Washington D.C. (Brad Tuttle-Time) – Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. Because some idiot figured that free cell phones were a civil right. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills. 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. This is what ALWAYS happens when there’s a government program. There are ALWAYS people who figure out how to game on the system, just to see what they can get. How are phones just as necessary as food? Can someone explain that to me? More of that Hope and Change bullshit, right?
Last summer, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story shed some light on a government program that relatively few Americans knew existed. And now that they do know about it, they come running with their hand out. What can I get for nothing? Losers… The Lifeline program provides low-income Americans with free cell phones (basic ones such as those made by Tracfone, not smartphones) and covers up to 250 free minutes each month. Hmmm, how much dope can a drug dealer push with 250 free minutes a 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. 5.5 MILLION people in just ONE state? As of 2009, Pennsylvania had a population of 12,604,767 – that comes to 44% of the state population. Are you telling me that in just one state alone, we’re paying for almost HALF of the state population’s phone bills?
The program came to be after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed, and the FCC created the Universal Service Fund to help “to promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable, and affordable rates,” among other things. Just, reasonable, and affordable rates? Who determines what a just or reasonable rate is? The GOVERNMENT???? All telecommunications carriers must pay into the fund, and many do so by tacking on a fee to each of their customers’ bills. And there you go, America. You’re responsible to pay for some one, who won’t get up of their ass’s cell phone. It’s probably added into your monthly wireless bill and your landline bill, if you still have one. Yeah great, so now you know why your bill went up; you’re stuck paying for your phone and some other lazy piece of crap’s phone too! Welcome to what socialism is really like, kids. You bust your ass and achieve just so that the lazy worthless asshole next door can have all the same stuff you had to work for.
Question for you, America; who was president during in 1996? Billy Boy – couldn’t keep it in his pants around a fat broad if he had to – Clinton. Next question; who was Speaker of the House? Why, none other than 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NEWT GINGRICH! These are two of the clowns who made this happen.
The Universal Service Fund provides discounts on phone services, or in some cases, entirely free services to low-income Americans. That shit pisses me off. It’s hard enough keeping MY bills paid, now I have to pay someone else’s too? The fund helps pay for landlines or cell phones, whichever the recipient prefers. Oh, they get their choice! How nice. There’s also a one-time discount of up to $30 to cover an installation fee or a cell phone. Considering how cheap some cell phones are nowadays, the money more than covers the costs of a basic phone. Then, the fund covers phone bills to the tune of $10 a month, which typically translates as 250 minutes for wireless plans of the types of phones we’re talking about. If this crap is so cheap, then why the hell aren’t these assholes paying for it, themselves? Why do they get to have yet ONE MORE government provided, tax-payer extorted, something? Why would people get up off their ass and work to build a better life for themselves, if they can just sit at the bottom, not try, and get it handed to them? Americans who receive food stamps, Medicaid, or other federal aid, or who earn up to 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, qualify for the program. 135% of the poverty guide lines? You mean earn OVER the poverty line and then some? How is this right, America? Exactly, it isn’t!
Now, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, we have a pretty good idea of how much the program pays out — and how quickly it’s growing as more and more people find out about it. In 2011, Lifeline paid out $1.6 billion, more than double the amount paid in 2008 ($772 million). And these bums just keep coming, and coming. Every one wants their hand out, every one wants their “piece of the pie.” People today make me sick.
What’s more, an FCC audit of the program last year showed that many participants in the program were taking more than their fair share. Imagine that, some people are more equal than others… According to Businessweek:
269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers. Oh look, fraud… gee, didn’t see that one coming. How is that not theft? How is that not a criminal offense?
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has been taking a closer look at the program since she personally received an invitation to apply for a free, government-subsidized cell phone in the mail. Did she take it? McCaskill has asked the FCC to investigate Lifeline. As a result, the FCC is building a database to see if a subscriber has more than one subsidized phone. In other words, until recently, such a database didn’t exist. Of course not. They probably thought they could save money on an unnescessary expense, and figured no one would ever try to rip the program off. These are our brilliant minds running the show, folks.
The FCC, which announced the changes by using the euphemism that it is “modernizing” Lifeline, “modernizing” they say? has set a goal of saving $200 million on the program in 2012. After eliminating nearly 270,000 of the duplicate subscriptions discovered in the audit last year, the FCC said it has already “saved” $33 million. Yes America, you read that correctly. They intend to save you some of your money that they are just pouring down the drain anyway. It’s already being pissed away on this bullshit, but now the goal is to “save” $200 million – even though more and more people are rushing to get their free phones. That’s how they intend to fix this problem, that they created mind you? Do you know what this is, America? This is self-inflicted mental retardation. This is like crapping in your kitchen sink and when you realize that the sink isn’t working right, rather than using the bathroom like any other person on the planet, you go retrieve the plunger from your bathroom, clear the sink, and triumph over the accomplishment that you solved your problem, and then crap in it again.
Now on the surface it seems like just another entitlement, that people who otherwise through reasons of poverty would not have. But something tells me, that this is just like any other bullshit spending plan.
I’m curious to know more about this company Lifeline. Who are they and who decided to make them a provider? What are they getting out of all of this, besides business? Is it another one of those; throw this company a billion or so dollars, the guy who’s the CEO at the company (and who contributed to the campaign) gets half of that in his pocket, and the rest go to services and products that the people get, in order to keep them quiet, happy, and oblivious? See also “Green Energy” startups and failures…
This is how socialism works, people. The cronies with the political connections get to the top, and get rich off of the backs of the workers. They tell you all of the great things about socialism, that everyone gets a fair share, that the companies and businesses belong to the people, free everything from medical care to plentiful food. There’s no profit incentive so no one will price gouge you, and greed can’t happen anymore, because no one person can own the businesses. Sounds great, right?
Unfortunately kids, that’s not what happens in practice, that is not the reality of what socialism is like. When something belongs to everyone, it belongs to no one. Without the prospect, or incentive to earn more money, no one is going to try harder or invent anything new. Without the ability to own your own property, the houses will all begin to look like crap, without the ability to own and compete in business, you’re just going to make and sell the same crap everyone else does. If you can’t buy anything better for yourself and your family; be it a car, a tv, a computer, and instead have to settle for the crap that everyone else has, there’s no reason to try – now is there?
Sounds like a pretty dismal existence, huh? It is. I know this because of people who I know, who came HERE from places like Cuba and the former Soviet Union, and have told me stories of what socialism, and eventually communism, is really like. They told me about how even things as simple as sunglasses were regulated, and you could only own a single pair. Shoes were repaired instead of bought new if they didn’t last you a year. Can you imagine being prevented by law, the ability to buy a pair of shoes?
Food was even more pathetic, because nothing is run efficiently when it’s run by the state. Many times there were shortages because there simply wasn’t enough to go around, and other times depending on where you lived, the food was bad by the time it got to you. Black markets would pop up, and if you knew the right people, you could maybe get what you wanted, but at one hell of a marked up price – and don’t get caught with it.
This starts with making people think that they have to depend on others for what they have. It happens when you convince people who already believe that they’re defeated, that someone is at fault for why they are in the place they are in. The message is all around you America; they tell you that it’s not your fault that you’re fat – it’s that evil fast food.
It’s not you’re fault that you can’t get a job because you can’t form a coherent sentence – it’s because you’re black, or latino, or whatever.
It’s not your fault that you lost your home because you signed up for a really bad mortgage loan without thinking it through first – it’s the predatory banks.
It’s not your fault that you can’t afford the expensive goodies that everyone else has, because you never tried to better yourself by working harder to get a promotion or went to school – it’s those greedy corporations.
If my parents believed that bullshit for one second, I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be here right now writing this blog for you.
America, this is a very dangerous time right now. They’ve actually succeeded in some of the brainwashing, and unless we do something about it, it may very well be too late. Once the message of perpetual helplessness leads to an absence of personal responsibility in our country, we can kiss this all good-bye.
We need someone in the White House who knows about personal responsibility, and understands that by enabling people to just sit back, they won’t ever try. We need someone who realizes that by shaking down the providers and the workers (us, me and you), so they can keep giving away more goodies, thus buying votes; those providers and workers won’t see a point of trying to be prosperous.
November cannot come soon enough.