Exposing the Safelink Wireless government cell phone for the poor scam

by editor on March 11, 2009

Today we ran the story of Michelle Obama serving risotto at the soup kitchen down the street from the White House. She was surrounded by poor people frantically snapping photos with their cell phones.

If you’re anything like us (and we understand completely if you don’t want to be) you wondered, how can the poor afford cell phones, fancy ones with cameras? The monthly bills on these things can eat you alive. Is there some sort of free government cell phone service we didn’t know about?

Safelink Wireless Free Government Cell Phones

We were tipped off to the Safelink Wireless website. But please be warned that if you visit this site you are likely to walk away pissed off. Here’s what it says:

“SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program 
that provides a free cell phone and airtime each
 month for income-eligible customers.”

free government cell phone from safelink wireless

Hello? Hello? Can anyone hear us complaining about this outrageous abuse?

“Lifeline Assistance is part of a program that was created by the government to provide discounted or free telephone service to income-eligible consumers. To help bring you this important benefit, SafeLink Wireless is proud to offer Lifeline Service. Through our Lifeline Service you will receive FREE cellular service, a FREE cell phone, and FREE Minutes every month! SafeLink Wireless Service does not cost anything – there are no contracts, no recurring fees and no monthly charges.”

“Any Minutes you do not use will roll-over. Features such as caller ID, call waiting and voicemail are all also included with your service. If you need additional Minutes, you can buy TracFone Airtime Cards at any TracFone retailer Walmart, Walgreens, Family Dollar, etc). SafeLink Airtime Cards will be available soon.”

“Your exact benefits, including the number of free Minutes you will receive, depend on the state you live in.”

Free cell phone from Safelink Wireless: how to qualify

“The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in. In general, you may qualify if…

  1. You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid. OR
  2. Your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government. AND
  3. No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier.
  4. You have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

Un-freakin-believable. Outrageous. Shocking.

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.

The site is also available in Spanish, leading to the not-too-unreasonable conclusion that a significant percentage of the free cell phones applicants conceivably could be, may be, might be undocumented aliens.

And, for God’s sake, we don’t even want to know how many of those filling out a Safelink application are currently stiffing a bank on a mortgage they never really qualified for in the first place.

We think we’re going to have a stroke. Would someone please call 911 on their free cell phone?

Note: Now Assurance Wireless (Virgin) and ReachOut Wireless (Nexus) are in the game. They plus other minor players account for 8 million government phones in circulation.

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4997 Comments on "Exposing the Safelink Wireless government cell phone for the poor scam"

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merle
Guest

this program is not just for people on welfare. It is for people who are disabled and childcare assistance. Did you ever think in your narrow mind about the children who are with the adults who do not have cell phones what if there is an emergency? But you probably don’t care because they are not making 100,000.00 a year.

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Joe
Guest

Merle:

Fedup is a old baron woman. She hates kids and she hates women that have had the blessing of having children. Whether or not our government supports entitlements; it WILL NOT affect anyone’s federal taxes.

Fedup actually believes that the federal government would lower their total tax base. Taxes may be shifted, but never lowered. I’m happy to pay my taxes. I think entitlements should go up in order to allow young people with children to be able to afford day care and college.

It is better for society to pay 5 years of expense and have a career tax payer on the books than to hold down the poor forever.

Fedup is not educated or intelligent. She is the kind of person that does not understand Social Economics. I would much rather pay for you to become financially independent, than to see you on welfare for the rest of your life.

Fedup cannot see the big picture. She is not a long term strategist. She only cares about herself; no I mean, she only cares about her money!

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fedup
Guest

Aubs, you’re eloquence is refreshing. I love the hyena analogy.

You are also spot on about Democracy vs. Rebulic. Majority rules = democracy. Law rules = republic.

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Aubs
Guest

Doesn’t this thread pretty much sum up the US situation as a whole right now? Any one else see this? It seems like half the people on this thread love this and all other wealth distribution programs because they are on the receiving end…the other half is pissed because they are on the “taken from” end…this animosity is government induced because they are supposed to treat us all equal..that certainly means financially as well…..even a blind man can see this.

Problem is, when you take money from some that worked for it, and give that money to others who did not work for it…it is, in fact, SLAVERY. This will be magnified when the group that is receiving grows larger than the group that is being robbed….when the robbed group finally loses all the principals and responsibility and work ethic and pride that has been taught to them…they’ll simply cave in because they’ll realize they’ve been chumped out. Who will we take from then?? It’s law of the jungle. When a cheetah works very hard and kills a gazelle and goes to eat it……then 10 hyenas come around and take over the kill because there are more of them…that is DEMOCRACY…..good thing we are a Constitutional Republic that says the cheetah keeps what it worked for and fends off the hyenas for us right???? Wrong, the government are hyenas too.

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fedup
Guest

Wow. My fellow taxpayers – how’s that for a nice thank you? You, my friend, are the reason why we’re so pissed off at this program. It rewards mindless unproductive, rude, and inconsiderate degenerates like you. I hope you enjoy your free phone.

To everyone else who takes issue with this free handout – I encourage you to watch Idiocracy and tell me if life isn’t imitating art.

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Joe
Guest

You must be a bitter! Your life didn’t turn out the way you expected!

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THE-REGULATOR
Guest

THE SAFELINK WIRELESS PHONE WAS AVAILABLE WAY BEFORE OBAMA CAME TO OFFICE. U PEOPLE ARE BLAMING HIM AS IF ITS HIS FAULT. HALF OF UR FAMILY MEMBERS USE THIS FREE PHONE SO JUST SHUT THE F*** UP.KTHANKS.

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fedup
Guest

Who TF cares who started it? I don’t disagree about the VA bennies. Aside from the chaps who were FORCED to serve via the draft, the rest willingly signed up. Call me unpatriotic if you must, but if you choose to enter the military, you do so knowing the risks. Same as a cop. If you don’t like the risks, let someone else do it for you (there are always plenty).

So many join the military because of the bennies. Early retirement, school money, on-base living, stipends, etc. And, most (the smart ones, at least) hope to never see any combat. Why should my taxes pay for perks that the rest of us don’t get?

Look, the ship is taking on water a little faster every day. Our fate is no longer if, but when we collapse under our debt. Any efforts to blame one group over another is akin to rearranging the chairs on the deck. We are all F’ed. And it is PRECISELY because of programs like this – everyone tries to suck on the tit of government – that we’re doomed.

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Joe
Guest

You know I tried to respond to your posting, but you are so sick it is unbelievable! A soldier, whether drafted or volunteer is protecting our country based on what the President, Congress and Senate declare necessary. If they are disabled, they are promised disability and medical treatment.

I am against war and I am against killing, but I also am a man of honor and a patriot! We need to take care of our soldiers, we need to take care of our children and we need to elderly.

Americans need to care about Americans. If you are so unhappy with the way WE do things, try to find a better Country than America! Try to find a Country that you can pay less tax and have more benefits!

It is unbelievable how introverted you are. You only care about yourself and yet you do not even pay THE MAXIMUM FEDERAL TAX (33%).

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Boston20
Guest

This program started during Bush. There are a lot of sick and ederly who don’t have phones. They are not the ones “Breeding like Rabbits”. They didn’t ask for either. Give them their phones. Let’s cut Veterans Benefits. No other country in the world pays their veterans what we do. In most countries everyone must serve 2 years and they don’t bitch and the ant benefits. US vets are the biggest whinners, is give me I’m a vet. I served 4 years, because of my love in this country. For all you sad unhappy people, yes I born here as were my Great Great Grand Parents. You serve for the love of your country not the money.

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fedup
Guest

I am so glad this site is actually discussing this issue. It seems with the media and society in general, no one is surprised or upset about the ever-increasing government outlays, and decreasing revenue. By the time life gets uncomfortable enough for the masses, the water will already be boiling, and we’re cooked. This ‘government-sponsored’ bullsiht is symptomatic of the larger ‘what can government do for me’ problem.

All those with an open mind, or those who are genuinely disturbed at this trend should watch Idiocracy. It’s a comedy, but it is spot-on in revealing what is happening to the US. Those with no education, no money, and little common sense are the ones breeding like rabbits. The few motivated, successful, educated, and well-to-do are putting off having children – if not forgoing them completely as my wife and I have. The consequence? With each generation, we get more stupid and more dependent on handouts.

I’ll get a lot of BS for this post, but that’s ok… I understand you have a right to have a 1 and 2 year old, and no means to support it. God forbid responsibility ever enters the picture.

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Aubs
Guest

To Wolf…here’s a fact for you…we’re broke. The collateral in the form of tax revenue that is being fronted to borrow money with careless abandon to support programs that are counter productive is quickly becoming unsubstantial…Thats why other countries are not buying our bonds..its a bad investment for them… should I talk in simpler terms for you or are we properly educated by our government schools that continue to produce ever increasing negative results no matter how much money we waste on them? Or our colleges that are sooo expensive?…btw if you took out non private student loans for your stellar education that aren’t paid up yet, think of all the cell phones you could help buy if you’d hurry the hell up and pay your debt back to our masters that decide who benefits from their labor and savings, and who does not. And all the “rich folks” you all love to hate so much, like it or not are all of our employers….the more money they have, they more they can expand and grow their ventures, the more of us they can employ…..government can’t employ us all..that’s why they give richies breaks…cause if they don’t they’ll move somewhere else and take their money with them….and so I’m pretty sure if I write this down it wont fit up my ass as, it’s just too tight of a fit..and I would like to remind you all that when you resort to name calling you are basically conceding your argument, much as a small child would do as a last result out of pure fustration, because obviously you are out of information and rationality.

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Kimberly
Guest

I have applied for the free phone. I am a single mom of three who’s government doesn’t care much about child support laws. I am also a nursing student at a university in GA. You people have no idea what it is like to walk in my shoes or others like myself. If your attitudes and behaviors are an example of walking in your shoes, then I don’t want to try those on. 68 minutes a month for safety for myself and my children and you are bitching! I hope a tragedy doesn’t happen in your life one day (and it very well could) to where you need help. I wonder how you would feel about reading selfish crap like this….

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Joe
Guest

I have walked in your shoes! My wife left me and my two toddlers after I was in an auto accident. I broke my back and neck and I am still going through surgeries 18 years later. I ended up broke and homeless, but I worked hard and always maintained my hope.

Today, I have two more surgeries scheduled on my neck and back and my children have grown. My son is my business partner and we run a hedge fund. My daughter, an honors graduate, is going to law school. We stuck together, we suffered, we were cheated, lied to and never saw any justice.

I learned not to depend on society and committed myself to TAKE back what was mine. Now I earn more than I did as a luxury home builder. I am happy to pay taxes and I am in favor to help anyone in need.

I am completely unable to understand the mentality of many of the posters here. I wish you, Kimberly, and you, Merle, the best and pray your circumstances turn around.

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kaj
Member

Hey Mr Hedge Fund…..

Is any of it invested in US companies that have relocated or offshored in order to avoid taxes, pollution regulations, labor laws, OSHA, American wages?

I sure hope you aren’t making money off of dirt-poor workers in other countries while you happily pay for americans to have free cell phones.

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merle
Guest

I am also a mother a 3 in school and tring like hell to suceed. I wish you and your family the best of luck!

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Jennifer
Guest

HAHA you people are so funny. Out of all the money the government blows on other stupid crap, yall’ are worried about a few stupid cell phones that come with only 68 minutes a month. My God, it’s not like they’re sending out blackberrys with 1000+ free minutes a month. They’re cheap phones with just enough minutes for an emergency. Most of those who have food stamps and medicaid like myself, Are mothers with small children. I have a two year old son. His father does everything he can to keep things up but thats hard to do with all the layoffs. Something you big guys with plenty of money wouldnt know about. I live in the country and i’m terrified that my car might break down and i’ll be stranded with no way to call for help. Or anything else that could happen. I cant afford a cell phone right now. Is it so wrong to have 68 minutes a month so if something happens i can keep my son and myself safe? Get over yourselves people. Not everyone can blow money out their ass like you.

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Cereal Killer
Guest

I agree ….. If this country didnt fire thousands of people to send the work to China and cause alot of us to be unemployed then yeah it would be a bad thing…. BUT this country is soooooo money driven that the ” slave masters ”
have forgotten that it is the little people that makes the country work. I hate the fact that over 100,000 people lost there jobs last year ….. I REALLY HATE the fact that the so called movie stars are out buying $5000 dresses and spending $500 for dinner …. I hate the greedy rich people more than the poor kats. Thats why I have given up on the US and Yes if I could afford to I would get out. …. How are we supposed to be the richest country when we pay for so much free and tax free stuff…… there is millionaires that pay less in taxes than most of the hard working people….. Wal-Mart gets a huge tax break for hiring Government aided people WTF is up with that ???? It seems silly to just point out the cell phone scams when the whole system is messed up !!

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Wolf
Guest

Thought I would throw in an actual educated view on the matter. I have clients who have been involved in the program and the results so far are actually quite impressive. Out of 6 that I’ve counted, 2 are now off of assistance and 1 other on their way off of assistance using this phone for rentals and job search. These were homeless men who were deemed ‘lifers’ and hopeless. While that doesn’t sound too impressive, those people are now gainfully employed with a residence and paying taxes… instead of being like others who sit on the internet all day and whine. If you have complaints about such a helpful program without knowing all the facts, I invite you to write them down in great detail then shove it up your ass you ignorant assholes.

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fedup
Guest

And for every one of those that make it (congrats, by the way) there are 100 other crack hoes and dealers who need their free fix.

BTW, why should government pay for this? Why not some non-profit organization like Jude’s does for cancer, Schriner’s for burns, United Way, Salvation Arm, not to mention the hundreds of religious groups that are looking for ways to increase memberships… Why can’t any of these, who work with REAL DONATIONS be used, instead of the governments extorted funds? Wouldn’t an organization or victim feel better knowing their support was voluntarily given by someone who had a generous spirit or heart? Nah, it’s easier to fill out forms and solicit Big Brother to give us his plunder.

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UhHuh
Guest

You are really a tool, you know that?

You would cry about a sunny day because the sun shines on your neighbor’s yard one centimeter more than on yours.

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fedup
Guest

You got some nerve. This coming from someone who wants to make the world ‘fair’ for everyone with wealth redistribution? “Waaaa… the rich guy isn’t giving the poor people anything. He is evil for being successful!”… Pot calling the kettle black, troll

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Andrea
Guest

If you looked at the minutes that each person gets its less than 100, the good thing about this is a family with children who can’t afford to buy their child a phone or afford a house phone. Most of you are assuming these people are getting 700 minutes or more…. but they are not and the phones are basic phones that would be considered less desirable…. Yes, I would agree their are people out there who take advantage of the system– but then there are those who truly need them…. I think it is an excellent program!! My phone plan is 109.00 a month……… for two lines……. I wish someone would cut me a break!!

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Safelink user
Guest

first of all I get safelink wireless and I don’t have a cameraphone. So I am not sure what the hell your talking about sfelink users snapping pics with there cameraphones. They do not give a cameraphone. And the 45 min a month I recieve is just for basic safety. So whoever wrote for this site needs to get their info straight. The safelink program only gives the most basic assistance. The assistance this program gives is a good basic safety/emergency system.
The government does not give out more than neccessary and if those people want to ugrade then that is their choice. I have what I got, I didn’t upgrade. So, get your facts straight before making allegations that are not true.

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fedup
Guest

What state are you in? I have not seen a plan with with less than 68 minutes. The most ‘basic’ assistance (911) comes with ANY phone without a plan. Having over an hour of air time (which does roll over to the next month) is a LUXURY for most. Then again, only having to pay $100 of an $1100 rent payment (section-8) I guess is probably pretty ‘basic’ to you too.

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kaj
Member

I would also add…..what’s wrong with using a payphone or asking someone else to make an emergency call? In an emergency, I am sure a storeowner or a bystander would have no problem calling 911 for someone. I witnessed a traffic accident many years ago. I stopped my car and ran over to a convenience store and asked the worker there to call 911.

I lived 38 years before I got a cell phone and managed to get by just fine. The claim that they are needed for emergencies is just an excuse to justify the theft of money from others.

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kaj
Member

ANY cell phone must be able to call 911, no plan needed. That’s Federal Law! I keep my old cell in the car for that very reason.

“The Federal Communications Commission requires all cell phone service providers, like Sprint, AT&T and Bell Atlantic, to accept 911 calls from any wireless phone — even one that no longer has a phone number or service contract.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/16/technology/old-cell-phones-can-still-call-911.html

A new phone with minutes each month is BS. Old phones are everywhere and are dirt cheap. Think garage sales or flea markets. There is no reason people should be taxed to provide something that is free or nearly free.

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fedup
Guest

My first full time job (1994) allowed me to buy one of the first truly portable cellphones. The rates were SO high, I wouldn’t even answer it. I could only afford 15 free minutes per month. You know what, I made it work. It great for an emergency phone, and a quick way to show off to others who didn’t have one. 68 minutes is MORE than enough time.

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Patty
Guest

I am a 60 year old female who has labored in some way or other since my early teens.In my later years I have worked for a law firm and maintained many other professional positions until recently. I receive Social Security benefits due to an accident that left me disabled and not able to work.
I don’t know if those of you who are protesting this program realize it or not ,but,those of us on SSDI do NOT receive much more than required for basic essentials such as rent,electricity,fuel,and gasoline for our autos.
I realize there are many US citizens who are receiving unwarranted benefits,but ,PLEASE don’t place all of us on (much needed) assistance in that same category.I appreciate you stating your concern in this matter and do hope this service comes here, to Vermont so that we who really DO need a financial break may get one .I understand where you are coming from with this dispute.

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ANNE
Guest

yesh.. it’s true.. it’s not scam and it’s all

for free!!!It’s currently offered in
NY GA PA MA FL TN NC DE; and you

qualify as long as you’re currently

participating in government programs..

you may also check the Federal

Communications Commission (FCC) if

you have any doubts…
BELIEVE IT OR NOT..

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fedup
Guest

It is absolutely 100% a scam for those taxpayers being robbed to pay for this. Now, for the leeches that want nothing more than to camp onto the governments tit, wow, what a deal.

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Joe
Guest

I would guess you are one of the scammers that think just because they pay 10% in Federal Taxes that means you’re not taking from those of us that pay 33%! You benefit from MY tax payments. You get more than you pay for! Just because someone is unfortunate and pays less than you or does not pay taxes at all, does not mean we, as a society, should not take care of each other. That’s what great societies do.

You are benefiting from Highways built in the 1940’s. Were you alive, did you pay for those roads or physically build those roads? I don’t think so, but you have no problem using them! Our society built those roads; for themselves and for future generations from tax dollars.

I am fortunate to be wealthy and am happy to pay a 6 figure tax bill! You know why? Because if I only paid a few thousand in Federal Taxes, I would be poor! Now what is worst than only paying a few thousand in Federal Taxes? Paying NO tax!

Paying no tax should mean you do not make any money or very little money. No trips to Europe, no vacation home at the beach and no mountain home.

Gosh, those damn poor people and there damn needs! You guessed it, sarcasms!

The next time you flush your toilet, get a glass of water from the tap, turn on an electrical appliance, drive down a road or look for help from the police and fire department, remember those of us who have PAID THE MAXIMUM tax so that you can enjoy these services!

STOP looking beneath you and start contributing your FULL share instead of pointed out all the people that are less fortunate than you and being jealous they are getting a meager slice of the great American pie.

Think about a flat tax! We can all pay 25%, I’ll save 8% and you, I’m guessing, will pay 10% to 15% more! How does that sound? Think you can afford it? I don’t!

Now think about the people that can’t afford anything; for whatever reason! They can’t even go out to a nice restaurant! Let alone, take a vacation or buy a luxury car, sports car, a home with acres, a swimming pool and send their children to private schools. And you would deny these unfortunate people lifelines to safety, a line to a possible job?

You are cold hearted and you should change before Karma makes you into what you hate!

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Pete
Guest

For all you out there who are criticizing Safelink-program for giving people that otherwise could not afford phone service (landline or wireless) the opportunity to put down a contact number on their resumes when looking for a job! Hello!! You think that going to the library once a day to check your emails for replies from potential employers that you have send your resume to compares to having the ability to put down a phone number on that same resume, so that the hiring manager can call you and actually speak with you about the position. Having worked as a hiring manager, I can tell you that there is no substitute for speaking with the candidate directly, and based on my experience, the candidate is more likely to get an interview if the hiring manager has had a chance to speak with the person beforehand.

I think this is a great program because it plays an important part in trying to get people jobs and off government programs. The cost-benefit-ratio of Safelink is excellent.

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fedup
Guest

Uh, 15 years ago, someone looking for a job didn’t need a cell phone. Why do they need it now? What if they need a car? Should the government start charging all those who buy new cars to ‘fund’ cars for the needy? Maybe clothes? Food?

Maybe a local non-profit homeless organization or church could solicit like-minded willing donors to fund a ‘cell phones for the needy’ program? Like they do with food banks or cold-weather shelters.

I see you have a big heart – you want to help those who need it. That’s great, and I admire your willingness to do just that. But please, do it with YOUR money, not mine.

It’s easy to say the cost-benefit ratio is worth it… but that’s your opinion (right as it may be). Who’s to say that the next social program isn’t a little more expensive, a little more elaborate – and the people behind it make the same argument? Already we have politicians in CA lobbying for FREE health care for illegals. I’m sure if they’re asked, they’d have similar arguments.

The easiest way to end the debate is to have those in favor of the program pay for it with like-minded peoples’ funds. It has become too easy to force the general public to pay for a never ending list of causes.

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fedup
Guest

Man you really are sipping that koolaid. Rather than treat the disease, you want to keep throwing money at it. Get rid of the problem, and the secondary fires go with it. Your logic is 100% compassion. But 100% flawed. We simply cannot afford to make the world fair. Life is inherently unfair. Some kids die before 10, and you can’t blame some conservative realist for it. No matter how much you dig into his pockets, life will STILL be unfair. The only difference is, now you’ve spread the pain.

BTW, no one bitches louder than I do when it comes to ANY unnecessary or unconstitutional spending – and that includes the TRILLIONS on the war, bailouts, welfare, and the like. You assume I only take issue with $10 phone plans? Sorry, but you don’t know the half of it.

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UhHuh
Guest

You need a phone-period. Cell phones make more sense because people are not always at home to receive calls. Or they may be listed a shelter as their home and are not allowed inside during the day to take calls.

The government is not charging you personally for anything. As I posted elsewhere, you have no argument anyway. The SCOTUS ruled that no individual may claim they personally are paying for a program they might not like. The money goes into a big pot and no one can say for sure where their share of paid taxes is going. If it would make you feel better, assume YOUR money is going to fund the war effort. However, I don’t see you bitching about the BILLIONS in aid we send to foreign countries to include food, shelter, medical care better than we provide our own people and for free, etc. Yet you complain about a $10 phone for our own people.

As for the California proposal, I would support it if only because they have children going to school with “legals” and I would be very happy to see those kids healthy and NOT spreading whatever around. Same for those “illegals” working behind the scenes in food and hospitality–you want someone with contagious (and curable) conditions handling stuff you might use? PROactive is always cheaper than REactive.

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Pete
Guest

Food for thought “fedup”. Have you considerded that providing 68 minutes of free airtime per month for people that cannot otherwise afford phone service (landline or wireless), because they have lost their jobs due to downsizing or business shutting down, gives them the ablity to put a phone number on their resumes that they send to potential employers T

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Joe
Guest

Pete, she’s an A’hole

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fedup
Guest

I see the need, I just don’t want to fund it. If others feel compassionate enough, they should voluntarily donate their money or minutes to a cause. Forcing all to submit to involuntary expense to make the world a fair place for those who either cannot or will not provide for themselves is welfare, socialism, and theft. I feel for those that lose their jobs (who knows, I may be next). But that doesn’t give our government the right to steal from those that have jobs. It’s modern day Robin Hood. If anyone else does it, it’s stealing.

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Joe
Guest

You’re selfish!

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fedup
Guest

Wait a sec… you can’t have it both ways. Either they ‘paid’ their taxes thus entitling them to the free phone, or the phone isn’t being paid by taxes. Strike 3.

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UhHuh
Guest

If they had a job and paid into the system, they are not stealing. Did you know that even unemployment checks are taxed, so being out of work does not mean they are not paying taxes.

Besides, the SCOTUS already ruled an individual may not use the “my money being used for XXX program” argument.

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shakim
Guest

i think its a good idea to help people who are in need. thus if everyone just think about the positive you all will also see this can be a good thing. why are people so diabolic? your congress people bilk millions everyday. its called fleecing of amerikkka. who control all these big companies? what do you think they do? dont you all lie in on your tax forms? oh, no one doesnt do anything wrong? everyone chill the fuck out. and lets help those in need…if people abuse anything, god has the last say. have a gr8 day

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Aubs
Guest

Less government is the only solution to not see rants on boards from people on one side of the fence or the other in respect to government issues….since the phone is ADVERTISED as a government subsidy. If government wasn’t interfering illegally in every ones life on the domestic front, as well as abroad, then one group would never be favored over the other by the government, making us all equal and leaving society to correct the ignorant prejudices of our peers. This is the way it was in the beginning of our republic and I wonder if we should just all go back to being colonies as a solution.

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Aubs
Guest

To Mrs. D…..I am objective to all types of welfare as you could see if you really read my last comment instead of skimming it and jumping to your own conclusion that this is strictly limited to social programs….I have walked a million miles in you or any else’s shoes who thinks they have it so rough because I, like your husband am a 4.0 programming student, who has for the last 10 years, maintained a mortgage, and a household on little more than 10 bucks an hour……maybe actually read this one an perhaps gain a fresh perspective alright?

The job market is tough because of war and welfare…government needs money for both of these and burrowing this money makes credit and inflation…when the credit runs out, jobs become scarce. We as a nation have been living on credit and it is quickly coming time to pay the bills. That’s the reason our economy sucks… and more credit (in the form of handouts) is not the solution. I don’t exclusively mean social aid…actually that is a small percent of it. Mainly subsidies, import regulations and the like. Oh BTW any “stimulus” package is welfare pure and simple…who got that money from the last one and the one b4 that and the one b4 that? Corporations and special interest mostly….they gave some of us a few measly scribble scraps in the form of some % increase in social benefits and a little education funding and such… But you see ma’am, I must stand by my statements, for if I oppose corporate welfare then I must also oppose social welfare, otherwise I would be favoring one group over another and I believe we are all created equal. The simple truth is all government grants and handouts offend me…government is not and was not intended to be a for profit business, if they give money to someone or some group then they absolutely must have taken it from someone else. That straight Communism so perhaps it is you that should wake up. I fully agree that programs that help our fellow man are good things..that’s why I sponsor a few children in other countries. But I should choose what programs I support and which ones I don’t. Think about it. Are people more or less likely to help each other if the government is taking from them to supposedly do just that? Many would feel that should not have to help for it is the governments responsibility.

Respectfully Mrs. D, to say that “since then our nation’s wealth has been unequally distributed to the majority” is an ignorant statement to say the least. Our wealth is skimmed off right at the top, by the Fed, Washington, and large corporations. These represent a minority of us as a whole. They get the money first which means market prices are still stable when they get it. When these minority’s start letting the money out to the populous, the price of goods naturally go up in relation to the amount of new money that is let in to the economy. Since there is more money in the system, the price of everything goes up, up, up. This is called inflation. And BELIEVE me ma’am, by the time the little microscopic fraction of a fraction of this money makes its way to you and me, inflation has had time to take full effect…so ours buys less stuff than theirs. The very fact that we are bickering about these social issues is the intent of these establishments, in order to keep us from seeing the big picture.

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Joe
Guest

You must be “Book-Smart” 4.0! I, too, am against corporate bailouts, but to eliminate food stamps for children in the Greatest country in the world? You are obviously too young to understand! I pay the maximum income tax and am very wealthy. I probably pay more in Federal income taxes than you earn per year. Your position on Social Welfare is reprehensible.

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weknow
Guest

From Danielle’s comment to Ms. D’s comment Most of the comments from Danielle’s to Ms. D’s comment make the ideal that this program is just another government giveaway, start to leak as the holes get larger.
Misinformed opinions, who knows, at only $20 or $30 retail price for a cheap phone with minutes, this may be a promotion that only cost the company $5 or less per person to get them hooked. I seriously doubt if even 50 out of 100 people with tracfones could stay within the low minute limits given without bying more minutes.
In this pre 911 world, By june 12 there will probably still be many people that need phones to know what is going on, because their TVs wont work because of the digital upgrades to the TV signal.
If you want to complain to someone call any cell phone company and ask why you pay so much for phone services, when the communication grid is complete, done and paid for by consumers and taxpayers alike
If people receiving help from the government offends you think about people that get government grants that they never have to repay, think of student grants, the fact is if you thought of all the government programs that can and are being abused, you may develope far more contempt for other programs than food stamps, medicaid, ktap, etc.
Government programs are no more immune to theft or abuse as you are, as you will see if you do call a cell phone company to see why your bill is so high, one anwser you may get is, they must cover theft or abuse loses, so a program that helps your fellow man is a good thing, theft and abuse is a bad thing, do not confuse the two
One day you may fall on hard times yourself and your view is sure to change my fellow man and YES as you can see my comments are directed to the haters, you know who you are.

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fedup
Guest

As some one who works in the industry, I can assure you this comment is false:

If you want to complain to someone call any cell phone company and ask why you pay so much for phone services, when the communication grid is complete, done and paid for by consumers and taxpayers alike

Cell providers do not own ANY land for their network or retail sales locations. It is 100% leased – and some places at ENORMOUS rates. A freind of the family has a 6 story building in Clearwater, FL, and is beig paid $1000 for the rights to keep cell arrays on the side of the building. Did I mention, that’s $1000 A DAY? $30,000 a MONTH pure recurring expense. The cellular system will never be complete.

The commercials even start with “This is a government SPONSORED programed”. That means Tax Payer funded. $10 phone + $10/mo service x 12 months = $120/account per year x 1.1 million eligible in FL alone – quick math, puts the government on the hook for roughly $120 MILLION state dollars JUST FOR THIS PROGRAM!

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Ms. D
Guest

There are a lot of ignorant people who have an established prejudice against anyone who gets federal or state aid. Before you run off at the mouth about who is or isn’t a taxpayer Aubs you really need to wake up. The MAJORITY of people who use any type of aid don’t stay enrolled in the programs for their entire lives and a lot of us even work while getting the benefits. If not having a job doesn’t make you a tax payer then please enlighten me. The last time I checked when the government was tapping into my check every pay period and then I had to come out of the pocket at the end of the year…that qualified me as a tax payer, regardless of the fact that I qualify for aid. This country’s wealth was built off the sweat, blood, misery and enslavement of minorities and since then our nation’s wealth has been unequally distributed to the majority. You wonder why we need these programs? When my husband with a degree, no criminal record, great work ethnic and history and great personality can search and search for work and can only get a minimum wage job…you tell me. Trust me, I get food stamps and if any of you were so unlucky as to lose your job to me, I’d work my ass off a lot harder than most of you combined to take care of my little girl. So until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes (or AT LEAST research the facts and the stats before you form your offensive opinions)…all your petty musings are just that…petty and based in ignorance.

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fedup
Guest

“The MAJORITY of people who use any type of aid don’t stay enrolled in the programs for their entire lives and a lot of us even work while getting the benefits.”

I’d say a solid majority (i.e. 100%) of those living in the lower 9th ward dispel this assertion. Seeing some low-life looting and carrying a 50″ plasma through flooded roads, or uniformed cops participating in the looting… Yea. Unfortunately that’s the view Americans get of welfare babies. I bet you many of the people in the L9W had a) never seen a white person, b) never worked a real job in 10 generations (hooking and selling smack does not count), c) never paid taxes, and d) voted like hell this past election.

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UhHuh
Guest

I call BS on you, fedup.

The TANF program enacted under Clinton restricts “welfare” payments to four years in a lifetime and only credits TWO kids. So, no matter how many children there might be, only two qualify.

Most of the L9W people OWNED their homes on which they paid property taxes. They worked in the service industries, making hamburgers and cleaning rooms for the people in the Garden district and the tourists. Your stereotypes show you to be part of the problem concerning race relations. As long as idiots like you are running your mouth off about how all minorities are “lazy, evil, dishonest. etc.”, there will never be a resolution.

My dearly departed, lily-white and of German descent grandmother received food stamps when she was hurt on the job, and had to go on disability after losing just about all her assets. Would you call HER a “welfare baby”, lazy or a leech? What about my great-grandfather who is 93 and just retired from work two years ago? He gets EBT now. I would hardly call him a leech on the system. He had to sell most of the assets he accumulated over 75+ years of work and paying into the system before he could get assistance for his second wife who had Alzheimer’s. THAT is what our system expects of people before they “qualify”.

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fedup
Guest

Now, now, uh-huh – who’s calling the race card? I didn’t say boo about what race they were. On a hair-trigger are we? And I’m the idiot profiling and stereo-typing? I think you answered your own question Strike 1

Dependents, earned income credits, and child credits on 1040’s are NOT limited by the number of kids you have. Strike 2.

Don’t know your grandmother – sorry. 90% of the money spent on an individual’s healthcare will be spent in the last 2 years of their lives. Quality of live vs. cost to the system must be evaluated. At least with animals we have the luxury of providing them a dignified out.

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Joe
Guest

“the luxury of providing them a dignified out.” IS THIS JACK? Come on Kavorkian! Have you ever held a dog you have had for 10 years when she was euthanized? There is no dignity, there is only death.

You are one sick, demented person!

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Andrea
Guest

Amen!!

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justie
Guest

THE TAX PAYERS ARE NOT PAYING FOR THESE PHONE a compine is and im getting on so i have a for sure message

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Aubs
Guest

Any one saying how great this free phone plan is is failing to see the big picture…if you are receiving a free phone then, basically you are not a taxpayer….including vets, elderly, the poor and lastly, those professionals that work to cheat these systems to receive benefits by lying about qualification criteria… which seems to be the majority… just because you work and have a job does not mean you are a taxpayer. Here’s the clincher: basically, if us taxpayers, our children, and our children s children were unburdened by the debt these possibly well intentioned, but nonetheless unconstitutional programs, including unjustified wars, then, we taxpayers would all have more money to spend….which would mean a HIGHER demand for GOODS and SERVICES which would mean more jobs for everyone…including immigrants….then they could buy their own tracfone. The fact that these programs are easily abused is grounds alone for their non-existence. It may seem harsh at first, this point of view…but think about it…60 mins is $20 per month…food stamps are about $160 per month per dependant…Gummit housing ??? I’ll be very conservative here and say $500 per month…so were almost at $800 a month not even counting disability and Medicare….I only pay about $150 a month in taxes……this might foolishly lead me to believe that there are by far more taxpayers than beneficiaries. By beneficiaries I mean ANY recipient of tax dollars directly or indirectly…including social programs, military, banks and corporations…..especially the Fed. Then I remember that my little $150 per month is a payment on the National Deficit…and every time a program like this, or any other Gummit spending is enacted, the time period on the loan that my taxes is repaying, is effectively extended.

If we had our tax money to spend do any of you think for a second that we would not do a better job than Uncle Sam at taking care of those in need? True need? Such as our Vets and severely ill? If companies of this nation were not taxed to death, do you not think they would not only stay here rather than outsource overseas resulting in job loss, but take better care of its employees that make them their healthy profits? There would be a hundred fold of PRIVATE charitable organizations like the Shriners for example. Ahhh but we might have advice, or morality to spread that some may not want to hear that would receive this private charity…like “I’m sorry you have 5 kids and no husband….I know of a charity that gives out free condoms and even shows you how to use them.” Or “I’m sorry you don’t have a phone, but if you cant afford $10-$20 per month for a basic, no-frills local, unlimited use LAND LINE then you are truly an noncontributing member of our society…maybe you could go cut some ones lawn for some scratch as I do.” Or “I’m sorry your parents can’t afford a phone…perhaps you as their offspring should help them financially in their golden years at least one quarter as much as they surely helped you as a child.”

As to this free phone…it is the little things that kill..another performance upgrade for the engine of the vehicle that speeds us towards its destination of socialism. In my opinion of course.

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UhHuh
Guest

VETS aren’t taxpayers???? Excuse me for a minute while I check with my father whose very retirement is taxed. He would be happy to put you straight.

That second-to-the-last paragraph says more about how LITTLE you know about what is out there now. Even the Shriners are cutting back on their assistance with medical bills and they only ever picked up the most drastic and neediest cases (for which I personally thank them every day–the only charity I regularly donate to now). Land lines might be cheap, but you have to have a place to live and the ridiculous deposits needed to get them turned on in the first place. To assume that every woman with five kids is a slut says much about you and it isn’t pretty–I know a lot of women with kids whose husbands left them after becoming jobless because that is the only way the women can get help for the kids. Sucks that our society expects a family to break up before it will help. As for kids helping their parents out, that would be nice (and I do send my mother some money when I can), but the kids need to be working a decent job first.

BTW, the tax dollars you pay in ARE supposed to be used for the benefit of the people who pay them. Guess what? Even so-called “illegals” pay into the tax system through rent (which the landlord pays property taxes with), sales taxes, entertainment taxes, gas taxes, utility taxes and all those other “hidden” taxes that EVERYONE pays. Hell, my kid is paying into the tax system already and the child isn’t old enough to hold down a job yet.

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janet dow
Guest

In New York it’s 68 free minutes a month. I wish someone would pay for my tracfone, but on top of trying to pay for my family’s needs after NY taxes, fees, surcharges, and anything else they want to call it, I’m also expected to pay for everyone else’s freebies. I’m tired of forking over my hard-earned money only to have it “redistributed” by the government…

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Andrea
Guest

First of all lets be honest, if you are in making little to no money then you are getting what you paid in taxes plus some if you have children…. people always use that excuse… I have worked since the age of 15 and I pay my taxes out of my wages like the rest of the world its expecting– but you can’t say honestly that you are paying for this…. unless you are writing the check yourself !! Im sure you want one too!!

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Danielle
Guest

I live in Va and it’s 68 mins….. I got a phone because I got laid off. Unemployment isnt that much, so I had to let an expense go. I chose my cell phone and I dont have a house phone. I was planning on getting a prepaid phone when I got my money right. But for now I cant afford it. I heard about these phones, and being a single mom of 2, I needed a phone. Not being able to at least call for help if something happens, scares me, and I pray for God’s protection ever night. So, its a blessing for me right now. I know I have access to a phone, if needed, and I know that the mins given free are limited.

I’m smart with mines, if you call someone on a tracfone and the vm picks up, a whole min is deducted- wheather u leave a message or not.. So, when I call someone I let the phone ring 2-3 times, if there’s no answer I hang up. The ppl I call have caller ID, if they are available to speak to me they will call back.

I check or personalize my vm, when I have access to another phone. This way no mins are deducted.

I send tm to say something simple, that way 30 cents is deducted, instead of a whole min or more.

When my mins run low, if I can’t afford a card, I leave at least 5 mins on my phone. I dont use these mins… I save them in case they are really needed. I also, change my vm greeting and let the ppl calling me know, that my mins are low and if it’s important to leave a vm and I will call them back.

When the tracfone runs out of mins, people can still call u, but the phone will read “tank empty” and the name of the missed caller, will not appear on the screen. By leaving a min or some cents on the phone, this allows u to see who’s call u r missing… and when u get access to another phone call them back.

If you use all the mins… the vm still works… and u can always put on there for the ppl calling u to leave their name, #,and message. I also inform my contacts that it’s a tracfone and not to be forwarding messages and dumb shit to me and not to call me unless it’s important.

My mins usually last each mth, by doing the things I listed above. Yes, I have ran out and I went and purchased a $20 card.

Honestly, there are some ppl out there committing fraud. Some ppl have safelink phones and they dont even rec’v benefits from the government, they checked a box when they filled out the online application.

Others have safelink phones, not only for themselves but for their children as well, and who ever else they could sign up. They simply put in their children’s name, change the birth yr (if under 18)- so the child will appear to be 18 yrs or older, and then send it to a different address.

Apparently, they want to give away these phones because they aren’t really checking on the ppl they are sending them to.

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Andrea
Guest

I would agree, with you on this- but even so small children for some families need phones and pre-paid phones are sometimes worse then being on a contract!! But you just told people how to beat the system with your explanation!!

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