The Feds Want to ‘Reform’ Fraud-Riddled ObamaPhone – By Expanding It to the Internet

Seton Motley | Less Government |
And a Duck-Billed Unicorn in Every Garage

Remember this woman?

“Everybody in Cleveland low minority got ObamaPhone. Keep (Barack) Obama in President, you know? He gave us a phone, he’s going to do more.” (Sic)

“You sign up if you on food stamps, you on Social Security, you got no income, disability….” (Sic)

Thus was the Lifeline redistribution-of-wealth government phone program rechristened “ObamaPhone.” Which drove nuts the Left and the Media (please pardon the redundancy).

The Obama Phone?

Q: Has the Obama administration started a program to use “taxpayer money” to give free cell phones to welfare recipients?

A: No. Low-income households have been eligible for discounted telephone service for more than a decade. But the program is funded by telecom companies, not by taxes, and the president has nothing to do with it. is – as usual – fact challenged.

Lifeline isn’t “funded by telecom companies” – it is funded by us. Check your bill – that “Universal Service Fund (USF)” tax is you paying for (in part) ObamaPhones.

Don’t like the name “ObamaPhone?” Check with Lifeline website

This programwas dubbed “Obama Phone” in recent years because of its rapid expansion during the Barack Obama presidency.

Or you can peruse Or….

Is there fraud in the ObamaPhone program? Ummm….

FCC: Lifeline Program Fraud and Abuse Surpasses Two Million Subscribers

A Billion Dollars in ObamaPhone Fraud?

Government’s Free Phone Program Riddled With Abuse, Fraud

ObamaPhone Use Increases 100 Fold in Maryland; Fraud Rampant

Journalist to Newsmax: ‘ObamaPhone’ Program Filled With Abuse

“I can support a family of eight on my income … [but] it was easy for me to get not one phone, but three.”

Uber-rich Senators are equally as “eligible”:

(Democrat) Senator Claire McCaskill…- a millionaire many times over – could apply for a free cell phone, complete with monthly service, paid for by the federal government.

From what McCaskill could tell, “you just had to check the box” saying you met the income requirements, submit the form, and collect the phone….

So the government should “reform” the program, right? Ummm….

FCC Form 497: Lifeline Reform Order

May 1, 2012

‘Lifeline Reform 2.0’ Petition Seeks Further Reform

July 16, 2013

Time for Lifeline Reform

December 16, 2014

FCC Lifeline Reform Initiative

May 29, 2015

Actual reform of a government program is like finding a duck-billed unicorn. It never, ever happens.

So when government can’t reform – and it never, ever can – it changes the definition.

Real reform would be a paring down of the two-plus million fraudulent Lifeline users. Government “reform” is exponentially expanding that number.

FCC Chair: Reform USF Lifeline Program to Include Broadband

This is “reform” – like the “Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare) is “affordable.”

Gone is any mention of trying to actually fix this mess – more government is all that matters.

Chairman Tom Wheeler…said he wants to “‘reboot’ Lifeline for the Internet age.

“[A]s communications technologies and markets evolve, the Lifeline program also has to evolve to remain relevant….

For government – continued gi-normous fraud and waste is a part of remaining relevant.

Some Republicans remain woefully out of step.

“Even after a GAO report questioned the effectiveness of Lifeline and the FCC’s promises of ‘sweeping reforms,’ we continue to have regular reports of fraud and abuse,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). “The free government cell phone program is beyond reform and should be ended.

In Reality, the Lifeline “ObamaPhone” program would have been ended long ago.

But this is GovernmentLand. So it’s full steam ahead – with millions of additional sinking ships.

Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Human Events and Red State.

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