February 12, 2013
If you have a wireless or landline phone, you’re paying for millions of people to get a free phone. The cost is deducted from your monthly bill. The average deduction is around $2.50 per month.
Transnational telecom corporations are so enamored with the government mandated transfer of wealth to their swollen coffers they don’t bother to check and see if subscribers are eligible for the program supposedly designed to “ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Lifeline program is available to people who conform to federal poverty guidelines or are on food stamps, Medicaid and other federal assistance programs. It cost about $2.2 billion last year.
Last year the FCC determined a staggering 41% of more than six million subscribers participating in the “free phone” program either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t bother to respond when asked for certification, according to the Journal.
Millions of people were inappropriately signed up after telecoms persuaded supposed government regulators to let them onboard.
It’s a sweetheart deal for the telecoms. “For the carriers, the program is a chance for them to sign up more subscribers and make a small profit, plus more money if customers go over their small initial allotment and need to buy more minutes or text messages. Carriers can set prices for their Lifeline subscribers as the companies wish,” the Journal reports.
“Lifeline users have been a source of subscriber growth in the otherwise saturated U.S. market and helped fuel the expansion of companies like TracFone, now the fifth-largest U.S. wireless carrier.”
Lifeline is yet another example of corporate socialism. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and the rest are depending on the federal government to enforce rules – ostensibly to help the poor – that grow their business by stealing money from their customers.
As Paul Joseph Watson noted in September, Obama is not helping the poor.
“The delusion that these people are living under knows no bounds,” he wrote. “Under Obama that the poor have got poorer. Poverty levels have increased to levels approaching the 1960s. Obama didn’t pay for your mortgage, he bailed out the mortgage companies, the predatory lenders, the big banks, and then the Federal Reserve paid them not to lend.”