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Left And Right Politics

…plus the cream in the center.

Free Phones From The Federal Government?

Posted by Billy On August - 4 - 2011

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.
. Medicaid
. 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.

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Government Is Spending Our Money On The Government

Posted by Billy On July - 18 - 2011

On Thursday, GE, General Electric announced that they made plans to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles, namely the Chevy Volt, with nearly half of them to be purchased during this calendar year. The rest will be bought as they (vehicles) are brought to the market. GE is a conglomerate of many other companies and is in the position to make these cars more mainstream. As it is now, General Motors has built 10,000 of these vehicles so far this year, but have only sold roughly 400. With General Electric stepping up to make this commitment, General Motors, feels it will give them the boost they (GM) need.

This news comes out only one day after the City of New York has decided to add seventy electric cars to the NYPD. Mayor Mike Bloomberg made the announcement by saying the Big Apple will lead by example, hoping to entice other urban cities to follow suit.

What I find disturbing about these two press releases is that the two entities that are buying electric vehicles, one is intertwined with the current administration and the other is a government entity. To add to the fact that the manufacturer of the Chevy Volt is the General (Government) Motors a company that took a major bailout of tax payer’s money to keep themselves from going bankrupt. There is a major conflict of interest here in these deals.

As it is General Electric’s Chief Executive Officer is Jeffrey Immelt, The man whom president Obama hand picked to be on the energy commission. This is also the one company that had a ZERO tax liability in 2010. Is it me or does anyone else see a problem with all of this? Immelt is quoted “Wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles will also drive clean energy innovation, strengthen energy security and deliver economic value.” It’s all amazing how this is exactly what the Obama Administration has been pushing since he starting running for president. Too bad green energy is still in it’s infancy and the government has no business footing the bill at this point. The government is not is the business business and should step back and allow the free market to work through the kinks of the industry to really see if it’s profitable and worth the risk.

At this point with regards to electric vehicles, it’s too soon for local governments to invest tax payer money into it before the industry improves the efficiency of its product. Currently these vehicles will only go as far as forty miles on a single charge and then has to be charged for hours before being able to do it again. How is that going to be efficient for the different departments of the city of New York to do it’s job, especially the NYPD? Let’s not even get into the price tag for one of these vehicles. They are nearly double the price of a standard gas powered car that the police are using now. It will take years, if not decades to seen the benefits of these vehicles. Once these vehicles have been improved to go much further than they do now, then I say yes, let’s do it.

*UPDATE*
After writing this article, news came out about the electric car company Green Vehicles closing it’s manufacturing plant after the city of Salinas invested $500,000 into the company with the hopes of creating 70 new jobs and bring in $700,000 annually in taxes.

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