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‘Obama phone’ scam cost taxpayers big bucks last year

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Surely, we’ve all seen the video of the Cleveland supporter who was singing President Obama‘s praises prior to the November election for giving away free cellphones. To refresh your memory:

As any dyed-in-the-wool conservative will gladly tell you, somebody has to pay for these “free” phones. Well, the Wall Street Journal has a report out this week that not only sheds light on the cost of this program, but also takes a look at eligibility:

The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

The Washington Free Beacon reported in October that “the wireless company profiting from the ‘Obama-phone’ giveaway program is run by a prominent Democratic donor whose wife raised more than $1.5 million for the president since 2007.”

The report points out that Miami-based TracFone Wireless is one of the major providers of the free cellphones and that President and CEO Frederick “F.J.” Pollak “donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign.”

Oh, and by the way, it look as if the woman in the video had a change of heart about Obama after the election. While appearing on the Alex Jones Show in January, she was asked who she would vote for in 2016, and responded, “It darn sure won’t be Obama.”



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