The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven't proved they are eligible to receive them.
The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.
Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.
A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification.
So actually, that river of endless fraud story should be entitled "FCC Stops Wireless Companies From Defrauding Taxpayers, Saves Hundreds Of Millions" but this is the Wall Street Hournal, so we get this instead:
He got your vote; now he wants his phone back.
To recap, the government fixed the loophole after they found out cell phone companies were signing up everyone they could fine for phones on the government dime, and then charging those folks "special rates". Hell of a scam, yes?
Hell of a phone carrier scam, not an Obama scam. Pay attention. You know, like the way the big banks take billions in fees for issuing SNAP benefits cards, not to mention the billions companies like Wal-Mart get from taking SNAP business.
But that would be anti-corporate, huh?