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.

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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

One percent? Try the MORE THAN A THIRD in U.S. who rely on Welfare Watch

Image of Back in the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back in the "Occupy Wall Street" days, protestors rallied around the concept of the United States' "One Percent," which referred to the people with power in the U.S. government. On the other side of the coin, more than ONE THIRD of all U.S. households are now ... continue reading


SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! Texas Governor Rick Perry cheerfully turns himself in Watch

Image of Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot. He's charged with felony corruption charges ... continue reading


HIDDEN FROM VIEW: President Obama renders decision largely in private, despite claims of transparency Watch

Image of Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors. Unilateral action on such issues as immigration, gay rights and tax policy has ... continue reading


Texas Governor Rick Perry assembles formidable high-profile defense team Watch

Image of According to Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor presenting the case against Texas Governor Rick Perry, the governor may waive his arraignment altogether.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Governor Rick Perry must now complete the humiliating process of being booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken - but he's gathering a formidable legal team in his defense. High-powered attorneys are being gathered after his indictment on ... continue reading


More than 37,000 undocumented children who crossed Mexican border - going back to U.S. schools Watch

Image of The Department of Justice in May issued a statement reminding public schools that they are legally required to enroll all children, regardless of their immigration status.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They come tired and hungry, crossing great expanses of the desert in search of a better life in the United States - and they're going back to U.S. school shortly. More than 37,000 South and Central American children, who made their escape without parents of ... continue reading


Iraq MUST form stable government before bloodshed can end, Obama says Watch

Image of Many write off the idea that Iraq can unite to repel the Islamic State as wishful thinking.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States sent military aid to Iraq over the past weekend in the form of fighter jets pounding strategic points, President Barack Obama is adamant that Iraq must address its very real problems. The president insists that a stable government in ... continue reading


COMEBACK? Mitt Romney one of the Republican Party's most in-demand campaign surrogates Watch

Image of Mitt Romney says he isn't interested in a third presidential run in 2016. His recent moves have his supporters yearning for him to give it a go and arguing that he would be a stronger candidate than last time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While he lost to Barack Obama in 2012, Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is hitting the stump for Republicans this fall. In recent months, in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Romney has emerged as one ... continue reading


CLEMENCY -- CRUSHED: Lawyers forbidden from drafting clemency petitions Watch

Image of Ideal candidates for clemency would have been nonviolent, low-level drug offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In yet another setback for the Obama administration, a plan to extend clemency to thousands of prisoners was quelled last week after the agency that oversees the federal courts said that hundreds of federal public defenders as well as other court-appointed ... continue reading


Another blow to Obama! The President's war against American law suffers another setback Watch

Image of The American justice system has dealt another blow to Obama's continual unconstitutional power grab, blocking federally paid lawyers from representing clients who want clemency.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ambitious plan by President Barack Obama's administration to grant clemency to thousands of prisoners suffered a serious blow after federal courts ruled that the hundreds of federal public defenders and other court-appointed attorneys were not actually ... continue reading


As hundreds of bills languish on his desk, push is on to 'fire Harry Reid' Watch

Image of The GOP now hopes to use those examples to build a case against Harry Reid and argue that his procedural stranglehold is the reason for the Senate's painful levels of gridlock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The GOP is now calling for either the resignation or firing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Republican National Committee is launching a two-week "robo-call" campaign in efforts to nationalize Senate races across battleground states, arguing that each ... 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, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... 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