Saturday, September 29, 2012

1 Million "Obama Phones" in Ohio

If you're like me, you would feel certain that there is little or no "vote buying" in 2012 America, right?

Well, a report from Ohio says that an FCC program has given out over 1 million free mobile phones to "poor" people and the program having rapidly expanding in recent months.  Local African Americans in Ohio have been quoted as saying that "Obama has my vote, he gave me a free phone!"

I've written recently that the cost of a number of Federal Programs have been exploding under the Obama administration.  Social Security Disability costs have doubled during the Obama administration and Food Stamp costs have also doubled during this administration.

Now we hear about another program where costs have doubled under this administration. It's the FCC's lifeline program. That Federal program gives out "free phones" to needy people has increased by 50% in last year alone!  Program costs have doubled since 2008 from $772 million to $1.5 billion last year after cell phones were included in 2008.

Everything in Washington is now completely out of control:  departments and programs are un-budgeted, un-managed and un-supervised. There are no adults in charge! When there are no budgets, of course things will be completely out of control!  We're witnessing an orgy of out-of-control spending and hearing about it in bits and pieces.

Oh, and you don't like it, you must be racist!  

From Josh Sweigart at the Dayton Daily News
A program that provides subsidized phone service to low-income individuals has nearly doubled in size in Ohio in the past year — now covering more than a million people. At the same time, federal officials say they’re reining in waste, fraud and abuse in the program. [Isn't that nice of them to admit that spending is out of control and they are now trying to manage your taxpayer dollars?!!]
The Federal Communications Commission announced recently that reforms have saved $43 million since January and are expected to save $200 million by year’s end. In Ohio, savings are expected to be $2.9 million a year.  [only in the world of government does a slight reduction of rapid increases constitute a "cut"---it's a world that none of us ordinary people live in]
The savings were realized in part because the government gave out fewer cellphones to ineligible people and took steps to avoid issuing duplicate phones. [wonderful!]
But the size of the program in the state — and profits to the increasing number of cellphone companies involved — has exploded in recent months, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of program data.  [here's where the bribery allegations come in]

The program in Ohio cost $26.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, the most recent data available, versus $15.6 million in the same timeframe in 2011. Compared to the first quarter of 2011, the number of people in the program nearly doubled to more than a million.
Growth could cost everyone who owns a phone. The program is funded through the “Universal Service Fund” charge on phone bills — usually a dollar or two per bill — and the amount of the fee is determined by the cost of this and other programs.  [Yes, taxpayers are being charged to bribe Obama voters with free phones...]
A growth of $100 million in this program could result in an increased fee of a few cents on the average bill, according to officials from the agency that administers the program. The total cost of the program nationwide was $1.5 billion in 2011, up from $1.1 billion in 2010.  
The program cost $772 million in 2008, so we have another Federal program doubling in cost since 2008.

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