Fraud from Obamaphone program approaching 500 mill $


Yep $500 million a year now. Different people, same address, get a phone/service and now internet service too! Sweet!


Someone will bring up Ronald Reagan in 3, 2, 1…


Goes with free college - its the least the taxpayer can do!


But ultimately… :signofcross:


Why do we keep outsourcing government functions?


How does this cost compare to the cost to build “The Wall?”


Are you suggesting telephones and Internet are government functions?


Yes, because in terms of the role of the central government, these are comparable notions. “Maintain national sovereignty” is right below “provide the ability to text your sister-in-law” in the enumerated powers.

Can we be honest and admit something is a boondoggle or a horrific idea without deflecting?

I thought Bush’s prescription drug plan was a bad idea, but when it comes up, I rarely say “yeah, but remember Monica Lewinsky?”

Edit: I doubt you are actually defending the program.


If the FCC is responsible for monitoring and auditing this program, they should not have outsourced it. I was not voicing an opinion on the program itself.


Surely the former is ‘only’ an implied power under (say) the broader Congressional power to provide for the “common Defense”. (One might also suggest that a wall 1,989 miles long would count as a fortification or something, so covered again elsewhere anyway, I guess).

But one can certainly have a maintained national sovereignty without walls. Or, indeed, any armed forces besides. Meanwhile maybe a way to text relatives could come under the straightforwardly-implied power to regulate communications, under post offices/post-roads. There’d be certainly nothing wrong (except for the cost) of making all snail-mail free across the United States. A postal service doesn’t HAVE to charge, after all. What’s difference between giving out phones and giving everyone a bunch of pre-franked envelopes? But ultimately they’re both pretty terrible ideas and $500M of fraud (one assumes it’s an accurate figure) is pretty obviously demonstration of that.

Seriously though even from the alleged socialist utopia (ha) of the United Kingdom, the motivation behind at least one of the ideas compared is probably sound. I leave it to your judgements to decide which one I think that is :stuck_out_tongue:


No, not defending the program at all. It needs to go away, today. There is absolutely no reason the federal government should be paying for people’s cell phones and/or internet.

And I wasn’t deflecting, but rather comparing the cost of the WASTE (which is not total cost) of this program that does nothing for the NATION itself to the cost of a border wall (system) that could actually impose our national sovereignty.

FCC responsible for the airwaves - yes. FCC (nor any other federal government bureaucracy) should NOT be responsible for paying for people’s cell phones/internet.


You can’t get by without a phone today and the internet is right behind. Since they are necessary, the government has the responsibility to make sure everybody has access. For example, try finding a job with no internet and no phone.

Many homeless people rely on the free phones and have an address at a shelter. Is that considered an override considering how many other people live in that “household”?


Where does the constitution say the Federal government is responsible for what people think are personal necessities?


The Congress creates laws and budgets. If someone thinks a law is unconstitutional, they need to take it thru the Judicial process which will make a ruling. Until the Supreme Court rules something as unconstitutional or a constitutional admendment is passed, the law/budget is constitutional


There will always be a certain number of people who game the system, no matter what it is, people have been doing this with SSI, and other Govt benefits for decades, its not really something they can completely regulate away, as these people are crafty and find ways to get away with it, despite all the measures designed to prevent fraud.

That doesnt mean innocent people who really do need and use this should be made to suffer or loose out just due to the actions of a few.


And yet when people do the same thing with tax loopholes (which is legal, unlike your example), everyone cries foul. I am not a fan of fraud, misrepresentation, or painfully obvious loopholes in the tax code, but let’s have some consistency.


Take it to the supreme court then. As far as I know the program is legal.

They didn’t start this program to give people a free source of recreation. It is a necessity to have a phone. It is foolish to imply otherwise. Also, since not everybody has a permanent address, a land line solution would leave some people out. Therefore, cell phones are the best way for the government to meet this need.

Soon, I believe you won’t really be able to make it without internet either so the same argument applies. I would be in favor of free smart phones rather than the flip phones. That way they get the internet access and the hardware all in one.

People cheating doesn’t delegitimize the program. You have to assume some risk in every endeavor.


I agree about internet and really Im surprised Ive not yet heard anyone come out and suggest free internet for everyone, that would encourage alot of spending, and ensure everyone is connected all the time, just like they want.

I mean, it is 2016 and personally Im still paying around $60 a month for 7G, once the high speed runs out, they lower my speed to a crawl, Ive seen certain pages take up to 10 minutes to open!!

I dont really see how anyone can get by with regular internet anymore (non-high speed), its similar to the mid 90s, when pages took forever to open…??


You said the government has the responsibility to provide such things. Where does the constitution say the Federal government is responsible for such things?

This is just another example of our growing entitlement system.


In our area, Comcast offers free wifi. I think it’s an hour a day with the option to buy hours as needed (you don’t need to be a Comcast customer). When we moved my wife was taking an online course and it saved the day. It wasn’t the fastest or most reliable but it’s better than nothing. Hopefully it’ll be expanded.

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