The Obama Phone: Just Another Part of the Welfare-State Empire
Last week delivered us another nugget of YouTube gold. A pro-President Barack Obama woman protester outside a Mitt Romney event - who may or may not have been an $11-an-hour-paid-to-be-there SEIU agitator - was asked why she supported the incumbent.
“Everybody in Cleveland low minority got Obama Phone. Keep Obama in President, you know? He gave us a phone, he’s going to do more.” (Sic)
She was asked about how one acquires an Obama Phone.
“You sign up if you’re on food stamps, you’re on Social Security, you got no income, disability....”
Asked “What’s wrong with Romney again?” our interviewee shouted:
“Romney? He sucks! Bad!”
And who can forget the Obama Bucks guy? And the woman who likes Obama “because he gives me stuff?” And the woman who asserted “I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help (Obama), he's going to help me.”
All of which demonstrates well the daisy-chain aspect - and ultimate effect - of the Washington Welfare-State.
Not unlike the City-State Empires of the ancient world - Mesopotamia, Sparta, Athens - the Washington Welfare-State relentlessly conquers from the free market and the fifty respective states new territory and human chattel.
The Washington Welfare-State does so (exclusively) via the political, via Wars (on Poverty), and (New) Deals, and treaties (re)negotiated every two years - "Vote for me and I’ll give you even more free stuff."
President Obama has exploded the welfare rolls - food stamps, unemployment (in large part by weakening the work requirement), Social Security disability, etc. And adding people to these programs triggers their eligibility for a panoply of others.
Like Lifeline - which gives free cell phones and free service to, really, just about anyone.
(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....
Like just about every other government program - it’s run phenomenally well.
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.
Like just about every other government program - it has grown exponentially under President Obama.
In 2008, there were 7.1 million Lifeline accounts nationwide. There are 12.5 million today....
(T)he program has swelled from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion.
And that’s only just getting warmed up.
(Lifeline spending) would reach $3.3 billion by 2014 absent major reforms.
And Lifeline is but a part of the gi-normous boondoggle that is the Universal Service Fund (USF). Is your cell phone bill ridiculous? Check the taxes:
As of the third quarter of 2012, the USF fee, which changes quarterly, equals 15.7 percent of a telecom company's interstate and end-user revenues....
And that huge percentage of our money is going up even and ever more absurdly higher.
Proposed contribution factor for fourth quarter 2012 is...17.4 percent.
So we are hurtling towards a 20% tax rate on our monthly cell phone bill - just by and for the Federal Government. Which was an $8 billion total take in 2010 - and hurtling ever upward.
And for what? Ever greater Lifeline spending. And a new, completely illegal nightmare - Internet service.
(T)he Universal Service Fund (will fund) the Connect America Fund, the largest U.S. broadband infrastructure program ever established, which will use $45 billion over 10 years to extend broadband deployment throughout the country....
But that $45 billion is apparently not enough:
Obama Contemplates Internet Tax
To further over-fund the...a spread-the-wealth-around universal broadband connectivity program....
Not mentioned is the $7.2 billion of broadband “stimulus” tucked into the fatty, flabby folds of the 2009 $1 trillion “Stimulus” bill. Which was an unmitigated disaster.
The Internet ‘Stimulus’-Just as Destructive as the Rest of the ‘Stimulus’
Yet Another Terrible Internet 'Stimulus' Project
Broadband Stimulus Projects Need Oversight, GAO Report Says
The General Accounting Office (GAO) issued that report in August 2010. Did the Obama Administration do anything to address the myriad problems detailed therein? Of course not.
GAO Finds Problems with Broadband Stimulus Efforts
That report came out in August 2012.
Two years later, exact same assessment of the utterly unaltered $7.2 billion broadband Internet spending mess.
And now the Obama Administration - massive expanders of the Federal Government Welfare-State - wants to spend $45 billion more. Unexamined, unaccounted for - and in unaccountable, fiat fashion.