Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Mexican telephone mogul Carlos Slim has made many millions for cheap phones for the poor

The wealthiest man on Earth, Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim owes a big chink of his wealth to President Obama's government program that supplies so-called "Obamaphones" to the poor. Slim, with an estimated net worth of $70 billion, owns a controlling stake in TracFone, which in turn makes $10 per phone for each device it provides to poor Americans.

A viral video posted on YouTube in which a Cleveland, Ohio, woman praised the president, saying he needed to be re-elected because he gives out free phones has brought the issue to light.

A viral video posted on YouTube in which a Cleveland, Ohio, woman praised the president, saying he needed to be re-elected because he gives out free phones has brought the issue to light.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Obamaphones, Carlos Slim, telecommunications, government program


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The company, whose president and CEO is Frederick "F.J." Pollak makes money from extra minutes and data plans it sells to subscribers who get phones and service through the government's Lifeline program.

Beginning in the Eighties, the program has only grown larger over the past four years after being expanded from supplying landlines to the poor to providing cellular phones.

A viral video posted on YouTube in which a Cleveland, Ohio, woman praised the president, saying he needed to be re-elected because he gives out free phones has brought the issue to light.

"Everybody in Cleveland, every minority, got an Obama phone. Keep Obama as president. He gave us a phone. He gonna do more," the woman says.

Slim's Movil America owns TracFone, when coupled with Simple Mobile service are huge players in the Lifeline program through the company's "SafeLink Wireless" brand. TracFone had 3.8 million subscribers through the federal program as of late 2011.

Pollak has donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign.

In addition, the Pollaks hosted Obama at their Miami Beach home in June for a $40,000-per-plate fundraising dinner, and hosted a similar event with Michelle Obama in July 2008. The couple personally donated a combined $66,200 to Obama's re-election effort that year.

"I'm not against a company making a profit," U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, (R-Ark.), a very vocal critic of the program says. "If they are making money off the program, the blame goes to the federal government for creating the program.

"This program is rife with waste and abuse," Griffin said. "It's set up in a way where people can receive multiple phones for free."

Griffin says he has seen cases in which single individuals obtained dozens of the phones, and said under the lax requirements, more than 80 million Americans are eligible.

According to the FCC, "Lifeline is a government benefit program supported by the Universal Service Fund that provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers. Lifeline helps ensure that eligible consumers have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family, and emergency services."

Griffin says it's time to end a subsidy that gives the poor a luxury item and makes the world's wealthiest man richer.

"I simply do not think that the taxpayers should be footing the bill for someone's cell service and social interaction," Griffin said. "If that's the case, what should the government pay for and not pay for? Let's just start paying for everyone's gas."

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Business & Economics

Is the 'Mark of the Beast' the future of money? Watch

Image of Theoretically, a unique identifier is attached to your digital wallet, could transmits payment for the groceries directly to the store.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Some futuristic thinkers say that in the next 20 years or so, when people go to the market, they will pick up the items they need and leave - without the benefit of paying a cashier. Sensors will identify a consumer by a mark, their way of walking or facial ... continue reading


Credit card wars: Wal-Mart sues Visa over transaction 'conspiracy' Watch

Image of Wal-Mart objects to the requirement that retailers who want to accept any payments via Visa honor all issuers' Visa-branded cards.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an ongoing war over credit cards in the modern retail environment, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is suing Visa Inc. for allegedly conspiring with banks to fix transaction fees. It's just the latest in a long, ongoing legal fight between retailers and card issuers. ... continue reading


In spite of tax revenue all-time highs - government still running in the deficit Watch

Image of Congress passed and President Obama signed

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Monthly Treasury Statement for February, inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $1,104,947,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2014. It would stand to reason that the government would have partially dug itself out of its ... continue reading


'Regulated' Bitcoin exchanges planned in New York Watch

Image of Singapore has imposed a tax on Bitcoin trading and using it to pay for services, after classifying it as goods, rather than a currency.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a sign that the digital form of exchange in popularity - and by extension, legitimacy, New York's financial regulator has called on firms to submit proposals to set up "regulated" exchanges for currency such as the Bitcoin. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


One, fell swoop: Italy's biggest bank to cut 8,500 jobs Watch

Image of The company is to create an internal

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"I believe the group has turned the page," Italy's largest bank, UniCredit's chief executive, Federico Ghizzoni said. "We could have staggered the losses over several years. We decided to take them all in one year." It wasn't good news for many - Unicredit has ... continue reading


$30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 sends global debt over $100 trillion Watch

Image of The bank is owned by 60 central banks and hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group of regulators and central bankers that sets global capital standards.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Everyone at some point seems to 'rob Peter to pay Paul' - especially international governments. During the European debt crisis, many nations borrowed money to keep their governments solvent. As a result, global debt increased by $30 trillion from the original ... continue reading


Wowza! Restaurant starts charging diners for Obamacare Watch

Image of Obamacare sounds nice, but somebody has to pay. At least Gator's Dockside is up front about it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Going out to dinner? You'd better be prepared to pay a little bit extra thanks to Obamacare. A chain of Florida restaurants is tacking a surcharge onto diner's bills to help keep expenses at bay and workers on the payroll. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A small ... continue reading


Time banking - where time is BETTER than MONEY Watch

Image of In a time bank, time is the money.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Alternative currencies such as Bitcoin and BerkShares are gaining popularity as people look for ways to escape what they see as a rigged and flawed system of monetary exchange in government currencies. However, the idea of banking time as opposed to money is also ... continue reading


Google tops Exxon as world's second-most valuable company - for a day Watch

Image of The one day-surge demonstrated the growing role of technology in the economy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was quite a day on Wall Street. Google, the world's largest online advertiser through its dominant search engine, had a higher market capitalization before falling back at the close in New York to a value of $395.4 billion compared to Exxon's $395.7 billion. ... continue reading


Bill Gates thinks poverty will be eliminated by 2035... But he's missing this one thing! Watch

Image of Bill Gates thinks the world will be more prosperous with absolute poverty for nations eliminated by 2035, mostly as a result of advances in medicine and technology.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bill Gates has said that he does not expect to see anymore "poor countries" left in the world by 2035. In his third ,claiming that the world of today was better off than at any time in history and that in 20 years, it will be even more so. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All Business & Economics News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 52:13--53:12
13 Look, my servant will prosper, will grow great, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
2 turn your ear to me, make haste. Be for me a ... Read More

Gospel, John 18:1--19:42
1 After he had said all this, Jesus left with his ... Read More

Reading 2, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
14 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2014 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... 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