Who pays for these free cell phones?

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Everyone who owns a telephone pays. A few cents is tacked on to every phone bill every month. It’s listed on those bills as the Universal Service Fund. All those pennies are put into a program called LifeLine to bring quality telephone service to every American.

In 1996 Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which states that all providers of telecommunications services should contribute to federal universal service in some equitable and nondiscriminatory manner. The next year, in 1997, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Universal Service Fund (USF) to meet the goals of the Telecommunications Act just passed.


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  1. Evelyn Marks says

    It’s absolutely disgusting to me that this service is available to anyone. Whats even more nauseating is the fact that u advertise on TV “if ur on welfare, don’t stop there… don’t forget u get a free phone too” we wouldn’t expect anyone to actually go to work and purchase a phone now would we. My friend walks into the Hudson center & forgets her ss card & the employee asked her for her sons card who is 8 months old in a stroller. She walks out of the center w/a cell phone 4 her son that’s not even 1yrs old, nor can he talk. Financially disadvantaged you call it? I call it just another way to make things easy for people who don’t want to work but want all the comforts and conveniences of a working person (oh, that I have to pay for). Now your adding Internet service too! Wow! So I just wanted to know, when are the “financially disadvantaged” going to start getting free vacations and cruises to the Caribbean?

  2. sylvita joseph says

    The phone I currently own is old and broken, so I need a replacement if possible for it to have a touchscreen please. Thank you for your time from sylvita joseph on November 11, 2014

  3. Ramon rosales says


  4. William M. Hubicki says

    Thanks for the cell phone. I can use it a lot. Maybe someday I will get another phone. But for now thanks.

  5. March 8, 2014 says

    Stop complaining about the phone quality. Pay for your own phone instead of letting everyone else pay for you so you can have a “free” phone. I’m not impressed by how many lazy people out there think they should get necessities for free. Work for a living so you can afford your own items.

    • Kat says

      You don’t seem to understand that these are for working people. Well over 60% of Americans qualify for programs such as these at some point in their lives.

  6. horrible phone says

    the phone they sent sucks. samsung S125G. 10 dollar phone. its too small. I’ve made 2 calls and the quality sucked. so while their offering free phones, im not impressed with the phone and call quality

  7. it's a TAX not a fee says

    my landland has fees that are about $12 a month. THAT helps to fund phones for everyone else. including the free phone I just got. for me its free, but then again its not free. anyone that pays taxes pay for it.

  8. Beth says

    After reading all of these posts, I am still “wondering” what would my niece and her n’er do well husband need 1250 minutes and 1250 texts (and they use them ALL each month) for? They get EBT and one free phone with 250 min/texts a month. I purchased them a straighttalk phone with 1000 min/texts a month for the past year and a half, until they can “get on their feet”. I also buy them paper goods, soap, etc. that EBT will not. There have been no “real” job prospects that I know of. I guess I’m just completely naive. I have a landline and a cell that combined I don’t use 1250 minutes in 3 months!

  9. Jake says

    The government has been providing free phone services for low income people ever since THE BILL WAS PASSED almost 20years ago The decision to provide this service was made a long time ago. America is not yours alone. We are a democracy! The bill was proposed, voted on, and then passed!
    The pennies taken out of our checks every month is something AMERICA decided on a long time ago.
    If you didn’t participate in this decision, then you were too young to vote or weren’t interested enough in politics to care about how your tax money is spent. If you voted for the politicians who participated in this bill then stop complaining. We live in a democracy. Live with it.

    It seems like many of you are just upset that low income people are getting “cell phones”. Almost 20 years ago, after the bill was passed, deals were cut with landland phone services to allow the implementation of “Free government landline phones”! Almost 20 years later, deals were cut with wireless phone services to over “Free government wireless phones!”. In the future, deals could be cut to offer free Iphone/Blackberry/Android phone services while staying true to initial bill!


  10. Wayne says

    I only have one thing to say about this. People like Obama isn’t the problem in America. The problem is that there are people who would vote for him and they are the ones that will eventually bring us down. There is one other thing…democrats are eventually going to run out of other peoples money

    • James Masters says


  11. tracy says

    Yes, I see lazy people who don’t hold a job because they drink and do drugs every day walking around with a cell phone hanging out of their ear here. If you can’t afford it – you don’t need it. That was the philosophy I was raised with. Darn I worked every day of my life, single, raised five children, no government hand outs – and now in my retirement I have to pay for free phones. Geez when does this give away end?

    • Wayne says

      Tracy, it will come to an end…..and very soon. If possible to look ahead say….500 years from now, America will be another example of how democracies never work. There’s only one that will stand forever and that will be “The Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus has it all figured out. Just be certain you’re counted amongst the just.

  12. Kari says

    If you can afford to smoke you can afford to pay for your own cell phone. Any cell phone will work to call 911 as long as it will power up.

  13. Ed says

    I received my ‘free’ cellphone few days ago. I have never had any government low income assistance, never had a food stamp, etc. My yearly income is $44,600. Instructions received, if I received this phone in error I should phone this 800 number and I would receive instructions how to return the phone at no cost to myself. On three consecutive days I called their 800 number, talked to someone who was just learning how to speak English. I could not understand what he was saying, perhaps I reached the same person each time I called. As of now I will not try to return the phone, if they want it back they can come get it.

    • Jason says

      So, you illegally applied for government assistance? Real smart….. And, you admit to it on here which your IP address is recorded….

  14. Colleen says

    What a joke. I understood the landline deal for emergencies, job possibilities… but why a cell phone? What ever happened to if you couldn’t afford something you did without?
    OK, so the government buys you a cell phone, why do they have to pay for continued service? You can call 911 on any cell phone without service. If you’re using it waiting for job interviews, I bet you could spare $20 to purchase an airtime card, heck that would last you for months, right? When I was younger and our home phone was shut off when my dad was out of work, our neighbor let us use their # for messages.
    Money’s tight for everyone, we all have to budget. If a cell phone doesn’t fit into your budget, you don’t need one.
    Let’s do some math:
    The US has over 315 million people. Say about half each have a cell phone (I’m sure it’s more than half, lol) That’s 150 million cell phones being charged 3 cents each… That’s $4,500,000 EVERY MONTH that could be going toward the deficit, education, job training…. Now this site says three cents, on my bill the “universal fund” is 75 cents every month. (That’s 112,500,000 a month) Think about that next time you pay your cell phone bill.

    • Jason says

      Cell phones had to be allowed because the cell phone companies sued the federal government for the right to provide the service. Their agrument was if they have to pay the tax and collect the taxes from their customers, they should have the right to provide the service. Also, with the increased use of cell phones, how many pay phones do you see any more?

      • Paul says

        Not to mention the fact that you can get food stamps WITHOUT an address, a “land line” you cannot.. Hard to have a line running into a house you don’t have.. I use Virgin Mobile, costs me 22$ a month i believe tax and all, this seems like a good option for those that can’t afford even that. Got to love them bigots.. How many people get back more than they paid in at the end of the year? I paid my self employment tax, and still got a refund, so the complainers must be THAT well off? WTF is wrong with people now days? Lost all hope in the human race.

  15. pete says

    my only problem is the leeches on society get all the freebies and benefits.mother of 4 i don’t have an issue with people with disabilites getting help i have issue with the ones that are to damn lazy to work.get a damn job if you want a cell phone,maybe a land line would be better because if you want your unsupervised children to call you when the get home maybe they could use the one plugged into the wall i want one for my elderly parents that have a land line. because they have doctor appointments and other stuff to take care of safety is a concern.I’m tired of paying all your damn bills because you cant stop sh*tting out kids,take responsibility for your own.I understand its hard to turn down free stuff,and set on your ass,but lets promote self respect and pride in your self.

  16. Paul says

    Free cell phones for the poor are ok !


    Ther were ment to be used for emergencies .

    • Rin says

      How terribly FOOLISH of you to say. I’m currently awaiting the arrival of my free government issued phone at the very moment. Why you ask? Because my 12 year old son who arrives home from school by bus everyday while I am still at WORK needs to be able to communicate to me that he has made it to our home safely. Really? “911 only”?! I’m wondering since you offered such a dumbfounded suggestion, will you agree to hold yourself accountable for every city issued fine due to “the poor” (your words) using 911 inappropriately? Some of you people really need to become more in touch with REALITY! Everyone who is entitled to receive certain government incentives is not abusing the system for fraudulent or wasteful purposes. In many cases, IT IS A NECESSITY TO RECEIVE THESE SERVICES!!! When my government issued phone arrives within the next 5 – 7 business days i will carefully remove it from its packaging, hold it in my hands, and pray earnestly that it will never be used to dial 911 EVER under any circumstances!!! Blessings to you Paul.

      • smitty says

        There are really cheap pay as you go phones that he can use to call you only! Doesn’t cost that much and it isn’t on my dime…..AGAIN!!!!

      • James Masters says


        • Paul says

          JAMES REREAD THAT POST… iT IS FOR HIM AT WORK, TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIS SON AT HOME! Why are we yelling? Some business owners won’t allow personal calls on there work lines unless it’s an emergency.. And 12 was allot different in the “good ole days”

  17. motherof4 says

    I am curious what pisses you people lucky enough not to need assistance off the most? Is it the Cell Phone? The Welfare Checks? The Food Stamps? Medicaid?
    Or you just hate anyone who has a part in any of these programs?
    I get Food Stamps.. have NEVER received a Welfare Check, but I get Medicaid, and the Government Phone. So 3 out of 4 there. My husband works, my oldest son works, I am disabled. Never in my life done drugs, I dont smoke or drink and dont even drink coffee. I waste as little as possible as I can. As a matter of fact I do not and can not afford to make a car payment. My husband and I own 2 junkers (a 1996 and 2001). Point A to Point B.
    I do have nice furniture… a nice leather set I got on craigslist for $146 total, I own 1 flat screen that is very old, when my husband had a GOOD job, not making $8.75 per hour, and the other TV’s in our house are consoles.. that we got at a warehouse sale for $10 each.
    I am grateful for the help I receive, and I am grateful to have the things I have. I shop at thrift stonres for clothing, silverware, dishes, anything I need for my home or for my kids. They never get anything new.
    Amercians today sicken me, I worked, before my disability got too bad for me to work any longer. My husband and son both pay taxes.
    I am sick of people judging other people. I have helped out people in need when I was able to.
    Us Parasites upon society are not all drug dealers and alcoholics, smokers.
    My second oldest son is graduating this year. He took 5 years of high school.. not because he is lazy or mentally challenged, he did it becuase he did not have the prequisites for the Career Academy for Pre-Engineering Program he wanted in to. He stayed got the prerequisites, and is now graduation with honors. His goal….wait for it.. not to be a Parasite as you all think… but he will become a Physicit. My son got all A’s in Physics, Math, Pshycology and minus one grading period Pre-Engineering. This is my son who has Asperger’s Syndrome.. a high functioning form of autism. My third son is in advance classes and won honors awards for grades and track and my only daughter is still in elementary. She will be in advanced classes next year in Intermediate school.
    My oldest who I mentioned works, is a Fed Ex employee. He has been disabled with epilepsy and low IQ his entire life. He works hard, and loves what he is doing, but wait for it…..he works part-time, he can not mentally or physically do more than the hours he works…damn another leech on society, I am sorry…I am still very proud of his accomplisments…he did graduate and pass all the Ohio Graduation Tests, even though, because of his ,he was not required to pass to graduate. Many kids without his disabilites can not even pass those tests.
    I have not been a perfect mother, but I have pushed my children.. I have been there for them always, when I die, they will be my accomplishment in this life.
    All I see is hatred and vile coming from so many people. You are the people I need to shield my children from.
    I thank those of you who are more compassionate, do not judge, and still have morals.

    • justagirl says

      Good for you. I think you are an example to those who aspire to do better and to those who could learn a thing or ten about compassion, love, kindness, respect and the whole lot. May God smile favorably on your family so they will always know the true meaning of love thy neighbor.

  18. rachel says

    So…for both sides….I am a single “moocher” of 3…I work full time and receive welfare,I also have a Verizon cell phone but for my child who goes home alone because my mother is now taking care of my sick uncle 24/7…I refused to pay another 100 dollars/mo to make site he was home and safe, so he now has a government phone….and I’m pretty sure I’m putting my Pennies in the pot…and I watch the same families around me with 80 phones,50 kids, Drugs and alcohol better home furnishings, an under the table job they don’t have to report, and sit on their ass all day and ignore their children and booze or smoke it up while I am lucky lucky after work to get 2 hours with my kids

    • Paul Jr says

      For 20 dollars you can add a line on AT&T. Depending on your plan that might include unlimited mobile to mobile, unlimited texting and a data plan(dont hold me to that might ne an extra 20) if you have a smart phone.
      Twenty bucks for 1000 minutes or twenty to add a line with all these nice added features?

  19. Katy says

    What irritates me even more are people who get SEVERAL of these taxpayer paid for phones! I know 3 families with 3-5 of these. There is NO crosschecking on providers, so this isn’t illegal.

    Family next door has 5 ‘Government phones’ Total of 1250 minutes a month.

    My family COMBINED has 750 minutes, and we pay dearly for it.

    Sorry, I do not see a cell phone as a necessity such as food or shelter. Land Lines would be more reasonable. People got along just fine before cell phones.

  20. Betsy says

    I have lifeline home phone. I don’t have a cell phone. I have contacted my provider several times because they are charging for things I’m not getting. Voice mail, call waiting and caller ID for call waiting. Not sure how this works but if the government is helping to pay for these things these companies need to be watched for charges people are not receiving!!! I’m going to contact the BBB and switching to a new company.

  21. Christie says

    This program is just another entitlement. I work hard for my money! I can’t believe that I have to “share” my money with people. If I want to give my money to the man on the freeway hitch hiking, I do it on my own free will! But giving someone something that my money paid for is against my free will! If you want a cell phone, go buy one! If you can’t afford it, you don’t need one! I want to know, if you need a free phone, how are you on here defending your “right” to my money?!
    This is America, home of the free and land of the brave! Not home of the hand outs and land of the entitlement! I’m sick of giving people my hard earned money just because they are poor.
    This entitlement program of free cell phones is another reason why our country is in the financial crapper! THANKS AGAIN CLINTON for signing the bill to allow this to happen!

  22. Lee says

    I personally know 2 families that have & pay for landlines, but still get the freebie cell phone because they can. So it’s not about them being able to have a phone. It’s about buying votes for all that hope & change we keep hearing about.

  23. Joe says

    I see this as a priorities thing. Freebies paid for by all should only be for bare essentials. I’m not certain cell coverage falls into that category.

    I fault service providers for taking advantage of a loop hole, and the govt for allowing it. I’m very upset at the volume of prime time commercial slots that are also paid for by the same fund. I question who monitors this to ensure the utilization of this program declines as the unemployment rate declines and this doesn’t become yet another run away program. Lastly, when should I expect my lifeline service charge on my phone decline? (never)

    It’s easy to get upset. I try to be social responsible and support those in need, (“Need” being the keyword), but you all have to admit there is quite often a large volume of people taking unfair advantage of these freebie programs, and not enough reasonable controls.

    • Mark says

      “but you all have to admit there is quite often a large volume of people taking unfair advantage of these freebie programs”

      What percentage of those on welfare are milking the system? All I ever hear is anecdotal “evidence”, in which some Republican spots a welfare mother loading her grocery cart with lobster and fine wine. Never are these sightings caught on video, which doesn’t surprise me. It’s hard to create propaganda when it’s on video.

      That being said, I do agree that we need more reform to eliminate waste and fraud.

        • Walter says

          I have worked in grocery stores since 1974 and know of two, just two families (and one a government worker at that) who deliberately bilked the food stamp system. Every one else that I see using food stamps/ebt benefits really do need them. The “vast amount of abusers” do not exist. We hear about them because they did the fraud and were caught (like the government worker). The rest of the users are “invisible.” You want fraud, check out Medicare (on the provider’s side).

      • James Masters says


    • Mark says

      Yep! And you will just sit there and complain, like always. Don’t like the government stealing your money? Move out of America. Cut them off. Oh wait; that would require actual effort, and we all know that people like you would rather complain.

    • rebecca says

      Just the kind of moron answer you’d expect from someone who uses the word “awesome” to describe everything because of the refusal to learn the English language.

      Remember how Marie Antoinette was placed on the chopping block because she had the same attitude as yours.

      Too bad we don’t have that today. Revolutions are what this nation needs again. For “awesome” dimwits that are too cowardly to deal with the real issues and problems. Rather than become angry with the government for supporting in billions other countries, America prefers kicking its own poor in the teeth.

      • James Masters says


  24. Ruth says

    I am a person who has never been wealthy and I have had to live within my budget. I do not nor have I ever received assistance from anyone. I think that it I want to give to charity which I do my the way it is my choice where my little contribution goes. If you told me it was to feed a child I would be happy to pay this tax but to give a phone to people just because they are on public assistance is not where I want to spend even “pennies” I have a neighbor that I care a great deal about but he will call me using his Free Phone from my porch to tell me that he is on the porch sometimes he will call my cell phone I have to pay for my phone or they will turn it off why not just be fare and everyone get a free phone. Just because I work does not mean that I should have to pay because in case all of you people don’t realize we are in this together and we have more lower income people than ever in our lives and we all need help but a phone is a not a right if is was a right when someone should pay my bill. There is always going to be people in need and that will never change we have to start taking care of ourselves. Nothing is free it might be free to you but working people get NOTHING for free.Bad Ideal these phones that do not make us feel good and giving should always make you feel good.

    • cheryl mullen says

      I totally agree with you!!!!!!…..Lately while looking at my bill I noticed that on every cell phone on my account (4) there are taxes and sur charges of over $47.00 on each phone….I am not rich and my husband and I work very hard to afford this luxery…..If the government wants to give people who can not afford a phone, a wall phone that’s fine!!!!…….we are already paying their bills!!!!!…..Where was the vote from the hard working people on this one!!!!……Oh yea!…..I forgot….”We were working!!!”…..cell phones are a luxery!……and If you do not work for one you shouldn’t have one!!!!This free shit sucks ….I would like something free too!!!!Why doesn’t the government just buy all these people a free car too!!!!!

    • JamesB says

      What are you talking about it is 2-3 cents and these phones can save peoples lives and help them get back to work if they have no phone how can they recieve calls after interviews also the elderly get these phones for emergencies and they give you a limited amount of minutes a month but you can purchase extra at the store like pay as you go phones, I also think Tracphone and also Assurance get more customers this way and get extra money because alot buy monthly cards for some extra minutes so it is also helping these companies while helping the poor and disabled and down on there luck, Another thing we send billions of dollars over seas every month to foreign countries as aid to support them but we cannot even help our own disadvantaged? That is where some of the problems should be fixed we should not be paying countries to be our friends.

      • brenda says

        But there is a lot of fraud going on with these phones. they r selling them and some r using them for drug dealing. some wind up with several. good intentions but lots of abuse. they need to stop this program!!

        • rebecca says

          Brenda, darling,

          There are plenty of politicians, politician’s kids, celebrities, and rich people on drugs and drinking, and the politicians making billions from your tax dollars. And if you think drug dealing began and will end with these phones, you’ve been living in a bubble. Were you born in the Bermuda Triangle? You telling me the working-class and rich have never taken or sold drugs? Only an uninformed moron thinks otherwise.

          Oh, and the internet is an invention with “good intentions but lots of abuse”. And don’t politicians have good intentions yet abuse the system and everyone’s trust?

          Worry more about the exploitation of children, money going toward weapons for other countries, terrorism, and the political candidates you keep voting for than some cheap little phone. Seems like you haven’t got enough to worry about. Better hope YOU never lose your cushy job and end up homeless. Of course, you’d deserve it to teach you a lesson.

  25. Paul says

    This is just one of the reasons our debt in this country is overwhelming and cannot be continued. It would be nice to help all that cannot or will not provide for themselves. The basic needs, maybe, but cell phones or even landlines, I don’t think so. Some of these comments I have read justifing these programs is appalling and proof that the we will be going the way of Greece. Look out for the riots in the street! Its coming, when these programs wil no longer be able to be funded. I hope the people that are defending these programs so staunchly will be the first to incur the rath of the people that will no longer be the beneficiary fo these programs.

  26. Jack Cummings says

    To all you idiots out there: some people are physically unable to work at all and are on a fixed income(social security). Not all people who are receiving government assistance drink, do drugs or are out in public commiting crimes. You need to seek some mental help and GET OVER YOURSELFS. They need a phone to communicate with doctors and pharmacys.

    • Ray Chandler says

      Jack, I don’t give a damn what your “need” is. That does not confer on you a right to anyone else’s earnings or property. You need to get over yourself, asswipe. Get it through your head, IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY.

      • Mark says

        Tell you what, Ray; I will stop supporting entitlement spending when the right stops supporting our interventional foreign policy, which takes MY money and gives it to workfare leeches.

        By the way, why are you being so passive aggressive? Why aren’t you storming the Oval Office, guns drawn? Let me guess, you are an armchair Joe who won’t make good on his “take back America” promises until someone else starts the revolution? By all means, keep bitching, moaning and eating your cheese fries.

  27. kristen says

    WOW!!! I stumbled across this chat while trying to find out how to put time on my new “free” cell phone and I think kara and liz (and a few others but mostly them for sure) could greatly benefit from learning and practicing a 12 Step program. By the way, an employer just called my phone and offered me a job because I have a lot of pertinent experience according to my resume. Now at least I can go back to work and earn a living so I can provide for my family. Life took a drastic turn when I had to take an extended leave from work to care for my child who was born with a serious heart condition, and eventually I was laid off because I was unable to be at work while my child was having multiple surgeries, seeing specialists, etc. Well, my child is okay today, and now that I’ve accepted the position that was offered to me on my “free” cell phone, I can once again pay insurance premiums, put gas in my car to take my child to appointments and hopefully soon be weaned off state assistance. God Bless and Thank you

    • LC says

      Good for you. My story is somewhat similar but not as devastating. After 22 yrs and raising a family my full time job came to a close. Over the past 8 yrs I am now an RN working in an ICU and will have my Practitioner degree next year. The stuggle was hard but doable. I had little government help but grants and loans were available. I think the big problem is more than cell phones. The government in many ways has crippled society. There needs to be some sort of urgency, improve ones way of life, and move beyond the glass ceiling. The oppurtunities are there, but you have to what it. Its too easy to blame. Lifes not fair, but the personal choices you make are soley yours. The truth is. there is help out there for those that need it! Don’t live off it…beat it!

  28. bobby says

    “You’re Getting a Cellphone – and You’re Getting a Cellphone – and You’re Getting a Cellphone… Eveeeeeeerybody’s Getting a Cellphone!”

  29. skeeter says

    I love this program – many people I know now all have a cell phone! It’s the greatest thing government can do – help people communicate, feel safe and even save lives or possibly get a job if their out of work. I have a regular land-line I pay for as well so I also pay into the tax pool for this service (and so do all of the people I know who are on the SafeLink program).

    In this day and age of communication cell phones are a necessity – not a luxury like they were in the 90’s.

  30. Kara says

    ANY cellphone with a charge can dial 911. Telephone service of any kind is not a right, it is a luxury. Would like to see those “pennies” a month we pay go to something more productive like job training, free clinics etc. Wake up, go back to teaching our children that hard work pays off not a trip to the local welfare office.

    • Kassie says

      Too bad the Republican’s are making sure that there are no more free clinics….especially for women.

      Sure a phone can dial 911, but it cannot dial a doctor, or an employer, or receive a call from a child’s school when they are sick or hurt and need to come home……Or are those things also considered a “Luxury” to you Kara?

    • Kassie says

      I know right Catherine? Its amazing how creative their minds can be when they are being hateful and disrespecting others, but they can’t use those minds to see past the BS talking points that the right and the media are brainwashing them with….

      If only they could use their powers for good instead of evil….Think of how wonderful our country would be again. Like it was back in the old days when people cared about one another and lived by the Golden Rule…..

      But those days of America are over. Now American’s have the mindset of “I have mine, screw everyone else”.

      …..and yet we consider ourselves a “Christian Nation”. While they go around judging others, and totally disregarding the teachings of Jesus.

      It’s so sad and scary for me to think that this is the nation and world I have to eventually send my child out into….I hope all the things I taught him about respect, compassion, and empathy stick with him and aren’t lost when he has to encounter people like those who are posting such disrespectful, hateful, evil things.

      • Steven says

        Kassie is right. And foodstamps? Consider all the stimulus packages and bailouts. Foodstamps is an investment into…uh..the food industry. They create jobs. They keep supermarkets in poor neighborhoods open. They feed people. I think everyone should get them.

  31. Renee says

    I wouldn’t mind a program like this at all, if it truly went to NEEDY people. I’m sick of my tax dollars and “pennies” added onto my bills to pay for worthless wastes of life who are “unable to work” because they’re too busy frying their brains with drugs and alcohol. If you think they’re using these free phones to help them find work, then I’ve got some oceanfront property in WV that I’ll sell you.

  32. Ann Blackwell says

    Stop, complaining; have some compassion; what’s wrong about helping people that are disabled; or helping the ones that on Social Security; and the people that are earning low-wages….and no Obama is no mistake…..do you want Bush; back in….God bless you…..

    • Ray Chandler says

      Be “compassionate” with your own money and keep your thieving hands off ours.

      Bush was far from my idea as a president, but I’d take him back any day over this brain dead vermin that infests the Oval Office at the moment.

      • Paul says

        Well for starters it was an act of Congress.. And it predates Obama’s presidency, not that i voted for him.. ” In 1996 Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996″ Go back and actually read the article..

  33. cynthia nortmann says

    im glad to help fellow americans out on cell phones.it aint gonna break anyone.everyone has a right to feel safe at all times!i dont think of cell phones for a few ELITE people.stop crying,and be glad we are helping our own.

    • Ray Chandler says

      Get it through your frigging head, IT’S OUR MONEY, NOT YOURS, and it doesn’t matter that “it ain’t gonna break nobody”. You have no real or moral right to it and very soon we’re simply going to start telling you NO and if necessary backing that up with force. That is to say, kicking your sorry ass to the curb.

  34. carolyn dormer says

    I think cell phones are a luxury, land lines are good enough, and less expensive, especially, if you are not buying. My cell is a luxury, I work for it. I do not have a land line. My taxes should not pay for another persons cell phone if I can barely afford mine.

  35. road_sofa says

    A few pennies? How about stating the truth! It is 5% of you bill. Alaska now charges 10% for the same thing for instate moochers.So I am paying $24 in Universal Service fees. A few pennies my &&&.

    I am tired of these “mandated” government giveaways. You people should be ashamed of yourselves for advocating this robbery of our wallets.

    No one “NEEDS” a cellphone. These “feel good” programs are making me sick.

  36. Joe Lynott says

    Ummm…hmmmmm. Since when did a cell phone become a “NEED”. A cellphone is a WANT!!!! You all can thank liberals for this. I want a brand new BMW. The shit box I drive now hurts my self esteem. How ’bout it Obuma…why don’t you buy me one of these you effin’ jackass!!! I can’t wait till 2012. THE END OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKE IN AMERICAN HISTORY…IF NOT WORLD HISTORY!!!

  37. boo hiss says

    hahahahah some People are funny.

    If it literally takes only a few PENNIES per bill. Than it is a wonderful way to fund the project. Even if it took a dime. Some penny pinches are a bit too greedy. Think of it as giving to charity if you need too….

    But that is only if it really is such a small amount, is there any way to confirm this information?

    • Kassie says

      Oh no if its “Taken” from them, they freak out. They feel they should be able to CHOOSE to give to charity…..You should hear how some people talk about Healthcare. They feel that someone who has Cancer and needs chemotherapy but can’t afford it should go to churches and have bake sales to pay for it.

      Simply disgusting the way some American’s think, talk about, and treat our own in this country….I sure don’t see any of them complaining about all the waste, fraud, and theft that happened during the Iraq war for 10 years.

    • Ray Chandler says

      It’s OUR money, you ignorant ass, and no we don’t like it taken for the benefit of a bunch of parasites. And, like it or not (and I hope you don’t), it’s going to stop.

      • Mark says

        LOL! The right has had about 50 years to stop welfare spending. You think it’s going to end? If you don’t want your money going towards welfare, leave America. No one is FORCING you to remain here.

      • Lindsay says

        Parasites…..Wow big word for such a BIG man… You are so ignorant and guess what I have a FREE PHONE!!!!!! I am a working parasite that doesn’t make enough money and this “FREE” cell phone is perfect for contact for my babies doctor and daycare!!! I also pay taxes so when you think about it I am a tax paying parasite you ignorant asshole!!!

  38. Liz says

    this is sickening, now the government thinks EVERYONE should have a cell phone? For what? Do to their drug deals and get their food stamps?

    I am totally mad, about getting card in the mail. Where did you people get my address? Remember when being a “Welfare” mom was embarrassing? Getting foods stamps was a drag on society, because there is NO FREE LUNCH.

    So, I have to pay for my cell phone and the welfare cheats, illegalls and all the “Baby MAMA” cells phones too?

    If you are on welfare, you don’t need a cell phone! It is considered a LUXURY and not a civil right! Take a government class for goodness sake.

    I am calling congress as the USA HAS NO MONEY to pay our bills, but it has money to pay for wlefare moms cell phones, how screwed up is that?

    • nwmom says

      Really L I Z? What is WRONG with you? Check it out…YOU my dear are so incredibly UNQUALIFIED as a HUMAN BEING to pass JUDGEMENT on ME or ANY other person for that matter. This includes all the DRUG DEALERS, WELFARE CHEATS, ILLEGALS and ALLLL the “BABY MAMA’S out there getting FREE LUNCHES while they CHAT AWAY on there LUXURIOUS cell phone at your exhausting expense probably making DRUG DEALS with other countries!

      People like you are nauseating, are you even aware of this? Yes, I didn’t think so! Your either audaciously stupid or just plain ignorant I’m not sure which but it is obvious you have no idea what its like to be struggling with children so I’m guessing your well off….Not by your own means I’m sure. I mean “Take a government class for goodness sake”? Really !? REALLY? That is all you got? This is the advice you have for the families struggling to keep a roof over there heads and there children fed?
      Dang I hope that the rest of the world doesn’t think ALL AMERICANS are as greedy and uneducated as LIZ here. Really we aren’t all like this please believe me!

    • Kassie says

      It makes me so proud to share a country with someone like Lizzy here (NOT!!) and to read about how she just ASSumes that everyone who is on some kind of assistance is some kind of uber proud “Baby Mama”, Illegal, food stamp using, drug dealing welfare cheat.

      Lizzy is so uneducated and ignorant that she doesn’t even mention that people on welfare have to WORK or be in a training program to get Welfare (cash) benefits (Google the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and educate yourself for goodness sake!) – – and that most of the people who are on Food Stamps are white, working people who don’t earn enough to have a decent living wage and afford their food. She believes that all people who are on assistance do nothing all day but sit around, sell and do drugs, get the munchies and eat bon-bons they bought on their food stamps and spit out a church full of kids.

      I bet Lizzy here considers herself to be an upstanding American Christian, she gets dressed in her Sunday best and heads to church every week and drives past a homeless person and sneers at them. I am also willing to bet she is the type who at the grocery store would poke her nose into someone else’s shopping cart and tell them what they can and cannot buy with their food stamps.

      I suppose to Liz its considered a “Luxury” to have a cell phone for when you are on the road with your child and the car breaks down in the middle of winter….or has some kind of medical emergency. Its not like there are payphones around anymore, and people who live in rural areas don’t have payphones to begin with, and we haven’t figured out how to breed cows with telephones on them yet.

      No one ever said it was a “civil right” and if someone is so poor that they cannot afford a phone, then they surely cannot afford to go to their local college and take a “government class” for goodness sakes.

  39. Johnny Carey says

    my husband is hard of hearing and the ringtone is not what he can here. tone death. is there several ringtones we can get to help him better with a different ringtones. thanks
    Ms Johnny Carey

  40. ben says

    this is a disgrace… a small fee is put on our bills to pay for this? cable/phone/internet bills are already outrageous, yet we pay for other peoples phones as well? so much for capitalism…. no one NEEDS a cellphone, so if you cant afford one, you shouldn’t be given one. I can’t afford to send my kids to college, but I can afford to pay for someone elses cellphone? In my book, this is theft.

    • Lindsay says

      You are so ignorant…People do need phones..ie the elderly for example who are living off their tiny social security or single mother’s who are working and need a cell phone as an emergency in case their is a problem or an emergency with their child…Use your dumb ass head and and maybe if you can’t afford to put your”poor” kids through college there are PLENTY of funds to help pay for them!!! Would you bitch about that!!! Nah…I think not!!!

  41. StephenWayne says

    I would be a lot less angry if this program paid for people’s land lines as opposed to cell phones. If they need a free phone, (Seriously, check a thrift store…) then we could give them the old rotary dialed phones. You can call a potential employer just as easily with one of these, plus they use less energy. Aren’t the moochers (i’m sorry, disadvantaged) concerned about our earth?

      • joseph buzoya says

        my name is joseph ineed obama phones and my address is 3801southshore dr apt b3 dayton ohio 45404 thx for this massage god blessus bye!!

        • Kassie says

          If some of you would actually take the time to READ the website FAQ’s you’d see that it was already explained that there is LifeLine service for land lines, except that they don’t get the service for free, they get a discount, so they still have to pay for their service (and yes, they also pay the same tax you do on that phone). It has been stated on this website that it is actually cheaper to give people refurbished old cell phones and air time instead of the land lines….

          But most of you would rather stay ignorant and spew out the talking points that are fed to you by Rush Limbaugh and the other Right Wingers.

          • Kassie says

            Oh and by the way….Rotary phones do not work anymore in a touch tone, digital dialing world. No one uses rotary phones anymore

          • howard says

            Dear kassie:

            You won’t gain credibility or support with your adjectives and vituperative comments. Facts with supporting documents win arguments.