In the current state of this economy, The federal government has decided to give people, who are already on some sort of entitlement program, a free cell phone and 250 minutes each month. For those of us who pay for our own cell phone and would like to know where the funding for this program is coming from, you’re paying for it, that’s who.
That’s right, you are. If you’re like me, you’re the type that looks at the bill each month to be fully aware of what I’m being charged for. On our monthly bill, there is a charge from the federal government. For each cell phone provider, it’s written different. My company lists it under government fees and taxes. An extra 3% is added to my bill each month. These charges help pay for these free phones. The programs, Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless, are federal government programs to provide free phones to the lower income families.
So how do you qualify for this program? If you are already on some sort of entitlement program, you pretty much qualify. Depending on what state you live in will decide the details of the program.
In the state I live in, Florida, here’s the basics to qualifying:
If you’re on any one (or a combination) of these programs, you qualify.
. Food Stamps/SNAP
. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
. Temporary Cash Assistance
. Bureau of Indian Affairs Programs (BIA)
. Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
. National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
The way we read it, this Safelink Wireless program gives you a free cell phone, free monthly service, and free minutes. You qualify even if you make 35% more than the designated “poverty” level or if you’re already getting additional freebies from the government. And we see nothing that indicates you have to be a legal resident of the United States to qualify.
How much more is it going to continue? As it is right now, $1 trillion of the national budget is slated for low-income assistance. I understand that there are people who are in dire straits because of the current (and for some time to come) economic situation, but this is going a little too far now. As we’ve seen in the last week, our country is already having difficulties paying for the programs it has in place. The federal government has gone too far over the last twenty years and if we don’t stop it, it will get worse.
As it is, many Americans are starting to think that the government owes them something just for the simple fact of existing. Why is that? Because the federal government has given the American people that feeling that it’s what they are there for. The federal government has made it where many people have no idea of what the federal government authorities actually are. Americans no longer seem to care about what the government does as long as they’re getting something for free.
These types of programs do nothing but weaken the country as a whole and damages the natural flow of the free market. When will people realize that once the government gets involved with any industry and starts to subsidize any part of it, the products that come out of the industry has gone up for their customers. Doing this is going to do nothing but push the price of service up even more. Each phone that is connected, the phone provider is paid $10 per customer. My own bill’s basic service is $49.95 a month. So how is the company making money off of the program? They charge the individual customer $49.95 for basic service along with the government fees and federal universal charges to make up for the lost.
Until we as Americans stand up to the politicians and their way of doing business, we will continue to deal with programs like this one. Like the old saying goes…”Nothing is forever except for government programs.
These are the things that need to be cut in the budget, I know damn well the Social security and Medicare are just scare tactic tools that politicians use to confuse most Americans.