The ‘Obama Phones’ and other Taxpayer Giveaways
The Obama administration has found new and increasingly creative ways of buying votes during this Presidential election year. One of the real doozies is the ‘Obama Phone’. And his campaign didn’t have to pay one red cent for it.
In fact, free cell phones and free talk time to people with low income as well as senior citizens was started in 1984 to subsidize landline phone service and paid for by government-collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers. The program was named the Lifeline Program and was intended for people who could not afford phone service.
In 2008, the program was revved up to include cell phones. Like most government programs, the costs have skyrocketed from $772 in 2008 to $1.6 billion in 2011.
A 2011 audit found that 269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers. Several websites have been created to promote “free” government cell phones, including the”The Obama Cell Phone” website at Obamaphone.net.
Somehow, the Obama Administration has become identified with this ‘free’ benefit. Here’s a video of one supporter promoting the continued benefits of voting for Obama.
Rep. Tim Griffin R-Ark. has proposed a bill to eliminate federal subsidies for free cell phones and has produced a great YouTube video highlighting the runaway cost of the program. The program has also been highlighted for reform by Senator Claire McCaskill D-Mo.
Pressure to reform the program led the FCC to announce an effort in February to “reduce the potential for fraud while cutting red tape for consumers and providers” by the end of 2013.
The latest attempt to use taxpayer’s money to assist his campaign is the budget sequestration battle. The administration has promised to pay worker’s severance costs if companies refrain from sending out layoff warnings before election day.
One problem: 60-day layoff warnings are required under the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act). Of course, the Obama campaign doesn’t want hundreds of thousands of layoff notices being sent out four days before the election, especially in key swing states.
It seems that this taxpayer-paid bribery might work since Lockheed Martin has announced that they’ll take up the administration’s offer. Don’t they understand that if Romney wins, they’ll be stuck with the bill but a federal charge?
Barack Obama has spent untold millions of taxpayer funds campaigning throughout his term without any regard for federal law or custom. Currently, he is using the full powers and funding of the government in his reelection campaign.
And how informed are American voters? Take a look at this video: