The Free Obama Phone: Real or Urban Legend?

The official word from the Lifeline free cell phone experts.

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Since the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, the term “The Obama Phone” has persisted. People say Obama is redistributing the wealth by starting a program that gives free cell phones – Obama phones – to the poor. Detractors of both President Obama and of the government’s long-standing phone assistance program have fought over this claim since 2009 with each side mudslinging “facts” at each other. is going to clear this subject up once and for all with the most detailed account of the facts that you will find anywhere. When you next have a discussion on this topic, just give those on the other side the link to this page.

Is the government giving out free cell phones?

Yes. This part is true. They fund low end cell phones plans, and offset some of the cost of landline phones. The programs that authorize the phone distribution program are called Lifeline Assistance and Lifeline Link-Up. Lifeline Assistance helps pay monthly phone bills and Lifeline Link-Up helps pay the initial outlay for the phone and installation. The two programs are often lumped together and simply called Lifeline.

These Lifeline cell phones are delivered through relatively new, government-approved cell phone companies like Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and Reachout Wireless, among others. These companies were spun of off larger prepaid cell phone companies to specialize in the Lifeline program.

Did Obama start the free phones program?

Obama Phone urban legend

That looks like a big fat NO to us.

The cell phone distribution program did begin in 2008, the year Obama was elected president, but that is a coincidence. Let’s look more closely at the facts.

Notice that earlier we said Link-Up helps fund “installation.” What installation does a cell phone have? None. So why is installation part of Link-Up, which is under the Lifeline program umbrella? Because, the whole thing began back in 1996 when the Federal Communications Commission authorized the programs for landline phones. At that time it provided discounts on landline phones only, for obvious reasons.

To this day the government provides discounts on landline phones for financially disadvantaged people in the United States and U.S. territories. The Link-Up portion helps with the installation and the Lifeline Assistance part helps with the monthly bills, to the tune of roughly ten dollars a month.

So, the subsidization of phones began under President Clinton, and has continued under Presidents Bush and Obama.

Over that time, the usage of cell phones rose and the costs came down. Assuming one believes in the Lifeline program in the first place, and remembering that the FCC has mandated the program, it only makes sense to expand the phone assistance program to include cell phones. So, in 2008 the first application of this program for mobile phones began when a company called Tracfone started their Safelink Wireless service in Tennessee.

Aha, some say, that’s the same year Obama was elected! Well, that’s true. But the service in Tennessee was launched three months prior to Obama being elected. And that means the discussion and approval of the extension of the program occurred under President Bush’s watch.

The Bush Phone, anyone?

How did the Obama Phone rumors start?

Just how did this “Obama Phone” rumor get started anyway? Back around early 2009, emails began circulating that called the free cell phone program the Obama Phone. And you know what happens when emails start getting passed around — few people verify them, and just simply forward them to everyone in their contact list. And the people who forward them believe that Barack Obama has socialist tendencies, so there was a willing audience. Here is just one sample email:

FW: Obamaphone… no joke!!
I had a former employee call me earlier today inquiring about a job, and at the end of the conversation he gave me his phone number. I asked the former employee if this was a new cell phone number and he told me yes this was his “Obama phone.” I asked him what an “Obama phone” was and he went on to say that welfare recipients are now eligible to receive (1) a FREE new phone and (2) approx 70 minutes of FREE minutes every month. I was a little skeptical so I Googled it and low and behold he was telling the truth. TAX PAYER MONEY IS BEING REDISTRIBUTED TO WELFARE RECIPIENTS FOR FREE CELL PHONES. This program was started earlier this year. Enough is enough, the ship is sinking and it’s sinking fast. The very foundations that this country was built on are being shaken. The age old concepts of God, family, and hard work have flown out the window and are being replaced with “Hope and Change” and “Change we can believe in.”

Variations of these emails persist to this day. Like President Obama or not, they are simply false.

And then there are videos like this one, that went viral. Videos of these misinformed people don’t help:

Who qualifies?

The free cell phones only go to those who qualify for the program under the exact same eligibility requirements that have been in effect since 1996. An applicant is generally eligible if they are at or below 135-150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (depending upon the state in which they live), or if they already participate in one of many public assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, public housing and others.

Nothing about the Lifeline eligibility has changed since President Clinton’s days. Nothing has changed since President Bush’s days.

Who pays for the phones?

There’s another running argument about if the phones are or are not paid for by taxpayers. Yes and no, it depends how you look at it.

The money actually comes from a small fee added to most people’s monthly phone bills, called the Universal Service Fund fee. For a complete discussion of this, please read, “Do Taxpayers Pay for Government Cell Phones for the Poor?”

And it’s important to note that it does not cost any more to provide cell phones to people than it does landline. The government subsidizes both equally. In fact, landlines are often more expensive because the Link-Up portion is not always required for cell phones, depending upon the state.

Spread the Word: The Obama Phone rumor is false!

Now you’ve got all the facts and information you need to rebut anyone who calls this valuable program the The Obama Phone. Set the record straight by giving them the link to this page.

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  1. Jay says

    Obama didn’t start many/most of the social and welfare programs either. HOWEVER…

    Obama has overly aggressively expanded welfare and entitlement programs. That is why it is called the Obama phone.

    Obama is a socialist and thinks the government should take care of people that can’t take care of themselves. His key piece of legislation is unconstitutional (no matter what the SC says) and is get another example of redistribution of wealth and trying to influence votes and voters by making them dependent on government assistance.

  2. hayleigh says

    you should give iPhone away to people as a Obama iPhone i would prefer a iPhone 5s that would be cool and probably you would get more votes and put free minutes on it. if you did i would be happy and tell everyone to vote for you.

  3. mytorpor says

    The article fails to mention how much this program has been expanded by the Obama administration. Yes, a program similar to the current program did exist, but when Obama took office the program ate up about $800 million in taxpayer dollars. Since Obama took office the program has been expanded to the point where we are now spending $3.6 BILLION dollars a year on free phone services and that is going to expand again very soon as the Obama administration is now pushing a free cable services to the poor under the same program. So the article is technically correct, while being 100% wrong!

  4. sandra hamm says

    the concept is fine but some of the results. i have seen 6, 7 and 8 yr olds with them because even though their parents are on welfare they wouldn’t be caught dead with one. they will sell their “food stamps” to finance a better one. one girl i knew and her boy friend gave theirs to her mother who didn’t qualify for one. i know one guy who made his drug deals on his even though he had an expensive one and on and on. i guess that is what hurts us. that and all the other abuses and misuses of welfare programs. why don’t people who are on welfare have to provide proof that they are actively looking for a job like i always had to when i was drawing unemployment. what is unfair about that?

  5. N.Grant says

    My phone was stolen at the Giants store, I called safelink to report it
    letting them know that I called the number and was informed,that the person on the line didn’t speak english.I asked safelink to send me another phone and PLEASE allow me to have My minutes that was on the stolen phone, I was told that I could only have 10 minutes.What is the rule on this situation??? what does safelink loose by giving back lost minutes
    to the customers…

  6. randy Garrett says

    Starting January 1st 2016 life line is going away. There will be a $25.00 activation fee and the bill will be going up from 4.95 to 40.00 a month. The $34.00 subsidy for customer is going away also.they government doesnt pay for your phone bill. The government pays the company that is dispersing the phones for each customer that signs up. Also all obama phones are tapped by the Federal communications department. That how how they are cracking down on drugs. With the DEA.

    • says

      Could we have a link to the information you have provided about Lifeline being discontinued?

      As for the phones being tapped, there is no proof of that.

  7. Ellen HODGES says


  8. Mike says

    This is one of the best examples of the kind of disinformation campaign movement conservatives run. Unfortunately, even when confronted with the facts, people who want to believe the lie will continue to believe the lie and will pass it along in emails and conversation.

  9. Billy says

    Thank you very much for this information. For a long time I have wondered a little bit about this question. Thankfully, I had a general idea that this program was similar to the one described above. Except that the real program is better than my initial thoughts. I love it when the government creates programs that work and it seems as a decent low cost. Keep up the good work!

  10. Ava says

    Now they are giving out free Android phones with unlimited text and minutes. People are everywhere on the street in Los Angeles giving out these phones.

  11. russ says

    no way, I don’t even have a cell phone work 60 hours a week…. and I have to pay for someone sitting on there ars to have one… why America is f up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • mimi says

        In response to Ava’s comment, I feel that was a very ignorant and rude thing to say. Im curious as to whom exactly do you live with? Parents? Partner? Roommates??? You dont know this persons scenario or life situation. Maybe he lives alone. Rent. Utilities. Car payment. Maybe he has children and has court ordered support. Do you know how much a judge can order be taken from someones paycheck??? Maybe he doesnt have insurance and has a medical condition that requires alot of “out of pocket” payments. Or maybe hes from another country and really wants to get his wife and children to the United States ( are you aware of the THOUSANDS of dollars people are forced to pay to do this??? ) lets do some math, say he makes minimum wage ( which varies by states but we will use the federal amount of $7.25 and most people that work in the real world know employers do not like paying more than they have to ) and works that 60 hours a week. So he roughly grosses $435 a week or roughly $1800 a month BEFORE taxes, etc. I know where I live the average rent is around $1000 a month even for a small crappy apartment. I also will educate you on the cost if you do not have a vehicle, I personally have had to pay $27 one way for a cab just to take my daughter to daycare and only did that in inclement weather ( oh and daycare is NOT cheap sweetie $185 a week plus other charges supply fees $50 registration fee $150 late payment fee $25 etc ) my electric bill averages between $150 to $200. I also gave AT&T $200 to $400 a month, and for what? I also have a rapidly growing toddler that requires ALOT of food. Would you care to buy my monthly groceries?? I also have to buy clothes, shoes, hygiene products, so on so forth. Im a single parent where child support is non existent and took almost 4 years to receive($12 here $65 there, never consistant, never weekly or monthly ) Im a very hard working person with years of experience in my field but in actuality companies really could care less. It seems they are all about more work and less pay with NO benefits. If you have a decent job that pays high with benefits you are one of the fortunate.
        There are way too many people that abuse assistance programs. I have seen this myself people that are fully capable of working get food stamps then sell them for beer and drugs. Get free medical. Get on SSI and brag that they are at home drinking or smoking crack all day. I myself, like you, was very naive to the real world until I dated my childs biological father and after working with a local program that ‘helps the homeless’
        I will say that there are many people that deserve these programs and do not receive anything. Some refuse them or have serious mental or learning disabilities, they may not be aware or understand. Awareness and education are fundamental. Please try to be more understanding. Thanks

  12. Kristen says

    My cousin is homeless and he uses my address to receive his mail. He can’t live with me for probation violation reasons. He prefers to live on the streets anyway. I received a box in the mail a month or two ago. It was what he called an “Obama phone”. He says all his homeless buddies have them. He also has free medical and free food stamps, doesn’t look for work. He and his buddies like their phones and their free minutes and talk and texting just fine. Better than I have. I have a go phone. The phone did break down though and this week he got another and I had to take it to him. He even posts on Facebook from it if I’m not mistaken. See he posts a bunch. Life is rough.

  13. Don Jacobs says

    I don’t think any caring American has a problem with offering these types of things to the poor – conservative or liberal. I think the problem is that it has escalated tremendously in the past 6-8 years and, yes, it IS paid for by tax payers in the form of higher cell phone bills. It’s AMAZING what the cost of cell service has done in that same time period. Mine has gone up tremendously. Look at your bill and look at the USF charge and you’ll see what it is. It’s something like 16% of the groww bill – up from less than 6% in 2000. So, make no mistake, it IS a tax payer funded program – one way or another. The focus should be on how to get people OFF of this program rather than expanding the coverage and the cost. WE NEED JOBS, NOT HANDOUTS! Handouts just piss off the people who keep see them increase every year and breeds resentment! it’s not the media who’s the problem. it’s the economy!

  14. james says

    What is wrong with you people!!!!This is a blessing to some people.Yes maybe tax payers do pay taxes and some of it goes to these phone,but taxes pays for a lot of crap that you don’t like.Why poor people??And there is a lot going on everywhere in the world!This company is only trying to help.

  15. Crystal says

    This is complete BS Your telling me that in order to qualify I should quit my job and just sign up for every kind of assistance my state orders? Ridiculous. I work everyday at min. Wage I HAVE BILLS TO PAY barely enough to buy food sometimes definitely can’t afford a phone and get punished for working WRONG

  16. WTF says


    Okay so today I decided to sign up for this free phone service and it turns out my address is already in USE!


    No one at my residence is enrolled in any LifeLine services. I contacted customer service and they said they couldn’t tell me who it was because of confidentiality reasons and that I would have to prove that this is my residence. So now, because of these people’s incompetence I have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get this worthless piece of junk phone that probably has a worse coverage zone than Ghetro(metro) PSC. Calls be dropping like flies out’ch here y’all.

    Not only that, but they’re kind of just asking for people to abuse this service by allowing you to enter a SEPARATE SHIPPING ADDRESS. That’s right, somebody used my address for the services but had the phone and plan information sent to their address. Little rodent bastards.

    • Roy says

      I’m so sorry that you are so upset, I happen to be physically disabled, bringing in less than $900 a month, keeping up with the bills is very difficult, and there are many like me, I’ve had my electric wheelchair breakdown and me on the street and had to have someone call 911 for me from their cell phone, having this Bush Phone is a real relief. And I know that there are other’s including elderly and disabled who could not keep up their phone bills and had them shut off, sometimes it’s choosing to buy food or medications or to pay your telephone bill.

      And you talk about qualifications, even though I drive up to inquire about this in my wheelchair, and there is no mistaking I really look disabled, they said I needed income verification that I am on SSI disability from the so security office.

      And as far as I know President Bush and every president signs the budget for the 1st year of the next president, so even the expansion of this program might have been set in motion by President Bush.

      As a disabled Republican I’m not ashamed to use the programs that are available.

      • mytorpor says

        In most cases, the previous president DOES sign the budget for the first SIX MONTHS of the next president’s term, but in the case of Bush’s last year in office, Democrats had control of the House and Senate and Bush was forced to veto their last budget because it was stuffed full of pork. Instead of passing a clean budget, they went around Bush and passed a six month spending resolution to fund the last six months of Bush’s term. Then once Obama was sworn in, Democrats (who now had veto proof control of both the House and Senate) stuffed even MORE pork into a second six months spending resolution to cover the first six months of Obama’s term and Obama signed it and blamed it on Bush…saying that the first six months of his spending was part of Bush’s last budget….the budget that Bush had previously vetoed! And THAT folks, is the way things work in DC!

  17. douglas ortega says

    i would like to get the phone, and i have one question ? can my daughers qualife to get a phone to ? thank you.

      • brian says

        A household is not defined as all members in the same dwelling. There are a number of factors in which more than one household could be present at the same dwelling.

  18. rod says

    2015, they still give out these phones. If you make under $100,000 a year, you qualify. Supply an State ID card and utility bill. $100,000 is a SUPER high income, no one makes that.. They wanted to make sure EVERYONE had the chance to apply for these phones. They are basic handsets with push buttons and mini screen. Free talk and text for 1 year, Reapply the following years. Make at least 1 call a month to keep free service. It’ll be free for the next 10 years, until providers update the agreement to continue for more than 10 years.

    They may be worth it, your phone provider already spies on you.. might as well take advantage of it.

  19. Gary Engstrom says

    “There’s another running argument about if the phones are or are not paid for by taxpayers. Yes and no, it depends how you look at it.”

    So the government requires a company to charge its customers a “fee” which is remitted to the government to fund a subsidized phone program. In what universe is this process not a tax? It’s the same process whereby a store charges a sales tax, subsequently remitted to the local government, whenever a purchase is made. There’s no “yes and no” about it. It’s a tax, and the person who pays it is a taxpayer.

  20. Hugh Chardon says

    Are you on the payroll of the DNC? You are so way over the top here, how can you expect anyone take this serious – besides the blind, the sheep, the left-wing brown shirts and the communist party of America?

  21. Pok Dot says

    Forgot to mention. People please don’t think you are getting a smart phone. it’s just cheap flip phone you can call out & receive calls :) I guess if you can’t afford one it’s better than nothing at all LOL
    Good Luck

  22. Pok Dot says

    Just wanted to say becareful when signing up. They get alot of elderly ignorant people to sign up. If you already universal line on your landline you can not get a discount of this free government phone. I happen to know a lady that they discontinued her universal line discount because she had it on her landline & the person that signed her up for the free phone also added her to a universal line. so now she doesn’t have a discount.

  23. Casey Walker says

    The problem here is that it is made available for people who are under public assistance. I understand there are legitamate people who need public assistance. My argument that abuse of the system has been going on long enough. Not everyone qualifies for medicaid, welfare, and disability, but it is being granted to the unqualified every day on a large scale. We have to make a hard line, do investigations and weed out the truly unqualified and take that assistance away. Sure its not gonna be the popular vote, but its a necessity to cure our country of laziness. I am sorry but it does not matter me how long this program has been going on. We can’t keep sacrificing the security of our citizens because we keep supporting the people who abuse our system. There needs to be that investigation into that fraud instead of just continuing to increase the number of people who qualify and placing the burden on the rest all the while cutting our protection by cutting our military. This is definitely not the time to jeopardize our safety.

    • Ginni says

      How can you be so hateful? Just because someone may look like they’re ok, does not mean they are not disabled and undeserving of a little help. I got an Assurance wireless phone almost 4 years ago. I got 250 free minutes, and 1,000 free texts a month on a little bitty Nokia type phone. (Not an android, in fact, I had never used an android until a year ago, and the more expensive phones, I haven’t even touched) That free phone helped me escape my ex husband who tried to kill me and our children. Not only that, but it helped me be able to get a good job and stand up on my own two feet. So the next time you’re pissed off because you can’t get to your Starbuck’s on time, remember to grow up. Who are you to judge? I may not be on government assistance anymore, but people like you make me sick. Fall off your high horse and shut the hell up.

  24. Robert Martyr says

  25. patty sheaffer says

    As this program began, it was meant to be useful for people that need help in finding work, medical needs and ect. But this program , as many others, has been abused with peoples minutes being used for trival matters than intended. People tend to use up their minutes on futile things causing doctors or employers to not be able to reach them when they need to talk. Many tend to use the term “Obama phones”… The Republican party calls anything that does not work well… Obama’s fault”….When actually he had nothing to do with it. They love to use the term “Obama” in a negative way any chance they can,,,, I do not understand why they just won’t behave like …a decent citizen of the U.S.

    • Ibrahem Imasahm says

      Shall I count the number of times Obama himself has blamed BUSH for anything and everything? Sorry, I am not sure I can count that high – public schooling and all. What comes after a trillion?

  26. trevanian says

    When has it become fashionable to take money from people working their assess off struggling to pay their cell phone bill, put bread on the table and give it to people who refuse to make minimum wage? Old people and children with special needs should be the only ones with obama phones period.

    • Ibrahem Imasahm says

      Yes, and notice how the author tried to gloss right over who actually DOES pay for these free phones, calling it a “small fee – universal service fee?” Our cell phone bill alone is almost $5/mo for the involuntary welfare contribution (universal service fee). Try adding up your landline fees, water bill fees, gas bill fees, electric bill fees. I challenge all working people to look at ALL your utility bills. You will notice a universal service fee on EACH UTILITY. And the fees just continue to grow. Of course, we’re about to add another 5-6 MILLION welfare recipients – so get ready.

  27. Bill says

    I have always been able to find employment and always worked. I find these programs to Robbery from the working person for those that choose not to work. There is absolutely no need for everyone to have a cell phone. Yes help those that truly need a home phone. 911 can not find d you on a so that argument is not valid. I know where I live every single person on welfare has a free cell phone and each of their children also, yet the people who pay for this can only afford a home phone, or one cell phone for the who k e family because they choose to make ends meet. These programs are started not to help these so called low income people, but the companies. Check into it you will find that these companies are making some of the highest profits,and are all owned by friends of the politicians. Don’t by this outfits bull every worker pays for these programs via taxes, and even if you don’t pay taxes you pay for it in cost of all purchases. Every business puts all expenses into sale prices, so you pay. That’s why this outfit wants you to sign up so they can pocket more and more for their mansions yachts and big parties, don’t use any of this carp, and the poor will start coming back up. Yes they do use these free programs to keep you dependant upon them. That way they can control everything you do.

  28. john says

    The man just wants to keeps us down an spy on us I have a phone but the piece of crap barely works that’s the only reason we have them

  29. Drslot says

    I worked all my life and eventually became disabled. Even then, I started my own little businesses and did well. Then came Obama and the downfall of the economy. The democrat socialists and communists are enslaving the citizens with free stuff. It’s ok to have programs for those that really need help and are willing to work. But too many people won’t work regardless. I am taking the free phone because I really need it and paying taxes all my life, I earned it. The problem with socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other peoples money.

    • Jane Teague-Urbach says

      I hate to burst your bubble – but the economy tanked BEFORE Obama took office and has been slowly recovering ever since. And I can’t believe you slam everyone else who gets help with a phone, but its ok for you because you paide taxes..and you assume no-one else on the program has! OMG.

      • Ibrahem Imasahm says

        The economy tanked because the DSC Party (democrat/socialist/communist party) took the House and Senate in 2006 with veto-proof margins during the last two years of Bush’s final term. They REFUSED to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and sure enough, all those “poor people” who had a “right” to own a home were not able to pay for those homes and down the whole house of cards came. So technically, you are correct – the economy tanked during the last two years of Bush’s term UNDER COMPLETE VETO-PROOF MARGIN DSC PARTY (democrat/socialist/communist party) CONTROL!

  30. Marla Martin says

    I as senior, would rather see people get help when they need it, rather than this money going to fake farm subsidies that are being paid to rich republican congressmen. I wish people would get a brain and care about the poor rather than giving more to the rich.
    Marla Martin

  31. Matt says

    C’mon, there is no justification to give out cell phones for free. What else iMacs, TVs and Xboxes? To say is not a tax is BS.

  32. ruben says

    I was under the impression that these cell phone companies were passed the bill…. in return they passed the bill to us cellphone customers for the fee?

    • mytorpor says

      Yes Ruben, everyone who pays for their own phone line, whether it is a cell phone or a land line, pays a fee. And you pay that fee on every single phone, not just the primary phone line! So if you have a land line, you and your spouse have a cell phone and say three of your children have cell phones, you are paying that ‘little’ fee six times every single month!

  33. Lul B Haji says

    I get obama phone before three years Ago bat my number is disconnected i want if I can get second CH and thank you Obama and Any one Help Me.

  34. Mike Aaron says

    I wish the country was one big village. that the companies who provided did the best they could to enrich the lives of all, that they were paid fairly for their efforts, and treated their workers fairly. I wish we raised our children to love each other not look for differences. That we sent all our children to school and it wasn’t a small elite few who could afford a good education. When will we realize that if we sent every capable student to college we would have a nation of intelligent workers, instead of masses of laborers who are losing their jobs to lower wages overseas, we shouldn’t want those low paying jobs anyways. How about a tribal council of leaders who actually worked together to govern the villagers justly. to make sure they weren’t abused by corporate interests? No, we have to be concerned with some free cell phones.

    • Casey Walker says

      Our problem is laziness. These days almost anyone can get financial aid and get a degree. Some people continue to make excuses.

  35. Nat Cia says

    I believe most people are angry at the wrong crowd. There are people that will take advantage of just about anything and everything that comes their way.

    I believe it all starts at home, the system is messed up. I was once without a job and having had stayed at home with my child for a few years until he started pre-school I was lacking “work history” so many of the places I was applying for would not hire me because of it, not because of lack of experience. Prior to finally landing a job way below “my standards”, I had gone to the county office to see about getting job leads and this is what transpire.

    -Hi, I’m here to see if you can give me some job leads.

    -Ok, you have to sign up for cash aid, if you qualify, you have to do 40 hours of training, you will get money and job leads

    -I don’t want money from you, I want to get a job, I just want some job leads that’s it.

    -Well it doesn’t work that way!!! You HAVE to apply for cash aid, once you qualify, you will get the job leads.

    I left with nothing and kept looking for work until I found it. While working there for two years, I kept looking for something better and finally gave myself a $5 raise when I found my current job.
    While working at that one place, I saw a LOT of people come in that had food stamps and cash aid, some people (I would peek at their receipt) would have up to $1000 in food stamps and after getting to know the customers, I realized how MANY of them where job less, doing drugs and drinking while begging for money on the streets. It made me angry, there I was, working nights, risking my life and busting my ass paying taxes while they are begging on the streets, making more money then me doing so and still getting assistance from the government. It makes me sick and to put the cherry on top I would have to be nice to them because I was being watched 24/7 by surveillance cameras,

    One time a well known customer offered a job to one of these homeless drunks, the homeless guy was in his late 30s, well spoken and had really good manners (I knew him because at night, people that came in would tell me their stories) this guy came from a family that had money, he had had an argument with his brother and had come to California, he became an alcoholic here when he couldn’t find a job and started begging on the streets. Any how, the known customer, offered him a job and he said this…. “”No thank you my friend, I make about $3000 a month begging on the streets, why would I want to work? I live in the empty field, with a tent under a tree, have a little stove and use the gas station bath room. I’m good to go. Thank you anyway.”” This is what society has become!!!

    The system is so flawed it’s not even funny, you can go and apply for any kind of assistance and nothing gets checked, they take your word for it. So lets keep enabling the drunks, pot heads and addicts by giving them money on the streets and providing cash aid and food assistance.

    • Sheila says

      That is so true. Very well said. I think its crazy how any one can get any kind of aid without providing proof or evidence. And the homeless people on the streets, when I see them I feel really sorry for them but something tells me they are fake. The way they dress and look does not even look like a homeless. They say they are hungry but when offered food, they refuse and ask for money. So obviously they don’t need the money for food, they use it to buy drugs or whatever. Some of them even sit on the streets with their kids. Omg, how can you take the poor kids and have them stay on the street the whole day and beg for money. What a shame!

      • Ibrahem Imasahm says

        Not all are fake. I was leaving a donut store one morning while on my way to work and a man approached me and said he was hungry and asked for money. I honestly did NOT have any cash. So I offered to take him into the donut store and get him coffee, donuts and kolaches – something besides sugary donuts. He was very grateful and we parted ways as “friends.” I’m sure that most of them are fake, but for the sake of that ONE who may not be, offer FOOD, not money. If they’re for real, they’ll take you up on the food.

  36. Bryon says

    I know some people that milk the system, food stamps, free medical, free dental and now a free cell phone. They work and get paid cash under the table. I hope the government uses the free cell phones to track and follow the ones that work for cash and lock them up for fraud. Maybe they can listen in on the phone calls and hear some of the deadbeats making drug deals.

  37. dianna says

    Free cell phones? Free for who. Somebody pays the price. Nothing is free. Seems there was a time when the only phones were land lines in your home, there were no cell phones. How did we ever survive without them. Now everybody has one attached to there hip. My income bracket is too high for a free phone, wouldn’t take one even if I could. Though my income bracket is too high for a free phone, still live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t feel as though my tax dollars should support a cell phone habit for those who cannot afford it. We are a one cell phone family. Hubby has one for his work, we use it as OUR phone. It is non contract and when we can’t afford minutes it is off until we can. Nobody should have to pay for my phone use, and I shouldn’t have to pay for anybody elses either. Too many people taking handouts instead of helping themselves, doing what they have to…..It is called survival. True there are those that need help, but how many don’t and just find ways to take advantage of a system working class america can no longer afford to take care of. I make twice as much as I did 20 years ago and still find it hard to survive. I have no problem with people who need help, I have a problem with those who are too lazy to help themselves, but kiniving enough to help themselves to what I bust my ass for everyday of the week, and have no shame about it. In a country where there are more people unemployed then working, how much more “free” can we continue to bare the burden of? The government is not independently wealthy. The money comes from the taxpayers. I think it is time to put a tighter fitting lid on the cookie jar and start slapping some hands.

    • Brian says

      The problem you’re describing originates from corporate welfare, which sucks far more money out of people’s pockets than the mythical hordes of welfare slackers. You’re angry at the wrong group of people.

      • dAVE hARRIS says

        Im not sure exactly what corporate welfare is although I see the term thrown around a lot. Are we talkiing about Solyndra? Or is that sort of thing ‘good” corporate welfare. I do know that we have an ever increasing number of parasites in our society. Mythical? Come to my office any day of the week and see all of the mythical recipients spending their day on the streets. We spent over a trillion on entitlement programs last year. How much on corporate welfare?

        • Mike Aaron says

          these cell phone companies are making money hand over fist, they have successfully lobied our government into giving them subsidies, but we are not concerned about that? we are enraged that someone gets to make free phone calls? Really I can’t understand this type of thinking. These corporations should not be getting handouts, our government should not be owned by the people making political contributions. Some free cell phones is trivial and distracts the focus of the masses, we need to fix our government, hold corporations accountable, and empower the poor and impoverished. Every person we train or educate, the ones we help out for a period and then they become contributing members of society, they are the ones who will make this country great again. We need to come together, to help restore our people to dignity and our government to it’s role of defending the constitution and bill of rights.

          • cheute79 says

            Replace “corporations” with “government at all levels”. Corporations have oversight, from shareholders and government. Government is supposed to have oversight: the voters. But most voters are ignorant, and will vote for anyone who will give them a handout, so their oversight is much worse than “corporations”.

            No one can “empower” another; they can only disempower. The government, media and education system do most of the disempowering. If one feels empowered, or has the attitude of being empowered, he is. Few people are, either by dispostion or because they don’t care.

            If “we” (the people, as in government) educate someone (pay for it), we should limit the areas of study to something where the recipient can actually help. “we” need to produce more electricians, more welders, more millwrights, and more chemical plant operators, and fewer lawyers (huge numbers have no job when they graduate), no graduates with degrees in “[fill in the blank] studies”, communications, Medieval Russian Literature, etc. That only increases national debt, decreases self esteem, causes anger, and devalues a High School diploma.

  38. maurine says

    My friend still has an “Obama phone” even though she does not qualify for Food Stamps anymore.
    No one has ever taken it back and she still gets the free minutes. This is her back up phone.
    She should never have gotten Food Stamps to begin with. She lied and said her husband left her and she
    didn’t know where he was. No one ever checked.

    What a gig if you can get it.

    I have MS and still work even with my extreme fatigue.Have never gotten a dime from the government.
    My mother was only approved for $10 a month in food stamps when she was old, in declining healh and paying a supplement to the government so she could get a home aide who did nothing but her homework while “helping’ my mother.

    My father was a WW2 Veteran, died young and my mother never got anything from this great country who gives everything away to people who never did anything for this county.

  39. Terry says

    The Founding Fathers warned that Democracies have a shelf-life. One of the contributing factors to the demise is the size of the population willing to vote itself a paycheck. It starts small, then the burden placed on the backs of producers is overwhelmed. There is nothing more mobile than rich people and money. The “one size trophy for all participants” mentality is killing the American Competitive Edge. Giving money for nothing never made a person stronger; to believe otherwise is naive at best, and at worst criminal.

    If you want to incentivize self-growth, we must demand that all recipients of any subsidy work. Even if it’s community service, fabricated gradeschool papers to critique, silverware and napkins to fold (then unfold), or a ditch to dig that was filled in the day prior, recipients must work. When being on welfare is as bad as, or worse than work, recipients will be more willing to stay in school and seek employment in the private sector.

    For parents that would otherwise use their children as an excuse: vouchers–to be used by government approved, regulated, and inspected daycare centers.

    It is true that I might find myself asking for welfare. And I’ll be the first to pick up the rake and drag it across the City Hall lawn until such time that one of my applications for a job is accepted. If God should find it in His plan to take my legs between now and then, I’ll do my best to read at local hospitals to children. I am an American, and I can earn my way in life….

    • Prof Mo says

      Terry, I agree with you wholeheartedly. What you describe isn’t hard to implement, but it is too out-of-the norm for politicians to want to do it.

    • M Hooper says

      Slavery in all but name is no vice, right?
      Dickens describes well the sort of society you advocate and we are sliding into.
      If we have democracy today, I don’t see much of it, when the strings are pulled by the people who get the most government welfare. Companies like GE, pay no taxes because they have lobbied successfully to have the tax code written so that the government gives them a bonus from your tax money, in addition to them NOT paying any taxes on April 15.

      Perhaps you need to widen your focus to see who your real enemies are?

    • Mike says

      Earn your own way in life? Your hypothetical scenario sounds like charity to me, bub. Pssh, whatever, not on my City Lawn, freeloader….

  40. dick steele says

    My son ,like others is disabled. The mental health and lack of care in the USA is horrible.1 out of 4 are involved . Would you deny them help. This service is paid for by a small universal tax in.your phone bill.

    • mike says

      First of all, I’m sorry about your child. However it should not be my money that I (work) for going to supply a phone to a no good sorry ass that won’t look for work. There are available jobs, granted not the best of jobs, but these particular people I refer to don’t think they should have to work. They feel entitled to get everything for nothing, they think their owed something. Well I don’t owe them shit. They need to get off the couch, sidewalks and food lines and take whatever job they can get and become a contribution to the country. If I had my way everyone not willing to work for food would starve. Have a great day.

      • M Hooper says

        You suffer– as do millions of both jobless and working people– under the corporate rule of this country. But if it were your elderly or infirm mother or son or, indeed, yourself, who was unable to work due to illness or age, and you wouldn’t or couldn’t help out– with the money that you have worked so hard for and resent giving a jot of to the indigent– wouldn’t you sleep better knowing that in a medical emergency your family members could call 911? Or give a phone number to a potential employer in case of a job offer? Or if your house was burning down and you were not home that someone you might not even know could call the fire apartment on your behalf? Since pay phones have disappeared from our streets, the cell phone has been a necessity for so many people.
        Corporate welfare became government policy beginning with Ronnie’s administration. Your resentment–so common now– of those who have fared badly under corporatism has replaced any consideration of the common good, and your anger will eventually kill you.

        [this part removed due to lack of civility]

        Perhaps the log in your eye is too large for you to remove without professional help?

        • Karin says

          Do people not realize even if you do not have landline phone service you can still call 911 from your landline? In all the steas. Also these Obama phones are a joke. My drug addict brother and sister in law ( who choose to be homeless most of the time cuz they don’t want to work) they each have 3 Obama phones. Yes I said 3.. OBAMA PHONES ARE A JOKE..

          • Grace says

            Did you not read the article, or are you incapable of understanding what it was you thought you read? The program came into existence in 1996 under Clinton, and then 8 years under Bush. Obama was elected in November of 2008, but didn’t take office until January of 2009. So, call it an Obamaphone if you want, but the guy wasn’t even in office.

      • Patty says

        Don’t take a worthy program that has helped many, and given families with those aging adult members and disabled living alone some peace of mind over their safety – or does shafting them make YOU get even more kicks? Believe me, your overall tax dollars benefit many MUCH wealthier than you (individuals, politicians, “corporate welfare”) far more. .. but you don’t mind your money subsidizing THEM (and getting richer at your expense) ??? The fact is, those who will take advantage in some manner and at any level, will do so, whatever their life is – whether its your bum who wants a bottle of wine and a phone too (OH NO!), or the unpoor vacationers who always steal those hotel bathmats etc. Greedy thieves are everywhere from THE TOP on down, they hide how they do it and the perks they get (mass tax evasion as only the top can do), and more cunning (could this be you in some way?) . Our culture actually rewards that more than we will take the time to raise children with good self esteem and well-earned and developed pride. Sit on it and ponder for awhile 😀

        • Doug N. says

          I still try reminding myself ,Doug the next RIGHT THING,
          My folks are and were as close as norm can get ;every family is a bit loppy at times and as parents learned from experience in my own deceiving ways that we must but diligent, not giving in when we are strongly confident in our parental judgements….I connived my loving folks blindly and the remorse I deal with daily or so.teens will do what it takes to be accepted by their peers.
          we are not to be their best friends , maybe when they reach adulthood but we are to be tough loving as painfully as it might be. Our children will not hate us, they may state this loudly, repeatedly but they will someday thank you hopefully.

      • Doug N. says

        I think mandatory drug testing is the answer to sort out a lot of the system milkers;not all but many.
        My wife and I are struggling as I was injured and she is dealing with a surgery coming up so the fact that I have been working since 12 on the books since 16,should my character be judged as a sluggard?

        • Kathy says

          Doug N, I totally agree with you. I think everyone who gets state or federal assistance should be drug tested on an ongoing basis. Most jobs have their employees tested, why not medicaid recipients? I am on disability, I get help with my medicare part b payment, and with medicare part c. I have medicaid as a secondary to medicare. I would be happy to be drug tested every month if needed.

    • shane says

      your handicapped child doesn’t need a cell phone. You don’t need a cell phone. I don’t need a cell phone.

      You need a job to support YOUR child.

      When you are thinking of having a child, you should think “can I afford a kid?” if the answer is yes, then you should think, “what if he is handicapped?” if that answer is no, then what? Take that chance?

      Your life, your problem. The gov, nor the people should be forced to support others. Its my money to do with what I want not anyone else’s.

      • Aaron White says

        And how do you get a job without a phone? A Cell phone costs just as much as a landline in most areas and is a lot more useful.
        But, maybe we can just ask people to have potential employers offer them jobs via pigeon. I hear they’re still pretty accurate.

        • Ibrahem Imasahm says

          Actually, wasn’t it President Reagan who initiated the assistance with landline phones? Could be wrong. In any event, the government cell phones are VERY limited in minutes – the landline phones are unlimited. Common sense, here, folks! If you’re looking for a job, you will most likely be on the phone A LOT!

      • Joel says

        Wow… the empathy is overwhelming here. Yes, I believe in personal responsibility. But, stuff happens. The guy you are replying to is talking about the lowlife bums. Not the ones who life dealt a bad hand. I would go a step further, and say, I’m not against giving someone a helping hand who is trying to turn their life around after having made poor choices. We have lost our way. Community people. People used to give of their time to help others out. When someone was in trouble, back in the day it wasn’t anything for most of a town (small town, granted) to take off, and pitch in help. What has happened to us??

        • Johnny says

          I was robbed by someone with an Obama phone, and police are not capable of tracking it or pulling information as it’s privately listed.
          BS, they are handing out phones to border crossers who are not legal citizens on our dime.


          • Mike Aaron says

            What are you talking about? tracking a robber by their safelink phone? illegal immigrants? where have you found evidence of this? I think that these phones are potential lifelines to the needy, they could be used for emergency or to return a call to potential employers. This country needs to empower its’ impoverished, to educate and train, every person we help makes us stronger as a whole. Imagine we’re upset about low skill jobs being shipped overseas, we could educate the masses and have no use for those jobs in our economy, we should be inventors,scientists, and innovators, not laborers. This country is going down the tubes and we need to start looking out for one and other, stopping the greed hatred, and ignorance.

          • Bill says

            How do you know the robber had an Obama Phone (which I find it amusing people still call it even after the explanation on this page). Did it have a big picture of him on the phone? Did he stop to take a call and say “give me a minute while I take a call on my Obama Phone”? Did it double as a weapon?

            BTW are you saying they give them to each person who illegally crosses the border into the US? Does that happen as soon as they get here? Or do they get a coupon that they have to mail in?

      • ShutUpShane says

        Two things. First of all, yes, they DO need phones. Try living without one for a while, being homeless or job hunting. I dare you.

        Second, no, it’s not “your” money. It is our money. Taxes are paid by all of us, not just you, in order to fund public projects and programs.

  41. dick steele says

    The new President is always inaugurated on Jan. 20. Anything prior to that date in 2009,was on the other guys watch.

  42. Tim says

    This doesn’t change the fact that the federal government changed the name of their program to “Obama Phones.” This is known on the street by the most non-political people. The word “Obama Phone” was going around even before Obama Phone lady

  43. yolanda liontas says

    I am a part of this program, But I broke my phone and I need to replace it but I can’t seem to find out how? I had to purchase another phone! That I really can’t afford can you please help me I really depended on my cell phone you have provided for me. Please help me.
    I also cannot find my assigned pin number that was given to me!

  44. Raymond says

    I think it’s a good idea to give phones for free not every one can afford it. But everyone needs it. Some one gets hurt. Or needs help of some sort will be able to get it. Because they have a cell phone to do it. Very good idea thank you.

    • March 8, 2014 says

      If you need a phone so “desperately” then go find a job. Since when was a phone a need not a necessity?

      I’m only 16 and I pay my own phone bills. I pay $50 a month so I can have a phone. My parents don’t pay for me.

      The hard working taxpayers shouldn’t pay for everyone to have a phone. Nothing in life is free, there’s always a catch. The “free” phone idea is ridiculous. To receive a phone you should have to work hard and pay for it yourself. Unfortunately, today’s society is teaching everyone that you can do nothing and receive whatever you want. I call it lazy.

      • Wzrd1 says

        Try again, skippy. I’m 52 years old, retired from the US Army reserve.
        Without a phone, I can’t get a call for an interview for a job.
        Without internet, I can’t even apply for a job.
        So, try listening to those with more experience in life, we’re a great deal wiser to how the world works than you, the schoolkid.

        • Ibrahem Imasahm says

          First off, I thank you for your service to our country, Sir. Now, did you not read that the KID is paying his/her own cell phone bill? That’s impressive, deserves our respect and shows the kid has already attained a level of wisdom that most that age have not. I, for one, agree with the KID.

  45. erricca renee raemono says

    Please send a free Obama Cell Phone. To my current address.
    [address redacted]

    I live in a rural area. Please could not find a form to request the cell phone.

  46. joebox says

    Its not the havenots hurting the economy. The freephones are just one more scheme the haves developed to transfer wealth from sheepish americans to ensure wealthy elite continue their life and you work 70hrs a week to pay interest on printed money in hope for the American dream of home ownership. Then its a reverse mortgage because social security it turns out is the worlds biggest Ponzi scheme and they need your house back to control the next sucker. Some schemes taxpayers buy weapons and people die in needless wars. This scheme taxpayers buy phones at least no one gets hurt. Why should the world suffer because sheep need to be fleeced. We are have and havenots don’t get stuck on black and white. If so you will never figure out bush and Obama are front men for the same group. Actors in a production directed by the wealthy elite. Remember if you got wool in your stool your the problem.

    Carlos Slim, named the world’s wealthiest man for four consecutive years, is the mastermind entrepreneur behind the U.S. government assistance program Assurance Wireless, The affluent Mexican capitalist, who has an estimated net worth of $73 billion, is headquartered in Mexico City.

  47. Jeremy Montoya says

    Will it be called the Hillary or Clinton Phone if Hillary is elected President? If Romney were President would it have been called the Romney or Mitt Phone?

  48. James says

    Thanks for the free phone! I don’t know how people can live without a phone. I’ve been unemployed for four years, and thank goodness for public programs like this, or I would not have a home, food or spending money. I worked hard for almost 5 years when Bush wrecked the economy, so it’s only fair that I get help now from the government. My only complaint is the time limit of 250 minutes a month. I use that in just over a week, and then I have to sell some of my SNAP debit cards to buy tracphone minutes at the store. We need more minutes. Appreciate all that you do.

    • Leigh says do know you just admitted to an illegal act of selling snap benefits right? The only reason you only get 250 free minutes is because its just something to HELP you out..not to pay for an entire months worth of service … and I’m sorry 4 years if unemployment… McDonalds is always hiring.

    • Ibrahem Imasahm says

      Um, Bush inherited a bubble, which burst four months into his presidency. He inherited Osama bin laden because Clinton refused to accept possession of him when another country offered him to us – thus, 9-11 happened. Yet, through all that, in less than SIX YEARS, the Bush policies had this country back on a financial upswing (yes, check the charts – facts don’t lie) until when? Until the DSC Party (democrat/socialist/communist party) took control of the House and Senate by a veto-proof margin and ran roughshod over Bush, refusing to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until finally, all those “poor people” who were given home loans, defaulted and the whole house of cards came tumbling down. Watch the actual CONGRESSIONAL VIDEOS of Chris Dodd/Barney Frank and you’ll see who decimated our economy.

        • says

          Comments are moderated to catch a few thousand spam comments a day. All polite comments are welcome here, but since the comments are moderated each one has to be approved. This can take up to a day.

  49. Valerie says

    The program actually started in 1985 under the Reagan Administration. Initially it was a phone subsidy that gave a credit of $9.25 a month. Doesn’t seem like much but in those days our phone bills (before long distance calls) were roughly $19.95 a month. This was before the hundreds of phone companies and long distance carriers. It was more simple and cheaper. So giving Clinton the credit for the program is false, it was the Reagan Admin that created the subsidy for telephone service to the low income.

  50. Live & Let Live says



    @ Austrian Economics Student

    I noticed you check this site often. Are you that mean-of-a-person to actually seek out people to put them down? I don’t think you are, so try and be a little kinder…

    Have a wonderful day you all!

    Btw: here’s my 2¢
    I think it’s a good idea to give to others in need. Everyone needs help sometime in their life. EVERYONE. If the people applying for the phone are eligible then by all means let’em have it. Don’t be a hater if you’re someone who don’t “need” a hand out, because someday you just might be that person you’re putting down.

    • Lisa says

      I totally agree. Who cares if us taxpayers are paying for. Its not like each of us is paying an arm and a leg for it. Its a small, tiny portion of it. Where is the American Pride? We’re suppose to be helping each other out. Thats what being an American is all about.

  51. daniel says

    I’m 71 years old, have never drawn unemployment even though there have been times when I was unemployed. I didn’t have time to draw unemployment, I was too busy looking for a job. I’ve never received food stamps or welfare, and I don’t have a free cell phone. In fact, I don’t even have a cell phone that I’ve paid for. I have never needed a cell phone and I never want to own one. The only folks that really need cell phones are folks like doctors, real estate people, police and firefighters, and people that do a lot of business traveling. But most people who have cell phones are those idiots that are constantly talking on the phone to their stupid friends about a lot of nothing. If I were President, cell phones would be outlawed unless you have a good reason for having one. Other things I’d outlaw would be tattoos, men wearing earrings, dark car windows, boom boxes in vehicles, trash music like rap, etc.

    • Jason says

      I see you believe in personal freedom, I think you may be happier if you move to a Saudi Arabia you’d have a lot in common with those folks.

    • JM says

      Unemployment is an insurance program run by the government, and while you work, you are paying the premiums on the policy. Bragging that you didn’t collect the unemployment benefits due you when unemployed is as stupid as bragging that you didn’t collect the fire insurance payment when your house burnt down.

      And, cell phones are a fact of modern life. Low end cell plans are cheaper than land lines in some parts of the country. In other parts, wired service is even being discontinued. I read that after Hurricane Sandy, many island communities were told that their phone company had decided against rebuilding the wired telephone networks connections to the mainland.

    • Danny says

      Good for you. The truth about the Obama phone is that it is a NSA program set up by the last administration to gather information on all the cell phones in America. Obama phones cover every frequency of the airway. The NSA uses these phones to collect every call on every cell phone in the nation. If you don’t have one the NSA doesn’t know you.

      • scotty says

        Did you actually read the article? because I don’t think you did. It clearly states adding cell phones to the plan was passed 3 months before Obama’s election. But better keep that tin foil hat nearby in case Obama tries to force gay islamic communist thoughts into your head.

    • Laura says

      I started working on a regular basis at age 13. I babysat every weekday from then until the end of my Junior year in high school. I quit because I was selected by a division of General Motors to become an intern, for which I received minimum wage and school credits. I went to college after graduating high school and only took out one PRIVATE loan for $5000; I worked various jobs to pay the rest of my way through college. I held various jobs after college, I lived by myself, and paid all my own bills. There were a few times I was out of work, and I can remember once when I had absolutely nothing to eat but ketchup, salt, dry kidney beans, oatmeal, and vegetable oil. My car broke down at that time, so I walked miles daily looking for work. Eventually in life I got a great job working as a manager in a hospital. Then I got sick. I couldn’t work because of my illness. I lost my job. Eventually I couldn’t afford health insurance. And when I tried to get help with medical coverage and medications, I was turned away. After 6 months without adequate treatment, I developed several other health issues from which I will never be able to be fully recover. If I had received a little bit of medical assistance when I needed it, I would not be disabled now, and it would have cost the taxpayers a tiny fraction in prevention than it is costing them now. But I never gave up. I learned new skills that I could use to work from home (since I can’t be away from home for very long because of my health issuers). I am working towards being able to fully support myself again. I am a recipient of welfare, and I am a good person who is doing their best to get off of welfare. I want to be independent, I want to work. Before I got sick, I spent hundreds of hours doing volunteer work in my community, mostly with homeless and runaway kids, but also doing community clean-ups. I want to do that again, too.

      Now to the free cell phones…I have one, but I do not use it to “chat” with friends and family. I do not have a car, so I use the bus (almost exclusively for medical appointments). The bus system in my town does not run on schedules – you must make appointments for rides. Often they tell you to call them when you’re ready for a ride home. Which is what I use my free cell phone for. The only other times I have used it is when my power has gone out (which isn’t a rare thing in the area I live in; sometimes the power goes out for days to a week). And, even though I have never had to use my cell for an emergency, it is comforting to know that I can if needed.

      I do have one complaint about the free cell phones. I get minutes every month, whether I need them or not. And since I only use my cell when necessary, I have accumulated over 37 hours of talk time. It just keeps coming, the government keeps paying the cell company for it, and I can’t make it stop. That is a complete waste of money, and there should absolutely be a limit on how much time you can accumulate.

    • Mike Hawk says

      In this country, we can own a cell phone regardless of profession. Go drink your prune juice cocktail, watch happy days, snd tuck into bed by 730.

  52. agingcynic says

    Pretty simple. Count the number of phones under each POTUS and the rate of increase under the respective administrations. The numbers don’t lie. There are 100 cents in a dollar (unless you’re an Obama Voter and believe that Rainbows and unicorns will solve everything.)

    • scotty says

      … Actually it isn’t that simple at all. Technology has gotten more and more popular since this program started so of course more people would be using or needing cell phones. 20 years ago no one had a cell phone, today every single fucking person has one, I wonder if more people have cell phones under Obama than Reagan herpity derpity doooooo

    • Ron says

      Of course more phones have been issued under Obama than Bush. This is a no brainer since the program began in 2008 and Bush left office only a few months since its inception. The fact that the program is so popular has to do with the fact that a phone of some kind is pretty much a necessity to obtain employment and sadly, that so many people are so impoverished that they qualify for them.

  53. kevin says

    I like a free phone & Thank you (Mr.President Obama) for the different programs that the White House has passed. And cheap or free Internet services with the phone is awesome. Thank you all and
    Happy New Year 2014!

      • One who knows says

        Actually the 250 “minutes a month” plan ALLOWS texting. In the state of TN. Last I heard it was a rate of 0.30 min per text (allowing 3 texts for less than 1 min of airtime).

        • Adam says

          I live in TN and you’re correct. The Safelink phone is set up just as you described… 0.3 min per text taken from the 250min allotment. I have seen very, very low grade phones that could access the internet as well but it’s not worth the trouble or minutes it eats up. They don’t access well at all and just a couple of actual minutes using the net burns probably 10-15min of your 250 (just an educated guess on conversion). I wouldn’t use it myself because the 250 don’t go as far as one might think to begin with.
          The Assurance phone gives you 250 minutes of talk time AND unlimited texting. Assurance seperates the text and voice while Safelink combines the two. With Safelink, when you text, the time comes off the 250 minutes. No internet capabilities with Assurance at all… unless you purchase additional minutes on a phone card, you can access the net then but yet again it really burns up the minutes fast!

  54. eddie says

    Why does it bother anyone that anyone is getting any thing fee from the government and who is the president at that time can’t people just let people get what they can especially if it is legal.Can anyone really know how your taxes are spent, would you complain if your taxes thou pay not anyone else’s but yours was going to help keep the usa safe or if it was going to help some poor vet. Stay in a hospital ….think about it I dont know where my tax money is going to but I know that is a fact of life just like death so why complain if it helps out your fellow american or should we be giving the free phones to the poor people in Afghanistan….
    Now how do you feel?

    • YaHeard!!! says

      The free phone is BS plain and simple. I’ll leave the technicalities out because for one I don’t give a rats ass and two I’ll use a thing called common sense to make my point. I had got this phone and used it but then I decided f this and threw it in the trash. I’m a father and husband in his late twenties that instead of going to college or straight into the workforce after high school chose to serve in the military and got out to pursue other interests, go to college, etc. I have been struggling and yes I’ve worked jobs like construction and things like that but those jobs tend to lay you off when work runs dry. I’ve been trying my ass off to step up to the plate and be a man and take responsibility and do the things the old fashioned way. Work hard, do whats expected of me, you know the values of an American. Its been really hard, and I had to resort to food stamps to feed my family because my pay was shit. A 26 year old making $10 hr is a ****** joke, I made that raking neighbors leaves when I was 8 years old. Anyway, even though I’m in a financial hard place I will not take this “handout” and make other people pay my way it is not a necessity its a want. To keep up with a status quo sort of speak. I won’t do it. To the taxpayers out there who fund the welfare for people that really need it thank you from the bottom of my heart. I need the food stamps, that is a necessity right now. I’m not lazy and if anyone can attest to being the military it isn’t a place for the lazy (although they do exist) and construction and such jobs are not lazy mans work. So either way I’ll use what I can when the chips are down and I am doing my best to move forward. I will not be on food stamps for long and will not leech from the hardworking taxpaying American. Sorry that goes against my ethos and I’m already not proud of myself for resorting to food stamps I want to do better than that. I have it in me to do better. The thing is if people can’t scrounge up 20 or 30 dollars for a tracfone from dollar general or family dollar or Walmart, etc. and get only the minutes they need to keep in contact with employers say and not to text all day and call your pals all day then it is doable for the most disenfranchised of people. If they smoke, drink, for drugs, or eat out, or if they like spending money on frivolous nonsense than why should the pity be from those that are responsible and do what they must for their families or themselves? I’m sorry I use taxpayers money to eat and this will end as soon as possible. One thing though is wages need to increase all across the board. I don’t know much about economics but I will say greed is ****** a lot of people and jobs that were once here are gone and we are a nation of services. I once heard that you have to make “things” to have a good economy, well where is industry and manufacturing and all that? Urban sprawl that is littered with corporate franchises that pay minimum wage, strip malls of privately owned business that are family owned and that won’t hire you or pay such dire wages its pointless altogether. Why in the hell are we doing business with communist China? Makes no sense. Oh yes it does, greed and slave labor, ludicrous profits that are hoarded and CEOs that make ludicrous salaries. What the fuck do they do that’s so special and important that they need that kind of money especially at the expense of the workers that allow that those profits to be realized? I say, ” Why are we meddling in the effects of social,political,and economic issues, when we should be trying to eradicate the cause altogether.”

      • YaHeard!!! says

        The free phone is BS plain and simple. I’ll leave the technicalities out because for one I don’t give a rats ass and two I’ll use a thing called common sense to make my point. I had got this phone and used it but then I decided f this and threw it in the trash. I’m a father and husband in his late twenties that instead of going to college or straight into the workforce after high school chose to serve in the military and got out to pursue other interests, go to college, etc. I have been struggling and yes I’ve worked jobs like construction and things like that but those jobs tend to lay you off when work runs dry. I’ve been trying my ass off to step up to the plate and be a man and take responsibility and do the things the old fashioned way. Work hard, do whats expected of me, you know the values of an American. Its been really hard, and I had to resort to food stamps to feed my family because my pay was horrible. A 26 year old making $10 hr is a ****** joke, I made that raking neighbors leaves when I was 8 years old. Anyway, even though I’m in a financial hard place I will not take this “handout” and make other people pay my way it is not a necessity its a want. To keep up with a status quo sort of speak. I won’t do it. To the taxpayers out there who fund the welfare for people that really need it thank you from the bottom of my heart. I need the food stamps, that is a necessity right now. I’m not lazy and if anyone can attest to being the military it isn’t a place for the lazy (although they do exist) and construction and such jobs are not lazy mans work. So either way I’ll use what I can when the chips are down and I am doing my best to move forward. I will not be on food stamps for long and will not leech from the hardworking taxpaying American. Sorry that goes against my ethos and I’m already not proud of myself for resorting to food stamps I want to do better than that. I have it in me to do better. The thing is if people can’t scrounge up 20 or 30 dollars for a tracfone from dollar general or family dollar or Walmart, etc. and get only the minutes they need to keep in contact with employers say and not to text all day and call your pals all day then it is doable for the most disenfranchised of people. If they smoke, drink, for drugs, or eat out, or if they like spending money on frivolous nonsense than why should the pity be from those that are responsible and do what they must for their families or themselves? I’m sorry I use taxpayers money to eat and this will end as soon as possible. One thing though is wages need to increase all across the board. I don’t know much about economics but I will say greed is ****** a lot of people and jobs that were once here are gone and we are a nation of services. I once heard that you have to make “things” to have a good economy, well where is industry and manufacturing and all that? Urban sprawl that is littered with corporate franchises that pay minimum wage, strip malls of privately owned business that are family owned and that won’t hire you or pay such dire wages its pointless altogether. Why in the hell are we doing business with communist China? Makes no sense. Oh yes it does, greed and slave labor, ludicrous profits that are hoarded and CEOs that make ludicrous salaries. What the **** do they do that’s so special and important that they need that kind of money especially at the expense of the workers that allow that those profits to be realized? I say, ” Why are we meddling in the effects of social,political,and economic issues, when we should be trying to eradicate the cause altogether.”

  55. Mike says

    You lefties are so dumb. I’m poor but I’m not greedy. Money doesn’t grow on trees. It has to come from somewhere and you can say its a tax or not. Doesn’t matter it came from someone else’s pocket not yours. That’s just how it works with all government. They create a job in government and it takes one from the private sector. And you pay double for a slower worker and a bureaucrat to go with him and they lose money and you wonder why. You think it’s the nice thing to do to create government job but it’s still wrong. Look at California where I’m from. Most government jobs and we have more poor here than anywhere. The lazy workers and bureaucrats get there money from these poor and middle and upper class. Average American pays 40-45% of there income in taxes. How’s that help poor people. It starves the middle class from creating you a good job at a small business. Instead of greedy corporations. And if you don’t like your job then leave or go to school. Stop complaining your poor it’s your fault. Invest your money. You don’t even realize that when the government prints money for your hand outs it just raises prices on the things you buy making you more poor. I feel sorry for the elderly on a fixed income. We’ve traveled farther and farther left for a long time. Do you really think it’s better now than in the 50s. You can’t even tax the richest 1% enough to fix the deficit. This idea that government helps you is so dumb. We are the most generous nation in the world. I think we’d be willing to donate to help our own. But we don’t cause government does it for us. The fact is we will go bankrupt it we keep spending. Think about it. If democrats get votes from poor people what drives them to make you rich. They want you to be dependent on government or work for government so they get votes. No one votes to lose what they have given to them by government. This is a free country. Have we forgotten that. If you want handouts go to Greece. There doing great over there with all there nice people. You might think I’m a crazy republican but I’m libertarian. We need to cut all programs back including military. Legalize marijuana & prostitution everywhere. And tax it. It’s obvious prohibition doesn’t work. It just makes a black market and creates more crime and turf wars. If someone wants it’s someone is selling it period. If it’s legal it’s safer and harder for kids to get like alcohol. The only people we should help with taxes are people with disabilities. But they make only 850 a month because you want free medicare cause you don’t take care of yourself, food stamps for lobster dinners, unemployment for 99 weeks of not looking for work. Cash aid for your drug dealer. Etc Etc. wake up can’t you see how this actually hurts us all.

    • r says

      “I’m libertarian”

      ie an Idiot. Your posts speaks volumes on your idiocy. No sources cited. And it’s all written as one huge unending paragraph.

      Libertarian= a way for sociopaths with no empathy for others to acceptably be a$$holes in society.

      • Austrian Economics Student says

        Your communist and wrong. I don’t see any sources cited, and you want to live off of the backs of others. Oh, and Red Herring alert, the unending paragraph argument is inconsequential. Why don’t you actually look up how huge the taxes are for people who have them, then, since you obviously won’t be convinced, maybe look at the constitution for the first time in your life. I don’t agree with making Marijuana legal, but with a 60,000 page tax code, over 10,000 regulations on the private sector, and the top 10% paying over 50% of the taxes (which is punishing the hardworking). I understand that people can have tough lives, but they need to stop accepting the lie that they can have whatever they want, and they will never have to pay for it, oh, and not punishing hardworking people would help. Really, it all boils down to ethics, the inflation, corruption, and debt that is created by a lack of honesty in politicians, people who know how to act and win an election, not run a country.
        Call me a tool, but you are really the tool.

        • Mike says

          Do I really have to quote everything I write. Get your head out your butt and do some research. I’m not saying all poor people should slave for me. I’m a hvac tech so I am one of those slaves. The fact is that you can’t help people who can work by giving them handouts. That’s for people who can’t work. A small safety net is needed to help people when they lose a job and are finding another. But the net we have now is to much. To help poor people you have to give them a job. And yes some jobs pay crappy wages. But that’s why you should fight for better wages not handouts. The fact that people blame the rich for all there problems is stupid. They are the job creators. There greediness actually helps us all. Buy wanting more money they are always investing it and creating more jobs. Capatalism is a beautiful thing and works great. But what we have isn’t capatalism. Corporate welfare and regulations are what help big business and kills the competitors from taking business back from government brown nosers. Example. In my trade we switched from R22 to R410A refrigerant. They said R22 destroys the ozone because of the evil chemical Chlorine. So they had to stop making it and only can recycle it. Prices are out of control because of its scarcity so they get to sell tons of new AC units that are R410A even though R22 was a better refrigerant and the R410A units break down more. This provided ton of more work in my trade which helps me and the distributors. But it really hurts consumers. And we are all consumers. All because of that evil chlorine. I ask you if chlorine is bad for the ozone. Why don’t they ban pools. Does the chlorine not evaporate into the ozone too???

          • Mike says

            By the way I watched stossel the other day. I guess billionaire Carlos Slim of Tracfone. Got to make billions on the Obama phone. And the poor people think there getting the help. It’s corporate welfare like always. Your all so blind.

  56. rick says

    Why do half of you care as i see it your arguing on an online post over welfare having this much time on your hands says alot the majority of you probably jobless and on assistance i dont qualify for any im free white over 18 able bodied male that has worked my butt off helped those in need instead of blaming each other blame yourself and the officials YOU elected to represent u

  57. Thor Leslie says

    By the way, for all you conservative assclowns that say this program comes from taxpayers… that’s not really accurate. It actually comes out of a fund paid for by phone companies, collected as one of the service fees at the end of your phone bill. It’s an extension of the Lifeline program, which was started during the Reagan years and got upgraded to cell phones under Clinton and was expanded by Bush.
    Have a nice day.

    • Thor Leslie says

      Also, the program does NOT require phone companies to give out free phones or pay for free minutes, only that they offer service for a reduced fee. The companies CHOOSE to give out the free phones and minutes themselves.

    • Nathan says

      Call it a fee if it is on your phone bill and you have to pay for it and it goes to the government Its a TAX!!! Extension or no Whoever started it why not stop it! I think it is a sad that my tax dollars pay for someone’s cell phone!

    • The right one says

      It’s corporate welfare to the richest man in the world
      Carlos Slim, World’s Richest Man, Profiting Off ‘Obamaphones’ Aimed At Helping The Poor
      Oct 10, 2012
      The world’s richest man is apparently making a lot of money off a government program aimed at helping the poor Americans.

      Every time someone gets a phone through Lifeline, a government program that gives phones to low-income Americans, TracPhone, a company in which Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim has a controlling stake, nets $10, Fox News reports. The company’s CEO, Frederick “F.J.” Pollak, who is a major Obama donor, also makes a profit from the data plans and minutes beneficiaries of the Lifeline program buy.

      The Lifeline program has been pushed into the spotlight recently after a video surfaced of an Obama supporter saying she would be voting for the president because he gave her a free phone. Though the woman credited Obama for her phone, the president didn’t start Lifeline; it began in 1984 — Ronald Reagan was president then, for your information — as a landline-only program, and President Clinton expanded it to include cell phones in 1996, according to the Atlantic Wire.

      After the “Obamaphone Lady” video was posted on The Drudge Report, some alleged that the video’s widespread circulation was fueled by racism, according to The Wall Street Journal.

      Regardless of the controversy over the phone itself, the allegations that Slim is benefiting off a program aimed at helping the poor may only fuel characterizations of the $69 billion man as a super-rich mogul who capitalizes on the woes of others. Slim’s son noted in an interview with Bloomberg in May that his father was taking advantage of the “opportunities” provided by the European Debt Crisis.

      Critics, including hundreds of protesters at George Washington University in May, have also accused Slim of making his money off the backs of the Mexican people, as well as off of stifling the country’s economic development. Slim has additionally urged us normals to continue working until we’re at least 70, arguing that it would help to boost the world’s struggling economies.

  58. Rl says

    Obama phones are just another drain on the tax payer. Cell phones are a luxury item and are not needed to get a job. I’m all for helping someone down and out TEMPORARILY! What this obvious socialist writer doesn’t explain is how much the program has exploded along with the deficit. The gov is spending money they don’t have. Absolutely ridiculous.

    • Dee says

      The deficit today has nothing to do with welfare programs. They’re a drop in the bucket compared to what you pay for the military. Your deficit is exploding due to the overspending during the Bush administration. That didn’t suddenly disappear in Jan 2009. He wasted trillions on an unnecessary war that will continue to cost you trillions in veteran care and interest. Nothing Obama can do about that.

      What he has done is spend less than any president since the 50s. Go google it and see the FACTS.

      Oh wait, you’re blinded by your right wing ideology. All that matters is what you WANT to see, not the FACTS.


      • Thor Leslie says

        Dee is absolutely right. Six to twelve times as much of your taxes go to the military budget than what goes to welfare.

        • LEGION says

          Thor Leslie and Dee- you are kool aide drinking turds. Google? Spying for the odumbo administration. Chopping on the military? How passe. Borrrinnggg The budget keeps getting destroyed every year- the Russians and the Chinese are ramping up on the interest money we send them for borrowing for garbage programs like this phone. Your left wing nazi commie socialist marxist ideology has made you SICK! Search for the real FACTS- 3 yrs and half a billion on a web site that doesn’t work? By a company that has an employee that went to school with the Wookie- Michelle? Socialism never worked ANYWHERE it was tried. LOSER- like you two.

        • The right one says

          Carlos Slim, World’s Richest Man, Profiting Off ‘Obamaphones’ Aimed At Helping The Poor
          Oct 10, 2012
          The world’s richest man is apparently making a lot of money off a government program aimed at helping the poor Americans.

          Every time someone gets a phone through Lifeline, a government program that gives phones to low-income Americans, TracPhone, a company in which Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim has a controlling stake, nets $10, Fox News reports. The company’s CEO, Frederick “F.J.” Pollak, who is a major Obama donor, also makes a profit from the data plans and minutes beneficiaries of the Lifeline program buy.

          The Lifeline program has been pushed into the spotlight recently after a video surfaced of an Obama supporter saying she would be voting for the president because he gave her a free phone. Though the woman credited Obama for her phone, the president didn’t start Lifeline; it began in 1984 — Ronald Reagan was president then, for your information — as a landline-only program, and President Clinton expanded it to include cell phones in 1996, according to the Atlantic Wire.

          After the “Obamaphone Lady” video was posted on The Drudge Report, some alleged that the video’s widespread circulation was fueled by racism, according to The Wall Street Journal.

          Regardless of the controversy over the phone itself, the allegations that Slim is benefiting off a program aimed at helping the poor may only fuel characterizations of the $69 billion man as a super-rich mogul who capitalizes on the woes of others. Slim’s son noted in an interview with Bloomberg in May that his father was taking advantage of the “opportunities” provided by the European Debt Crisis.

          Critics, including hundreds of protesters at George Washington University in May, have also accused Slim of making his money off the backs of the Mexican people, as well as off of stifling the country’s economic development. Slim has additionally urged us normals to continue working until we’re at least 70, arguing that it would help to boost the world’s struggling economies.

      • The right one says

        Are you really that stupid Dee.
        “what he has done is spend less than any president since the 50’s” are you serious????? He will spend more than every president that has ever been in office before him combined. He’s almost there. How do you think the 17 trillion in national debt got there. It was 10.6 trillion when the day he took office. he’s only just started his second term. Is your computer frozen in time from before he got elected in 2008. When he made all those promises he broke.

    • bs says

      why don’t anybody talk about the billions of dollars thats going to countrys who harbor terroist
      it is time we stop that and help our own people free cell phones is not supported by tax payer money
      it is by the small amount charged on land lines monthly bill wake up you idiots

    • [email protected] says

      so how do u get a job with no phone/

  59. NONE says

    JDUB, what happens is what happened to me and my husband we needed assistance because we where going to lose our home and they would not help us because we do not have kids and we supposedly made to much money but we just worked at call centers. So yea it does suck when it actually does happen to and because we are good taxpaying citizens they wont help us but they will help someone that comes in with 6 kids and does not work. So we ended up losing everything and had to work our asses off to get back on our feet we got no help from anyone or any benefit program.

  60. NONE says

    I wouldn’t care about any of this because he is helping the less fortunate but its not like that at all most of these people that get the help are just lazy and wont get jobs and want to use the systems and then us that work our asses off every day get taxed for these people that use the system. I know 3 people that are perfectly fine to work but just are lazy and they hustle every day and go use the systems and pretend they need it and lie on the application so they get the help. Also my sister in law never once has had a job and gets SS and all the benefits but there is nothing wrong with her she can easily go get a job. She got her Bachelors Degree online and never once used it and she saves up her SS money to go get plastic surgery. So I do not think people like this need help or need taxpayers to pay for all these benefits they can get but we can’t just because they don’t want to get off there ass and get a job.

    • Ryan says

      AMEN!!! I love in a “poorer” part of a medium sized southern city and I see the people that get this stuff every day. Majority of them use and abuse the system as soon as they figure out what they can get from it. It is sick. It makes them not want to go to work. Why should they when they get everything they could ever want or need from the government.

    • Chrigid says

      I don’t understand how your sister-in-law, who doesn’t work and has never worked, can afford to save up her SS money for plastic surgery. How does she eat? How does she pay the rent?

      • M Hooper says

        And how does she et SS without having paid into it? Something fishy about this story.

        But I did meet woman once who worked n her suntan after she finished gardening, while she collected insurance and govt assistance for a “back injury” in an accident.

        But then, if we punished everyone for the sins of the few, how would that help the country?
        I’ve noticed that criminals who end up in the newspapers usually are too dumb to succeed as criminals, unless going to prison is success (???)
        So, if they are too dumb to figure out how to steal/burgle/mug and not get caught, would you like these people preparing your food? Taking care of your children? Administering your medications? Cleaning your windows? Repairing your car?

  61. JDUB says

    CableDog, Jackie, and every other arrogant troll should read this.

    Bad things happen to people that are beyond their control. You say you never needed assistance; good for you, but what happens when you do. Perhaps it happens when you are much older, when your relatives have all passed away. Let’s just say you are living in the country, your wife/husband leaves you and takes all the money. then your car dies, leaving you unable to get to work so you lose your job. You can’t afford to fix the car, eat, pay your phone bill, etc. You can’t get a job because there are not many in the country, you are old, you don’t have transportation, and you no longer have a phone for contact. According to your line of thinking nobody should help you, and you should just live on the streets and starve to death.
    I hope this happens to you, anybody in your family, and every other arrogant weasel who is just simply too greedy to understand helping those who need help is just the right thing to do.

      • Kasey says

        hold on… so a phone, whether free or not wont put food on the table??? hmmm last time I checked most employers contact you for a job threw a phone… So having a phone is probably helpful in obtaining a job. So your right a phone doesn’t put food on the table, but it does give the chance to allow a person to obtain a job where they can put food on the table.

        • John says

          kasey, sounds like you’re on foodstamp program. Let me drop some knowledge on you…! “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – Thomas Edison

        • [email protected] says


  62. Jackie says

    Why must taxpayers pay for cell phones for people who can not hold a job? Since when did cell phones become a necessity? I just can not seem to understand why the US spends taxpayers money recklessly.

    • yasmin says

      Because most of those people have paid their share of taxes and in order to get any legal job you need some form of a guaranteed contact. You must think they are suppose to steal what they need? If you can’t earn a stable livable income then just what do you suppose you need to do to survive legally?

          • Mark welker says

            You do realize it is impossible to get a job without a phone,and internet,right?companies dont post help wanted ads in newspapers anymore…….and how would they call back without a phone to call?

        • Dixie says

          This is not just for people without jobs, blah blah blah! I am a Medical Assistant and I have NEVER been without a job for over 10 years! Guess what genius…. I have an Obama phone… DURH HUR! I also have what you call CHILDREN who need help with support due to a dumb dad. So I DO PAY TAXES. Probably more than you. SO DONT JUDGE when you DONT KNOW! Grow up people.

    • Seriously says

      -_- for instance I have no phone (No obama phone) im looking for a job. have to give out #’s that aren’t mine Dont get the messages. I have a 4 year old. sometimes i get stranded and since no phone cant call for a ride forcing me and my YOUNG child to walk a long distance. What if there was an emergency how can you possibly get ahold of help? THe phones arent super nice phones with unlimited minutes. There basic things to help you live

    • J says

      i work 40 hours a week my wife has postpartum depression and can’t work or get disability because “she is seeking help and therefore can make rational decisions and function as normal” and i have one of these phones and we’ll be on medicaid and we get food stamps and we receive WIC benefits and section 8 assistance… should i go get 2 more jobs to be able to afford to cover everything we get in assistance along with the bills we currently have… having a cell allows for emergency contact when you have a newborn and a 1 year old in the car @ 9pm on the way home from the store when the car you can’t afford to keep properly serviced breaks down….not to mention removing another bill when i can leave the phone at home as a main phone for the house when i’m not with my family…

      Why be reckless with taxpayer money when it keeps people from stealing the “taxpayers” money straight out of the bank instead?

      slave wages are keeping the “taxpayers” from having to work themselves… they don’t hold jobs they hold leashes on men and women in chains…

      • s says

        No J, You just keep showing up to work each day and fighting the good fight, taking care of your family, and seeing that your wife is well again. You have nothing to be ashamed of for any assistance you will need until your family is back on their feet again. I for one, think its a shame that a man can get up and go to work everyday and still not find a way for his wife to be at home taking care of the kids; its evidence of a serious problem in our society. Forget about all the short cut solutions that would put you on the wrong side and hurt others. Stay on the high road and know that you’re finances say nothing about how rich you are with the treasures you have that money cannot buy. Hope your wife is well again soon.

  63. COACHDYER02 says


  64. Eve says

    You have got to be the sorriest person ever! If President Obama is a horrible person and president for supporting welfare, what does that make you?

  65. damon says

    no, i am pretty sure it is real and not false, i have one, its sad… he amped up the program a few years ago. i read about it when he did. He also loves to give out welfare, it is sick, he is a horrible person and president, all those that support him are some of the stupidest people Ive seen in my simple things people SHOULD have for votes from sheeple.

  66. Rev. Ratliff says

    If people would only take time to check information giving to them, we could stop a lot of misinformed information from going out.

  67. Big Ron says

    Actually there’s a lot of incorrect information in this article. The lifeline program was initiated by the FCC in 1985 during the Reagan administration. It was not a Reagan initiative but he did approve the program. Leave it to the Democrats to take credit for some government program that was started during a Republican administration. The program was started as a subsidy, not free, on landline telephones. Like all government run projects it grew to cover cell phones. Under Obama it became a free service and phones were being handed out like candy at Halloween. Many people have as many as 20 phones. They don’t even bother to recharge them. They just go get another phone since there are always trucks from various providers parked in their neighborhoods handing them out daily.

  68. eric says

    I spend $120/yr on this phone program. It is charged per line one your phone plan.

    I have 3 lines so it’s nearly $10/month. When I saw the exposes on how easy it was to get these phones even if you were not qualified I became extremely outraged. I called AT&T and demand they reimburse me for this fee that they had been charging. I threaten to move my account to another provider if they did not. You know what, they gave me back my money, $120. Admittedly the charge is still on my account but I will demand this refund every year until this program is cleaned up and the abuse, fraud, and waist has been eliminated.

    I’m all for helping out people in need but not when something is being abused.

  69. Middlegrounder says

    Lefty48197, I see you like calling it a Bush phone cause it makes you feel better I guess but get it right its a Clinton phone. People need help and we should help them but you are blind if you don’t see the abuse going on in all the GOV. programs. A cell phone is a luxury. I have gone without a cell phone in the past when things were tight in my household,and I’m still alive and well. Everyone should try this on for size Luxury, something that is expensive or hard to obtain, that provides comfort,pleasure, or enjoyment BUT IS NOT ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL!!! Essential, being of essence. NECESSARY!!!!! not my definition but Webster’s. Think on that you freeloaders!!

    • Rick says

      What you fail to see is that cell phones are often the ONLY communication device people have, i am sure you still had a land line when you “made do” without a cell phone. Sad part is that people like you can’t understand that giving cell phones is actually cheaper option then providing landlines.

  70. Willie says

    I do not have a problem helping people in time of need, but I have a huge problem supporting a life style. For a LOT of people this has become just that a life style. The tax payers are paying this, it is called the Universal Service Fund fee. Listed right on your phone bill every month ever phone line. You have no choice you have to pay it because our elected, they know better then you and put it there. Hands down that’s a tax.

    Not only does the tax payer pay Rent, Food, Gas, Electric, Cable, Satellite, and because they will not get up in the morning. To feed their kids or pack a lunch, even tho we already buy their food. We have to feed the kids breakfast and lunch at school too. Try this on, at the tire store filling the check to pay the tires just put on the car. Guy walks in I know who is 2nd maybe 3rd generation welfare tells the salesman he needs 4 new tires. Then put a payment voucher on the counter from the welfare office, can not help but see it.

    This has become a life style for to many to long. Again I have NO problem people in times of need. I have and will. But there has to be a limit. Yes I know there are some who will never be able to take care of themselves. However I see and know way to many who are able bodied, just like the guy at the tire store.

    I am tired that my family has to do without because of all the taxes and hidden taxes like the Universal Service Fund fee. More money is spent on give away programs like this then anything else government pays for. Spend just few minutes you have the internet look it up for yourself. Then look at your pay stub, the line that says gross. That’s your money you work for it. Now look at what the government TAKES, that’s your money too.

    Once the government Takes all the money and there is no more to take, then what?? Do you really think BHO is going to dig into his own pocket? Stop looking to the government for a way of life. The time is coming your government check is going to bounce! We are no longer the wealthiest nation in the world. We are broke!!! Just look at the national debt. We are WAY over our line of credit.

    People it is time to take our nation back. This Big government crap does not work, never has, never will. We do not need a government that is involved in every area of our life. We need to be responsible and accountable for ourselves.

    • Mrhycannon says

      Several government programs waste more money than is spent to help our needy: Pentagon, money that to ex-politicians for life and aid to other countries to name a few..

    • Spring says

      For one thing, the President already took a cut in pay and contributes a good amount to charities. For another, where have you been?!! Stay current, the welfare laws have changed, with Clinton. There’s a 5 year, lifetime limit! I hardly think people are trying to make this a way of life, when it’s not even possible! if you really want to go after welfare, try the corporations, with their subsidies, tax breaks, off shore businesses! our tax dollars need to go somewhere, I’d prefer to help the citizens in this country who really need our help. It seems the Christian thing to do, but most people are so busy judging, they could care less!!

  71. Jim says

    The question is, Why does the goverment provide phones to anyone?
    A phone is a luxury one achieves thru hard work, aka the american dream.

    • Mrhycannon says

      Telephones are the only way many folks have to get emergency help.. Without Lifeline people would die for lack of help in an emergency..

    • Spring says

      A phone is not a luxury if you’re looking for work or have a medical emergency, it could mean your life!! I think smoke signals don’t work so well when you need immediate care or are trying to contact a potential employer!!

  72. Billy Bob Houghton says

    I am a Republican and I think this is a wonderful opportunity for
    Everyone trying to get a cell phone. Way to go President.

  73. Carol says

    What a bunch of nonsense….Obama took the cell phone tax program and changed it to HIS and IS giving free phones and services to anyone. Fox news, Greta Van Susteren, interviewed Jillian Kay Melchior of the National Review. She got 3 free phones and that was after she told the outlets she has a high end cell phone already. This is a fact.

    It just occurred to me that the reason Obama wants everyone to have a phone is his plan to keep track of all people in this country! If everyone has a cell phone the government is and will keep track of us; it is not new news that the government is already watching u. This new tax he wants to add on top of the tax that we are paying (called a Universal tax) every month on our cell bill. He wants the tax in order to advance his plan that all Americans WILL have cell phones and not land lines. After reading what Urban Legend wrote about this subject I can no longer believe anything they tell us, they are twisting the subject according to what they want you to think; is all political! Beware of the sites that give us the facts; find out for yourself by doing your own research.

    I am sick about what our government is doing to our country. Obama Care is not health care it is full of controls that take affect now and will be ongoing….included in Obama Care is pork, however it is much more. It is a tool HE is using to destroy our country. Watch 2016, a movie that will show you just what Obama and his group of thugs are doing and why. His own brother was interviewed. Those people who think Obama is doing great deeds are either for “free things”, want our country to be socialistic, or unfortunately those that just don’t care one way or the other until it hurts their pocket book or touches them personally. We need to stand up together and tell our elected officials we want our country back….all of it.

    • Leon says

      Carol, if you’re going to cite a source, please don’t use Fox News or MSNBC. They’re both pushing their own political goals and will lie to you in order to get that goal met. And if you are pushing their agenda dishonestly. To be frank, landline phones will be obsolete within the next 15 years, and it’s only sensible the next phone technology should be supported. I read the actual article from Jillian at and it focuses mostly on how salespeople push the lifeline product. Isn’t it obvious the three companies want to get money? And if they get people to sign up for lifeline services, the Govt. will pay THEM. They don’t care who gives the money. Besides, all lifeline cell phone sales people work not only on commission, but quota as well. If they don’t “sell” 300 phones a month, they’re fired. Besides, the lifeline phones are very limited and refurbished; nobody wants to buy them on the free market and they are one step away from being trashed. Corporate greed is screwing over the lifeline service.

    • Lefty48197 says

      So some right winger who doesn’t need assistance applies for a whole bunch of Bush Phones and actually receives three and you’re blaming OBAMA? Why not blame the lady that fraudulently claimed she needed help???
      Also, you link tells the story of the existing phone bill taxes. It doesn’t reference this mythical Obama tax increase you seem to believe exists in spite of your own link.

    • Spring says

      uhuh! Let’s rely on Fox to give an unbiased assessment of things!! it’s the “hate Obama 24/7″ station. Please site a reliable source if you wish to entertain a debate on the subject!! Can we leave out all the states and people who wanted to secede, the day after we elected the president, from taking our country back?!! Not very patriotic, so maybe they shouldn’t be part of the dialogue!

  74. re waters says

    Some of you seem to have too much free time on your hands if you are able to know all about what people do in their personal lives based on them having a “obamaphone” seriously you see them selling drugs and only using their obamaphone to call the welfare office or use for business purposes? You see people who scam the govt out of ssdi? You see them with their welfare phone in one hand and a iphone in the other? You see what cars they drive and see the tags on their clothes that are name brand? Seems like your the bums since you have the time to observe all that, no way you have jobs, homes and families to tend to if your so involved in others business. Ever think some people worked for years then one day their laid off or have health issues and are out of a job but they have to swallow their pride and ask for help because otherwise their kids dont eat or have health insurance, and when they did work they paid taxes too so its not just your taxes that are helping the poor. Think about that before being so judgmental.

  75. Reverend Willy says

    The obama phones all have trackers inside so that the gummint can keep track of these bums and dopers, so it ain’t really thet bad an idee.

    • Rick says

      News flash Einstein, ALL Cell Phones are required to GPS chips installed, even yours, better get out your tinfoil hat.

  76. TheAmerican says

    Jerry .. ” This says it all ” ??? Not at all …. “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still” That means you and that means me. You unfounded arguments probably have not changed even one persons opinion.

    My comment will run off your mind like water of a ducks back as will any response you give run off mine.

    I am not a Democrat and soon I will not be a Republican .. I am looking closely at the “Constitution Party”

    That does not “say it all” …. I am quite willing to listen to any way to stop the Republicans an Democrats from the wholesale destruction of our CONSTITUTION and our BILL of RIGHTS .

  77. Ivan says

    Some of these comments just go to show that most people that tend toward political extremes will refuse to listen to facts, especially if they run contrary to the talking points being spoon fed to them. This sentiment applies to both liberals and conservatives, though clearly this topic is more of a hot button for the latter.

    Costs go up for ALL government programs, including this one. The eligibility requirements for the current program were implemented in 1996, and have survived through eight years of a conservative Bush administration, not to mention the circa 1996 ‘Contract for America’ revolt in the House and Senate. Seriously folks, start looking at facts and not the horse**** that rolls out of Fox News and MSNBC. Believe it or not, you ARE capable of thinking for yourself.

    Did you ever stop to think that the same idiotic, fear-mongering spam emails sent out during the campaigns, designed to paint Obama as a socialist, actually helped to publicize these phones? That’s how I found about them, at least. In which case the very people bit**ing the loudest have actually served to drive up the taxpayer cost of the same thing they are complaining about. Nice job, morons.

  78. Amanda says

    I see people that have “Obama Phones” also have smart phones. They use the “Obama Phones” for business related calls (appointments, welfare, etc.) They sign up for government assistance, and have more money than most people working two jobs! They sell drugs on the streets or work under-the-table jobs and collect assistance (welfare funds, food stamps, medical coverage, etc.). Not only that, but they flaunt it like they are proud they “worked the system”. Don’t even get me started on the people that have NO BUSINESS being on Disability, but have swindled their way to live on “they system”. Amazing how blind everyone is. I see this stuff every day.

    • Mrhycannon says

      > You are correct about the people you describe but they are in the minority..
      > The vast majority of folks receiving government benefits are truly needy: children who’s parents can’t earn enough to support them, seniors who had no pension plan or children who can support them, others are genuinely disabled physically/mentally and we still have needy folks who get nothing.. All of these truly need our help..
      > Our government wastes enough money and sends enough over seas to more than equal what it uses to care for our own needy.. Lets not forget the immigrants and invaders (‘illegal aliens’)who get ‘help’ from our government..
      > It’s time we elected new legislators who listen to and do what we, the voters, want..

    • Spring says

      How wonderful that you are so medically knowledgeable that you can tell if people are disabled just by looking at them?!! Guess we can do away with modern diagnostic equipment which is driving up the cost of health care. And apparently you’ve bought into Reagan’s lie about the welfare queen. Seriously, you need to fact check your lame, biased knowledge of assistance, in this country. While you’re at it, you might want to edify yourself on the cost of corporate welfare in this country!!

    • Jerry says

      And it seems we’re up over $2.2 billion for 2012, that’s an increase of 284% in 4 years. Again, this says it all.

      • Trinkle says

        The number of people qualifying have gone up. Not surprisingly since the economy took a sizable downturn in 2008. Inflation costs plus higher numbers qualifying easily equals the increase in the program costs. It’s surprising it is not far more.

  79. Jerry says

    Program costs more than doubled under Obama; $1.6 billion in 2011, compared with $772 million in 2008. This says it all.

      • Trinkle says

        The number of people qualifying have gone up. Not surprisingly since the economy took a sizable downturn in 2008. Inflation costs plus higher numbers qualifying easily equals the increase in the program costs. It’s surprising it is not far more.

    • Lefty48197 says

      “This says it all” Just what the heck does THAT mean? You’re blaming OBAMA for the increase? Apparently, you missed the economic depression that started in 2007 and caused unemployment to skyrocket which led to big increase in all the social safety net programs. Didn’t you hear about the bail out of the banks? The auto manufacturers’ bankruptcies? Hadn’t you heard that unemployment had skyrocketed? Before you go blaming Obama for that too, you may want to look at the graphs showing the loss of jobs in America. They certainly don’t correlate with Obama’s Presidency.

  80. callmechaz says

    You pose the question asking if “the phones are or are not paid for by taxpayers”, and then say “it depends on how you look at it.” Oh, really? That “small fee added to most people’s monthly phone bills” is a TAX! It’s imposed by the Federal Government, and paid for by taxpayers.

    Who do you think taxpayers are? They are people that WORK for a living, and are then forced to provide what they worked for to others who don’t work. The OP is trying to pose a serious argument by nit-picking with semantics. Those of us articulate enough to figure that out call it “BS!”

  81. RDS says

    So, this is such a good program that only the disadvantaged get the phones, right? So today it is reported that a journalist, who does not qualify for the “Obama Phone”, was able to get three free phones. You see the problem is that there is no over sight to this program and the suppliers of the phones are signing up everyone and his cousin because they get paid by the Government no matter who they sign up. No one checks to see if the people applying for the phone are qualified. And yes it is the people who actually pay for their cell phones who have to pay this “TAX” on their phone bill each month to fund this bull$hit operation.

  82. Really says

    The concept here is great for handicapped and disadvantaged but I cannot help but wonder how many of my neighbourhood drug dealers are sporting one of these.

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      Of course some do. But they also are able to buy phones cheap these days, why would they rely on a 250 minute a month phone? I would think their best bet would be to get a prepaid, disposable phone that would not have their name attached to it.

  83. Willie says

    I do not have a problem helping people in time of need, but I have a huge problem supporting a life style. For a LOT of people this has become just that a life style. The tax payers are paying this, it is called the Universal Service Fund fee. Listed right on your phone bill every month ever phone line. You have no choice you have to pay it because our elected, they know better then you and put it there. Hands down that’s a tax.

    Not only does the tax payer pay Rent, Food, Gas, Electric, Cable, Satellite, and because they will not get up in the morning. To feed their kids or pack a lunch, even tho we already buy their food. We have to feed the kids breakfast and lunch at school too. Try this on, at the tire store filling the check to pay the tires just put on the car. Guy walks in I know who is 2nd maybe 3rd generation welfare tells the salesman he needs 4 new tires. Then put a payment voucher on the counter from the welfare office, can not help but see it.

    This has become a life style for to many to long. Again I have NO problem people in times of need. I have and will. But there has to be a limit. Yes I know there are some who will never be able to take care of themselves. However I see and know way to many who are able bodied, just like the guy at the tire store.

    I am tired that my family has to do without because of all the taxes and hidden taxes like the Universal Service Fund fee. More money is spent on give away programs like this then anything else government pays for. Spend just few minutes you have the internet look it up for yourself. Then look at your pay stub, the line that says gross. That’s your money you work for it. Now look at what the government TAKES, that’s your money too.

    Once the government Takes all the money and there is no more to take, then what?? Do you really think BHO is going to dig into his own pocket? Stop looking to the government for a way of life. The time is coming your government check is going to bounce! We are no longer the wealthiest nation in the world. We are broke!!! Just look at the national debt. We are WAY over our line of credit.

    People it is time to take our nation back. This Big government crap does not work, never has, never will. We do not need a government that is involved in every area of our life. We need to be responsible and accountable for ourselves.

  84. Beebee Proser says

    Sorry, but taking care of the poor and less fortunate does not incluce giveing away free phones, providing “earned (actually unearned) tax credits” that are then used for the flat screens and the $300 running shoes. I work hard, My husband was ladid off 11 months ago and can’t get a job because no on will hre full time for fear of obama care. Our Cobra insurance just increased another $100 a month to over $500 for one person. I am not even covered. We have gone through all of our savings and what little retirement we had started to build. My husband is now 51 and we have no idea what we are going to do, there is no more unemployment (six month not the two years people talked about) and because of the sequester it was reduced by 15%. Yet obama can spend millions and millions and millions and no one cares. I have ALWAYS helped the less fortunate, I have always given, I am just sick of it being taken and being thrown away to those who would not hit a lick at a snake and now we are facing the lose of everything we have spent a lifetime working hard for while the masses sit on their a**es getting every hand out the government can dream up.

  85. violette early says

    I would like to know can you have ca. lifeline landline and a free cell phone, I have the landline and sure could use the free cell phone as well. If so how do I apply for both.
    Thank you,

  86. Candy says

    I am all for helping people and I do help people and give to people all the time. However, I am not in agreement with giving free money to people who do not work! The bible states, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble. The Lord will preserve hi and keep him alive.” Unless you srd a vegetable, you can do SOMETHING to contribute to an income. Everyone does not abuse the system, but too many people do!!!! I sacrificed, got my BSN, did not have children until afterward and I feel like I have been punished for this. I have 3 children and it would be nice to at least get assistance with childcare because I sacrificed and made smart choices. However, I know people (some are family) that are allergic to any work, would look at you crazy, and probably curse you out if you mentioned eork. These same people, get better health insurance, no copays, free meds, free or very low cost childcare, free rent, help with utilities, and a free phone. I know this is true because the person is my sister and the most she hS wrked is probably 2 years in her48 years of living. Her husband has worked on and off, but has not worked consistantly ever and has been irresponsible on jobs and purposefully lost jobs. They have had 8 children and the tax payers have paid for them! Let me mentioned they have not been “abusive”, but party and let childen be out while they party. Yet they always need a brake and blames everyone when something goez wrong, never looking at self. All thier children excepg 1 have been to jail. Many of thtif associates have similar lifestyles. Yet the eldrerly (like my parents) sho have worked all thier lives cannot get anything! Thdy cannot afford medications! The assistance should be go teach some to make responsible choices. Didtribhtion of assistance should be equally given to those that put something into the system. You should
    recieve according to what you have put in. You should get out of the system, what you pug into it.

  87. Julie says

    Maybe the hypocrites will get knocked off their soap boxes one day and need some help, and when rude ass people are looking down on you and degrading you, let us know how it feels. Get a freikin life. If you’re so well off, get your ass off the computer, stop creeping free phone sites and go do something to help someone. I was researching free phones for an elderly friend in need and found your condescending ridiculous comments. Go get a life…….

  88. erin lynch says

    i’m applying for this free phone because my mother needs a phone she has no phone and i need a way to contact her. she 65 years old and she needs if something happens i’d would genuinely appreciate it .

  89. Wowwed in GA says

    What happened to helping the elderly, the widowed, the sick and the poor? Has it ever really existed in this country? So long ago it seems to have become an Urban Legend. My upbringing taught me to look after one another. Your neighbors. We just choose to ignore the heartbreak all around us. Bow our heads and pass by like we don’t see the ones in need. The elderly used to be placed in high regard for their wisdom, knowledge, compassion… Now we place them to the side and forget what they did in their youth for this country and our very own families. We no longer “need” them so why acknowledge them, right? The handicapped? What about them? Did not God give them life, a free will, a chance? Who are we to ignore them. This is a sad time for America. We are too busy sending our young folks to war for something we had NOTHING to do with! We have become divided. Not united at all. God bless our troops and the ones that still believe in the foundation of this country. Not many do. Very sad. God bless us!!!! We need HIM to! Always someone wanting to bash a helping hand. I guess that goes back to the beginning of good and evil. Something’s never change…….

  90. austin romo says

    these phones are good but they make them so they can hear every thing every body is saying
    the government wants to spy on use from his house your a freak there is only one government that runs use all and he is still unknown to who it is . if you want to hear some stuff about one Canada’s government disclosing info about life form on other planets go to you tube and look up Canada’s government speech 2013 and he tells it all.

  91. JD says

    I’m not sure what’s more concerning…the fact that we continue to subsidize the lazy and uninitiaited or that there continue to be idiots who can justify it…likely they are the same people who have their hand out for their own free-bees.

    Life is full of choices. You choose to have 7 kids out of wedlock with no hope of paying for them on your own…you get no phone. You choose a path of self destruction through drug use or ignorance by dropping out of school…no phone fo you. These should be unarguable consequences of laziness and bad judgement.

    There aren’t 20 million illegal aliens in this country because there’s no opportunity. It’s just that so many Americans have become lazy, ignorant cows whose only ambition is to free-graze on the hard work of others. Personally, I’d rather subsidize the life of an illegal who is trying to do for himself vs. continue to have my taxes jacked up to pay for the poor choices of a bunch of lazy free-loaders.

    Unfortunately, the left has bought their base with the pillaged loot from the hard-working . It’s really genius in it’s simple evil. Take a group of lazy unengaged citizens, prey on their ignorance and lack of ambition by getting them hopped up on government assistance, and then threaten that if they don’t continue to vote left that those things go away…wha la….instant base.

    Survey the Obama phone user base and without a doubt you’ll find a majority of able-bodied people who are perfectly happy stealing from those who work and have no shame in taking from you and your family.
    The sad thing is…they’re ungreatful. If there were an ounce of gratitude returned, I might see this differently. But if you pay taxes, serve your country, look for work and go every day when you get it, and make your own way through this life, make no mistake….the folks who are stealing this country’s future hate you, resent your hard work, and are scheming even now on how they can work with Obama to take whatever is left.

    Stop taking care of the poor and less fortunate…and I guess they either revert to stealing from us directly as Darrel glibly suggests…or maybe they get off the phone and go find a job.

    • Cronessa says

      @JD — “Survey the Obama phone user base ………” After reading the complete article on when the phones got started, you STILL called it an ‘Obama phone’. Are you just a stupid Fox parrot or can’t you READ?

    • Kenny says

      I know people with those government issued phones. They are the shittiest phones out there. It’s a year 2000 phone with no other features besides phone calls, no touch screen. Are we saying people shouldn’t be able to make phone calls now?

  92. sheryl bourque says

    I want a touch screen cell phone from the government because I have trouble with my finger I have to work wth my fingers

  93. Bill N. says

    I already have an entry-level Tracfone that I bought at my local CVS for $10. I like having it as an emergency backup phone to my regular T-Mobile service. I only refill it when absolutely necessary. I purchased a double-minutes-for-life card for $20. I called operator. He said that most Tracfone calls go out over AT&T network. That’s fine by me. I’m eligible for Lifeline phone, but wouldn’t even bother.

  94. Allen says

    darrell: It’s not the “taking care of the poor” that most Americans are pissed off about… It’s the fact that we can’t throw a rock in this country anymore without it hitting 3 new idiotic tax initiatives some idiot politicians are pushing for, while claiming how it is going to “help” someone in need! Furthermore, we’re tired of the government trying to “take care of” the rest of us, playing this nanny state garbage all the time, telling us what’s best for us and why they are going deiced just how big a soda we can or can’t buy or sell because too many of us are FAT! THAT is a choice we grown ups are apparently not mature enough to be trusted to make for ourselves anymore in this country, but our teen aged daughters can now go get an abortion without our knowledge or consent, for crying out loud!?! And we’re not supposed to be FED UP with the government’s usurpation of power mixed with this complete LACK of common sense?!? It’s a breaking point Americans have reached where we are simply SICK TO DEATH of the government sticking it’s nose where it don’t belong while sticking it’s over-reaching hand into our pockets ever deeper to pay for “programs” supporting this ever present nonsense!! For ages we’ve been fed up with them playing world police, and now in the last decade they have done their best to turn that mindset on us as citizens and begin policing US on levels never before seen, often ignoring our Constitutionally protected RIGHTS in the doing of it!! Between this administration and today’s media “together we stand” is a long forgotten saying for most! We are a people heavily divided by political party, financial class, and the age old rift of race, although today it is quiet often the white people who are the victims, and are not permitted to speak out about it due to what previous generations did to the races hating on us today. If you are a white guy and you shoot a black man who is trying to rob you with a knife at your ribs these days, you are immediately labeled a red neck racist gun nut!! We have not achieved any form of “equality”. We have simply laid down and let the descendants of our grandparents victims in turn victimize us in the name of being “politically correct”, and it’s wearing damned thin on the people of this country. When was the last time you read about a non-Caucasian being tried for “hate crimes”? There has certainly been no shortage of them! They just don’t CALL it that unless it’s a white guy committing the crime!! And now we have a POTUS sending jet fighters to the Muslim Brotherhood only weeks before Christians and the secular majority of Egypt rise up against them and their puppet, Morsi, and he’s telling THEM to stand down and stop protesting, while he cheered on the Muslims when THEY were the ones protesting?? And there is a LOT MORE secular citizens who don’t want Islam crammed down their throat any more than they wanted the military regime they’d had before this crap! But we see who Obama supports, and we’re supposed to be OK with this??? There is no division being created in the people of the US by THAT?? And at every turn the media is there spinning stories to create more and more of that same party line “hate”, so if you want to tout “together we stand”, then preach it to the heads of the media and the politicians who are determined to keep us at odds with each other so they can better control us!

    • Lara says

      EXCUSSSSEEEE ME ALLEN & JD….. Um. I hardly know where 2 start. Let me first say to you, and those out there that share your narrow mindset. Ok… I do agree that the US enabling the lazy to remain lazy is not beneficial to the “welfare recipient” nor does it make very much sense for our country, that doesn’t seem to have a plan to lower our debt anytime soon. However, I do not find it at all in the American spirit to stand on your soapbox , (if you will), and kick those who are truley in need when they are down. I believe it is a direct effect of this very way of thinking that prevents the people of our great nation from finding a way to stand tall and hold our heads high once again. If you will think back not so long ago to morning much like many others that preceeded it, a hurry up and get to work, skip breakfast, drop the kids at school, no time for messing about kind of morning. If you have not guessed, I am referring to September 11, 2001. If u were alive on that day, which I am going to assume you e

  95. darrell says

    stop taking care of the poor or helping the less fortunate and just see how crime increases this is America for god sake let’s not forget united we stand divided we fall

      • Trysh says

        Kristie, you misread. He means that IF you do those things, then crime will increase. He then goes on to remind us that this is America and we should stick together and help one another.

        • Dave says

          That’s such a load of BS. All that phone does is allow them to call each other to be sure where the cops are. If the lazy ***** would go get a job, they could afford their own phone.

  96. cristy says

    The phone I got for free, I just found out my grand parents have that they are paying for.( they are 85 and 87) It’s not ancient old but damned near it. Their land line was out and it was going to be about four days for the phone company would out to fix it. My aunt asked them if they had unlimited minutes so any family could call the cell instead of the landline until it was fixed. My grandfather’s reply, ( I pay $42 a month I better have unlimited minutes).

    • cristy says

      Jazz Tazz I agree with everything you have said. The comment made by Leo the law enforcement officer is definitely true and does happen regardless of what the the guidelines sate. After my husband got laid off and my hours were cut down to 20, I signed up for a free phone through reachout wireless( before that I only had a prepaid tracfone for emergencies). I was qualified because we couldn’t afford the kids school lunch any longer and signed up for reduced/free lunch program. This was in 2011. All I did was check a box on the website and they asked for no verification in return. Nope, I don’t believe they verified it on their own. I know people that have a phone they pay for and also have a free phone. I know people that are in the same household and that household has two free phones. As far as annual verification goes, all that is asked is are you still in the program that qualified you for the free phone. This is done by pressing 1 for yes on the phone( like I did) or checking yes in a box on a computer. I was never asked for any paperwork as proof.

  97. Jazz Tazz says

    Why did Reagan start the Lifeline program to distribute free phone service in 1985?

    Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund.

    The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. Consumers with proper proof of eligibility may be qualified to enroll. To participate in the program, consumers must have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in a qualifying state, federal or Tribal assistance program.

    To participate in the program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
    •Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP);
    •Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
    •Federal Public House Assistance (Section 8);
    •Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
    •Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);
    •National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program;
    •Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance;
    •Tribally-Administrered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF);
    •Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR);
    •Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met); or
    •State assistance programs (if applicable).

    Federal rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline discount per household. An eligible consumer may receive a discount on either a wireline or wireless service, but not both. A consumer whose household currently is receiving more than one Lifeline service must select a single Lifeline provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll from their program. Consumers violating this rule may also be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.

    The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). USAC is responsible for data collection and maintenance, support calculation, and disbursement for the low-income program. USAC’s website provides information regarding administrative aspects of the low-income program, as well as program requirements.

    On January 31, 2012, the Commission adopted comprehensive reform and modernization of the Lifeline program. As a universal service program that fulfills Congress’s mandate to ensure the availability of communications to all Americans, Lifeline for the past 25 years has helped tens of millions of low-income Americans afford basic phone service. Access to telephone service is essential for finding a job, connecting with family, or getting help in an emergency, and the percentage of low-income households with phone service has increased from 80% in 1985, when Lifeline began, to nearly 92% last year

  98. LEO says

    I work in law enforcement and the so called Obama phone is becoming more and more known and abused. One call the other night a lady said her ex stole her Obama phone. She finally states she has three phones, a straight talk phone she pays for, a Obama phone from Kentucky and a Obama phone from Illinois. As if this didn’t irritate me enough for misusing the system her boyfriend just got out of jail in April after serving felony time and he too has an government free phone and one he pay for.

    • Jazz Tazz says

      you are lying! making up stories won’t make you any more important than you are now. that is the problem today. people like you lie and get others all stirred up and you cause more hate and pain in this world. get a life and grow up. you don’t work in law enforcement either because if you did, you would KNOW that what you are saying is not even possible.

  99. Terry Thiessen says

    What happens when obama has taken all the money from workers and given it to the non workers? Where will the money come from to support all his give away programs? Sounds a lot like Rome before the fall.

    • Kait Skyler says

      How many more times, ways,etc. etc do you have to be told that this is NOT about Obama???? When will people quit blaming everything on Obama just because they dislike him?? Where did the money come from to support the Bushes wars, or Haliburton, or Reagan going into Central America, or LBJ in Vietnam? What about bail outs of large corporations that nobody bats an eye at or bridges like the one in Alaska that was an expensive boondoggle and goes nowhere, That Rep. Stevens (R) pitched a hissy fit about until Congress gave him his money and backed down on giving money to New Orleans for one that actually would have done some good? GET YOUR FACTS FOLKS!!!! And don’t just assume it’s all This one man or one woman or one party. And also, don’t start assuming that every program that helps someone is (1) bad, (2) a threat to your way of life (3) Unneeded, or (4) wrong. Remember, folks, bailouts happen at lots of levels: farmers get paid not to grow crops that could feed lots of hungry people, Corporations have gotten government bailouts from both parties since time eternal and local governments and states routinely offer tax incentives to large businesses to lure them to their area (a form of bailout in my opinion), banks and Wall Street get bailouts consistently, and Rich people have more loop holes than golf courses. That is just to name a few. Let’s consider for a moment that there are actually people who are disabled, low income, etc. that have no other means of owning a phone and need one to make doctor’s appointments, talk to family, stay alive etc. and that these people actually (gasp!) plan to use them for honest purposes and NOT sell them for drugs, use them to commit crimes, or rip off the government or steal from tax payers. What a novel concept, huh? Maybe, we could try thinking that way fro a change and give this a rest. After, all, we don’t assume that everyone who buys a car is going to use it to transport stolen goods, or run over someone in revenge do we?

      • What says

        It should be the familiy responsibility to care for sick/injured or otherwise “useless” people. It is not societys problem to care for every little thing that goes wrong with someones life. I spent 10 years serving this country and no one gave me a free meal, or a pat on a back even. All you useless dem’s and republicans need to remove head from anal opening and wake up. This country is falling apart fastly and its people like you Kaite Skyler, that are contributing. Instead of owning up and taking care of something you expect everyone to handle it for you. Its not Obama or Bush, they are just the point of focus but the real problem is each and everyone of you.

        • Jazz Tazz says

          so YOU have no benefits as a Veteran? Tax payer dollars never supported you EVER? you don’t go to the VA hospital ever? RIGHT!!!!! we believe every word you say. Just because you say it. you sound like a Myth Romney follower or Paul Rand, the defender of all the dirty, rotten lazy people in the US. People and one who doesn’t believe in Soc Sec although FACTS show how many less people have died of starvation because they have their soc money to fall back on and make no mistake about it, soc sec IS paid by the people who contribute. It is not, let me repeat this, it is NOT money paid by federal funds but WE pay it ourselves. See I am one one of those lazy dems that has worked for 40 years and I happen to know what I have paid into it. Katie stated facts, something you seem to be void of and while it doesn’t sit well with you, too bad. Facts are facts . You are entitled to your own opinion but NOT your own facts. When was the last time you paid homage to Reagan. Bet has not been too long ago.

  100. military fireman says

    This phone plan started in the 90’s and was given more funding in 2008. Obama took office in 2009 not 2008. Re-elected in 2012 which started in 2013. A relative had a phone you get 250 minutes a month & little text, if you go over you get billed a huge amount, and with non payment its taken away.

  101. todd wiseman OSU says

    they only started this tracking phone to record everyones conversations for the government illuminati fat cats, do NOT forget every world you say is recorded by the CIA and others

      • Stan says

        And it was near impossible to find the person you wanted to talk to. So they invented pagers. That was great for the payphone people, but still slow and inconvenient. Then came the cell phone. Commerce and wealth accelerate on the wings of communication and transportation. True for all markets, even the illicit ones.

  102. BoB says

    When do we start to get the ObamaHookers? Y’know, the little cuties that are subsidized by the govt so I would not have to pay ’em for nookie? Anyone? Got a date on that one yet?
    Maybe the ObamaAmmo? Seems like unless you work for the DHS or IRS you cannot buy ammo anywhere. He ought to fix this too.
    ObanaGas anyone? He took office at $1.88/gal. We’re knocking on $4.00 today. Hope that Change don’t get any worse.

    • Jazz Tazz says

      how about real gas price facts BoB? do you know how to google anything but a conservative site? gas prices went to almost 4.00 while bush was in office ($3.64 in fact, nationally but 3.85 here where I live) and came down his last year in office to just below 2.00 because THAT is what people remember. They(that would mean foxbots Bob, like you) think Bush took office after 9/11 and they think he delivered us a secure country when in FACT it was under his watch we were attacked; under his watch gas prices skyrocketed; under his watch we lost thousands of men and women under false pretense of wmd. But hey, it is much more fun to talk about something that is not even true. That is what we do here. We make up shit that entertains us and we spread it. Good going BoB. Spreaded of bullshit. Great trait to be noted for.

  103. joey54 says

    I got assistance when I became disabled from an on the job injury the Workers Comp did not pay for THEN spent a life savings and went broke in 2000 long before President Obama.

    I did not vote for him but like some of his programs but do not like any nonsense rhumors and they sure have gone to town with this president which hurts the US in the eyes of foreign people as we look so silly with such talk.

  104. maybelle says

    It was great to get obama cell phone, but it has been 8 months that mine hasn’t been, and I can’t even talk to the opperters on the inter net, to see why is the reason, and I don’t like on how you get your mintues, when it comes to your alpht. name, just like welfare does to you when you get your link card, or even when you get your s.s.i. checks the same thing happens! Who wants to pay that extra money out 60.00 bucks, when I wireless charge you the same about of money for there phones! Whens its high robber when it comes to obama phones, after you have used all of your mintues up, then you have to wait untill the next month to get your phone back on! It stinks the whole systems does!!!!!!!

  105. Ron Prince says

    I wonder why the writer omitted mentioning the fact that the program, even though it was started years prior, it has exploded under the Obama administration. Just conveniently didn’t mention it.

  106. Rob S says

    Free cell phone, free land phone, free food, free housing, free spending money. WTF is wrong with the US government???? I know you are capturing my comments Obama, so I demand an answer. Is it not enough that I have to pay for my own family? Now you steal from me and I help support 150 million worthless deadbeats??

    • captainentropy says

      How about “What’s wrong with the people in the US who believe whatever shit they are forwarded in an email or what they read on Drudge or hear on Fox News (or the rest of the vast right-wing lie machine)?”

      THAT is a much more important question. If you bothered to check sources and apply a dash of critical thinking you wouldn’t be so quick to blame everything on Obama.

      • Rick V. says

        Amen to that, the IQ in the average citizen in this country has drastically diminished sadly enough. And or people don’t tend to make it a habit of actually thinking before they speak & or take time to do the proper research

    • Tracie says

      This isnt about deadbeats. Im a single mother and was in a car accident and broke my neck. While recovering I couldn’t afford many things. Without this program I wouldn’t have had a phone, which was needed to reach drs and for my child to reach me. These cellphones are the old basic flip phones that dont have internet access. I would be more concerned with bailing out the banks then have them make it almost impossible for anyone but the top 1% to get loans, or genecticly engineered food or any of the other crap congress is doing. Now that I’m in a better place I have no problem helping someone else in need but when people pass judgement without finding out the facts..thats whats destroying this country. as stated above this isnt an Obama program…this has been in effect for many many years

    • Cat says

      You (and others who work) support 150 million deadbeats? That’s exactly what’s happening!
      Anyone who DOES NOT WORK gets a little tiny cellphone that is obviously used by those
      who are on welfare, SSI, etc. We know that ALOT of the recipients are single, drug addicted,
      and like you said, worthless deadbeats.
      I would like to see a change. Require those ‘deadbeats’ to ‘register’ for testing to see if
      they really can’t work!
      Sincerely, Cat

      • Jacob says

        There is a huge problem in America right now. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. It’s called a huge unemployment rate. A large percentage of these people can work. Want to work, and are searching for work. However the jobs aren’t there or for one reason or another they are being passed over in the hiring process. These programs don’t just provide for people who ‘refuse’ to work. They also assist those who can’t find work. It’s documented left and right about people doing everything in their power to get a job, and working 2-3 jobs just to cover basic needs due to the new job climate.

        Make jobs for American people so those that want jobs can have them, and you won’t need to whine over people who are ‘deadbeats’ and ‘refusing’ to work.

    • WolfMan says

      Obama Phones are “plain jane” phones from 2002, and are so low on Minutes & features that its really not worth selling it or buying it. Virgin Mobile phones are like $20. There is no real profit in selling it. so what would be the point?

  107. BigJS says

    Do taxpayers pay for the phone? “Yes and no, its just added to your phone bill”. Thats a yes? What other way is their to look at it, if I have to spend money that funds something else I am paying for it.

    • uto says

      taxes pay for welfare, the whole point of society is to take care of the less fortunate. Why is this all of a sudden a hard thing to comprehend. People were not burning congress when they bailed out the banks…but harping on Obama for …actually for nothing… it wasn’t even him that started this

      • Jimmyblister says

        You state; “The whole point of society is to take care of the less fortunate”. The American society was NOT founded on the principle of taking care of others. There is no such language in the US constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or indeed ANY of the writings and philosophies that were used to frame our “society”. You promoting was is called “collectivism”, a pardigm that has shown itself to be completely inadequate and woefully ineffective as a general rule for ruling a society. Ignorance of our history and the philosophy under which this country was founded is, in great part, responsible for the mess we are now in. The idea that giving the “less fortunate” a cell phone will assist them in finding work and/or make them a more useful member of society is balderdash. The phones are being sold for drugs and the only people making money are likely the ones who created this web page.

        • Bob From District 9 says

          “You state; “The whole point of society is to take care of the less fortunate”. The American society was NOT founded on the principle of taking care of others. There is no such language in the US constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or indeed ANY of the writings and philosophies that were used to frame our “society”.

          The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence etc established our government, not our society. Taking care of the less fortunate is an integral part of our founding principles, Christianity.”

          “The phones are being sold for drugs and the only people making money are likely the ones who created this web page.”

          What pure absurdity. Do you have any idea how little a used cell phone, esp on that level of tech, is worth? Wouldn’t get you high more than once, if that much. Try to trade in a cell phone that has no web access, just a phone keyboard. Sell one at a garage sale, maybe $5, if it’s in real good shape. Maybe.

          You promoting was is called “collectivism”, a pardigm that has shown itself to be completely inadequate and woefully ineffective as a general rule for ruling a society.

      • sickofit says

        less fortunate is just another word for lazy. There is no motivation for people to get up and try harder any more because the less you try the more you are rewarded.

    • Jazz Tazz says

      don’t hear any griping about subsidizing oil companies billions of dollars a year? Afraid you cannot gt your gas fix? did you even read the article? please TRY to make sense.

  108. Mike says

    Facts are facts and political views are often based on what Anderson Cooper or Rush Limbaugh have to say. Republican or Dem doesn’t matter, truth is we’re generally mislead by our parties few generalized opinions and we see them as our saving grace. Nonsense… These phones have been around for quite some time and no party can blame the other. Our government is failing us because they cannot relate to the average American and they do not want to because the average American is struggling due to our governments lack of sense to act on education and job creation. It’s a shame that a good day on the market is set off because McDonald’s is hiring 500k full time employees at minimum wage.

    • Sam says

      Only going to get worse with Obummercare. Jobs already being lost and/or hours cut back. “Free” is never free. Someone has to pay for it.

      • Kait Skyler says

        Sam, hopefully you have healthcare, and your children and loved ones do too. Now, put yourself in the shoes of some hardworking individual with a low wage job that offers no health insurance who if he/she cannot afford a doctor, does not/ cannot get a condition treated and winds up in the ER with a major problem and because it is now MAJOR, the cost of treating it is passed on to you in the form of higher insurance rates etc. Or imagine, you have no insurance because you got laid off (because some wealthy corporation that does receive bailouts and pays little or no taxes, including the wealthy CEO, has just shipped their jobs overseas) and even though you have been pounding the pavement earnestly, willing to do anything, you are either overqualified, or under qualified and so still have not landed a job. Now imagine, your precious three year old daughter starts having headaches and vomiting and is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Should she have to die because you have no insurance for her? Or what if your beloved wife got breast cancer that is treatable if treatment is started right away, but will kill her if not, or what if you get Diabetes that needs daily insulin? Should we just say tough luck to you? If we can pay for war, Wall Street bailouts…maybe it’s time to let them pay their own way.

  109. Ceaser says

    These phones are commonly used to commit crimes and they not surprisingly are found at many crime scenes.

    • topher says

      So if the criminal didn’t have a phone it would prevent them from committing a crime? I fail to follow this logic.

    • Jazz Tazz says

      you are not real bright are you? phones commit crimes now? guns don’t but phones do? please find the nearest school and enroll! OR just stop talking!!!

      • donna says

        I love you Jazz Tazz,
        you made my day with your reply about how phones commit crimes. You are truly brilliant….too funny.
        Thanks for the laugh… oh and by the way……I AGREE

  110. Helen says

    The obamaphone started with reagan as in the form of lifelne assistance.Bush started the free cell phone.The Obama administration kept it going.

  111. JJ says

    yes “free” phones for persons on disability or food stamps ect do exist. No the phones arent your 600 dollar iphones, they are usually 20 dollar tracphones with no internet access no camera no games no extra ring tones ect. I use mine (yes i do have one and i find it extremely usefull) for calling cabs, making doctors appointments, and occasionally calling my mother. i get 70 minutes a month which for those of you who use phones daily.. really isnt all that many minutes. there are currently two programs that i am aware of, although you can only belong to one at a time, they do actually look to make sure you dont belong to the other program before sending you your phone. – where you can go to sign up is

    Safelink (tracphone) – iihave this – before i learned about the virgin mobil version. – phone is just a cheap 20 dollar model kinda hard to hear if your partially deaf- but if you are hard of hearing, and have proof they will give you a phone for hearing impaired.

    Assurance Wireless (Virgin Mobil phone)- in all honesty id go here first if they have coverage in your area. they have a bigger network, and from what i saw a better basic phone+ more potential minutes based on family size, chosen plan ect.

    Hope this helps those in need. and to those who are helping cover the costs of my phone with their “tax” or extra fee on their bills, thank you. it has literally saved my life to have this phone to call 911, as well as help me get to the doctors when needed. Huggs..

  112. Joni says

    If you’re upset that Obama is giving “freeloaders” cell phones paid for with your tax money, don’t be. Firstly, Obama had nothing to do with the program: the “Obama phone” narrative is a myth that both liberals and conservatives have fallen for since 2009. Secondly, it isn’t paid for with tax revenues. Rather, it is funded with a pool of money, called the Universal Service Fund, which is paid for with revenue donations from telecommunications providers. Some of those providers—like Verizon, for instance—pass off that cost to their customers with a Universal Service fee, but the government doesn’t mandate that the money come from citizens, meaning it’s technically not a tax.”

    • Me says

      Really….. It’s only a tax if it is paid by an individual? So companies don’t have to file tax returns? I’m not debating if they pay taxes, just pointing out that they do have to file tax returns. So companies do pay taxes. “Revenue Donations” is another funny concept. They are donations like my FICA tax is a donation. And I have yet to find a company that donates money without a direct benefit to themselves. They pass the cost of these ‘donations’ unto us.

      Obama, and Bush both have something to do with the program in that they didn’t reduce or eliminate it. The President is responsible for their role when in office. Granted they have to work with Congress but they are the face of the government, fair or not.

  113. betsie huntington says

    Why was someone on the TV bragging about and showing the 38 free cell phones given to her recently under Obama.. Why was one of our senators (female) solicited for a free phone in her gated community condo?

  114. Chris says

    RIdiculous to call these very basic service phones ‘Obama Phones’ it just sounds ignorant. Obviously President Obama detractors have an agenda that is not to help better America, just tear it down.

      • Dyer says

        I deal with an impecunious population on a daily basis as I work for a hospital that managed 176 and 202 million dollars in charitable write offs in 2011 and 2012 respectively. I am on the front lines of this institution and I can easily say that over half of the patients I encounter having much nicer and more expensive phones than me. My bill for just one monty is almost $100 monthly. How can we afford this?

  115. Culprit says

    “The money actually comes from a small fee added to most people’s monthly phone bills, called the Universal Service Fund fee.”

    Any involuntary taking of monies of from a person is A TAX!! Plain and simple.

  116. John says

    I came to your website looking for the truth about Obamaphones. My question was this:
    Has the program just about tripled in size during the first Obama administration?

    I didn’t find an answer at your site.

    Now that I’ve been to your site to learn ‘the truth': You say that, “Back around early 2009, emails began circulating that called the free cell phone program the Obama Phone.”

    OK. Why does the video with the hardcore Obama voter shouting the benefits of the Obama Phone come from the fall of 2012? She must know something you people putting this on the web don’t know. By the way, the video which I’ve seen only and for the first time on your site, makes the Obamaphone Lady look and sound A LOT more rational and credible than she comes off in audio only.

    So back to basics: What does the Lifeline program cost again (historically and right now?) Are you saying that a tax on phone service for ratepayers to subsidize phone service for the poor is not a tax? Is the program being promoted as a giveaway to ‘minorities’ as a gift from the Obama administration such that they come to call the benefit ‘Obama Phone’?

    By the way, I credit your site with being the first I’ve found to present the video that magically spawned the Obamaphone myth three years before it was made. By watching and listening to the woman I am confident that she is saying, “anybody in Cleveland who a’ minority get Obama phone . . .” Before I came to your site and saw the video I have read transcriptions at other websites reporting that she said, “anybody in Cleveland who a low minority get Obama phone.” Those other sites, like yours, seemed motivated only to DEBUNK the MYTH of Obamaphone. It’s funny how the leftist guardians of truth just assume someone in America could use the latter phrase, ‘low minority’, and include themselves in that group. The colloquial speech in an ethnic dialect is not the issue AT ALL. The woman is clearly expressing her views. Anyone who enjoys listening to the broad variety of American speech can understand exactly what she is saying. She believes that the Obama administration gave her a free phone—and she likes that.

  117. shila sellman says

    I know people that got this plan and I have tried but it won’t let me because of my address.. what can I do??

  118. vlad says

    I think Obama is simply pandering to hs peoples. Quite frankly I am shocked such a proram exists. Perhaps a toothbrush would be a better use of public money for the peoples so medicaid doesnt have topay for dentures when the peoples teeth rot out from kool-aid. I paid into Medicare it is not an entitlement as is the non SSI social security so it is misleading to tell the peoples that the 7% I paid every month and matched by my employer in affect an annuity for retrtement is an entitlement

    Send the Barney Big Ear phone to the peoples so that they can simply call 911 should a legitmate emergrency develope or if they want to fight each other and call the po-lice on the winner.

    As in any socialist country politicans live well -Barney Big Ears never had a student loan to pay back and certainly his homely wife the former Ms. Robinson would leave her little snokums if they were at 150% of the poverty level or if he took a vow of poverty Hey if you want to sell your soul for welfare benefits go for it -but let Big Ears and Harry Reid pay for your non 911 miutes out of their own pocket

  119. Willie says

    I do not have a problem helping people in time of need, but I have a huge problem supporting a life style. For a LOT of people this has become just that a life style. The tax payers are paying this, it is called the Universal Service Fund fee. Listed right on your phone bill every month ever phone line. You have no choice you have to pay it because our elected, they know better then you and put it there. Hands down that’s a tax.

    Not only does the tax payer pay Rent, Food, Gas, Electric, Cable, Satellite, and because they will not get up in the morning. To feed their kids or pack a lunch, even tho we already buy their food. We have to feed the kids breakfast and lunch at school too. Try this on, at the tire store filling the check to pay the tires just put on the car. Guy walks in I know who is 2nd maybe 3rd generation welfare tells the salesman he needs 4 new tires. Then put a payment voucher on the counter from the welfare office, can not help but see it.

    This has become a life style for to many to long. Again I have NO problem people in times of need. I have and will. But there has to be a limit. Yes I know there are some who will never be able to take care of themselves. However I see and know way to many who are able bodied, just like the guy at the tire store.

    I am tired that my family has to do without because of all the taxes and hidden taxes like the Universal Service Fund fee. More money is spent on give away programs like this then anything else government pays for. Spend just few minutes you have the internet look it up for yourself. Then look at your pay stub, the line that says gross. That’s your money you work for it. Now look at what the government TAKES, that’s your money too.

    So hows that hope and change working for you now? For those who have the so-called free phone. When the government has taken all the money from people who had it, but now have none. Where are they going to get it,,, to pay for all you get?

  120. ida southern says

    i am only 19 and i am homeless and i am possibly pregnant. i have no phone and i am homeless. i get foodstamps but they wont give me cash aid. do i qualify? if not can you please help me with any resources that you can….. i have my husband with me and he is 23.

  121. rochelle s. day says

    Mr. President. I am 72 years old living on a small pension from my deceased husband who died of emphysema in 2002. From time to time I would enjoy contacting my four children and four grandsons through the Obama Care cell phone. I cannot afford a cell phone and the high rates of owning/ calling on one, to ‘stay in touch.’ I am very lonely. I am hoping being on medicare I will qualify for this free phone and service. Please help me be a more considerate/ caring mother/grandmother to my wonderful family.

  122. mike says

    Since Obama has been in office, the price has “slightly” increased. This year, for instance, its projected to cost $2.2 BILLION dollars. Next year? A wonderful $3.2 BILLION dollars. But of course,according to our President, who has spent more in his term than all other presidents up to bush COMBINED, Bush “wiped away a budget surplus” and “crashed the economy”. Yeah. Sure. No wonder the voice of the left is on comedy central. Stay blind, people, its a lot easier than having to think for yourself.

    • mike says

      that’s a lie, when no one knows the truth, it’s easy to get away with lying. Oboma put the $3 trillion Bush borrowed from China to invade Iraq on the books to pay back, Oboma did not invade Iraq, he pulled the troops out & ended that mistake with trillions of $$$$$$ to be paid in Veterans disabilities for the next 60 years.

  123. rico says

    How common is it for people to have more then one phone. I see them giving them away like hot cakes with no checking to see if the person is giving there correct information. I could change what I say my last 4 of my soc is and get another phone everyday. Government spending at its best…..

    • Pathfinder says

      Son. NO ONE owes you a thing. Nothing. You sound like a leech and you should be treated as such. Who is soda Kracker and why do you believe he owes you anything, or are you refering to whites in general? In either case you continue to sound like an uneducated, lazy individual, probably living in your mothers basement and boy, I owe you nothing and thats what you will get. Go get a job and contribute to society. Otherwise you are merely a wast of space.

  124. JIM DUVERGE says

    i got my assurance wireless phone but my time is expire how do i get my phone back on please can some one help me please my facebook is jim robles

  125. Jerome says

    I am poor so I want obamaphone becauz I cant make money for phone I want iphone to make facechat with my sister I am finansialy dissagvantaged do I should get free obamaphone

  126. Lou says

    I find it interesting how people here need a phone for free because they are poor yadayada, and have no money yadayada, what I’m sick of is paying for these lazy asses, that are where here on the INTERNET, asking for handouts!!! yup this will bring up the boohooos poor me people.

    • Ian says

      You’re not taking into account the countless people that use free wifi (i.e. Starbucks, McDonald’s, neighbors, etc) on computers that are shared (family, friends, roommates, libraries, etc) or on smartphones/tables from the aforementioned parties.

  127. seamus hughes says

    Wow….that lady in the video shows obamas true supporters…uneducated minorities…who know nothing more than how to find the free things a not work for anything..i feel like im a minority now. Im a 20 year old white male…what benefits do i get? Nothing..why? Because my dad worked his ass of shoveling horse shit for years and did landscaping and ended up finding a decent job. Now i attend a university..i get no grants or loans because i cant qualify for them even though i personally make less than $1,500 a year. I owed the government $45 dollars in taxes this year…how the hell did that happen? And my tax money taken from me goes to help pay for that crackhead ladys groceries or social security..seriously what benefit is she providing our country by living? While im going to university to better our country. Im majoring in public health, occupational and environmental safety…trying to help everyone live healthy…please stop stealing my money..its nice to have gas in my tank.even though im young and can walk places, i do have tendinitis in my onees and its nice to give them a break once in a while.

    • Lowellhb says

      You people, and you know who are, fight like hell to keep certain people uneducated, unemployed, unhealthy, then scream like mad when you see the results!!

      • Steve says

        I’m a Vietnam Vet living on the money I put into Social Security. Sequestration by our government is going after social security! This is the money that has been (by mandate), taken from every paycheck issued to me since I began working in 1965. This money (called Social Security contributions) is owed to me and now they are calling it an “entitlement” such as Welfare or food assistance or HUD or any of those kind of programs that are not owed.

        I’m almost 70 years old and it looks as though I’m going to have to struggle just to “exist” for a few more years. I used my GI benefits to get an education (Bachelor’s Degree) and now I’m unemployed because I can no longer handle the stresses associated with earning a decent living. Nowadays, I am forced to rely on my social security benefits just to exist and I use it only because “I’ve earned it”.

        Our present economic woes are the consequence of Congress passing the Federal Reserve Act of 1914, then “borrowing” money against the Social Security account established during the Roosevelt administration. It is interesting to learn that the Social Security Act was passed via a secret ballot on December 24th 1913, when, except for a few “selected Congressman”, everyone else was on Christmas break. The Fed Act is illegal as is printing fiat currency.

        Because of what is now known as Quantitative Easing (printing dollars at a rate of 85 billion a month or 600 million dollars and hour) to pay for government activities such as funding military basis all over the world and welfare and food-stamps and medicare and lifetime medical/dental benefits for our elected officials and their retirement programs and on and on, we are now faced with a deficit that is mathematically impossible to pay off. The only solution (as Ron Paul has explained so many times) is just to let ourselves go over the fiscal cliff now instead of delaying the inevitable with Quantitative Easing. Now, it is not a question of “if”, it is a question of “when” we fall over the fiscal cliff into hyper-inflation.

        Every American has been systematically “ripped off” ever since we allowed Congress to vote in the centralized banking system which is called the Federal Reserve Act of 1914 (Google it!). Since then, our dollar’s value has been in a steady state of decline. Gold was valued at $20 per oz in 1914 and has since climbed to over $1400 per oz in today’s fiat currency.

        The cost of goods isn’t going up, it’s the value of the dollar that is dropping. In 1914, $20 dollars could buy you a new 3 piece suit with several ties, a new pair of shoes and several pairs of socks, a hat and new pocket-watch. Today, $20 won’t even buy one tie of the same quality. However, if you have an ounce of gold, that would buy everything you could have bought in 1914. My point is that it is not gold that is so expensive, it is how much less in value the dollar has become. And finally, where do you think the value of our money is being transferred too? It’s going to the same people who print it… the banks. So, instead of blaming people who are taking advantage of what the banks have done to our economy/currency and what they still have to do in order for them to preserve the illusion of a strong economy so they can continue to transfer what little value remains in our dollar, buy silver and gold ASAP!

        Without questioning our government, I joined the military in 1964 to fight for what I thought was a noble and righteous cause. Now that I’ve seen what is really going on, I feel betrayed. The American Eagle is a bird of pray that needs two wings to fly. The right wing is called Republican and the left is called Democratic. Our bird of pray “attacks” its victims and is also called the US Industrial Military Complex. Our government wants you to believe that one wing keeps the other in check. In reality, our bird of pray cannot fly with just one wing. My point here is that regardless of who is elected as its head, the bird (Industrial Military Complex) needs both wings to fly in order to stay alive. Is this what America is supposed to be about? Most other countries fear and are repulsed by our presence. Would you stand for Iran or any Islamic country maintaining a military presence in our country? I don’t think so.

  128. Chelbe Ewing says

    I would just like some information on the qualifications of the free phone. Do u have to be on the Medical card or Receive Ebt? And does being on Unemployment qualify you?

  129. Jermaine says

    We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme
    in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on.
    You have done an impressive process and our entire
    group shall be thankful to you.

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      Tell us what we can do to help. What kind of information do groups like yours need most?

  130. allan taute says

    I would really like it if someone could tell me if I’m Elig able for a free phone or is there a partially paid phone plan I’d really like to get the free phone since I’m on social security disability and my wife is also on disability and it’s the only income we have . Could someone please give me info on this matter Thank you.

    • Diane says

      Allan, yes you are eligible to get the free phone since are getting disability. I do believe though that they say only one per household so only one of you can get one of the free phones.

  131. tina jackson says

    hi my name is tina jackson i am looking to sign up for a free phone i here is so easy now i am excited to see what you all can offer me thanks…..

  132. kit bel says

    I pay for a Verizon home phone & internet service. I am low-income & receive heating assistance. Not free heat but a low-income discount on my National Grid bill. I have an Assurance Wireless cellphone. I bring it with me when I go to work at night. It’s reassuring to know that I have it in case of an emergency. I don’t talk & text on this phone! It’s cheap & very basic. I hate cellphones. Emergency use ONLY!!

  133. Bob says

    So much more absolute BS being purchased and financed by our govt. that these ratty old cell phones being given out should hardly generate outrage. I’d recommend that we choose our battles wisely after much consideration and the weighing of many points of view rather than rude blanket statements based on rumor or hearsay being vomited out over everyone. Clearly, the point has been confirmed that Obama neither started the program nor requires tax payers to fund it. Phone companies do that through a fee system. The poor will never bankrupt America. They do not have the political power nor do they have the money to purchase it. The bulk of American wealth is being hoarded at the top, in foreign accounts and investments that will never see the light of the American economy again. If the cell phone program were immediately shut down do you think the rest of us would be appreciably more wealthy? I’d bet a trillion dollars that you wouldn’t know the difference. So take your rage elsewhere.

  134. ken says

    I suppose I’m happy that my phone bill is more expensive so that someone else’s bill is less. Nah, I’m pissed as hell about it and I vote!

    I don’t give a F who started the program or who expanded it. I want it shut down now.

  135. Skip Driver says

    AT T could not go as low as the free cell phone I had no choice not working due to back surgery but to let my cell go to collections, first time ever and I hate that.

  136. Skip Driver says

    And its not true they do a very extensive check for example I was trying to help a person who was homeless get a phone. So he could get a job. It never showed, later found out why, he moved in with a gal who already had a phone in her name and low income so he was denied a phone. So they do check out the information.

    • The Phone Guy says

      That sounds like a lazy agent that processed that request. Although the rules are very specific, two people at the same address may receive this service under “Multiple Heads of Household”. I am a field agent for one of the providers, and much of what is being said here is nonsense.

      Ignorance is bliss

  137. Skip Driver says

    I have had two major back surgeries. I am not on welfare those who are on welfare never paid taxes. I am on disability. My rent takes almost my entire check each month. I could not afford to keep my cell phone with AT T, so I am grateful for my safelink not Obama cell phone.I use it only for doctors, ambulance, or if I have to travel away from my town to go to specialists. I do not give the number out to friends. I have a home phone for that. I have the right to be able to call for help for an ambulance or an emergency my surgeon that operated on my back. I imagine most of the rude comments are from those who have no compassion for the poor. Shame on you. Have you donated your old cell phones to battered womens shetlers? Or are you one of the abusers? This service has been a God send for me. Skip

  138. patsy mitchell says

    I heard about this from friends and family and told me i should checck this out and would help me cause based on my income and to help me out

  139. Gary says

    best free gov phone program is if in ur coverage area you get 250 free talk and 250 free text minnutes can’t beat it

  140. Gregory Smith says

    Hi i am Gregory Smith and I am on SSDI and do have the money to have the nessesitys for my needs. Could you please make it possible for me to recieve a oboma phone. Thank you.

    • grant says

      I could use one two, but unfort. I am on s/s have saved money and worked my whole life, so I have to pay for whatever I get and pay for people who are scabs on our society. Whant to bet your ass that the new people in Michigan all get free phones.

  141. Nice Guy says

    No the politicians are not in the pockets of the welfare recipient. Governmental programs are created to “assist” the poor. The poor then become dependent upon the government. Our society is a victim of its own created circumstance. Instead of allowing charitable organizations to take care of the poor or enticing them to better themselves, the government socializes the programs. I grew up in a poor family that received welfare benefits. I have vowed to not allow myself to fall into that situation no matter the cost. I am willing to work two or three minimum wage jobs to make ends meet if it ever comes to that.
    The bottom line is that our government continues to make our nation dependent upon them. Take a moment and look up “Cycle of Democracy” and ask yourself honestly which phase you believe we are currently in. Scary times for this nation are upon us.

  142. Elle Wells says

    My question is why do the telecom global corporations get by with charging us the most money while delivering the least amount of services. We let our legislatures reverse the glasteagle act so we’re really dealing with monopolies and not a competitive market.Only in this country can the richest rip us off while we complain that the poor are taking all the money. How much do you really believe chase bank, goldman sachs etc. cares about our welfare after they’ve taken a huge chunk of our hard earned well deserved little bit of money we have. Get real, do you think corporate media is owned by the poor? Do you really beleive that politicians are in the pocket of the welfare recipient? Look up the facts on credible non bias resources, and keep learning the truth.

  143. Lisa Willing says

    These phones were distributed in the parking lot of Sav-a-lot here in Aiken, SC, not a place that could verify the persons financial need.

      • Free Government Cell Phones says

        We can verify that cell phones are handed out in parking lots and out of vans in the streets, all over America.

        • HerseyK says

          I just helped a friend apply online. It appears that the phone company will wait to approve the application after reviewing proof of eligibility. However, I was surprised at the lack of specific proof they were looking for. IE NO specific documents named ! Quite unlike most government programs; SS, Medicaid, unemployement, IRS etc

    • colt says

      Government programs don’t give out free phones in parking lots. Telecom companies do. It’s their dime not the Governments. You have to apply to get to the program and be accepted to get the phone to work.

  144. TWLS says

    I could carel ess who started it, DEM Clinton or NEO CON Bush, they were both wrong. Here is a fact, we are spending 1.6 BIL on these things while forcing agencies vital to our national security to make huge cuts. CBP (Customs and Border Patrol folks) alone is being cut by $750 million through se’castration’. Who’s running the show over there? Secure our borders or hand a free cell phone to someone who’s going to use it to get a booty call, not a job? No brainer really. One stupid welfare program like this could be cut and save the entirety of Border Secuirty for the country. I think common sense was deported from the USA by mistake!

      • Jules says

        Seriously, negative people, relax. I am a mother of two, married, in school, and my husband is a Union Journeyman… Because of the depression, yes, I said it, DEPRESSION, economically, he has been out of work for 3 years. Both of us are hard working, literate and intelligent people, by the by. So, if I need to avail myself of a “free, or discounted phone” to benefit my family, then I must be getting “bootie calls”? Poo on you, and by the way spell check your crap talk before you go off an tangent, dipstick.

  145. Tony Mcguire says

    Just another example of the Republicans blaming everything on Obama and spreading lies. They are to gutless to except their part of the blame. It’s easier to blame Obama because they know that most people to pay enough attention to know the difference.

    • HerseyK says

      The D’s started to ramp it up via Acorn and all the other groups preceding the 2008 election and has blossomed as a freebie associated with Obama’s largesse to the unknowing and majority urban blacks.

    • Alex says

      It’s easier to blame Obama because they know that most people to pay enough attention to know the difference….HUH? makes no sense whatsoever. Why not throw facts instead of piles of dung…are we human or monkeys?

  146. JJameson says

    The article is misleading. The telecom companies have a choice in charging the fee to their customers. So if you have an issue with people having free phones, talk to AT&T.

  147. Lannie Ferrell says

    I have tried several times to get a free phone, so far I have nor received it, can you help me. It tells me that it is on order, but that has been 5 months ago. My address is xxxxxxxxxxxxx, so far I do not have a phone, my wife and I both have serios health problems. We desperately need help. Please help pus.
    Lannie Ferrell

    • Skip Driver says

      If you already have one in your home you will not be allowed a second one.

      I would fill out application, make a copy, fax it in, mail orginal. And follow up to see if they received the application.

      God bless.

  148. PWR says

    While the history of this program is understood and I beleive that $10 per month to subsidize a LANDLINE is reasonable to assure that all have access to emergency services and Job avoiding, expanding it to cell phones, providing free phones, 250 free minutes/month, expandable to UNLIMITED for $25 additional under Obama makes it EXACTLY what it has been labeled….OBAMA PHONE! You can’t text, play games or cruise porn sites on a landline. You can call 911, talk to health services, the welfare office or avoid a job on a landline, which is the intent of the program. OBAMA PHONE is yet another program in keeping with LBJ’s initiation of programs in the late 60’s to “keep people voting Democrate for the next 100 years”. And, they keep falling for it….

    • says

      No one is handing out free smart phones, Einstein. They are cheapo cell phones that only make phone calls. You guys believe everything you read! (By the way, Clinton started the program and GW Bush added cell phones to the plan to keep up with modern technology. Just because grandma is old and poor, doesn’t mean she can’t use a cell phone!)

    • sam says

      Obviously you can’t READ, PWR. It statred on bush’s watch….THREE months before President Obama was elected. I assume you can’t count either!

      • grant says

        Obviously you can’t read either sam, the addition of these phones was with a democratic congress and senate lead by polosi and reed. They then sent letters out to everyone who voted democrat and then the even gave out phones when the signed up to vote. Maybe you should read what is happening and dont say bush did it, it was a political trick.

    • Ruth Tucci says

      Maybe you should apply for one of the cell phones so you could call someone that could possibly teach you how to read.And if you want to really give it a name, that would be the ‘Bush phone’.

      • Alex says

        Does it really matter who started it? Lets stop the name calling and acting like we are 2 on either side this is just ignorant. Solves nothing to bicker about something like this or in this manner.

    • Greenwick says

      Assurance wireless gives people phones that Virgin Mobile used to just give away for free. These are phones whose model is so old no one is willing to pay for them. They can’t take pictures, and while they can search the internet, you have to pay extra for that. There is at most two games preloaded onto the phones, and they are really low quality. I wouldn’t play them unless I was locked in an elevator and was slowly losing my mind – amd even then, I’d want to preserve my battery.

      If you only have a landline phone, you may miss calls for job opportunities – and in this job market, those missed calls can lead to not getting a job. If you work at a job where extra shifts are offered on a first called, first served basis, you won’t get shifts if you are out running errands. Also, if you are homeless, you probably have no place for a landline.

  149. Kat says

    The increase in public assistance and the amount of those on the toll increased under the Obama’s rule. Of course it would when you have radio advertising food stamps under a new name. The fraud that goes along with getting something for nothing is widespread and even the little old ladies in the assitive living centers know the ropes and get several phones in order to collect multiple allotments of free time. It is so sad how many people are collecting assistance because they can get it so easy they think why not wait to get a job till my unemployment runs out instead of look for work while they are on it. I am sick of the people who run out of unemployment and then switch over to disability. Obama got elected again because of promotion of all these free perks given to all of the lazy bums he bussed over to the poll to vote for him. I don’t care if Bush was involved in establishing the free phones, it was never his intention to allow half our population to become lazy and not want to work for a living. Obama is promoting his agenda and is stealing from the rich to give to the poor. No good can come from this.

    • Johnny Whitcomb says

      Can you say ‘jealous?’ People need help, you buffoon. If you can afford to help, then that’s what you need to do. I’m glad that taxes exist to make sure that you’re not hoarding all the cash for yourself.

  150. Andrew says

    You do a decent job of clearing up the misconceptions, but still leave a few facts out, or unclear. First of all the originations of this program really began in the 1980’s under a program started by the Reagan administration. Clinton expanded it, as you pointed out. I do think you need to be a little more clear about the events of 2008 though. The cell phone program began in 2008, which by coincidence was the year Obama was elected. But the program began in October 2008, even before the elections. Secondly, as obvious as it is to many, there are enough ignorant people who think Obama became President in 2008 because that was the year he was elected. The reality was he became President on January 20, 2009. So the cell phone program did not start the year Obama became President and started in 2008 even before he was elected. So guess who started the “Obama Phone” program? Bush.

  151. Belle says

    And that’s just on my DSL. I also pay $2.27 for my cell phone so make that another $30/year or $80 a year for a “small” fee!

  152. Belle says

    $4.02 per month (plus 7.375% sales tax on top of that!) is a “small fee”? That’s what I pay, over $50 a year!

  153. lex says

    Hmm to anybody that cares according to the FCC website the program actually started in 1985, so I highly doubt much of the information in this “article” can be trusted to be factual. Here is a link to the information regarding the program. If you look it goes into further detail about the specific guidelines of the program such as you cannot have both a cell-phone and home service under the program and only one per household is supposed to be given. Meaning even if there are ten people living a family they are only supposed to get one. It is to give people with low-income a basic communication tool which is not a luxury anymore it is a necessity. And if you think they are just giving them out to anybody I can attest to the fact that poverty levels are way below what you can survive on. I once tried to get into a program for low income people and they told me two people had to make below 12,000 a year in New York city, that is not even enough for rent for a year for one person. So you tell me that those people dont need some kind of help. And at least one form of communication is not a luxury, plus they don’t give a ton of minutes. Also while yes some people will probably take advantage and lie and cheat there way into getting it the overwhelming majority of people with it are not. (then again even if they do I kind of dont blame them as the requirement are so low you pretty much have to be starving on the streets to qualify)

  154. Sara says

    Our country is in shambles. I get the whole usage on the cell phone part. Why they should be able to do it BUT I do not feel it is right to take 10 phones.. You should be allowed one.. and one only.
    There are pro’s and con’s to this. Shoot had I known about when I was divorced raising two kinds, three part time jobs and college full time, sure I would have had one too.

    Collin- I must say how honored I am to know the crap you post is hilarious. Just hilarious!! :)

  155. Colin Sabo says

    I don’t understand why the government is putting a limit on how many minutes I get each month. I spend a lot of time on the phone, and could seriously use unlimited minutes. One thing I really can’t stand is the lack of a camera on the phone. It would be nice to be able to take family photos when we go on trips, but I guess that’s how it goes, for now anyway. Hopefully, there could be some sort of tax increase for these well-to-do types who won’t give to the program!

    • amazed says

      all i hear is “gimme, gimme, gimme,,,,,more, more, more” you need more minutes and a camera on a phone you’re given for free (and still not grateful for) and that’s NOT enough….well as a contributing taxpayer, let me just say….GO F**K YOURSELF…you freeloading arrogant bastard!!!

    • Waynebo says

      Umm…..Colin…..what the heck are you ranting about, and how in God’s name are you taking “Trips” if you cannot afford a cell phone?

      This has to be a joke right? PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOKE!!!

    • Johnny Whitcomb says

      I agree with Colin. These phones run out of minutes before you know it. It is very depressing when the minutes are gone, and they really do need a camera or better yet a video camera feature because that isn’t on their either.

  156. Adriana says

    To me owning a cell phone is a luxury. I’m sorry you guys can’t afford a cell but some kids are starving here in the US! And what do they do with my tax money?? Pay for you to have a cell? What’s next? You want a car too? Is that why gas is so freaken high? Is that it?. I’m a 25y/o woman.My parents were immigrants and thought me the value of hard work. And I feel if they raised kids and got them through collage without any assistance. I am now a RN. and my brothwr works for Pixar. If my parents did it then you have damn excuse. Get off your lazy ass, over your depressed state of mind cause we owe you nothing. Get a job and have some pride!!!

  157. says

    I have been approached in super markets for a free phone if I pay for a contract. Anyone who has been exposed to this dark propaganda instantly jumps to the conclusion it’s a free GOV phone. We all know what propaganda is but yet we are suckered into believing it because we are mentally lazy.
    It’s easy to be-leave a propagandize lie because it is actively promoted by its propagators on a highly organized scale. The more extreme the group the more they rely on dark propaganda to incite the public. They become highly efficient, effective and more organized in producing and propagating manipulative messages. Western Conservative Plutocracies has reached that point: power can only be maintain through deception.
    The author like me sees some of the comments above are propagandize. (They did read the article). A poor person asking for even more and then using the propagandized name is a classic mix of small truths with underlying sarcasm reinforced with the featured propaganda fraise. A propagandized fraise or word used over and over no matter what context is poison and achieves its intended purpose.
    Conservative think tanks are very good at labeling social things with negative names. Paid for by the elites, there mandate is to come up with strategies to use dark propaganda to fulfill their agenda of power at any cost. By keeping us fighting amongst ourselves over trivial things we give them more power and control.
    History has shown us that political organizations that use the tools of dark propaganda to gain power are always fanatic who take away rights instead of preserving them. A perfect example is Middle Eastern Social Conservative counties that are preoccupied with controlling social interaction using laws based on religious text interpreted by the state.
    In closing anyone who produces and distribute or redistribute dark propaganda that they know or may suspect misrepresents the truth is nothing less than a traitor to their country and the principles of a free informed society.

  158. Dale says

    Again, how many of you READ THE DANG ARTICLE? This is not a forum to thank or complain to President Obama. This is an article debunking the myth spread by the far right that President Obama somehow, I guess by royal edict since they all think he’s a dictator, unilaterally created a program to give free cell phones to “undeserving” welfare recipients. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PROGRAM!!!! READ THE ARTICLE!!!!

  159. Colin Sabo says

    THANK YOU MR. OBAMA! We were doing alright until my family went broke. Your phone has literally been a Godsend. I also want to thank you for giving us the means to eat 3 square meals a day and get our rent and utilities paid. I don’t understand all of these angry, jealous people with no Obamaphone…maybe they are paying for bad service, but that’s not my fault. I do wish that the government would start to provide internet to people who cant afford it and a laptop to go with it. It makes it very hard to have to take a bus to the library to use their computers, but at least I get free bus tokens.

  160. Joe Mama says

    I saw this in front of the Supermarket a while back–there were people approaching customers as they got out of their cars, pushing the damn things as if they’re incentivized to sign as many people up as possible. At the local 7-11, they have a banner advertising free cell phones. I don’t know who came up with this program, but they sure are pimping it pretty hard.

    • Colin Sabo says

      Low income people got to 7-Eleven for their cigarettes and beer because they have depression over having no money. You need to look in the mirror and pray that you won’t be the next victim of poverty. At least these poor people now have a phone to order pizza or other food to stay full and not starve on the street.

      • Ethan says

        There you go you!! They can spend what money they have and Beer And Cigarettes. but not food. All because they are DEPRESSED. Well seems to me they on Medicare any way get meds from it for DEPRESSION use what money you do have to help get you back on your feet. Take your free bus tokens and go put in applications does it matter where you work weather you are shoveling crap or sitting in a office. Get off your lazy but and my tax dollars. Need weekly drug and alcohol test for people getting government help thats what id like to see my tax dollars go to DRUG TEST.

        • Colin Sabo says

          Mine has a speed dial function where the pizza place’s number can be stored. It makes life much easier to order food than to ride the bus to pick up a pizza.

    • bwe-wildered says

      Joe… I suppose it would be to the phone company’s advantage to pay someone minimum wage to “push” these free phones. After all… they are the ones getting our money to pay for them. So “pushing” the phones helps the phone company, the recipient and Obama (cuz he gets the credit.) The only one it hurts is “US” because we have to pay them! Everybody wins! almost! 😉

  161. Jack says

    So why does a guy who has worked at my company making over $50K a year still have his “Obama Phone”? He was once on welfare but hasn’t been for over a year now!!

    • bwe-wildered says

      Just some rambling thoughts – I must say that, 70 minutes a month MIGHT work for me, I prefer my land-line. But for the average person, (these days,) it just wouldn’t do. Can they pay for more minutes with their welfare money? I wondered what “Universal Service Fund fee” meant on my bill! Do I pay that on my land-line AND my cell phone bill? Hmmm! I’m so thrilled to know that I’m providing a phone for my cousin’s speed freak girlfriend (she told me about her free Obamaphone) so she can “make her deals…” … until her minutes run out… of course. I’m sure she’d readily trade her food stamps for more minutes. (All that’s left, that is, after her “celebration” day. The day she gets her food stamps and calls my cousin to go out for a big, fancy meal!) Yes, it’s true. I will say that I’m glad Tahmina was able to use her “Clinton/Bush/Obama phone to keep in touch with her sick family members. THAT is what it’s for, right? And it’s good for poor, jobless, homeless people to have a phone for future job interviews. It’s socialism and it takes a lot of nerve for the government to make us pay for a plan that they came up with, without asking us. But I’m glad for the people who need them. God bless ’em.

    • bwe-wildered says

      Sorry Jack… I ‘m sorry that my comment ended up being a reply on your post. Answer… It’s sounds like your coworker is not a nice person.

  162. jeff schwersinske says

    I got sprint,its paid,Im broke,get free phone before bill comes,I got housing,food card,health troubles,job hunt,Info on phone.thanks Jeff

  163. UnInformed says

    Obviously Tahmina didn’t read the article…..

    “Spread the Word: The Obama Phone rumor is false!

    Now you’ve got all the facts and information you need to rebut anyone who calls this valuable program the The Obama Phone. Set the record straight by giving them the link to this page.”

  164. Tahmina says

    I love this phone for the fact that everytime I had to go to e hospital t ALWAYS had reception when noone else’s phone did…. It helped me in so many ways having two children and having to stay with a sick one in he hospital and still being able to check up on the other…also was able to check p on my husband just today as he went to the ER and was able to keep contact from home since I couldn’t go without my kids so early … Mr.Obama THANK YOU!!!! I mean it from the bottom of my heart and behalf of my family too who all also are supported by your phone as we are low incomed, live separately but are able to keep in touch. Much love <3

  165. Jason T says

    And why does every so-called informational article leave out how Obama took this program and expanded it far beyond the original plan?

    • stu says

      Because that bit of information was probably invented by the loud-mouthed shitheads at Infowars. I wish I could run a money making media outlet based pure lies.

    • stu says

      And how do you propose the employer reaches the applicant if that person had no phone line? You can’t get a job without a phone. You’re a short-sighted asshole.

  166. Don says

    You people are idiots, if you read the article it tells you the tax payers are not paying for it. Phone users are, it’s a usage tax. You don,t want to pay it do buy a phone. Get VoIP and you will never have to pay it. Just like the cig tax. As far as the social security guy. Well you are actually being subsidized by my tax your benefits run out at about the ten year mark along with Medicaid so get off you but and go back to work but don’ t pretend to be high and mighty because all on social security are living on a welfare socialist program. At least the phone program pays for itself. As far as Obama stopping it you mean congress right. Presidents can only sign laws they can’t raise taxes you idiots. Go back to school.

  167. MS says
    I like how people on here are asking for it, but have access to a computer and internet…. yeah this program works. Give them a land line for emergency only calls and make the phone companies pay for it

  168. Safelink says

    Actually the program strictly implements the “One Phone per Household Rule” If you want to register for the benefit you must give a valid physical address, Now if your application pushed through any other applications using the address you gave will be rejected. Contrary to popular belief we really prioritize elderly,sickly and people who live in nursing homes since they are the ones who really need to be connected to their loved ones. ^_^

  169. John Anderson says

    So Tracphone found a loophole in mid-2008. I think Bush had bigger things to deal with at that time, so this was probably waaayyy below the radar, but it has the look of wasteful gov’t spending, unless it’s one per household and if you get a cell, then no landline.

    • Flayer says

      Plus the spending bills and budgets originate in the Congress. Guess who was in charge starting in 2006? Yes, Pelosi and tax-cheat Charlie Rangel. Surely you don’t think they’d limit or eliminate the program?

  170. John Anderson says

    I pay $4 in USF charges every month on my cell bill, to help pay for someone to have one for free? Can someone tell me, do these low income folks get their landline and their cell phone subsidized (or is it one or the other)? And if two common law welfare recipients share a household, do they get a landline, and 2 cell phones paid for from my taxes? I think that’s excessive. A cell phone is still a luxury device (yes, you can live without one), it’s not like heat or food. I understand the land line should be able to call 911 or the landlord, or the doctor, etc., but if the cell phone can be in lieu of a landline phone, then only one freebie per household.

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      You can only get one subsidized phone per physical residence address, either a landline or a cell phone.

  171. Kevin Whorton says

    I always wonder just how poor people have to be to resent a reasonable government program that must cost a few tens of millions and cost us 1/1000th of what corporate welfare or excessive defense expenditures do. It’s interesting how we’ve become so selfish and ill-informed at the same time, lashing out at the small, symbolic things and not giving a rat’s ass about the major problems that drain our Treasury at the expense of us all, because those issues are too complicated for us to understand.

  172. billie day says

    I am a senior who worked for over 50 years, now live on my SS of less than a 1,000 a month, receive no food stamps, do receive Medicare and Medicaid, as I live in California, and I have my own cell phone, which is with T.Mobile, who has lousy phones, but I pay my bill which is large for my limited income every month, as it is the only phone I have and my life line.

    I would not consider taking the Obama Phone or any other free phone, more than I would food stamps. I can manage to live without unnecessary freebies. But I would not hesitate to take food stamps if It became necessary, which with the price of grocery’s it just might~Is food an unnecessary freebie???

    How does a family today feed their children with what they have to pay for a frickin loaf of bread.

    NOW this is outrageous!!!

  173. Mike says

    @ Original atl sno – who cares what the setting is at??? Buy YOUR OWN damn phone so you can control the settings and stop wasting tax payer money!!

  174. original atl sno says

    i’m curious why when you get the phone, the location device setting is already set to the “all the time ” setting rather than “911 only”.why do they want to constantly know our whereabouts? i feel it invades our privacy.

    • Duh says

      @ original atl sno — because if you’re stealing from hardworking Americans then we deserve to know where the thieves are.

      • Flayer says

        Actually this allows Obama to contact his “domestic army” when, how and where to vote. Surely you didn’t think this was just for death/illness emergencies, did you?

  175. sickofTAKERS says

    This whole article misses the point. Taxpayers should not be paying for free cell phones, period. No one really knew about this program until someone called it “Obama Phone”. Thank god they called it that and brought attention to this. Enough iis enough…STOP GIVING FREEBIES TO THE TAKER CLASS!!!!

  176. Oort Cloud says

    Does not seem to totally disprove Obama Phones. Seems that some aspects of it are true. Besides, it exists, Obama is in a position to stop it, he hasn’t, he is in favor of giving out free stuff, the name is good. OBAMA PHONE. OBAMA PHONE. OBAMA PHONE.

    • KBM says

      Call: 1-800-IMA-LEACH

      If you have a phone already, you shouldn’t take advantage of others who are forced to pay for this program and pay for your own phone. In fact, you should get a job and pay for your own phone.

      • digdot says

        spoken like a truly uniformed idiot. Tell me, where are these jobs you speak of? There are miliions of college graduates and soldiers returning from war who would like one one of those. Where did you learn to hate so much.

      • digdot says

        I’m retired and I work for free helping people find jobs, they are few and far between. What do you do to try to make this world a better place? Got any leads? I got about 300 people desperately looking for work. It’s so easy to judge and sit on your ass and do nothing but complain, isn’t it.

        • tax payer says

          I pay my taxes so unemployed and retired people can get assistance. It is very easy to judge when our system is broken and people are living on welfare.

  177. michael ginsburg says

    Interesting conversation, my compliments to most everyone for no name calling with the a few exeptions such as of the person referencing “race”. Remember, “a racist is the first to see racism” “such as the Rev Wright who preached to the President for 20 years. I don’t think there is a person on this site that doesn’t believe a “safety net” is needed for the some people, where we disagree is to what level we help. I believe we have turned this net into a “hammock”. Benjamin Franklin quotes “the more you give the poor, the more poor you will have to give to. These phones are a good example of creating a larger group of dependents. If the statement that voter registrations are taking place, that would then reinforce the argument the president is “buying” votes. Also, is it true you need a photo ID to get a phone? Can anyone prove or disprove this? I hope it isn’t true because it would be the height of hypocrasy after the voter ID accusations of calling me a racist.

  178. Doug says

    “The money actually comes from a small fee added to most people’s monthly phone bills, called the Universal Service Fund fee”

    Call it what it really is. A TAX! Another TAX!

    • John Smith says

      And taxes are soooooo easily ended. Like the special phone tax to pay for the Spanish American War ended in 2006. Only about a century after the war ended!

  179. Doug says

    “Who qualifies?

    The free cell phones only go to those who qualify for the program under the exact same eligibility requirements that have been in effect since 1996. An applicant is generally eligible if they are at or below 135-150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (depending upon the state in which they live), or if they already participate in one of many public assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, public housing and others.

    Nothing about the Lifeline eligibility has changed since President Clinton’s days. Nothing has changed since President Bush’s days”

    Yes, things have changed, The “eligible” people (Medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, public housing) has increased by almost 60% since Obama took office. That is a major increase in 4 years and someone has to foot the bill.

  180. ed says

    Do you like “m and m” ‘s? Most of you are Misinformed and Manipulated. The truth in today’s world is an evasive thing. Continue to search for it. It is not complete here so don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. Look ar what has truly happened during whatever administration. You will find a better portion of truth.

  181. debbra jackson says

    Since presedent elected twice looks out for people who has a lesser disadvantage because he has been there he knows what its like to have nothing being raised by his grandmother nobody knows what a person feels until you walk a mile in that person shoes.leave mr. Obama alone they can’t find any dirt on him so they try to attack him at any causte can a black man do good and have credit giving where credit is due god bless the obama family

    • Doug says

      If you believe that BS that he came from nothing, than you are delusional and drinking way too much Kool-Aide. You don’t go to the most elite prep school in Hawaii when you have nothing. You don’t go to Harvard or any other elite college when you have nothing. Why do you think those records are sealed? He spent $1.7 million dollars to seal those records.

      If you are willing to buy into that crap without learning the truth and the facts, then people like you are part of the MAJOR problem in this country today. Obama doesn’t care about the poor. He cares about Obama. He is currently buying a $35 million dollar estate on Hawaii. Why not just put that money into the government to pay extra taxes. You do know that there is a website that you can go to and just make a payment to the government out of good will and pay extra taxes, don’t you?

    • jake salerno says

      debra, have a clue,,, first off Obama IS HALF WHITE,,,

      Obama was raised FAR from poor, where he was born and raised.

      There is soooo much dirt about Obama and so much covered up and left off his resume (locked)
      that it’s absurd. For example, he’s associated with terrorist, his racists pastor rev white, his association with crooked Chicago thugs and politicians, his lack of voting record, his association with ACORN, etc etc etc

      • John Smith says

        He was so poor, because his grandmother struggled to make ends meet on a bank vice president’s salary after her husband died. And he attended college on the taxpayer’s dime as a poor “Indonesian” student.

  182. radonda says

    So what part of “the Obama phone” is incorrect . Just like food stamps that have increased under his watch ,so has the “Obama phone” valuable program for who, OBAMA!!!!

  183. irritated taxpayer says

    Chris, you might want to do a little research before you post. 250 free minutes and 250 free texts per month is well in excess of “an hour or so”. Like many government programs this is just abuse waiting to happen, making more people dependent upon a government service instead of upon their own initiative while providing a windfall to the politically connected companies who can get approved to provide the service.

  184. chris bifani says

    the government phones only give you an hour or so “free” minutes per month and use outdated phones worth almost nothing on the market. After that, users are charged up to 40 cents a minute so every phone is a potential profit machine for the carrier, be it tracfone or whoever. Seventy minutes of airtime is worth about $2.10 per month at current straightalk rates. Well worth it if that Clintobushamaphone saves someone’s life, helps someone get a job, or gets a crime or accident reported.

      • John Smith says

        My state only gives 70 minutes. I started the process to see if I qualified. My income is low enough, but I own too much. Silly me, I didn’t spend all of my income and lived within my means.

  185. Mike says

    Every place I saw them giving the people phones, they were also registering the people to vote. Now is that part of the program or just a few libs taking an opportunity to get out the vote?

  186. Wayne Spaulding says

    I don’t know the author of this explanation but it is only half right. The half that is right is that it is called an Obama phone because the Obama administration has publicized a little know benefit to the less fortunate. Just like the growth of food stamps since Obama was President. I have heard that this administration advertises the availability of food stamps to Mexican citizens. May be just a rumor but the huge increase in food stamps is certainly a reality. Now the other half. For the millions of cell phone users take a look at your monthly bills. You will notice a “Fed Universal Service Charge” that has increased substantially over the past few years and the increased revenue to the government may be helping fund these “Obama Phones”. So who is really paying for these phones? We are. The Americans who own cell phones. And yes it is just another tax.

      • Dale says

        Oh by golly, you caught ’em with their pants down this time!

        Where exactly do you see that this is specifically aimed at Mexican immigrants? Because a Spanish translation is available? Where do you NOT see that anymore?

        Did you read the part where it said, “Depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income, you may be eligible for some federal benefit programs?”

        Did you know that illegal immigrants CANNOT obtain food stamps or any other welfare benefit?

        I’d ask if anyone ever verifies anything they see in those stupid chain emails, but even if verified all we’d hear is, “Yeah, but they’re lying about it.”

  187. Goldie says

    Bush and Clinton had a chance to say “this is ridiculous”. They didn’t take it. Why are we not calling the phones Clinton-phones or Bush-phones? Why should we heap this all on Obama?

  188. jscottu says

    Myth: Obama is a “progressive” and Bush was NOT a “progressive”.
    Fact: Both Obama AND Bush are “progressives”. This is easily verifiable if you look at what legislation they supported.
    So are we to assume that Bush supported this program and Obama did NOT? I don’t think so. The VAST majority of these free cell phones have been given out since January 2009 when Obama became president. He had a chance to say “this is ridiculous”. He didn’t take it. These are now “Obama phones”.

    • Dale says

      Why weren’t they called “W Phones” (there was landline accommodation) during the eight years that Little Bush was in office? If Bush didn’t support this, why didn’t he just get rid of it? You know, with a , with a unilateral wave of the hand like everyone thinks a President can do.

  189. Raine says

    I have found this subject interesting, but in my opinion its just another way for the government to make people DEPENDENT. I worked for the Welfare Department and I have seen A LOT of abuse, in fact the abuse is widespread. OUR government sets up dependency, NOT HELP! there is a big difference. I will give you 2 examples… A woman walks in to the welfare office to apply for the 15th time. She owes over $21,000 to “we the tax payers” due to overpayment because her husband would go back to work and not report it, we would find out about it months later…cut them off …..and he would “surprisingly” be fired AGAIN!!!…they would go back on welfare …..rinse and repeat. This was the way they lived….and even tho they owed this money I still had to put them back on the system and this lady was actually proud of herself. This happens more than you know or would even like to know. My 2nd example, A man moved to my state because of a job promise, he, his wife and young son had nothing because when they arrived his job had been delayed so to survive they sold all they had except for their pickup truck, by the time this man came into my office he had started his job….working full time…but he and his family were going to be thrown out of their hotel room because the rent for the week was due but he wouldn’t have his first paycheck for another week. He had nothing left to sell… This man only wanted a little help, just enough to pay for their hotel room and some food but because he was HONEST with me….he had a job…he was married….therefore there was no deprivation… I tried all avenues but there was nothing I could do….when I told him, his eyes began to tear up and he said…you know I could have lied and you would have helped me. I agreed with him and told him he was right (he was so right) I felt so bad. I happen to have some money in the bank due to my income tax return so I told him I would help him but he could tell no one because if anyone were to find out I would be fired…. He couldn’t believe that I would help him……I did and he paid me back every dime. If our government were really here to HELP people our welfare department would be set up totally different….I would’ve been able to help that man and his family……fact is it’s NOT here to HELP….its here to control through dependency. This phone is just adding one more benefit….. We are making it better to be on our welfare system then to work… If you really think it’s set up to help people I suggest you go work there, maybe that will open your eyes.

  190. Scott says

    The United States of America was founded to be a place that all people would be given the same chances, IF THEY WORKED HARD. You can’t sit back and expect success to some how land in your back yard and infuse your life with money. Unfortunately, we have become a society of “Over compensators”, we feel guilty if everyone doesn’t make it. We have to realize that everyone is not going to make it to the top. In the animal kingdom the most fit will survive the weekest get eaten. Now, one of the things that seprates us and allows us to be the dominate the food chain is the fact that we can help our week not to get eaten. The problems come in when people “Fake” be the week and want to use the help we give those who need it. This takes away from the really needy in our society and more importantly takes over our economy. Our founding fathers could never have envisioned a group of people who would actively have children when they had no source of funding to take care of them. In some instances some people have children to create income from the government. We have reached a point now in which an election has been bought and paid for by busing people to election poles who have no idea of how the monitary system works, much less any working knowledge of the Constitution or the functions of the Fedral Government. How much is the office of the presidency worth that the practice of election buying can cause an economic melt down. The programs that are abused cost more than a trillion dollars annually. One of the comments posted to my threads sighted the limits placed on these programs to move people to working. Unfortunately these limits are also abused and cost tax payers hundreds of billions. The enforcement of these limits can often cost almost what the abuse of that program cost. Adding oversight to a program cost money believe it or not. I am not against helping folks to get out of the hole and get a new start, I am against tax money being squandered. The best solution to these issues is to cut much of them and send them back to the states who can have a far better “Hands on” approach to them. Get people back to the values once held by many Americans that promoted people helping their neighbors. The name of our country is the United States for a reason. The founding fathers knew that the central government is in place to protect the union from outside enemies and to set a basic set of laws to govern the citizens with regards to issue that require interstate trade.

    • Bron Shoffner says

      I started to read this comment with hopes that it would help our side out but was quickly turned away because of the spelling errors and incorrect grammar. The points that you made may be true but I just had to assume that they weren’t after how this began. Please clean things up next time so it doesn’t reflect so poorly on the rest of us.

      • aidy says

        I had no trouble reading his article, and his points are valid wether he knows how to spell or not! How does the grammatical correctness of someone’s text have anything to do with it’s factuality?

        There are plenty of people who face unfair circumstances when it comes to how they can express themselves. Wether from lack of education, disability or ignorance, their dialog still matters. Dismissing someone’s ideas because their writing skill level is different is wrong.

        Would you ‘assume the points made by someone were untrue’ if they spoke with a speech impediment or a stutter? If their first language was not english and their grasp of the language was limited?

        Discrimination based on the ability to express oneself is no different than discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation. Do you think it was the author’s choice to use bad grammar? No. Just like nobody chooses their race or gender or wether they’re gay. It’s not right to accuse someone of reflecting poorly on you due to something they can’t control.

  191. Scott says

    It is obvious that my post have sparked a conversation about whats wrong. This is the best way to solve an issue is to start by saying there is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you agree with the phones being sponsored by those who go to work every day to provide for their families and themselves while others make the decision to stay home, then you would also agree with those that work supporting those that do not. Now, there are many reasons why some one is not working. I am not demeaning any Veterans, handicapped, elderly or others who cannot work, I am talking about the girl I met at the AT&T store buying a phone with 3 kids in tow. She told me that she was getting her Obama phone during a conversation about her children. She mentioned to me that she doesn’t have a job and hasn’t worked in 2 years. Her own admission was she “Knows how to work the system” so she can make it. I have an issue with those that have very opportunity and squander it. Right now in this country, a person that is considered a minority can absolutely “Make it” if they put forth the effort. If you do not have physical issues, mental issues or age issues, you should be a part of the work force, period, no excuses. My parents worked and raised 5 boys on very little income and we children respected work values. By in large, the work values of those who grow up in homes that are predominately funded by Government programs, tend to lean towards continuation of living on those programs. Also, most of these folks have found multiple ways to skirt the rules that remove them from these programs. Many of these folks use programs until they run out and then move to the next available program. Remember I excluded the elderly, Veterans, physically handicapped and others who have earned there participation in taking my tax dollars. The abuse of these programs has grown to more than 40%, thats BILLIONS of wasted tax dollars that could go for our veterans, elderly or handicapped. Even 1% abuse is too much when you are taking tax dollars from people who work everyday as hard as Americans do.

  192. John says

    Im not against federal help when it is Help. What I’m against is people that won’t admit to the math. Why provide the phone when, while I’m working selling phones, individuals on programs such as assurance wireless are in there buying 199.00 dollar smart phones from virgin mobile, so they can use their free phone program? Not to mention 549.00 Iphones.

    “We have 46 million on food assistance, yet an obesity epidemic in this nation” I know bad food is cheaper than healthier food, but seriously if it’s not a red light, surely you can agree that we have a yellow signal on the road ahead.

    • Stargazer says

      They are entitled to use their funds as THEY wish, not as you want them to spend it. So a girl has fancy sneakers and bought an expensive phone. She probably lives in a room somewhere, has no car, etc. You don’t have a right to tell her where to spend a penny of her money. So next time you’re standing there judging those less fortunate,

      The obesity epidemic isn’t from spending money. Its from eating the WRONG foods, especially, but not only processed foods and that darned sugar, white rice, white bread and many other unhealthy foods that America is so used to loving. Loaded with chemicals and additives you can’t even pronounce, much less know how much damage they can do to you. Its none of my business if somebody is fat. What if she is an emotional eater and is eating because she was sexually abused by her family and others when she was a little girl. There are lots of reasons for overeating. Give them a break. You’re not the lord over their lives. Why don’t you do what the “Good Book” says and take the telephone pole out of your own eye before you pull the sliver out of everyone else’s eye.

      • Shannon says

        Stargazer, I’m going to start by saying I am an independent. I read all of your posts and I find them quite interesting; you are clearly passionate about that which you speak. Having said that, I’m confused, if I pay government taxes that help to fund and disperse funds to a girl with fancy sneakers and an expensive phone who lives in a room somewhere, has no car, or a program in which people are given food stamps, etc., is that not me giving to the less fortunate? Or do you expect more above and beyond that. Without sarcasm in my voice, I am genuinely asking how much do you expect others to give? I give money to several different charities, I donate clothes, food, I buy toys every year for the Toys for Tots campaign. Would that be enough for you to deem me as helping others, or do you think I should milk the cow, prepare all the food, actually put the clothes on their backs, and make them feel even more incapable/inadequate than perhaps they already feel?

        Additionally, you’ve offered excuse upon excuse why there should essentially be separate set of rules for those less fortunate, and people should “Give them a break.” Are you suggesting that it is the responsiblity of others to consistently “provide” for the group of others that knowingly do not want to help themselves (I am not talking about those that have had a run of bad luck and need help temporarily and want to be productive members of society)? I think it more important that people in general learn to be self sufficient and unfortunately, cutting people off is sometimes the best education there is because they seem to somehow find a way. Yes, things happen, and as a result people get put in tough positions and need help at times. I think what people are referring to more in this thread, (and I could be wrong ) as I read the posts are what is to be done about those that don’t want to help themselves; I didn’t interpret the posts as anyone is making an issue out of those that do help themsleves and occasionally need public assistance. I have to be honest, if any part of my money is going into a fund in which a someone is receiving food stamps and can’t afford to feed the children she does have, and then has more children because she gets more money, I absolutely have a right to speak up and expect her to start being held accountable in the form of no more public aid. I worked in a store where people used food stamps to quite regularly buy $150 worth of crab legs (and this was about 15 years ago so the food stamp programs weren’t giving out what they are giving today). Notwithstanding that foodstamps cover seafood, are you suggesting that that was an appropriate allocation of food stamps for that family for a month? I think it comes down to expecting people to be responsible, productive members of society. As long as people as doing something to help themselves, I think there is an understanding that shit happens sometimes and everyone needs a little help now and then, but not forever or all the time.

        Finally, you mention castigation, then you go on to mention people being “a pathetic bunch of whiners,” “conservative right believe more in judging people,” I am assuming you know nothing about the lady who said she doesn’t have a cell phone yet you basically called her a liar, state “you people are so incredibly small-minded,” “You generalize.” I find this curious that you do the exact same thing yet will likely a very good explanation as to why it’s ok for you not to practice what you preach but why others should.

        I enjoyed reading your posts.

  193. Scott says

    By taking the “I am owed” out of a program, we will discourage abuses that cost Americans billions. Make the program work to encourage people to move a cell phone expense into their own budget. Open ended programs simply create a feeling of “I am owed” by those who receive the benefit. We have proof of this in most of our well established programs such as food stamps, WIC and other abused programs. These programs have now become a “Part of life” for millions of people and is largely generational in some urban areas. Children are actually learning by example how to gain access to these “Free” money programs. The Obama phone program will be entrenched if it is not already in most of these same systemically low income areas. It has been said that these types of programs are a form of slavery due to there inherently addictive nature. Once these groups begin to use these programs and adapt their lives to the limits of these programs, they learn how to manipulate the programs and their own lives to make a long term usage possible. It’s called learning to live with what you have, even if it’s not yours to have.

    • simona says

      Scott, you have carpet-bombed this thread with your wildly incoherent generalizations. I don’t know what circles you run in, but in most places “it has been said” and “it has been estimated” do not pass as argumentation or evidence. I am here to ask you 2 simple questions, and to ponder the conclusions.

      1. Why do you persist in calling them “Obama phones” when the purpose of this page’s existence is to debunk that notion? If you read the article above, what is your motivation for continuing to mischaracterize the program?

      2. If you close your eyes and imagine these people you call “takers,” what do they look like? These “urban areas” you reference, who lives in them? And those “tax paying citizens” you mentioned, what about them? What do they look like? The most telling post you wrote offered some very symbolic language, including “crack” and “slaves.” In all sincerity, are you certain that your notions of productive citizens and shiftless “takers” are not influenced by unexamined presumptions about race? The language you have used is not neutral and has been explicated numerous times in the body of literature on race.

      As a side note, I would like to add that your previous post framing the government as a business and suggesting that we should follow a business model for governance is very common and, I would argue, very problematic. Businessmen are not necessarily suited for government, and the skill sets required by these two realms of human activity (industry and government) often do not overlap. I know most people in this country worship at the altar of the free market, but that doesn’t mean that the business model can and should be applied to government, education, healthcare, or many of the other areas that are being contaminated and undermined by this thinking.

  194. Scott says

    As with any government generated program, the scale causes unpredictable outcomes. The oversight that would normally make it possible to understand how many are actually being used to gain employment, is impossible due to the nature of the monitoring system in place, NONE. They should tie the use of the telephone with accountability such as a signed employment search form required to continue the phone operation on a monthly basis. The phones user could simply fax, email or deliver in person the form that is already in use by the Unemployment agencies. Once the form has been turned in say within 10 days of the end of each month, the government would allow the phone to be renewed. Once employment was achieved, the phone would then be deactivated. Further place a time limit on the phones usage such as 6-8 months, then it would have to be re-applied for.

  195. tin marie nigro says

    I wonder how many of those phones are actually used for job searching? Now that I know I am getting charge for it on my phone bill….

    • Scott says

      I have access to some statistics, as much as are available, that bare out the complete misuse of these telephones. It is estimated that only 20% of the people using these phones are actually even looking for gainful employment. That means 80% are using them for their personal use. 2% have actually turned up in criminal investigations being used for drug sales. 17 phones were recovered during murder investigations, 9 phones were actually used during the commission of felony stalking. 253 phones have been linked to use during domestic violence attacks. 496 have been used in the commission of misdemeanor prank telephone calls. 768 times these telephones have been used in false 911 calls resulting in a person being charged. Here is a stagering statistic, the government can monitor telephone calls of the average American for “Keywords” regarding terrorist activity, but Obama phones are exempted from this practice because they are part of a government program.

      • Stargazer says

        Estimated by whom? Where are these cell phone studies? If its from right wing hack, I don’t want to hear it. Of course there are going to be a few who abuse their privileges, that happens in anything, unfortunately. With millions getting these phones. Why wouldn’t you use the phones for a domestic call? You’re totally ridiculous. You’re given a certain number of minutes, and YOU have the free will to to use them as you wish. I’m telling you, more and more people on these boards lack any kind of compassion. We should be complaining about YOU, not the poor, who you have put in a box. You generalize and spread lies. Its awfully sad, this company is just going down the tubes.

  196. Scott says

    We own the government as I said before, we need to act like shareholders and excersise our rights to “Hire” a person to fix the company. Stop thinking of the President as an ideological figure that looks “Cool” on the view and makes us laugh when he sings on stage at the Apollo. Lets hire people that are known to fix economic issues when we have them and then fire them, when another major issue needs to be solved. millions of people work for companies that do just this and those companies are extremely successful. President may be a nice guy, but is totally lost to fix the economy. It has been said the President doesn’t have to know just have those around him that do, FALSE, he has to have a working knowledge of the mechanism behind the economy or he will not know when he is getting bad advice. Anyway, we went ahead and hired an attorney again to fix an economic issue, because he promised the “Takers” he would not stop giving to there every need and let them continue to sleep through life.

    • Audrey says

      This is not rue, when the President came into office, on e of the laws that were passed by him (with no help from the republican majority senate) was to make everyone who was on welfare and food stamps for over 5 years or more, gt up get put and get a job or some form of job training. Thousands were cutoff because of not complying with this very well deserved push to get employment. This is still going on today, yo have 18 months to receive and benefits and them you will be cutoff. As far as the free government phone, it is not as easy to get one as you think it is, you don’t just get on if you’re welfare and food stamps, you can get one if you are:
      SNAP recipient, TANF, LIHEAP, SS Disability, Social Security benefits, 135% below the poverty level in income, Section 8 housing, Veteran’s benefits, or you are on medicaid/medicare. Then you have to show that you are still eligible every 6mos to a year> So not everyone is receiving this phone, and not everyone who is poor even wants one either. Why is is so important who gets one of these phones? By the way this was an information discussion about who was the founder of the program and once that was established that it wasn’t Obama, the conversation shouldn’t even have gone this far with all of the bashing of who’s poor and who isn’t. So just leave it alone because there are more important things to speak of, like the victims of the recent hurricane, they lost everything and are now poor and have no jobs or money, or even a home to go back to are now going to bash them if they decide to get a phone??? This is REAL and worth talking about, not a stupid free cell phone!

  197. Scott says

    The “American Dream” has now become, the “American Scheme”. “How can I get whats coming to me from the government” has replaced “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” ( A very famous speech by a very famous Democrat). The issue will come to a head when the money runs out and these people who relied on the government have no more entitlements because the Chinese want their payback. 16 trillion is no joke, ask Greece what happens when you can’t pay the loan back. We as a people will not be able to continue on this self destructive path of barrow and spend government, we will run out of time. want the answer to the problem?

  198. Scott says

    Ok, enough complaining, here is the solution; Sit your kids down and tell them there is no social security, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no food stamps, no welfare, no WIC check, no Obama phone, no pension, no 401K, no safety net what so ever, because the current generation maxed out the credit card with our worst and longest running enemy and this enemy was sold a bond due in less than 8 years, well before they can use any of the benefits the “Takers” enjoyed. Tough words? true words. You can’t spend your way out of trouble like we have, because your children are going to pay the price, not you. If you have no children, guess that is ok, right?

  199. Scott says

    Until we as a people are willing to hold a “Real” conversation about fundamental economic education at the high school level, we are going to continue to raise generation after generation of “The world owes me a living” children. Remember, the government is owned by every TAX PAYING citizen, when the government spends more than it takes in, it’s like giving your Visa card to your brother who doesn’t even balance his check book. The balance on the card when he gives it back is yours, even though he spent it. China is “Visa” and they are going to expect us to pay, not the government.

  200. Scott says

    Most people that take full advantage of the governments offerings, do so by rationalizing they have a barrier that cannot be scaled. They believe this barrier to have been put in place by the “1% people” as they have been demonized by the Democratic party and President Obama. “They have plenty, they can afford to give me some” is the mentality created by this thought. It is true they have plenty, but so did Jesus, he had fish. The bible (Believe in it or not) has a great statement that is prove correct time and again. “Give them fish they will eat for a day, teach them to fish, they will eat for a lifetime”

    • Lori Howard says

      You have misquoted the Bible. I read the Bible twice, and have never seen that statement. I just checked 18 versions of the bible on my computer and those words are not there. Do you have a book chapter and reference for that statement?

      • Scott says

        You are correct, the exact statement does not exist in the Bible. He spoke to the fishermen in a away they would understand about taking the gospel into the world. He was referencing they should fish for men. The exact passage was eluding to the idea of making fishers of men and as such if you make men believe they would only believe for a short time, but if men profess to men they will believe for a lifetime. The actually bible verse was interpreted later into a proverb that has spread as the literal practical use of what Jesus said.

        • Rachel says

          You should probably never ever try to become a preacher. Your interpretation of “fishers of men” is ridiculous. Sometimes, people need help getting a fishing rod or bait before they can fish.

          Jesus did say this, though in Matthew 24:34-36 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

          In other words, Jesus and his dad seemed to be liberals.

        • Brent says

          Wow-you are just completely full of it. That proverb is almost certainly has no origin in the bible. While the exact origin is unknown, it is generally considered to be an old Chinese proverb, possibly coming from Confucius. But go ahead and keep talking out of you rear and make some claim linking it to “fishers of men”, which makes no sense at all, instead of taking the time to learn the actual truth. You seam to like making up facts that”sound” right to you, regardless of whether they actually have any validity at all.

          • Bobo says

            Who cares if it was Jesus, Buddha, or even Chuck Norris that originally created the “teach a man to fish” saying?????? Like all ignorant leftists, they get tied up in the minutia and can’t see the forest for the trees.

            The fact remains that the saying is 100% completely accurate and it absolutely still as correct today as it was when it was written.

    • Stargazer says

      Not only are you generalizing big time, but you’re absolutely wrong. Why don’t you do some research and come up with real facts and answers about the people you are castigating. I thought the Bible said to help the down and out, the poor and older people??? You just twist the Bible to say anything that is convenient at the time. Not to mention that is was created from a select number of MANY manuscripts and the GOVERNMENT was who mainly chose the books to leave out and what to include. And since you people are so incredibly small-minded, here’s something to ponder. There were gay rites in the Catholic church. Yes, they married gays during regular ceremonies. GASP!

  201. Scott says

    To break the cycle that has become a systemic issue in urban areas, you know the “Government owes me a living” mentality, we as a people are going to have to put in place educational resources to curb the thirst for “Free” stuff. We need to lead by example and teach our kids once again that nothing is free, some one pays.

  202. Scott says

    The “Obama phone” is simply the latest representation of what our society is becoming under what is arguably the most controlling Government in U.S. history. Crack came into play in the early 90’s and was largely distributed for free until the customer was “Hooked” on it’s never ending thirst. Government programs giving perceived “Free” resources anf funding simply create a “Slave” base of citizens that will vote to keep their life “Crack” supply coming visa ve the dealer (U.S. Government).

    • Stargazer says

      You all are so woefully under-informed. You don’t think there was deceit and unfairness in the program way back in Reagan’s time? Much less, BUSH! You people sit and listen to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and now you don’t know your butt from your elbow. Lady, if you’re working, you must be making enough to make the 135% OVER the poverty line for the number of people in your family. You have a house and a car AND a phone. These regulations on the phones were stuck in place many years ago and they’ve stayed the same.
      And shame on all of you for not having once ounce of empathy for the poor and down and out. When it happens to you, you’ll be singing a different tune, Unless you’re going to live in your mom’s basement and make money from working from home. Not everyone is out for a government handout. Most have been forced to accept it after a long period of poverty, illness, etc. Many refuse for many years before they will accept any kind of assistance. And no, Welfare people are not all lazy, black, Hispanic people who refuse to work and do drugs in the back alley, then lay around all day.
      Empathy and sympathy are very good traits to have, but the conservative right believe more in judging people and legislating other people’s rights, than in helping those less fortunate. You’re a pathetic bunch of whiners..

      • mike says

        of course not all of them are as you described, but the vast mojority are. i have seen it time and time again in my profession, someone on welfare/medicaid…yet on their ipad. christ i dont have an ipad and i work/dont take an ounce of aid from anyone. and as far as empathy…its one thing to feel for someone, but regardless of how they got there, why is it my fault or responsibility? if i am unfortunate to end up there i will blame no one but myself and will rely on no one to pick me up again. why is someone elses misfortune my problem? if this is a free country then one of those freedoms is to choose not to help people vs being forced to. i commend those who are charitable and donate time or money to the less fortunate. but no one should be obligated to or condemned if they do not.

        • simona says

          Mike, you have no idea how they got what little they have. I don’t have an iPad, either, but I have a bunch of other stuff that someone living well below the poverty line shouldn’t have. You know why? A couple of reasons: because other people doing better off gave me gifts (parents, partner, etc), sometimes gifts they had saved up quite some time to be able to give me. Pooled resources. I am also very savvy at finding clever ways to salvage things rich folks who don’t appreciate what they have throw away without a thought. I don’t get government assistance, which I easily qualify for. I just have a heart and a brain, so I don’t begrudge someone else what little they have in a world where we should ALL have those things because there’s enough to go around. In a better world, that is.

      • carole says


      • simona says

        Stargazer, thank you for saying this. I was thinking the same thing. I am so SICK of all these ridiculous arguments barely masking racist and hateful piss and vinegar.

      • john says


  203. KAY says

    by the way, I’m working, I can’t afford a cell phone. Haven’t had one in over a year. Barely can put groceries on the table. Why can’t I get a phone – BECAUSE I’M WORKING///!!!!
    I’m so appaulled at this. Just such fraud.
    Another fraud, furnished by the govt. I don’t know what is called, but do you know there is actually an agency that pays kids to look for work? Pays their child care for allt da baby daddies to look for work. Did you know it furnishes gas, rent, tuition.

    • Scott says

      It’s the oldest trick in the book, the “Takers over take the Makers”. For as long as there are those that feel good about having a job and fulfilled by earning a living, there will be those that take advantage of that by dragging on societies financial apron strings. The next time some one says “Can you spare a dime?” say, “No, I can spare the time to point you towards a job.”

      • digdot says

        I hope you never get a catastrophic illness that takes away your ability to work. One day you’re a typical middle class professional with a home and two cars, perfect credit and the ability to pay for all of your needs, soon the hospital has all of your money, you have to sell your house and the cars go by the wayside because you have no money to maintain them. You can no longer walk but you have enough money to not need gov’t assistance, but a loaf of bread is a luxury. Then, just maybe, you are no longer a hateful uninformed bitter selfish person.

  204. KAY says

    sorrry, let me finsh. Its absolutely rediculous that even one dime goes to this program. You are responsible for getting your messages. Goodgrief. You people act like its a hard ship to not have your face stuck in a phone. If you want a job bad enough, you will find a way to get messages.

    • Wendy says

      I would like to know how many of these so-called hardship phones are SMART PHONES??? My guess is that most of them probablyare which boils my blood. If you are unemployed, there are plenty of ways to contact employers, as many other readers have said. I have an old, outdated flip phone. Why? Because it’s cheap and I’m saving my damn money!!!!!!!!!!

      • J says

        Yes, they are old outdated basic phones, with no additional features, usually flip phones, just look at the cheapest prepaid phone you can buy and that’s what it is. At most, people get 150 minutes per month. Why would you think they are smart phones? No, I can guarantee none of them are.

      • J S says

        Im stuck at home in a rual area with no public transportation and can not afford a phone or internet. And the teachers at my childrens school all want to do busness over the internet My husband holds down a full time job but i cant work due to cancer and medical reasons not on anyons government dime but I thank God for the 9.00 dollar phone I have to be able to call the ambulance last week JS

        • Kelly says

          JS. You should apply for a phone. You are the type of person the program was designed to help. If you have a major medical illness you may qualify for SSDI, which would qualify you for a phone. It was intended as an emergency govt service, but like anything, people end up abusing it.

  205. mitch52 says

    This program was a few hundred million to help with phone bills when it started now its 7 Billion a year in Obama Phones. the program is full of fraud as well. Who would have guessed?

  206. KAY says

    same way all unemployed people do it. Can’t afford a cell phone, give them an email address, go the library, check your email if you don’t have a compute, go use a pay phone and call the company! Shit, when did becoming unemployed become a luxury. give them a freinds phone, it will go to their voice mail, they give you the message. Or get just a 132.95 land line, att voicemail, call in and get your messages. Its utterly rediculous for

      • Austin says

        Why don’t we just go ahead and do the interview for them as well so that they dont have to do anything at all! ill even work for them, oh wait I already do

    • chris says

      Did you read the article? The phone company pays for it not the government. Your comment would be better suited if you said, “Rebecca – lets give them a auto industry provided car as well…”

      • Jennie says

        People who pay their phone bills are paying for it, so…. Rebecca – let’s give them a tax payer provided car so they can get to an interview. Either way, the point is the same – it’s a free hand out and it doesn’t encourage independence or self sufficiency.

  207. ASTONISHED .. (look it up) says

    Hold on just one damn minute………..if these are actually Bush phones, I demand that we have a taxpayer funded national campaign, announcing that these are actually Bush Phones and then hold the election all over again. For Gods sake man, the wrong guy got credit for giving away my hard earned tax dollars to people who laugh at me for going to work every day.

    • John says

      That is a good question. People are expected to have cell phones. I did not have cell phone by choice until my current employer provided one for work purposes a few years back. I think land lines sound superior and a personal cell phone is a waste of money for me. With that said, I was in a job interview about 8 years ago and the interviewee actually mocked me for not owning a phone. My point being that employers pretty much expect their prospective employees to have a cell phone.

    • Shawn says

      It’s something called the internet. All Libraries have access to the internet for the public. They can set up an account with virtually anyone i.e Google, Yahoo, Aol, etc… They can be contacted by e-mail. And best of all it’s FREE!!!!!!

  208. Chris says

    It doesn’t matter if the program was started under / by Obama or not. The name is representative of how many Americans feel about the work Obama is doing.

    • Big Red says

      Did you even read the report? the money is collected from you by your Phone company to pay for a program that is administered by a phone company. I’m sure the phone company is very happy that it’s there. They get to collect more of your money and all they have to do is provide someone with a beat up $2 cellphone and 70 minutes of airtime a month. Don’t blame Obama for something that the phone company is obviously profiting from.

  209. Jo says

    The phones that the recipients of this program get are refurbished phones. And they only get like 60 minutes a month. If I have to pay a few extra pennies to help another citizen out who needs it so be it.

    • james says

      I cant find the video on youtube to save my life, but a news station covered the story and showed a girl with over a dozen phones in her purse. i guess when you run out of 60 on the first phone, just start using the next one.

  210. Chris S says

    What you call a “fee”, I call a “tax”. We pay the “fee” and the company gives it to the government, which comes out in the form of a “tax”. Which means, it’s TAXPAYERS that are funding it.

    Word of advice, it doesn’t matter how much you polish a turd and make it shiny on the outside…on the inside, it’s still a piece of shit.

  211. Nathan Belomy says

    I used to sell VoIP phones and every time I sold a phone and service plan the “Universal Service Fund” charge was attached to the sale, along with tax and one other fee. It’s a really trivial amount, like $2 or $3.

  212. eric says

    There are a lot of people who can write off their cellphone expenses as bizness expenses in their taxes,i hope no one forgets that…Heck one guy in here was paying 75 for 3 phones,thats a luxury for him and his girls,they should feel lucky its only that lol..think what 3 landlines would cost…u want safety for your girls,well pay the bills and keep quiet…have a nice day..i want one of them phone,how do i become a needy person and hide what i make a year,j/k…

  213. MDROD says

    Jamillah, excellent post. Your mom is obviously an honorable citizen that deserves the little help she receives in the form of a phone. She is by no means abusing anything. When you consider that there are citizens who are millionaires in this country, hiding their assets and paying little or no taxes, I would say we need more citizens like her and less of the other kind. Thank you for sharing and May God bless your mother.

  214. ShellyH says

    I just paid my cell phone bill. I pay for 3, my own and 1 each for my daughters. My latest Nov. bill, the Universal and Govt surcharges was almost SEVENTY FIVE dollars, which most goes to those free phones. I can totally understand gov’t possibly paying for LANDLINES, not mobile phones. I can’t afford to pay for everyones elses phone. We can’t keep redistributing everything. One day the people that are on welfare are going to far exceed the people that work .

  215. debbie says


  216. Honest Recipient says

    After reading the earlier posts, I feel some are not considering those who have a genuine need for assistance. As a single working mother with very little child support, I worked my butt off for years. I too looked down at people on assistance assuming they were all lazy or earning their welfare by having more children. At the age of 51, I suddenly became very ill with a condition that is still not confirmed after almost 2 years. I exhausted every private resource I had and found myself applying for Social Security disability, Medicaid and food assistance. Now that I’m receiving monthly disability payments, Medicaid has decided that I make too much money. Now my medical coverage will not cover the tests that could result in a clear diagnosis. My daughter has been paying for my cell phone but can no longer afford it so I am applying for the “free Obama phone”. Do to medical needs, I can not be without a phone. I have a very hard time accepting that I am in need of assistance and am very grateful that there is assistance available.

    • james says

      HonestRecip, I believe the clear message that is trying to be conveyed here is, “We, the working public, do not want to shoulder the responsibility of paying bills for those who are ABLE BODIED people.” The excuse of “I gots too many kurds, or my poor black ass back is hurtin” ain’t going to cut it. Do you know why the “hurt back” excuse is widely used? Because the back is one of the most complex areas of the body. Many hurt areas are hard to find/detect by doctors etc.

  217. Honest Recipient says

    After reading the earlier posts, I feel some are not considering those who have a genuine need for assistance. As a single working mother with very little child support, I worked my butt off for years. I too looked down at people on assistance assuming they were all lazy or earning their welfare by having more children. At the age of 51, I suddenly became very ill with a condition that is still not confirmed after almost 2 years. I exhausted every private resource I had and found myself applying for Social Security disability, Medicaid and food assistance. Now that I’m receiving monthly disability payments, Medicaid has decided that I make too much money. Now my medical coverage will not cover the tests that could result in a clear diagnosis.

  218. deni says

    Linnee and Kay,
    It sounds as though one of the posters might come from a different country? English may be a second language? Maybe not, but seriously, who really cares?
    Typo or not, the point was made and understood.
    At the very least, this poster searched and found the website to become informed and increased their knowledge.
    Shame on anyone who slams a person who wants further information on a subject matter and gladly gave their opinion.
    Hoity Toity at it’s best.

  219. Jamillah says

    My mom is 59. She was a high school drop- out who later got her GED. She spent the first 20 years of my life she stayed home raising my 3 sisters and myself on welfare. My dad/her husband (same for all of us) could not beat his dependence on drugs (that we NEVER witnessed). She raised us pretty much alone in a housing project in NYC (one of those high cost of living zones) and we are all upwardly mobile, bachelors plus educated, working mothers. She is now a home health aide. She has been for 20!years now. She makes 7.50/hr and will probably never exceed that. Her income is based on the client’s needs, so any hospital time is an unpaid, maybe reassigned day. That persons’ medicare dictates how many hours that she can work. So she does not qualify for medical coverage, so receives medicaid, makes way below the poverty line. And does not want her lids to take care of her (altjough we personally find a retirement account for her behalf). she still lives in that same project apartment (the cleanest place you could ever visit), she owns one credit card for 300 at her favorite retailer (for grandkids gifts) has antenna service only for cable. Pays bus and train fare every day and never calls out. The regular basic cell phone plan cost her $50/month which was just too much for her budget. Her Assurance phone is $10/month for emergencies. Maybe 100/mins to talk and 100 text msgs- no pics allowed. The government came up with a way to help. She pays a landline bill- (same number for over 30 years and never cut off) and pays the same UFC charge that all the non-assurance wireless people pay. Where is she being bad/wrong/lazy or thieving?

    • Wayne says

      So Jamillah, if all you kids are “upwardly mobile” as you state, why in God’s name are you not helping your mother for all her sacrifice in raising you? Why do I have to subsidize your mothers cell phone? What’s wrong with you picking up and helping her? Same old story, “we are entitled”. You are not! You are entitled to equal opportunity, not equal outcome. Help your mother.

  220. Robert says

    As I understand it this program did start under Clinton and has expanded exponentially since then to include cellphones.
    Now, I did look at my latest phone bill for home phone and saw that the universal service fee goes to provide these phones for low income, consumers living in high cost (?!) areas, schools, libraries,and rural hospitals. (Schools and libraries are already on my tax bill!)
    To add insult to injury my latest phone bill notes that the USF is being increased effective Oct 1st.!
    Robert S.

    • jstern says

      Some people live in an area where all of the housing is way above the national average, such as New York, San Francisco, etc. I am a disabled veteran and I can’t afford an apartment within an 80 mile radius of where my family lives. I live with my mother.

  221. nancy says

    fyi—–the free cellphone biz is split between sprint and the cellular company owned by carlos slim…..worlds richest man. american tax dollars going to a non american biz not employing americans….when there is an american alternative,,,,,.

  222. Nathan says

    First of all the DEM that produced this little dog and pony web page says that tax payers do and don’t pay for the phone. The last i checked you ether do something or not no middle ground. Secondly every since the welfare system was created there have been those who have been working the system. I do not have a problem helping people who want to bee helped. Those who will actively try to do better and become productive citizens. Lets face it everyone may need a little help at least once in there life. On the other hand i do not agree with the legalized theft of my hard earned money by our government, to give to the so called less fortunate. There are people among us that require public assistance ( physically and mentally impaired ). The other millions that are a drain on society need to find a way to survive. I do just this everyday when i get up shower and go out and produce. The government assistance programs need to be analyzed and repaired. There are to many people i know that do not need it. Lets face it as long as we keep electing lawyers and long time congress men that do not know what it is like to work and produce we will continue our spiral down. Lets face it this is why our ancestors revolted against England in the first place. So to all the people that are tired of taxation with out proper representation we need to stand up and put a stop to the issues. As long as you have blind leading and giving to the growing less fortunate population all we are going to have is nothing.

    • Jessica says

      by “do or do not” regarding tax payers paying for this, they meant that it is included in your current phone bill…that money is what is used. The person PAYING the phone bill MAY be a tax payer and MAY not…but the funds are generated by that money collected on the phone bill. I am a single working mom who does NOT I repeat does NOT receive any kind of assistance. That being said, I know some who have this and to get job interviews, etc, you have to have a way for employers to contact you. I know several people who have these phone. You get VERY limited minutes monthly, it is rally for emergency and business purposes. It is no different than helping them with a landline. And I love those of you who say “I don’t mind helping those that are helping themselves” but lets face it, yes, you do, and that is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but don’t make it something that it isn’t. Some of those phones go to women who are actually working and need the “help” you claim you don’t mind giving.

    • MK says

      Who do you personally know that receives govt assistance and doesn’t need it? If you really DO know someone who is receiving this assistance fraudulently you should be reporting it.

      • Pam says

        I used to work in the state income tax dept, auditing tax refunds for a program designed to help seniors with their property tax. Then the welfare people got on the bandwagon and insisted that their landlords paid property taxes so they should get a cut from the rent they paid. Eventually about 20% that receive refunds were seniors and 80% were women on welfare with 10 kids with 9 different last names. If they didn’t get their refund right away, they called to complained. One welfare woman in particular called one day and screamed over the phone “you people are taking my money and I need it to take a vacation in Hawaii”. Excuse me, but I have worked since I was 16 (nearly 40 years) and I’ve never been able to vacation in Hawaii. If you do not believe there is fraud in the welfare system, then you are gravely mistaken. if you are getting free money, free food and free or greatly reduced housing why can’t you go buy a prepaid cell phone? That’s what I use.

      • RCS says

        I know of people receiving govt. assistance – I don’t know them personally to be able to turn them in – and even if I did it would only put my life in danger if I did turn them in. These people need it but don’t use it for it’s original purpose. I know a guy that has a girlfriend that is a crack user. She gives her welfare card to her dealer so he can buy what ever he needs or wants to satisfy her purchase. Whenever her boyfriend gets back from working all day and she has been out and about doing who knows what – he lets her stay with him until he goes back to work the following day. This is why I feel that anyone on govt. assistance should be “drug tested”, but I am also sure that this would cost tax payers more – however these people that abuse the system no matter how the government makes it available – some seem to find away around all the implemented abuse preventions. I believe there are a lot of people out there that actually need help and are trying to get off of that assistance as they can *(if) they can – but there are in my opinion a lot that are abusing the system and not getting caught as well. *Some people I know have physical disabilities that prevent them from ever going back to work again.

      • james says

        MK, if someone reports fraudulent use of govt assistance, the the user happens to be black, get ready to be fired at. Claims of racism is coming your way.

  223. Emily says

    Bottom line: facts don’t matter to Republicans Obama is the culprit and no amount of facts will change their mind… Disguised Racism in its purist form!
    I came here looking for the facts about this phone rumor and I got it. It also makes sense because my grandmother had a lifeline phone: she was retired on social security & medicaid so that qualified her for the phone, I was a child but I remember that & was glad for it since she was able to call for help when she needed it. I know many people abuse these programs & that’s frustrating to the ones who work but we can’t punish real needy for the few who abuse it.

    • Joe says

      So you came here looking for truth on a Democraticly biased website and call the Republicans racist? Congratulations, you’re one of the 99% of Americans who have no idea what they’re talking about, and simply blame everyone in the other party for all the problems.

      You want some real facts? Obama signed the provision to begin the actual carrying out of this act. Meaning it didnt go in effect until Obama gave the OK. Also, Obama said that if the economy wasnt better by 2012, his term should be a one term presidency. We’re more in the shithole than ever. And yet all he’s done is blame the republicans in Congress for everything. The funny thing is, even the DEMOCRATS in Congress say the man is absolutely unmovable and refuses to compromise.

      Obama seems like a really good man. But I have no idea how he has been able to brainwash so many people that he’s a good guy. His ability to have so many people following him despite the inummerable ways he breaks or defies the constitution on a daily basis is simply astounding.

    • Sandy says

      See this is the problem. You can’t go around assuming someone is racist because they don’t like Obama and his methods. As a Republican, my views are based on the ISSUES. If a person of ANY background came on the scene and wanted to support the issues that I find important, I will vote for THAT person. I think it’s amazing that our country is in a position – FINALLY – LONG OVERDUE – to where it is okay to elect someone non-white. I really do. My best friend in all the world is African-American and I’m as white as they come. I also love my friends the Jew Crew (they made that one up), and I love my Puerto-Rican friend. I’d be surprised if racism isn’t a PART of the reason Obama won the first term, but I really thing his smooth talking nature did most of it. Add to that people were upset about the war… but the woman on that video out there did not do this whole situation any favors by acting all weird.

      I don’t like welfare – as an ongoing thing… and I don’t like being referred to as racist for having a view that opposes the democratic president’s. The churches are supposed to help people, and the government is doing it instead. I do want to help the truly needy, however, that is the bottom line. But I know too many people that do take advantage of the system.

  224. Tom h says

    If you dig a little further, you will discover that communication subsidies started under democratic president Woodrow Wilson in 1913 to be paid for by AT&T (and passed onto the customer, of course). It is his program that eventually morphed into the inclusion of modern communications and the user-based ‘tax’. The program turned into the Universal Service Fund to cover wireless and VOIP communications also, since prior to that it was funded solely by long distance landline carriers. As wireless/internet comms grew, long distance carriers shrank and could no longer pay the bills, so to speak. The USF is turning into a new fund under the Obama administration (Connect America Fund) and will collect over $4.5 BILLION annually to give out in the form of free communications packages.

    I’m not saying that some carefully monitored government assistance isn’t necessary, because it is. However, it cannot be a long-term, unmanaged handout that is has become.

  225. Dan says

    Yeah, too bad governmental funding of the cell phones forced the cell phone carriers to enable both GPS tracking and warrantless wiretaps of the phones at law enforcement’s discretion. Bad enough all cell phone calls and e-mails in the US already get funneled through a computer scanner called Carnivore (Google it) that looks for keywords, but Carnivore data from privately funded phones is at least supposed to be sealed until a judge issues a warrant. These so-called “Obama Phones” have no such protections.

  226. pete walker says

    free landline phones date back to 1933, so in thinkin half of you need to do more research, say maybe the library, or just believe what youtube video’s you watched today, obama phone MYTH! and i havent read a word about reagan(REP) and his part in this, or do rep want to forget, Bush had the watch when it started, and there will always be a welfare state, just read half the comments on here, and what they really should of said was that they are racists!OBAMA 2012!!!!

  227. Doc says

    I keep hearing the government supporters say “What’s the big deal,,,It’s only a 50 cent tax” or “We all need to give just a little to help others”
    Here is list of “Little Tax Contributions” that we are already paying for:

    Building Permit Tax
    CDL License Tax
    Cigarette Tax
    Corporate Income Tax
    Dog License Tax
    Federal Income Tax (Fed)
    Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)
    Fishing License Tax
    Food License Tax
    Fuel Permit Tax
    Gasoline Tax
    Hunting License Tax
    Inheritance Tax
    Inventory Tax
    IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
    IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
    Liquor Tax
    Luxury Tax
    Marriage License Tax
    Medicare Tax
    Property Tax
    Real Estate Tax
    Service charge Taxes
    Social Security Tax
    Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
    Sales Taxes
    Recreational Vehicle Tax
    School Tax
    State Income Tax
    State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
    Telephone Federal Excise Tax
    Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
    Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
    Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
    Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
    Telephone State and Local Tax
    Telephone Usage Charge Tax
    Universal Health Care Tax
    Utility Tax
    Vehicle License Registration Tax
    Vehicle Sales Tax
    Watercraft Registration Tax
    Well Permit Tax
    Workers Compensation Tax

    Ummm. I think they are beginning to add up to NOT such a small contribution after all. It’s also a little disturbing to think that NONE of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

    We had absolutely no national debt…
    We had the largest middle class in the world…
    And Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
    What the Hell happened?

    How can anyone out there defend this???

  228. barbara says

    Wow. It seems to me that a lot of people don’t care about facts, and don’t bother to read information. They just jump to conclusions. 1. The program was funded under Clinton, was continued under Bush for 8 years, and shifted from mostly a land-line system to mostly a cell-phone system in the same year that Obama was ELECTED president, but during the time that Bush WAS president (remember: elections take place at the END of the year. So this program began during the same part of the year that the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression happened: while Bush was president). 2. The program began so that battered women, for example, or elderly poor, could call for an ambulance or for other help. 200 minutes sounds like too much to me, for this, but the basic idea of the program was as A LIFELINE. 3. Most poor people DO WORK. LOOK IT UP. Otherwise, all you sound like are ignorant, stereotyping, anti-poor bigots. The facts are, once again, that MOST POOR PEOPLE WORK (or are the children of poor people who work). The minimum wage does NOT lift people out of poverty. AND the facts also tell us that the majority of people who need help only need it temporarily (for instance, for the one year when I was a kid, following when my father had a heart attack and was out of work). That help gets them through a rough patch and then they get back to work and supporting their family. Stop ranting and spouting your ignorance about poverty. All it does is show how little you know. 4. While we don’t have a whole lot of direct quotes from Jesus, what we do have tells us, very straightforwardly,that He does NOT like rich people and DOES like poor people. He told us that unless we feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the homeless, and take care of the sick and imprisoned, we will go to hell. Each individual deciding from time to time how much s/he feels like donating to one charity does NOT take care of anyone. However, all of us taking care of each other DOES. So if you like to think of yourself as a Christian,AND as an American patriot, stop griping about having to help fellow Americans who are in need. You are a citizen of a nation; as such, you have responsibilities to the other citizens and to the nation as a whole. Deal with it. Can you still afford to eat, to pay your rent, to clothe yourself, to watch tv and drink beer? Then stop complaining.

    • Doc says

      Where does one begin to explain someone like you. Seriously, Where does it say anywhere in the bible that “Jesus does NOT like rich people and DOES like poor people” (sound more like a liberal Democratic bible). There is no reference anywhere that alludes to you going to hell if we don’t “feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the homeless, and take care of the sick and imprisoned” Read the Bible John 14:6 (World English Bible: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.)
      You also say “You are a citizen of a nation; as such, you have responsibilities to the other citizens and to the nation as a whole”. Are those citizens that are considered “poor” exempt from that same responsibility? or does that responsibility fall squarely on the shoulders of those citizens that have the economic ability to have their money redistributed to those “in need”.
      I, too, know what it is like to do without. I, along with my wife, rented a single room in a house shared with 4 other adults. My wife worked 3 different jobs (1 full time and 2 part time that committed her to work 7 days a week. I was working 2 part time jobs while I went to college. We did not receive any financial assistance other than student loans [which have all been paid back]. Yes, I could eligible for many forms of financial aide but was told the only way I could get them was to “file for legal separation from my wife” even though it is “only on paper”. We could remain living together, just file tax returns separately and her income would not be applied to mine and I could show I was below poverty levels and Viola…housing assistance, phone assistance, heating assistance, food assistance, medical assistance, transportation assistance and educational assistance was suddenly available to me. I did not take it because of my responsibilities to God, Country and Family. Somehow, I survived graduated, remained married, have 2 children, and now make a decent living in pursuit of the American dream only to have told by someone like you that I am an ignorant, uncaring, un-christian, individual headed to Hell because I want to more out of life than to “afford to eat, to pay your rent, to clothe yourself, to watch tv and drink beer.
      To you I say….Up yours! We worked (and continue to work} very hard to get where we are and we earn and deserve everything we have. I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR ANY OF MY SUCCESS AND REFUSE TO STAND BY WHILE MY GOVERNMENT PENALIZES ME FOR IT!
      You need to wake up! This country provides everyone with an opportunity to live the American dream, but, you need to go after it and make it your own, not sit around waiting for politicians to deliver it to you.
      For you, it’s probably too late. You should just go drink your socialist kool-aid and go back to sleep…the greatness of this Christian country is obviously lost on you.

      • Modupe Odusanya says


        I admire your ethics. Since you have attempted to repudiate a reference to Jesus, I will refer you to Mathew 25: verses 31 – 46. The issue of welfare is a contentious one in America and I believe neither of the 2 sides are doing a good job of managing it. There are free loaders who want to depend on goverment as Romney said. You find this across all racial groups and they would manipulate the system dishonestly to continue to get their welfare. At the same time, you have the old, the sick and people who were dealt an unfair hand in life beyond what they can manage. These are the people Jesus admonished us to help and that should be something goverments do.

    • Ron says

      Elections are at the end of the year…end of 2007 not 2008, and you are obviously no theologian….wow what a piece of work….

      • Mark says

        Um, Rom, no, the election was at the end of 2008. And Doc, kudos to you for staying off the dole, working hard, and making something out of your life. And I mean that sincerely, But I’m willing to guess you aren’t handicapped by an extremely low IQ, or suffering the effects of growing up with abusive parents, or living in an urban ghetto where they don’t even have enough decent food to give you proper nutrition so you can even think clearly. There are far too many people in this country who just plain are unable to help themselves, no matter how hard they try. What do we do with them? All too often they end up in prison, which is why we have the highest proportion of our population in prison of any country in the developed world, and most of the undeveloped world as well. Our poverty rate is among the highest, our infant mortality rate is among the highest. I could go on and on. The poor in this country are suffering because too much of the money in this country is being redistributed to the wealthy. Giving them a cell phone so they can actually be contacted by employers, their kids’ school, their friends who are taking care of their kids, is the least we can do for those in this country who can’t help themselves. Let me repeat that — “can’t help themselves.” If we are a just or even a Christian nation, we wouldn’t allow that to happen.

    • Tom says

      Barbara. You misread sorry. What it says is “Subsidizing” the service started under Clinton. Actually handing out the ACTUAL CELL PHONES is all Barry’s baby. And we are all paying for it. When it was for landlines only. You still had to buy a handset.

  229. JOHN Q. PUBLIC says

    Why in hell are we, the working class, paying for cell phones for people that won’t work. i am sick and tired of working 40 hours a week, being taxed to death and being broke.

    • Mike says

      Welfare “can” be an effective social program, but even Thomas Paine wrote that it should be temporary! So why did we, the American people, allow it to get out of control? Unfortunately, welfare is like a drug, and millions are addicts. It is our duty and responsibility to identify the “pushers” and respond with our vote. Your chance is coming up soon.

  230. taxed to death says

    Its not just phones its computers also . the government is giving out free laptops as Obama redistributes wealth

      • Tom says

        Actually, Welfare “subsidizes” the $150 AND the monthly service fees. So yes really they are giving out free laptops and the monthly service. On us of course. I live near a HUD housing building. ALL of them have free internet and computers. Also their kids have FREE laptops from school. Again ON US !.

        • Free Government Cell Phones says

          The public is paying for it through subsidization, but they are in fact NOT free to the recipients. Again, they have to pay the $150 and the $9.95 a month. The recipient does not get it for free. Subsidizing of them does make them less expensive to the user though.

  231. JDP says

    This is just another way for big brother to watch over the poor and make sure they are not doing anything wrong. Tell me they are not listening in on these phones. You can’t, because you know they are.

  232. Hellinahandbasket says

    “Is the government giving out free cell phones?
    Yes. This part is true.”
    “Did Obama start the free phones program?
    The cell phone distribution program did begin in 2008, the year Obama was elected president”
    Applicants are eligable “if they already participate in one of many public assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, public housing and others.”
    Sounds like under President Obama, people who cant afford to buy their own food or housing get FREE CELLPHONES!
    Thanks for clearing it all up!!!

    • CG says

      So you did not read the part about the program started BEFORE Obama was inaugurated … it started under BUSH !
      I was once a recipient of the Land Line assistance, I was getting divorced with two kids 15 and 12 living four miles outside of town with no neighbors for a mile in any direction. I was working and the kids were home alone for a good part of each day after the school bus dropped them off (a half mile walk from the house). That phone was a real life saver! I am not sure I like the cell phone program, but i do understand that it is alot easier to administer a program that does not involve any personnel doing home instalations. Lets face it, cell phones are cheap for the program!
      Oh, I do not have a cell phone, I have an answering machine, my kids grew up ok!

      • paul says

        “So, the subsidization of phones began under President Clinton, and has continued under Presidents Bush and Obama.” Please re-read, it wasn’t started by Bush as you say, there is plenty of blame to go around so lets give it where its due.

        • txpatriot says

          The Universal Service Program (of which LifeLine is just a part) was started in 1996. The law that started the program was passed by a Republican House and signed by a Democratic President. There really shouldn’t be anything partisan about it. The law itself was well-intentioned, but like any other well-intentioned government support program, people can and will take advantage of it.

          The intent of the law was to provide low-cost phone service to needy people. The way it worked was, the telco would discount its service (by approx. $9 a month) in order to make it more affordable to the needy. The telco was then reimbursed by the government to make up the revenue lost by the telco in the form of the discount.

          Wireless companies got wind of this and struck a goldmine. They can buy prepaid phones in bulk for less than $9 each (including a fixed allocation of minutes), give these phones away for free, and STILL get remibursed by the government for the $9. Out of that reimbursement, they pay for the cost of the bulk prepaid phones and pocket the difference as profit. EVERY person signing up for “free” service means MORE PROFIT for these companies, and guess where that money comes from?

          Are taxpayers footing the bill for free cell phone service for the poor? In a sense we are, but it’s worse than that — not only are we subsidizing free cell phone service for the poor, but the fly-by-night wireless companies giving away these cell phones are profiting by it and helping themselves to our wallets!

    • ISNSF says

      Actually, this article is incorrect — Lifeline started in 1996… at the time it was for land lines only, giving a discount on service….with the widespread use of cell phones, Lifeline teemed up with several carriers and gives free cell phones to those that have to qualify for eligibility under 1996 rules —

      the rules haven’t changed — so is this, then a Clinton Phone, or a Bush Phone?

      Lifeline started with 50 free minutes a month, and now it’s up to 200 minutes a month.

    • Judy says

      Come ON! Surely you’re intelligent enough to know that ANYbody with a few bucks can buy a website domain and put anything on it they want to?

      • txpatriot says

        If you check whois, you’ll see the domain was purchased on Aug 26, 2011 long before the “Obama Phone Lady” video went viral, but long after Obama took office.

        OTOH, that website (just like this one) refutes the falsehood that this program dates from the Obama Administration. So the purpose of that website isn’t to bash Obama, if that is what you are implying. In fact, that website appears to be legitimate, with the intent to encourage qualifying persons to sign up for a free cell phone. Whether or not anyone supports the concept of LifeLine service is a separate debate and one worth having, but I would remind everyone that LifeLine is written into the law as we have it, so no one is doing anything illegal by offering these free phones.

        Whether we should change that law is up for debate, but using “Obama Phone Lady” for political ends is unfortunate and short-sighted, and I say that even though I’m a white, Conservative, registered Republican.

        • Modupe Odusanya says