FREE Welfare Phone Program Now Costs Over 2 Billion

FREE Welfare Phone Program Now Costs Over 2 Billion

It’s ironic that Ronald Reagan once said that, “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program,” because it is his well intentioned free federal phone program that’s spinning out of control today.


Back in Reagan’s day, when cell phones weren’t so ever present, the Lifeline program was created to give poor rural Americans a way to call for help during an emergency. Back then, it cost 146 million dollars.

In 2008, after cell phones were added to Lifeline, the usage ballooned. Now, the program which is supposed to be for people on food stamps and welfare costs 2.2 billion dollars a year.

How bad has it gotten? Even Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill was offered a phone, “I got solicitation for a free phone at my apartment, which is certainly not a building where you’re going to have people who are qualified for free phones. … There is clearly money being wasted here.”

The amount of fraud going on with the Lifeline program is staggering. The FCC says there are more than 270,000 people who have more than one welfare phone, which is not allowed in the program. Moreover, the top five companies that provide phones under the program admit that 41% of the people who have the phones may not be eligible for the program.

Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin added, “I hear from law enforcement that these phones are often found at crime scenes and are used in drug deals. Why? It’s because you can’t trace them.”

Despite all of these problems, the FCC is considering EXPANDING the program.

In a sane world, the FCC would be thinking about killing it.

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