in there," Limbaugh queries.

Called SafeLink, the program costs $1.6 billion from taxpayers and your phone bills, to pay for 12.5 million Americans to have free cell phones and free cell usage of 250 minutes a month. Limbaugh also says that a program, ostensibly charitable in nature, is especially blatant in trying to rope in others to take advantage of the program.

"They buy space in magazines and so forth, and this is one of the many ways in which you can apply. From the SafeLink website: 'How to qualify: If you already participate in other state or federal assistance programs such as federal public housing,' you're qualified.

"'If your total household income is at or below 135 percent of the poverty guidelines set by your state and/or the federal government...'" Sounds to me like they're trying to 'trick' poor people into getting free phones here, just like they 'tricked' people into getting mortgages. This is a trick!" Limbaugh says.

The advertisement goes on to say, "You can get an additional free 100 minutes if you recommend a friend. . Pay nothing! No bills, no contracts, no credit checks, no hidden fees."

"They've spent $1.6 billion, up $772 million since 2008. SafeLink is one of these free Lifeline providers (they're the biggest, in fact) and, if you get food stamps, you can get a free cell phone," Limbaugh says. 

Here is the Free Phone website -

https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Public/NewHome.html

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Congress appalled at Obama administration's 'stunning disregard for law' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Appalled by the Obama administration's attempt to "rewrite the Affordable Care Act on a wholesale basis," some members of Congress are calling the White House on the carpet for their "stunning disregard for the law." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Study finds the American Republic has turned to Oligarchy Watch

Image of The Republic is dead, thanks to money and corruption.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study finds that the Republic is dead and that the United States government has become an oligarchy, even if its preliminary findings stop just short of declaring so. The study reveals that average American citizens have lost their political voice entirely and ... continue reading


Supreme Court rules affirmative action in Michigan's college admissions is unconstitutional Watch

Image of The ruling focused on a voter-passed proposal that banned the use of race in admissions decisions at public universities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hailed as a milestone in a decades-long discourse, the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on the use of race in admission decisions at Michigan's public universities. Marked by protests in the streets of Ann Arbor and previous Supreme Court rulings, it was noted ... continue reading


Is affrimative action dead? SCOTUS rules on who can decide the issue Watch

Image of A ruling by the Supreme Court allows states to decide on whether they use a race-conscious policy in admitting students to advanced public education.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Supreme Court struck a blow against those seeking to trample on the rights of states, upholding a Michigan voter initiative which banned racial preferences when considering admission into one of the states' public universities, on April 22. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Exxon Mobil must pay the piper: High court rejects appeal on $105 million verdict Watch

Image of MTBE is an oxygen-containing substance that is added to gasoline to promote more complete combustion and reduce air pollution.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They were found guilty way back in 2009 and now must pay for their transgressions. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to overturn a $105 million verdict against Exxon Mobil for contaminating drinking wells in the New York City borough of Queens. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


He just keeps coming and coming! Highest - and longest period of taxation proposed by President Obama Watch

Image of Under Obama's budget proposal, according to the CBO, the budget will never balance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people. According to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office, the plan was included in the budget proposal Obama ... continue reading


A new Civil War? Lawmakers meet to discuss taking back federal lands for the states Watch

Image of Lawmakers met in Salt Lake City to discuss how the federal government has been using lands in the Western states.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lawmakers from the Western states gathered in Salt lake City last Friday to discuss what happened on the Bundy ranch in Nevada and to say that it is time for the states, not the federal government, to manage those resources for the good of their people. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


INCOME TAXES? 'If it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt,' Justice Scalia tells students Watch

Image of Justice Scalia told the students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn't care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as a most bit of unorthodox advice, from a lawmaker to an audience of impressionable minds. While speaking at the University Of Tennessee College Of Law last week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked by a student about his interpretation of ... continue reading


DECLARED INVALID: North Dakota abortion ban overturned by federal judge Watch

Image of North Dakota has passed new abortion restrictions in recent years. Abortion supporters have declared North Dakota's fetal heartbeat law as the most restrictive in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy, has been overturned by a federal judge. The law is "invalid and unconstitutional," according to U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who declared ... continue reading


Evidence of corruption: Newly disclosed emails show Lois Lerner WAS in contact with the DOJ over conservative political groups Watch

Image of The truth is, only I am allowed to lie and dodge questions, not private citizens or their political groups.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Lois Lerner - Eric Holder scandal has hit the fan with the court ordered release of documents which implicate both in breaking the law to persecute and potentially prosecute conservative non-profit organizations. This issue has been the subject of Congressional ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter