The Lifeline program is already up and running in 37 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico. But it hasn’t yet been approved in Oregon despite the fact that the state recently won a $5,000,000 bonus for increasing the number of residents on food stamps more than any other state.
Judicial Watch reports, “In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.”
“It’s part of the administration’s campaign to eradicate “food insecure households” by improving access and increasing participation in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Incidentally, the program was recently changed to SNAP to eliminate the stigma that comes with a name like food stamps. Just a few months ago the federal agency that administers the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), launched a multi-million-dollar initiative to recruit more food-stamp participants even though the number of recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years.”
Being on food stamps is, of course, one of the primary ways to qualify for the Lifeline program, so approving the program would seem to be a no-brainer for whatever government entity is responsible for such things in the Beaver State.
The food stamp statistics seem to be a clear indication that the state has far more than its fair share of needy residents, other stats cinch the case. For example, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state’s unemployment rate in August 2011 is a sky high 9.6%.
Of course, that number is better than neighboring California’s dismal 12.1% rate, but Oregon’s needy will take no solace in the fact that there are more unemployed Californians than there are total Oregonians, both employed and unemployed.
At a time like this, in an economy like this, Oregon’s economically-disadvantaged residents could really use the assistance offered by the Lifeline program. It offers free cell phones and 250 free minutes per month to the economically-disadvantaged. Considering Oregon’s increase in food stamp users, it seems as though the state’s residents would welcome the program with open arms.
Lifeline will help its recipients get in touch with potential employers and get them off the welfare rolls. It will help them stay in touch with their children. And it will help them reach their doctors during emergencies.
So c’mon, Oregon. What are you waiting for? Your neediest residents need Lifeline.