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Old 02-09-2012, 10:25am   #1
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cell phone bill ???

Tax Payers Footing the Cell Phone Bill for Millions of Low Income Americans
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. 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.

Last summer, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story shed some light on a government program that relatively few Americans knew existed. (Read more about it here.) 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. 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.

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. All telecommunications carriers must pay into the fund, and many do so by tacking on a fee to each of their customers' bills. It's probably added into your monthly wireless bill and your landline bill, if you still have one.

The Universal Service Fund provides discounts on phone services, or in some cases, entirely free services to low-income Americans. The fund helps pay for landlines or cell phones, whichever the recipient prefers. 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. 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.

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).

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. According to Businessweek:

269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers.

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. 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.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:33am   #2
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60 million Americans receive government handouts/assistance/welfare/entitlements...

this country is at a tipping point.

this fall's elections maybe the most significant since the election of Lincoln...in terms of saving the republic and the country's direction.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:36am   #3
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No doubt part of Obama's re-election strategy and shit....
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:39am   #4
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I'd put a lil cream in her coffee. <Sir Mix Alot>So ladies if your butt is round...and you want a wicked_c6 throw down... </Sir Mix Alot>
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:02am   #5
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I'd put a lil cream in her coffee. <Sir Mix Alot>So ladies if your butt is round...and you want a wicked_c6 throw down... </Sir Mix Alot>
You Nastyyyy!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:02am   #6
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cell phone bill ???

Tax Payers Footing the Cell Phone Bill for Millions of Low Income Americans
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. 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.

Last summer, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story shed some light on a government program that relatively few Americans knew existed. (Read more about it here.) 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. 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.

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. All telecommunications carriers must pay into the fund, and many do so by tacking on a fee to each of their customers' bills. It's probably added into your monthly wireless bill and your landline bill, if you still have one.

The Universal Service Fund provides discounts on phone services, or in some cases, entirely free services to low-income Americans. The fund helps pay for landlines or cell phones, whichever the recipient prefers. 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. 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.

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).

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. According to Businessweek:

269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers.

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. 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.
Gee Tim how are you going to feel when the government in all its major largess starts giving out laptops or possibly full size with free internet to all that ghetto garbage.

If I go to a store close to a city its nothing unusual to see a welfare slug or 2 on the phone from the time they get out of their car, doing shopping and paying with an EBT card then getting back in their jalopy with 24'' rims and still yacking. Sort of gives you a warm fuzzy feeling!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:09am   #7
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cell phones are a right, you know.

It's right there in the bill of rights. Freedom of speech. There is no limit specified on the distance, so cell phones are definitely a right.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:11am   #8
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Get your relocation plans ready folks. This country doesn't have much longer, sadly.

like a mofo....
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:13am   #9
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Get your relocation plans ready folks. This country doesn't have much longer, sadly.
My plan was put in motion almost 3 years ago, I moved to the Republic of Texas.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:15am   #10
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Now I'm starting to see why America isn't mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:18am   #11
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My plan was put in motion almost 3 years ago, I moved to the Republic of Mexico.
Fixt
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:19am   #12
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There is a reason.
She's not going to be around to help Israel defeat the armies of Gog and Magog (Russia and China) at Megiddo. A has-been nation fallen off into irrelevance and obscurity.

The only thing holdin' this joker together is the prayers and deeds of faithful Christians and once we get raptured out, it's over like rover....

Oh, glorious day! The marriage supper of the Lamb!


Last edited by onedef92; 02-09-2012 at 11:32am.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:33am   #13
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The FCC says they are no saving us money. How liberal of them. Save us by cancelling the program altogether is the right thing to do.
My fee to allow these people to have free phones is 3.61 a month atSprint.
Lifeline and Link Up: Affordable Telephone Service for Income-Eligible Consumers | FCC.gov
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:36am   #14
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No doubt part of Obama's re-election strategy and shit....
The more people he has on the welfare dime the more votes he gets from them.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:41am   #15
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like a mofo....
One of the scariest movies I've seen. It's pretty accurate.

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Old 02-09-2012, 11:43am   #16
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One of the scariest movies I've seen. It pretty accurate.
I was stunned by how prophetically insightful it is, too. For a comedy, it makes some good points.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:47am   #17
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The more people he has on the welfare dime the more votes he gets from them.
That's the major thrust behind Obamacare, too.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:39pm   #18
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this fall's elections maybe the most significant since the election of Lincoln...in terms of saving the republic and the country's direction.
wake-up call !
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:50pm   #19
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cell phones are a right, you know.

It's right there in the bill of rights. Freedom of speech. There is no limit specified on the distance, so cell phones are definitely a right.
Yes! An excellent point!


Plus, it is social justice in action! Here's why... cell phones are what killed the pay phones off. Then because the poor are the ones that tend to rely on them when their own phones are cut off for non bill payment, are left with no pay phones, they have no phone at all.

So it's only logical that they get free cell phones to make up for the injustice.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:50pm   #20
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IMHO if you're on welfare, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

I think mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients is a good idea, too.
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