Fw: Free Obama Cell Phone for welfare recipients

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2009 10:26 PM
Subject: Free Obama Cell Phone for welfare recipients

A friend sent this to me earlier today.

I had a former employee call me earlier today inquiring about a job, and at the end of the conversation she gave me her phone number. I asked the former employee if this was a new cell phone number and she told me yes this was her €œObama phone. I asked her what an €œObama phone was and she 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 she 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 €œHope and Change € and €œChange we can believe in. You can click on the link below to read more about the Obama phones just have a barf bag ready.

Wonder what other vote buying schemes are out there that most folks don't know about.

This is the site to register for a phone.

Or just google "free phones for welfare recipients."


Anonymous said...

A Google search shows this one to be all over the right-wing blogs, but as yet no confirmation from a reliable source or debunking from the usual sites.

My guess it that it's the manufactured outrage of the day.

Anonymous said...

A little more digging reveals that this is a legitimate program to provide cell phones to the head of households that are at or below 135% of the federal or state poverty guidelines and already receive FHA, food stamps, or medicaid.

The program started ... in 2008.




Bebe 99 said...

Gasp, you mean now poor elderly folks will be able to dial 911 in an emergency, or those on disability will be able to call their dr. office without having to hike a few blocks to find a very rare public telephone? Shocking! Americans are sooooo soft with their poor and disabled. ;)

Seriously I know 6 year olds who have cell phones! And this program came from congress, not the president.

Anonymous said...

The details emerge:

"Summary of the eRumor:
A forwarded email that says cellular phones and airtime will be made available for free to low income households.

The Truth:
One Cellular phone and 60 minutes per month of air time will be given to low income households by Safelink Wireless. Funding came through the Lifeline government program which was established in 1984 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assist low income families and update communication services in areas affected by disasters.

On September 29, 2009, the prepaid cell phone provider Tracfone Wireless, Inc., announced the launch of SafeLink Wireless in Illinois. According to a September 29, 2009 Reuters article, SafeLink Wireless is the first and only completely free offering of Lifeline -- a U.S. government supported program for income eligible households that ensures telephone service is available and affordable for eligible low-income households. The TracFone Wireless company is a subsidiary of América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V. based in Mexico City.

The eRumor jokingly calls this an "Obama phone" but the Reuters article said that the program was based on a decision made by the FCC to "enhance its Lifeline program and keep the right to communicate in pace with technology." The concept of providing cellular phones to low income families actually dates back before the Obama administration. According to a June 3, 2008 wirelessandmobilenews.com article, TracFone became the "first wireless provider to be designated by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) for the purpose of offering Lifeline." Click for news release.

In order to qualify, families must meet certain criteria and verify income annually. This program is currently available in Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The company expects to offer the service nation wide soon.

Funding for the Lifeline program is collected in the form of surcharges that are included in telephone and cellular phone bills."


Bebe 99 said...

And another thing..."TAX PAYER MONEY IS BEING REDISTRIBUTED TO WELFARE blah blah..." Redistribution IS what happens to all tax payer money. I'd love to see a comparison of tax payer money going to this program versus say any single Defense spending item.

Snarla said...

The age old concepts of God, family, and hard work have flown out the window

Yeah! God doesn't want poor people to have a phone where prospective employers can reach them and offer them jobs, or that they can use to summon assistance in an emergency!

The proof is right there, in the words of the right-wing's favorite semi-deity, Jesus: "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"

Hear that, poor people? Suck it!

gruaud said...

God forbid a single soul is helped.

"But they should rely on charity instead of
government handouts!" you shriek.

Yeah, like you'll be giving to any charitable
causes, you rats. See, this is why government
HAS to intervene -- because you schmucks
are greedy, hateful, and utterly unreliable in
the clutch.

Mentis Fugit said...

"low and behold" - that always makes me chuckle.

ferschitz said...

"Enough is enough, the ship is sinking and it's sinking fast. The very foundations that this country was built on are being shaken."

Gad: yes, bc you just KNOW the country is sinking FAST when teh poors get to use gubmint cell phones... shriek, moan, tremble.

Yegads, I have to laugh or I'll cry. this reminds me of the very early days of BHO's tenure, and the FLOTUS went to a soup kitchen. Someone took a photo of a person using their cell phone in the soup kitchen to take a picture of Mrs. Obama.

The wingtards went bananas over that, too, and it was all: ohmigawd, where's the fainting couch??? I need to clutch my pearls bc teh poorz don't work and are now welfare cell phone kings and queens!!!111!!!

So ignorantly teh stoooped. These people would spit & step on their elderly dying mother if she didn't have enough money to support herself and was looking for a way to get help.

and yeah: Obama phones! Durrrrr

Clyde said...

Phones are also available at any grocery store for about $10 for the phone and $20 for an hour of talk time. You only need to buy another $20 of talk time every 3 months - $7 a month. What is that? 2 packs of cigs? A sixpack of good beer?

As to the comments about the Lord providing - the Lord provides the means to acquire the necesities. It generally doesn't fall out of the sky.

And as a percentage of income given to charities, who gives more conservative or liberals?

Tootseye said...

Everyone else pretty much covered, but to be redundant: try finding a pay phone these days. good luck with that. they are very hard to find.

And yes, cell phones are cheap and so are the minutes to talk. So free phones for welfare recipients makes sense. It's certainly much cheaper than a land-line phone.

The stingy, selfish, me-me-me mentality of these creeps is really ugly, old and tired, especially when they wrap it up with how the Lowerd is all aginst these poor folk getting free handouts.

Spare me the phony outrage, especially when it's all wrapped up in your own personnally made up decision about what "god" thinks or wants.

These are same idiots who were screaming about how Terry Schiavo didn't want life support turned off bc they "knew" what Ms. Schiavo was "thinking" (I seriously had several wingtards say pretty much just that to me). Then when they did the autopsy and discovered her poor brain was physically shriveled (condolences to Ms. Schiavo and her family), what did I hear from these same self-aggrandizing wingtards?? Crickets.

Anonymous said...

If you want a cell phone get off your lazy behind & get a dang JOB! I have to work for my phone YOU CAN TOO!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon

These people do have jobs. Under this program, low income people receive a cell phone and a whopping 60 minutes of airtime a month, essentially for emergency and vital use. This FCC program was started 25 years ago (when a certain Republican icon was at the peak of his power) and it was expanded to cell phones last year, when another Republican hero was still in charge.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Free phones have been around for a while. Look on your phone bill and see if you pay a Universal Fund fee of .04 or around there. That is the money that goes to support free or reduced cell phones. The lifeline program has been around pre-Obama though.

Queen said...

I just thought that you might be interested to know that the president has no direct impact on the program, and one could hardly call these devices "Obama Phones,". This specific program, SafeLink, started under President George Bush, with grants from an independent company created under President Bill Clinton, which was a legacy of an act passed under President Franklin Roosevelt, which was influenced by an agreement reached between telecommunications companies and the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.

Anonymous said...

These POOR, POOR LOOSER USERS need a cell phone for their drug deals. Pay phones are hard to find these days.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps our next federal program could be subsidized spell checking for right wing internet trolls.

I would suggest subsidized fact checking but I don't think the federal budget has the resources to set them straight.

Ronnie McMillan said...

But... Is this really a bad thing?

Not really. This is really actually a very good example of a public-private initiative.

The money has been collected by 25+ years and was applied to landlines. Under the Bush Administration, the program began to include cheapo, low-end cell phones (the ones that sell for under $10 at gas stations and discount stores).

TracFone provides the phones and minutes, and the recipients can buy more as needed.

I could see being upset if they gave away cars, iPhones or cable TV, but Tracfones are hardly luxury items and it's not worth getting worked up about, truly.

bill said...

Calling these phones "obama phone" is incorrect. The phones are part of Tracfone program and have nothing to do with obama. These phones were around before Obama was in office and is not the obama plan. People should get the facts right before labeling something its not.

Nico said...

Bill, you're right! This is NOT an Obama phone. In fact, this offer has been available for years...long before Obama came into office. It is a discounted/free cell phone program (depending on your economic status) for eligible customers. People need to be more informed. For more information, check out: http://factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/

Reel Manny said...

This is a travesty and it doesn’t matter who started it, the govt shouldn’t be giving away our money to “poor” people!

I’m also concerned about the program expanding! I hear that Virgin Mobile will be starting up their own version of this, using taxpayer dollars. WTF???

Anonymous said...

@ Reel Manny

Grow up. This program is decades old, its incredibly inexpensive considering the benefit gained, and it doesn't even use "tax dollars"! The funding for this small program comes from money collected by the cell phone companies.

Complaining about his would be like complaining that a food company or grocery store donates extra goods to a soup kitchen. I realize that such generosity may be unconscionable to you, but for the rest of us its really not so hard to deal with.

If you really don't want to fund it, the answer is simple: don't pay for a cell phone. That's your choice here. No one is forcing you to buy one.

Ali Blabber said...

I love how some people refer to the Safelink program as "an Obama phone."


The program's been in effect for 25 years and finally recognizes the reality of cell phones as a viable option for communication.

And the phones themselves are cheap, low-end devices, but the right wing echo chamber rails against this because of the perception that cell phones are somehow "luxuries."


enufznuf@gmail.com said...

I didn't have a problem with the so-called "Obama Phone."

It seemed reasonable to give poor people a cheap phone and a few minutes a month.

Go find a job. Go to the doctor. Get the car fixed. Whatever.

But now, Virgin Mobile has a new program that gives poor people 200 minutes a month.


It's too much!

What's next? Iphones? Blackberries?

Virgin is using taxpayer money extravagantly.

Am I wrong?

Anonymous said...


First of all, most of these people DO have jobs or are seeking work, something for which having a working telephone number is vital.

Second, 200 minutes a month is not really excessive. That's less than 7 minutes a day. 7 minutes of phone time per day for emergencies, coordination with family or employers (a major requirement if you have children), and, again, job seeking.

The marginal cost of these "minutes" is essentially nothing, so saying that this is a waste of money is incorrect. The difference between 60 minutes a month and 200 (or 2000, or 20000) in terms of real cost to the cell phone provider is trivial at most, once the infrastructure is in place (which it is).

Also, this isn't tax money, so its not really a waste of tax money, is it?

marry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I agree entirely right wingers-the ship is sinking fast and our country is going to hell--because you have no brains whatsoever. Learn to check your facts. PRESIDENT REAGAN--again, because I know you are slow--President Reagan, a fellow right winger, supported and help pass the Lifeline Program to subsidize telephone service for poor, elderly, and disabled citizens. AND, if you had a brain, you could have figured out that it is never a good idea to believe everything you hear just because it supports your own beliefs. A thirty second fact check session would have revealed that NO CELL PHONES ARE BEING GIVEN AWAY FREE BY THE GOVERNMENT!!! Again, your government dollars are NOT being spent to provide those "lazy, good for nothing" poor people cell phones. Certain cell phone providers are giving Lifeline customers the cheap, inexpensive cell phones as a means of attracting them so that they may be the recipient of the Lifeline subsidy and profit from extra minutes purchased by those customers. HMMM, I wonder, did you ever receive a free cell phone or huge discount when you purchased a cell phone plan? Guess that puts you in the same boat--seems you right wingers are "lazy, good for nothing" people, too. And, by the way, in all but a few cases they only receive around 70 minutes a month. Ever been on the phone with Social Security? It can easily eat up those minutes in one phone call. Oh, and since you apparently are not intellectually blessed, let me give you some fact based news--the maximum federal Lifeline subsidy is a whopping $10. Another maximum state subsidy of $3.50 if you are lucky enough to be blessed to live in a state that offers that. It is not required by federal law. So $10 to $13.50 a month--you intellectually challenged, small minded individuals--only $10 to $13.50. No free cell phones from the government. And if you would have minded to check, studies by the federal government have shown that those individuals who switched to subsidized cell phone service vs. remaining with land-line subsidized service increased their earnings dramatically, meaning they in turn were able to pay taxes. GASP! So by investing about $10 in these people, the government received greater returns in the form of increased tax revenues and lowered "welfare" benefits. When are they going to get around to taking away federally subsidized jet travel for rich, right wing CEOs, I wonder? (I have to pay for my own jet travel, shouldn't they?) Federal agencies estimate they amount to $2 billion dollars a year. Cheap cell phones or jet travel? Which one is the real luxury?!? Please, for the sake of mankind, get a brain or shut up!!!

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