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Print 73 comment(s) - last by LordanSS.. on Feb 14 at 6:34 PM

Carriers say most people drop simply didn't respond to requests

The United States government has collected a tax on phone lines under the Lifeline program that began back in 1984. The purpose of this tax was to provide phone service for people who were unable to afford it on their own to ensure that these people weren't cut off from emergency services, jobs, or family. Every American citizen who has a phone line has paid into this Lifeline program.

Payouts in the program in 2008 amounted to $819 million. In 2012, the U.S. government spent $2.2 billion providing free phone service to low-income Americans.
In an effort to squash government waste, the FCC believed that many of the Americans who were claiming the free phone service were not eligible so it tightened the rules last year forcing carriers to verify that existing subscribers were in fact eligible.

The Wall Street Journal reports that far more subscribers to the program were dropped than expected. A review has shown that the top five carrier recipients of Lifeline support had a total of 41% of over 6 million subscribers that couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or simply didn't respond to requests for certification.

These top five carriers were AT&T, Telrite Corp, Tag Mobile USA, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile. Together these carriers account for 34% of all Lifeline subscribers as of May 2012. The Lifeline program is open to subscribers that meet the federal poverty guidelines, are on food stamps, Medicaid, or other assistance programs.

Previous program rules allowed consumers to certify themselves for free phone service without having to prove they met federal poverty guidelines.

Source: Wall Street Journal



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RE: Nonsense
By NellyFromMA on 2/13/2013 1:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
The gov finds it convenient to have these people on gps trackers which is more important to them than their having access to a phone line at all seeing as they are the most likely to commit larceny or thefts as opposed to middle and upper class. Better to have the option than to not, plus this way you don't have the pre-paid problem where they can't ID the actual user because no name is verified or sometimes required to activate the line.

On that note, its ridiculous and just another example of waste that our government actually refuses to even assess. Amazing.


RE: Nonsense
By Noonecares on 2/13/2013 7:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
Larceny and theft you say. Crime doesn't pay says McGruff, but it pays when you get too big to fail. Besides I am sure it was the poor who caused the real estate crash...How many of those people involved with that went to jail? Where were Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? Why didn't that teacher in Conn use proper gun safety and storing measures, when she knew her kid was quite 'special'? But it wasn't their fault at all. Blame it on Saddam, Al Queada, assault rifles, and the poor. Welcome to the blame game. You are winning.


RE: Nonsense
By Reclaimer77 on 2/13/2013 7:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Besides I am sure it was the poor who caused the real estate crash


They sure didn't help. Maybe if you're making $20k a year and you sign on a loan for a $300k house, you should ask yourself if you can actually afford it? Just a thought...


RE: Nonsense
By Noonecares on 2/13/2013 8:08:01 PM , Rating: 1
That is true. But the banks had a system where it shouldn't approve those people in the first place. Maybe we need to add a class to grade school. Money management skills or something similar.


RE: Nonsense
By BifurcatedBoat on 2/14/2013 4:03:15 PM , Rating: 4
They did have a system ...and then laws were passed so they couldn't use it. "Everybody deserves a home", said Clinton.


RE: Nonsense
By Jeffk464 on 2/13/13, Rating: 0
RE: Nonsense
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 12:03:18 AM , Rating: 3
Right it's "fraud" that banks were basically forced by the Government to make unwise loans, because it was "racist" to deny loans to people who probably couldn't pay them off. Nice spin lol.

Oh if you don't believe the banks were forced, umm yeah, Google is your friend. "Obama sued Citibank" is a good start.

I guess the truth is fluid though. If you deny a loan, it's "discrimination". If you make the loan and things go bad, it's "fraud".


RE: Nonsense
By insurgent on 2/14/2013 2:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Google is your friend. "Obama sued Citibank" is a good start.

This was the top link: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/loans.asp


RE: Nonsense
By Mint on 2/14/2013 4:43:45 AM , Rating: 2
This is DailyTech, where facts don't matter and any post scapegoating Obama gets rec'd.

From your link:
quote:
Specifically, the lawsuit charged that Citibank "rejected loan applications of minority applicants while approving loan applications filed by white applicants with similar financial characteristics and credit histories. "


Yeah, what a commie.


RE: Nonsense
By Noya on 2/13/2013 9:18:15 PM , Rating: 1
I couldn't have said it better...thumbs up.


RE: Nonsense
By Jeffk464 on 2/13/2013 9:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
gov finds it convenient to have these people on gps trackers

ah man you beat me to it, it wouldn't surprise me if this is the reason.


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard











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