The Congress Republicans have drawn up legislation to finish subsidy for the Lifeline phone program which is government-funded and for poor, which they say, majorly benefits the richest man in the world.
42 Republicans happened to have co-sponsored “Stop Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act to end the Lifeline Program” that was dubbed as Obama phone in the elections of 2012 when a woman promoting this program mentioned it in this way, as told by Bloomberg. A hearing was held in
“The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology” on “Lifeline Thursday” in order to investigate that why this program, that started off under President Ronald in 1985, has its cost tripled since 2008.
$2.95 are paid to companies by Lifeline every month on this program for each of the customers. Bloomberg reported in 2008 that $772million were disbursed by it. According to “Universal Service Administrative Co.” which is Washington-based non-profit overseeing subsidies, the previous year this amount happened to be $2.2 billion.
Arkansas GOP Tim Griffin, Rep., author of this bill to finish the program, said that it wasn’t fair that people save and work and pay for phones from whatever funds they have, and other people get them for free
About a quarter out of the payouts of Lifeline last year, $451.7 million, were gone to “TracFone Wireless Inc.”, the company whose owner is the richest man of the world, Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire. Though some phone companies like Sprint and AT&T get benefit from the subsidies of Lifeline as well, Tracfone, that was included in 2005 to this Lifeline Program, generally gets the biggest share
It has been admitted by the “Federal Communications Commission” that since this program flourished, so did waste and the fraud that comes along with it, as reported by Washington Times.
The participants’ number has decreased as FCC got strict with verifying the requirements of eligibility last year for this program.
Even then, Vern Buchanan, Rep. told the Sunshine News that it defies common sense that we are giving away millions of free cell phones at the same time the Federal Aviation Administration imposes cutbacks that are delaying fights across the nation.”