You do remember that when Obama was president, he created a new entitlement which gave a free phone to some people based on poverty, disability or other factors. Obama phones – you know, the idea is so absurd and such a statist move. It’s an immoral giveaway by the state, as it implemented Obama’s progressive ideas. In Obama land, payback isn’t important, unless it’s going after your ideological enemies, the Republicans.
But now, it was revealed that a massive portion of Obamaphone recipients are receiving the benefit after lying on their applications.
An undercover sting operation showed ineligible applications were approved 63 percent of the time, and a review that found that 36 to 65 percent of beneficiaries in various categories had lied in easily-detectable ways but were approved anyway.
The fraud reached unheard-of proportions because the Federal Communications Commission let the task of screening for eligibility fall to phone companies that profit off of enrolling as many people as possible.
GAO undercover investigators applied for free government phones 19 times using criteria that should have been rejected, and “we were approved to receive Lifeline services by 12 of the 19 Lifeline providers using fictitious eligibility documentation.”
All someone has to do to apply for free cell phone service is say that they are on another welfare program, such as food stamps or disability, known as SSI.
64.5 percent of people appear to have lied and may not even be poor. The rate at which GAO’s undercover applications were approved works out to a nearly identical figure as the SSI metric.
The FCC took applicants at their word and did not consult intra-governmental databases to see whether they were actually on SSI. In Georgia, the percentage who appear to have lied about their SSI status to attain benefits is 79 percent.
That national rate of 64.5 percent is three times higher than the next-highest fraud-ridden federal program, the Earned Income Tax Credit, at 24 percent, according to PaymentAccuracy.gov.
Yet because the FCC doesn’t run data checks necessary to uncover fraud, it officially reports an improper-payment rate of 0.45 percent — a clearly implausible figure that would make it the second-cleanest program in government.
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri requested the audit after she received a mailer at her home encouraging her to sign up for what it assured was a “free” phone. She called for criminal charges against phone company executives.
“Universal service fees” cell phone subscribers pay on their monthly bills supplies the money for the program, formally known as Lifeline, rather than funding from Congress. The Anti-deficiency Act prevents agencies from spending more than funds appropriated by Congress, so the move effectively allowed the FCC unlimited spending. Mignon Clyburn, the daughter of South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, headed the FCC for much of the period scrutinized, and she remains a commissioner.
“While the Anti-deficiency Act applies to appropriated funds, since 2004, Congress has exempted the USF from the Anti-deficiency Act,” GAO said.
Special interests have aggressively employed a bootleggers-and-Baptists model, with companies who profit greasing the wheels of government with donations and influence-peddling and using poor people as props in marketing campaigns.
When Congress considered reforms, phone companies took out daily full-page ads in publications read by Capitol Hill staffers. The wife of the CEO of TracFone, the largest beneficiary of Obamaphones, was a mega-fundraiser for former President Barack Obama.
A Republican operative who later worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign took money from phone companies and set up a front group that implied that veterans would die if free phones came with more scrutiny.
In an infamous YouTube video during the 2012 presidential campaign, a woman said she would vote for Obama because “he gave us a phone,” adding that “everybody in Cleveland low minority got an Obamaphone.”
It is sad to even think that our taxes went to these permanent retards. Unfortunately, people voted for Obama in hope of free stuff… Yet Trump is promising jobs and they’re against him. Nice logic!
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H/T The Daily Caller
Natalie Dagenhardt is an American conservative writer who writes for Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.