First Obama Phones – Now Obama Web

smartphonesThis week the FCC will review and perhaps vote on a proposal to expand the “Lifeline” telephone subsidy program to include entitlements for broadband internet services for the poor.

The Lifeline program was authorized by Congress with good intentions in 1985.   It provided subsidies for land-line telephone service to the poor, on the theory that a telephone is necessary to maintain basic health and safety.  The program, funded by federally mandated surcharges on consumer telephone bills, flew under the radar until 2005 when it was expanded to include cell phone service.  The subsequent rapid growth and explosion of fraud and abuse in the program drew considerable attention as free cell phones, derisively dubbed “Obama Phones”, were widely distributed – even unscrupulously collected and resold – with little qualification or oversight.

The program cost $1.4 billion in 2014.

To test the veracity of reports that virtually anybody could apply for and receive an “Obama Phone”, I filled out an online application (honestly) and hit “enter”.  Four days later I had a new cell phone, complete with 250 minutes of cellular service per month and unlimited texts.  It’s mine to use, apparently forever, no questions asked.  And I don’t think anybody would consider me the slightest bit “needy”.

In 2012, pushed by congressional oversight, the FCC attempted to assert some discipline in the program.  While costs were somewhat reduced, the rampant fraud continues, according to FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly.  He wants to see the Lifeline program cleaned up before any consideration is given to expanding the entitlement.  O’Rielly would:

  • Set a budget for the Lifeline program – it currently has no limits on spending
  • Disallow any increase in the reimbursement rate paid to providers for adding broadband services
  • Limit the services covered under the program
  • Offer subsidies to only those who really need it – a survey indicated 19 out of 20 Lifeline users would have their own smart phones even if the program didn’t exist
  • Require participants to have “skin in the game” – no more completely free phones

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) wrote a scorching letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, calling the program, “. . . one of the most abused and fraud-ridden federal programs ever.”  He excoriated Wheeler for denying the Office of the Inspector General the authority to investigate.

After decades of relative obscurity, the FCC, under Wheeler, is grabbing headlines with regularity this year.  Their new “Net Neutrality” rules took effect last week, making internet service providers regulated utilities like phone companies, and preventing them from charging higher rates to high volume customers.  Congress has vowed to undo the new provisions and might even cut the FCC’s budget.

Some view the FCC’s move to expand the Lifeline program as a natural and timely adjustment to rapid change in communication technology.  Others say it is just one more entitlement – payback and pay-forward for the political support of a growing segment of government-dependent voters.

This article can be seen in its entirety at Watchdog Arena.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

I’m free to choose what I please any old time
I’m free to choose what I please any old time
So hold me, love me, love me, hold me
I’m free any old time to get what I want, yes I am

I’m Free – the Rolling Stones

Here’s a nice and kind of obscure tune by the Stones – enjoy!

My Best Friend, Barack, Would Like You To Have A Free Cell Phone Too!

As you know, my friend Barack gave me a free cell phone a while back.

Hillary-Clinton-What-Difference-Does-It-MakeI don’t use it, but I still have it just in case I need to call Hillary and ask her who wrote Susan Rice’s make-believe talking points about the Benghazi attack.  You know, after seven committee investigations, they still haven’t got around to answering that simple question.

IRS-sOr I might need it to ask Speaker John Boehner why he doesn’t think Susan Lerner needs to explain how so many Tea Party groups and their contributors got singled out for “special treatment” by the IRS.

I probflotus_mugshot_four_by_three_s640x480ably should use my Obama Phone to call my friend Barack’s wife, Michelle.  I have been meaning to ask her how many of the Nigerian girls were released by the terrorists after she “selfied” her hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Anyway, it looks like the Obama Phone (Lifeline Assistance) program is still going full speed ahead.  I got a letter the other day asking me if I have any friends or relatives who might need a free cell phone.  It says:

Dear Tom:  (I was kind of surprised they used my name — Barack always calls me “Friend”)   We hope you are benefiting from your (free phone).  Now you can help others benefit too, by spreading the word to your family and friends!  If eligible, they can also apply for Lifeline Assistance and get a FREE phone with 250 FREE voice minutes each month and 250 FREE texts each month.  Voicemail, call waiting and caller ID included!

We’ve enclosed two applications for you to share with family and friends who live at a different address.  If you need more applications, please ask your family and friends to visit (our website) or call (our number).

Since you are my friends and family, I thought I had better let you know that our government would just love to give away more free cell phones.  You know, they are printing all that money at the Federal Reserve, and it just keeps piling up and getting in the way.  My friend Barack and all of the wonderful people in Washington, DC want to keep their streets clear so their limos can get to those fun parties, like the correspondents’ dinnercarlos_slim_widens_lead_as_worlds_richest_manYou can help them out!  Just take one of these free Obama Phones, and they can shovel up some of that money and send it to Carlos Slim (the world’s richest man, and a big Obama donor).

Isn’t it wonderful living in America, where anybody can get a free cell phone, and nobody has to pay for it?  We get free food stamps and free Obama Care.  I can’t wait until the Obama Cars program starts up and we all get free cars!

pelosi-boehner-obama-reid-gettyp.600x400Our friends in Washington, DC, like Barack, and Boehner, and Pelosi and Reid promise they will give us Americans free stuff as long as we vote for them.  And they will even give free stuff to people who are not Americans as long as they vote for them too!  How cool is that!

Boy, have we got it good, or what?

 

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

 

 People let me tell ya ’bout my best friend!

 

 

 

 

 

Got My Free Obama Phone Today!

Tom Obama PhoneA couple of weeks ago I reported to you Rockers on the Right Side that I was applying for a free Obama Phone.  It came in the mail yesterday!

I ordered the free cell phone to make a point.  Well, maybe several points.

  • Our Federal Government is out of control.  Somebody please show me where in the Constitution it says the federal government must confiscate money from some people and use it to buy gadgets for other people?
  • What about our $17 trillion debt?  How can we afford $2.4 billion for free cell phones and cellular service?  Even while liberals wail that there are starving children all over the country? (the food stamp kids I see are pretty chunky)
  • Free market, my ass!  I’m sure glad I don’t own a cell phone company, having to compete with my own government giving merchandise away.  Well, unless I could be the one getting the $2.4 billion, I guess.
  • This program has nothing to do with helping the “needy”.  It is just one more example of pandering for votes by elected officials — with our money!
  • The feds can’t get anything right.  Although there are guidelines, I have proved that anybody who asks for a free Obama Phone can get one.  I am not needy, I do not even remotely qualify to receive one, and my application was absolutely truthful.  I didn’t even vote for Obama.  But “hoop, there it is!”  And we are supposed to trust these people to take over operation of the entire health care industry?

If your hair isn’t on fire yet, watch this video by Project Veritas:

Oh well, it’s only $2.4 billion.  Not enough money to get the attention of, say, CNN or MSNBC.   Or apparently our legislators in Washington, DC.

Next time you pay your cell phone bill, and cuss about those mysterious additional charges, maybe you want to give your senator or congressman a call.  Or you can call me, any time.  On my Obama Phone!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Call me!  On the line!
You can call me, call me any time.
Call me!  I’ll arrive
You can call me any day or night.
Call me!

Call Me – Blondie

Old rockers never die!  Blondie wows a huge audience at Rotterdam, 1997.

ps – I don’t intend to use this phone and abuse you taxpayers / cell phone users.  I just ordered it to prove that they are giving them out to anybody who asks without any scrutiny.

I Ordered My Free Obama Phone Today!

cell_phonesUpdate 8/7/13:  Some of you are wondering how I ordered my Obama Phone when Assurance Wireless does not offer the program in Montana.  I am currently in North Carolina, but I still have a home in Montana.  I ordered my Obama Phone from Charlotte – I’ll let you know when/if I receive it.  By the way, I ordered this just to prove a point, not to take advantage of you taxpayers!

 

Why are you paying for a cell phone?  Don’t you know that you can get as many cell phones as you want, for free?

Of course we all know that nothing is really free, somebody has to pay for everything, but hey — my friend Barack was re-elected in 2012 because he says it doesn’t matter how much our government spends.  Most Republicans are hiding under their desks in Washington, DC, so it is pretty clear that what we buy or how much debt we have doesn’t matter.  Our buds at the IRS can just tax other people some more, and if we run out we’ll have our friends at the Fed print as much money as we need, right?  Free is good!  Get what you can!  We’re all Democrats now!

Jillian Kay Melchior of the National Review heard that people in her city routinely obtain for free — and then sell — dozens of “Obama Phones”, courtesy of the taxpayers.  She set out to see if it is really that easy to get free Obama Phones.   Jillian learned that under Obama’s “Lifeline” program, pretty much anybody who signs up can receive one or more free Obama Phones from one or more cell phone vendors who aggressively seek out participants.  There is little, if any, verification of eligibility.  Commissioned phone salesmen give away as many as possible and the taxpayers pick up the tab.  Jillian got three free Obama Phones without even really trying.

So this morning I web-searched “Obama Phone”, and here is the number one listing:

ObamaPhone

I filled out the Assurance Wireless on-line application, providing my name and address, and indicating that I would prefer to communicate in English rather than Spanish.  I checked a couple of boxes, answering with complete honesty, and then printed and mailed my application.   Can’t wait to get my new free Obama Phone, along with 250 minutes and 250 text messages per month, forever!  What a deal!  It should be here in a week or so, I’ll give you a call when I get it.

I do feel a little bit guilty, knowing that you taxpayers will pay over $2.4 billion for phones for me and Barack’s other friends this year.  You know, I still get an e-mail from Barack or someone in his office every day asking for $5.  Here’s the one I got today:

Obama Letter

I should probably send Barack a five-spot today, as a thank-you for the cool phone.   Happy Birthday, buddy!  What a guy.  Why would I vote for anyone else?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

No more lonely nights
Will you be alone
All you got to do is
Pick up your telephone
And dial, now
634-5789 (What’s my number)

634-5789 – the Blues Brothers