The “ObamaPhone” program was a controversial one, to begin with. Aside from liberals and people taking advantage of it, most didn’t believe that we should give free phones and plans to people. Thanks to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, we now know how fraudulent the program truly is.
Senator Claire McCaskill (MO-D) requested the report and she stated that the program had approximately $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts. The money should be in the federal treasury and Senator McCaskill says, “We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue.”
While the program existed before Obama, Lifeline became just another one of his pet projects that inefficiently provided services with money that could have been better spent elsewhere. Like most of his handouts, the funding source is the American taxpayer. The federal government bills the phone carriers who in turn, exact it from citizens each month in their phone bills as a surcharge.
In addition to the complete lack of budget oversight, the fraud within the program is massive. 10.6 million people are on the phone program but the report shows that at least 36% of them may not even qualify. Over 5,500 people had two phones and 6,400 of the phones being paid for were listed as belonging to people who are deceased.
Investigators even tested the program, submitting several fake applications. 12 of the 19 phone carriers approved the fraud. McCaskill said, “A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong.”
The accountability office questions the need for this program altogether. Many carriers now offer low-cost plans that most everyone can afford.
The FCC has repeatedly said they would improve the program, but nothing has been dramatically changed. We will likely see this on the chopping block as President Trump works his way through Obama’s corrupt eight years.
Source: Washington Times