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  • Government Welfare: Cell Phones for the Poor

    Government-sponsored text messaging? You got it.

    Welfare recipients in approximately 20 states–with more to follow– are currently eligible to receive a free cell phone with a limited number of monthly minutes. All individuals that qualify for state or federal welfare–food stamps, Medicaid, etc.–and have an income at or below 135% of the poverty level, are eligible. According to a Fox News report, the cell phone service is currently the fastest growing welfare program in the country.

    In 2008, the fund that foots the bill for this program contributed $819 million to subsidize low-income telephone services. The fund is projected to grow to over $1 billion this year. That’s $1 billion of over $800 billion the United States will spend on welfare in 2010.

    This particular program is covered by the federal Universal Service Fund. At first it received its money by essentially taxing telephone companies that provided long-distance service, with the money then being used to provide affordable rates for those living in less densely populated areas where phone service was more costly. However, in 1996, Congress voted to extend the use of this fund to subsidize low-income households and subsequently expanded the list of those required to pay into the fund to include: local telephone companies, wireless companies, paging services, and payphone providers. (Naturally, the cost for this fund is passed to the customer.) In 2008, the Federal Communications Commission began subsidizing cell phones for low-income households.

    Besides the $1 billion price tag, which is likely to increase as more states implement the service, not to mention the concern for growing entitlement created by this program, cell phone recipients are loosely monitored. According to Heritage welfare expert Robert Rector, this means that if an individual’s income increases to where he or she is no longer eligible for the service, there is no one to make sure he or she stops receiving it.

    Jose A. Fuentes, director of Government Relations for TracFone–one of the providers of the free phone service–says that the phones are not meant “for heavy usage.” Instead, they are meant “for quick phone calls, as well as a way for people to reach you in case of…emergency or for calls from a potential employer,” not meant to replace a landline. This idea indicates that not only should government subsidize phone service, but that as SafeLink, one of the providers of the cell phones, states, “cell phone ownership is a right.”

    This is just another example of the ever-expanding welfare state and the increasing entitlement mentality. At the very least, policymakers should require greater monitoring of the program to prevent misuse. Furthermore, if the purpose of the cell phones is truly to give lower-income people more access to potential employers, participants should be required to account for their job search activities. A welfare program that does not require personal responsibility will only encourage dependency and diminish human dignity.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    255 Responses to Government Welfare: Cell Phones for the Poor

    1. Bradley, UT says:

      Absolutely unbelievable

      • jackie vogel says:

        I am sick an tired of working hard all my life , and someone else getting it for free. Its not about having one phone with a very limited amount of minutes BUThe abuse of owing several phones. I should quit work , have babiies by more then one man , sit back and collect!!

    2. NVBarbarella Nevada says:

      I checked my cell bill and this cell phone program, I pay for the program but it is unavailable in my state…thanks reid

    3. Vested, TX says:

      Out of control! How in the world did we get to the point that a cell phone is a "right"? Who dreams up this stuff? Where does it end? I'm working as hard as I can, but I can't seem to keep up with how fast they are giving my money away. Help!

      • Bonnie says:

        Not all people who are being offered this service are lazy people who just don't want to work. I am a 51 year old woman who has worked all her life (was a stay at home Mom for a few years – but I was married at the time, and my husband took on two jobs so I could be with our children. Now I am on my own. I had a low paying job so not much saved up – then I went and got sick. I am now waiting for my disability check to start which isn't much (I have to wait 5 months without any pay for that to start.) Are you really going to complain that you helped me get a phone for emergencies? If you really want to make a difference let's make sure there are drug screenings that preclude someone who might be misusing the system, because they don't want to work. Believe you me, I'd much rather be working right now than sick.

      • Are you stupid we all are paying our money for things like this . And no its not a "right" but is it worth it? For parents that can not get services due to whatever reason allways have a way to at the least call 911.

        • Glenn says:

          any cell phone you can turn on allows you to call 911. You don't need free minutes to do so! Stop giving my money away!

      • tex says:

        let's all go on obama welfare and get free stuff and let obama pay for it out of his own money

    4. JENNIFER, ARKANSAS says:

      Welfare and its benefits ar getting way out of hand. After my divorce I had to get a job. On my own with 2 kids.. a hearing loss and no degree.. ex wasnt keeping up his child support payments. I found it very difficult. Making low income, welfare gave me food stamps, AR kids 1st medicaid, and free childcare. That helped tremenously. Even after rent on our one bedroom apt and after all bills, no credit cards, cell phone, or luxuries mind u. I hardly had $20 extra a month. I eventually got married. that got me out of it. Its very hard to b in Welfare as it is. I can understand if they want to provide a bare minimum landline phone for those seeking employment etc. But a cell phone I think is over the top. Thats too much to keep up and keep track of. I think the lamdline should behandled such as they bring in their bill.. the welfare office cuts the check and mails it. this way its up to the person to go in every month and turn it in for proof. It as well is verified in the computers. I also think Welfare needs a expiration for most ppl that are in the program.. to help them get a job and get them out of it. It would save the government money to help with childcare (which they aready do) and schooling, tutoring, mentoring etc and get them out of it, than to pay for them many many years for doing nothing. Some I know are… but some just dnt try and live off gov.

      • michelle klimas says:

        omg do some of you ppl really think ppl want to be on welfare omg come on get real you have to live at the bottom you cant ever afford nothing living off of it why are so many of you forgetting you started on it have a heart my gosh so many cant get out and find a husband or a good paying job not only that some really have issuses have ya ever thought about that.do you honestly think if a person could get a half way good job n be healthy enough to keep it do you honestly think they would be on welfare. i am so sorry but im sick of so many downing the welfare system its to help but my heavens its nothing you cant live off of it you barley have food how it gets me that ppl with so much want to keep ppl down you should be a shamed of yourself,if anyone thinks you can truly live off the gov ur outta ur mind u barley get by ppl what is wrong with some ppl

        • angry in utica ny says:

          Well here in upstate ny they sure are being treated exceptionally well…they drive brand new bmw…lexus..mercedes..and those cars really stick out in the neighborhoods they live in.and no one from the county checks on these people they put their cars in other peoples names..they sit on their porches all summer long or drive around all day with their music thumping so loud u can hear it the next county over. come on these people are bread into welfare they reproduce like rabbits to keep on the system..follow them in the super market ..their shopping carts dont look to shabby to me..i certainly cant buy half of what they do and i have a job and a family to support..and all the electronics they buy…if your are on welfare and living in such poor conditions " on the bottom " how do they manage to afford…cell phones for all their kids…internet…car insurance…tax payers like me thats how you idiots….sounds like we all need to sell our homes …quit our jobs and get in line like the rest of them…thats when retirement starts…not to mention the free health care

      • @ninjoe1 says:

        I agree what about welfare to corporations don't see that in none of these posts. Republicans beating post is the poor and never speak bad about corporations that screw Americans everyday . 63% of big corporations pay no tax and most get refunds where is the outrage? Just look at big oil that own the republican congress . Dems tried but failed to tax them because of republican congress. Fair play is not its give to the rich and take from the poor republicans.

      • steve says:

        sorry for you ,you had to get a job,later you found someone so you could get out of your problem,why did you need a man to help you,later you say the govt. entitlement is way out of hand

    5. Brenda Petrick, Port says:

      What is the need for a cell phone for welfare roles. If you are not employed why would you be out running around wasting gas or paying for bus service. Stay home and answer your land line. There is always a neighbor or friend that could take a message and give it to them. Our government is doing all it can to keep welfare roles alive and growing. Where is the incentive to get out, get a job and get off the welfare roles. We give them everything. A cell phone is not a necessity.

      • shorty says:

        All I get is f.s. but I'm out there every day looking so why I'm out looking the cell help so that if someone call and I'm out I can go I'm on foot and no house phone no cable no lnternet none of that stuff.

      • Deborah says:

        cellphone is a necessity. When you are interviewing all day and when you get home at the end of the day and missed the calls. Guess what? Some many people are out of work 9 times out of 10 if you miss their first call, when you call the next day they already have too many candidates. I would be dead in the water without mine and I don't have land line ….that means contracts. I do pay for my own phone but times have changed and i get $500 for me and my daughter which is too much for welfare my friend. Unless you and your significant other have been laid off, used all your saving and 401k, sold your vehicle to prevent it being repossessed, count your blessings.

      • bear says:

        well you know what, I am working my butt off, i have 2 jobs and still don’t have enough for my family and the free cell phone that was giving to me really helps with my young children. A cell phone is necessary because i can not afford a land line phone. you people just don’t understand what it is like as a single parent out there trying to make it. I don’t want to hear all the crap you all say

    6. doug watson says:

      what the hell just give everbody a free house too out of thats 1 billion what do i get just higher taxex what the hell is wrong with this goverment we should just vote them all out of office

    7. JMAC says:

      Holy crap…just another reason for folks to stay lazy. Not to try and better themselves and work. Why would they??? More intitlements,more Gov. control, more handouts. How bout spending the money that is funding this crap on job programs!!!!!

      • michelle says:

        do you even hear urself talking do you even know anything about welfare and how little it is to try and make it? i can almost bet my life that if the ppl whos getting help was able to get out and be as lucky as you and your family and find a job making halfway ok money i can almost bet there would be so many doing that.do you really honestly think that ppl are living off of about 150. a month n about 150.in foodstamps how the hell do you really think ppl can live off that?? why do you think we have so many homeless here now maybe if we took care of other countries after we made sure our true americans had what they need then i bet we would have way more money to help then we would know what to do with its not the poor or unfortnate ppl who are making you pay high taxes, i can bet if they had to choose a life for themselves i can almost bet it wouldnt be welfare not everbody misuses the system ya know some of us are really messed up and need help how do you even begin to think that anyone would choose to live on welfare????

      • laura says:

        I just want to say that I recieve food stamps and medical assistance. I am a single mother and am working but do not make enough money to provide for my daughter. So I get help. I can't afford a landline and the government does not help pay for that. The cell phone I have from the government helps me to be able to call the doctor for my daughter if need be or for her school to get a hold of me. Otherwise I would not know if she was sick in school and needed to be picked up. If they payed for a landline I would be just as happy with it as with the cell phone. Not everyone on welfare doesn't have a job. And since I work I technically am helping pay for my welfare. Oh and welfare does not give everything. The more you work the less you get. Maybe that should be changed. The people who are trying to help themselves get less than those who just stay on welfare.

        • Mark says:

          Finally Laura, an educated person talking. I can listen to you. I have a lot of trouble listening to the undereducated, speaking jungle lingo, It's obvious that their lack of education is what's keeping them down. The welfare system is for folks like you. We (conservatives) have no problem with that. I've been on the bottom too, so I know. I went through the loss of job, the bankruptcy, the nights of crying, yes, I know. But, I went out and found a low paying job. Stayed with it for about a year, moved, started over again, went to trucking school, started driving trucks, later went to a police academy and became a cop. Now, I'm middle class and the democrats would love to dig deeper into my paycheck to fund the lazy ones (not talking about you).

      • debra says:

        i am 61, disabled with breast cancer metastasized to my brain. i cannot work. i can barely walk. my husband ran off, no fault divorce, and i was forced to go on ssi. ssi is 698.00 a month. i manage to pay rent, utilities, and cannot afford any phone. i cannot get medical care because i cannot pay. the safelink is all i have, and it certainly is not an iphone. it is a cheap refurbished ten dollar trac phone. we get 120 minutes a month. i hope that you folks never have to become like me, and so many others. it hurts to read these hateful comments. not all of us are "scamming the system", and you may well need this one day. be grateful that you have your health and the self esteem of being able to work and support yourselves. i wish i could.

    8. Debbie, VA says:

      This is unbelievable. I have never been a fan of our welfare systems and now this … it's over the top. We should all just stay home, have babies we can't pay for and get free food and cell phones. Our federal government is out of control and I'm tired of working hard to pay for others who think that they are entitled to what is considered a luxury for most.

      • candi says:

        do you ever stop to realize some seniors might need a cell phone, in case of emergencies. a lot of them lost almost everything, stock, market, etc… they are too old to go look for a job, and they live without much of anything… you sound like a self centered jerk. everyone receiving this phone is not a lazy, freeloader..

      • emilys mommy says:

        your wrong im a single mother i work 2 jobs and have a disabeld child and i can use all the help i can get

        • DKMother says:

          emilys you are really brave mother and yes they have alot of help for disabilities you would need that especially spending quality time that need you the most.

      • DKMother says:

        Im a Mother of five children it that the case then maybe you should come down to hawaii and see if you can be easy to get hired. cause alot of employees had been getting laid off everywhere but it is not enough to take care of their families. yes i am on welfare but for now until the companies start hiring from down here instead off neighbor island most the employees lost their home because of the economy is not doing well that not funny at all. most ppl that have a heart i pretty much sure that they have plan that they can't depend on welfare for their families. (I don't) cause if ppl can loose their job what make you think this welfare it going to be. However, just for now its helping ppl the one that really needed. and its helping me and my families. it might not be much but it is something then nothing. Especially Medical… Thank you…

    9. Oregon says:

      Thank you, for the heads up!!!!!!!! We WILL be checking our phone bills!

    10. Julie says:

      Maybe I should quit my job and take advantage of all the programs available to the lazy. I paid my own way through school without any type of grant and now every time I turn around my money is being spent before I can spend it.

      • michelle says:

        yes i think you should try n see how much some ppl like living off of nothing its not ev1 who misuses the system so yes maybe you should stop working and try n get by off 400 or less a month

        • lmr says:

          right! People really need to put themselves in other peoples shoes. Some of us did not chose to get on welfare.Thank you Michelle! :)

      • lmr says:

        lol see Julie it is people like you that think everyone on aid is lazy. Do you see all these companies shutting down, people losing their house due to hours cut? Losing job's due to budget cut's? You have no right to call anyone lazy. You probably had help from mommy and daddy bank one spoiled brat that had it easy to get a job through a family memember or a family friend. I am not a lazy individual I worked for the County for 6 years and then my position was cut due to budget cuts. Now I am on welfare looking for jobs going to school everyday 9-5 keeping track of what I have to do every single minute. Raising my baby by myself do you call me lazy? I am not going to say there is not one single person abusing the system because there is but, sometimes an individual needs help I need help right now and I am getting it. That surely does not make me lazy because of the economy and jobs going across seas!

      • Debbie says:

        Not lazy people Miss Julie. I have worked since I was 15. I have my own home and have never received help from government or anyone else. I was laid off and moved out of state and back and have still been unable to secure a job to support my daughter. Big difference in lazy and not truly finding a job! I always worked so I wasn't ELGIBLE for any grants. I attended school through my employers. I pulled out my 401 K that I had and grew for 20 years to cover my expenses for two years and because I was responsible didn't receive the Stimulus Bonus EVER because I withdrew money from my 401 K. Money I sacrificed for my future. So don't judge others…let the Lord do that. You are fortunate you received a grant. Programs are what you think. I get 200 for food for me and my daughter PERIOD.

      • JAMIE says:

        I COMPLETELY AGREE.I AM 53 AND HAD ONE CHILD (NOT 6) AND WENT TO COLLEGE TO BECOME A NURSE.I WAS A SINGLE PARENT WORKING FULL TIME WHILE RAISING MY CHILD.YET WHEN MY CHILD BECAME OLD ENOUGH TO GO TO COLLEGE SHE HAD TO WORK 2 JOBS AND TAKE OUT STUDENT LOANS BECAUSE SHE COULD NOT GET ANY FINANCIAL AID HELP.SHE WAS ACTUALLY TOLD BY HER STUDENT COUNSELOR THAT SHE WOULD BE BETTER OFF NOT WORKING! WELL SHE MADE IT THROUGH AND IS A HARD WORKING WOMAN.BUT WHY SHOULD KIDS OF PARENTS ON PUBLIC AID GET FREE COLLEGE ( WHEN THEY DON'T WANT TO WORK AND USE THE MONEY FOR OTHER THINGS) WHILE MY DAUGHTER AND I COULD NOT RECEIVE ANY HELP AT ALL.SHE IS STILL PAYING ON HER STUDENT LOANS BY THE WAY.

    11. Darryl Johnson, Conc says:

      What a crock!

    12. Jeff, Ca says:

      You have got to be KIDDING me! Then for Safelink to say "cell phones are a RIGHT" since when. Who do they think they are kidding, cell phones a right, they are a prevlidge for those who can afford them. Howabout a car next it would be great if everyone had one, you know to go to potential "job" inerview.

      • Raemar says:

        Hate to say it, but in Pa. , welfare does indeed help with getting you a car. They also pay to maintain the vehicle by giving the recipient $400 a year to do any repairs or inspections. They also pay for overweight people to have gastric bypass, then of course, they have to pay to remove the loose skin after the weight is gone. I know of someone who is in her 30's who collects SSI because she has "back issues". She had the bypass surgery to lose the weight and then still couldn't work. Now, she has had a friend move into her home to help "take care of her" (she manages just fine going to concerts and festivals….) and that friend gets social security for helping her. Makes my blood boil as I get up at 4:30 am to go to work!

        • Ceah43 says:

          I'm 68 years old and in very poor health. The Banksters caused me to lose all my savings and investments, and the housing crash left me homeless and one of the growing poor. I worked for 25 years to make America a safer place for women and children and to help them move to a higher quality of life. I earned a Masters in Counseling degree which cost me $40, 000 plus. Now I receive $940. a month SS and $16. YES $16. a month in food stamps. I can't afford Health care Insurance.T he Gov/t says I earn too much to qualify for assistance. I am one of those with a Free Cell phone. My land line bill was $67.00 a month for LOCAL calls only and for my PC which I absolutely need as I am disabled. I cannot afford cable and have no trasnportation of any kind.

        • Ceah43 says:

          This is the first part of my comment it didn't print/
          I am 68 years old, in very poor health, and am now one of the growing poor. In 2008 Wall St. Banksters caused me to lose all my savings/investments. The mortgage crash caused me the loss of two homes. I was homeless and poor overnight. I live on $940. per month SS. I get $16.00 a month in food stamps. I can't afford health insurance and Gov. says I earn too much to qualify for assistance. I worked all my life helping others to move away from drugs and to better their life. I earned a masters degree in counseling which cost $44,000 and am still paying off. I have a Free Cell Phone. Continued in later comment

      • Carlene~ says:

        Jeff sad as it is I know people, that have got cars, hair replacement programs< that cancer people cant even get> from the state as well, not just phones, they get SSI checks for kids that are 5, 6, 8 12 yrs old for being over weight, and the Mother gets paid to stay home and take care of her kids. WHY DOES A CHILD NEED ITS OWN MONTHY INCOME, THATS HIGHER THEN MOST SENIORS GET??. ITS A SAD OUT OF CONTROL, OVER USED OUTLIVED PURPOSE,, AND I STILL WANT TO KNOW WHY IS IT NOT RIGHT TO MAKE THE PEOPLE GETTING HELP NOT TAKE A DRUG TEST, BUT I HAVE TO TAKE ONE TO WORK, SO I CAN PAY TAXES TO GIVE THEM THERE MONEY REACH MONTH TO NOT WORK???

    13. Pam, TN says:

      Where is it that cell phone is a right, I only use my cell phone and I don't have a land line because I am trying to save money by not having both! Another thing is why are we as bill payers not being told that we are paying someone else's cell phone bills, when is this going to stop that we as americans have to pay for other people's way of life? Americans are barley making ends meet but yet we are expected to pay for the welfare of others.

    14. Mike, North Dakota says:

      Just wait till they decide that Satellite TV is a right or about having a personal computer for a so called Job Search or online collage? The list of abuse could go on forever. I had to earned mine the hard way and that is by working for it. Work – an novel idea.

      • upstate suxx's says:

        well if you lived in utica ny and were on the system a couple of years ago you would have received a free computer valued at 1500.00 for each family who had school aged children so they didnt have to go down to the library to use theirs for class projects…like schools cant afford to put a couple extra in for these kids with the amount of school taxes we pay up here..i never seen them offer me one of those free computer for all my tax money i give in..oh no i have to use a dinosaur of a computer because the state makes darn sure people like me have no extra money..theyre busy giving it to these people who are clueless and have no idea that anybody who works and pays property taxes is supporting their lazy butts…think we need a REVOLUTION!!!!

    15. Don Hart, Granger, I says:

      They won't stop giving our money away until we stop giving it to them and the credit of the US dries up. Could be a tax revolt in our future.

    16. dklisa, FL says:

      We all try very hard to make enough money to pay for the products we feel we need. A cell phone must still be categorized as a "luxury item" (its not a necessity to live) – keeping in mind that 20 years ago nobody had any…. how can it now be deemed "a right"??? If you cant pay for it, you can have it – isn't that what we try to teach our children – spend within your means…..

      Isn't it long overdue that the gov'mint' try to live within their means in stead of adding programs that cost still more money we/they don't have.

      A agree, there has to be a strict follow -up of the program and its recipients – typical government, they dont follow up on anything. You have to be participating in a job search program with weekly/monthly reports being filed to the appropriate office, showing what jobs you applied for and whom you spoke to etc. And yes, when you get a job, your "right" to the cell phone ceases and should be terminated.

      Its despicable what the rest of us that work 10, 12 or 16 hour days are made to pay for!

      • lmr says:

        To me a cell phone is a need. What if your car breaks down in the middle of the road in the night where will you go after all the stores are closed? I wish I was working 12 hours a day getting money! I would not complain. I lost my job not because of my performance but,because of budget cuts. I had my goals set now I have to re organize and think about what I am going to be doing every day to get this degree just so I can have a home for my baby when she at least turns five and finally be stableagain.

      • debra says:

        They DO followup. We have to be re certified each year, and all our info is checked.

    17. C.J. Brown says:

      When I was a newlywed, not so very long ago, we were just getting started in the job market (while earning our degrees) with low-paying entry-level jobs. We were in the income bracket that would have qualified us for food stamps, but decided if we could, we would do it on our own. And it was tough, but we did it. We couldn't afford a telephone, but would never have expected anyone to provide us with one. When we had absolute need to make a call, there was always a kind someone who remembered how it was when they were starting out, who would permit us to use theirs. Whatever happened to taking responsibility for one's self, and the sense of community supporting each other, not monetarily, but with kindness and generosity of spirit?

    18. Kimberly, VA says:

      This is sickening.

    19. Sylvia Cosstello El says:

      I am a Senior Citizen – I had to buy mine and pay for time when I need it. We got along for years without one during my younger years. Boy next thing we know they will making ice cream available for them.

    20. Benson , Montgomer says:

      When is enough, enough? I am so tired of paying for down right lazy, irresponsible wel- fare adults. If you are unable because of handi cap that is another topic, but why do we have to bare the burrden of those who chose not to help in the sowing of our country? I think that the present governmnet in D.C. IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE GOOD AMERICAN CITZENS (legal only) OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!

      • laura says:

        Do you feel that everyone on Welfare is "down right lazy and irresponsible"? And you call yourself a good american citizen. By the way you spelled that wrong. I am on welfare and I have a job. I do all I can to make ends meet but they just don't and I need the help for my daughter and myself. Don't judge all by some.

      • dodo says:

        I agree! As long as we let the government get away with this, shame on us.

    21. Darlene PA says:

      Enough is Enough, just STOP spending our hard earned money on frivolous things, CELL PHONES are not a right. We must stop giving people on welfare everything they want, we would not do this with our own children, and they are not children. If it becomes to hard to be on welfare maybe they will get a job even if it is minimum wage and they need to get two of them to make ends meet. This country was founded on opportunity and hard work. Not on handouts and freebies. Right now people on welfare and food stamps are getting more money in food-stamps for a family of four than I ever spent feeding a family of five. Because we were on a budget. If we wanted anything we saved up for it. This Gov. just has to "STOP IT"

    22. Tony, PA says:

      I can see some benefit of this program- e.g. Single mom on welfare needs to call daycare, sick kids, need to call a taxi, phone interviews, etc. But agree that there has to be limits. Without limits, this becomes a right, not an assitance program. The phones should only be operational for a short period of time-say 6 months. And should not be unlimted minutes. Teach folks how to manage time and money. Will this happen? Probably not. So, My pockets continue to get shallow. At some point, the Government will be fishing in an empty sea!!

      • Tough Times says:

        The cell phones are given 250 minutes. That's it.. I am not on welfare, never have been, hopefully never will be. However I am a senior citizen, with a husband on disability. This phone helps tremendously. Our mortgage is over $!800., my husband receives $1900 on Soc. Sec. I am left running my butt off trying to make enough to keep us afloat! The cell phone enables him to keep in contact with me as I try to do that.
        We would sell our house, but would loose everything we have put into it over the years, that is if we could even sell it. There are brand new homes around us in foreclosure that could be had for what we would need to sell our 1960 home for. Any suggestions?

        • Virginia Woolf says:

          I don't think that the people posting here are talking about the elderly with limited incomes or who are unable to work at this point in their lives. They are, however, talking about the young mothers with three or more children they never had any intention of supporting themselves. You know, the ones who have more money to put toward housing than I do with my job that requires a master's degree. The ones who talk about having a $500/month electric bill. Really, I could not pay that much a month for electricity on my income. But I sure do have to pay taxes so welfare recipients can be as wasteful as they want because the money they receive has no value to them. I would love to be able to stop figuring out which days of the month I won't eat because I can't afford to eat everyday. No luxuries for me–I'm too busy paying for other people's luxuries.

          • Sorry to hear that, but evidently, you did'nt make some of the right choices either. Don't blame those who are weaker than you, because we are only to bear the infirmities of the weak and not complain,as this is a Godly act of Love. We as a nation have no problem with suffering from the wasteful spending of the War Machine, but when it comes to helping our own. We complain, and when the Veterans come home, don't you think they need phones too. We are all victims of the evil system.

      • Maggie says:

        Question for you Tony: Why would a single mom on welfare have daycare? And if the kids are sick, a taxi needs to be called, or a phone interview needs to be done, can none of these things be accomplished on a landline? Gee, it makes me wonder how we ever got along when all we had were home phones. BTW, if your mythical single mom is on welfare, she would no doubt qualify for Lifeline Service and I just know that would be a LOT cheaper than her current cellphone, which she uses far more for pleasure than necessity.

    23. Kathleen, GA says:

      I live in Georgia. They have spent a fortune running hundreds of ads on TV encouraging people who might qualify to sign up for their free cell phone. It's not bad enough that the give them one, they are spending money actively trying to recruit recipients!

    24. Barbara C, Green Val says:

      We need to vote every one of these vultures out of office. I hope we haven't come to the point of no return. This is just one more disgrace to add to our list of failures that need to be addressed.

    25. Barbara, Louisiana says:

      just my 2cents worth…I have a cell phone with the next to cheapest plan. I actually prefer landlines and think cell phones should be used only in case of emergencies or to make quick calls if running late etc.. I see young men (who should be working) walking the streets with a cell phone glued to their ear. I, too, am getting tired of trying to make ends meet while those in the entitlement programs seem to have it easy and carefree. WHEN is this going to end?

    26. Sheila Blackburn says:

      I cannot believe what I'm reading ! I'm a Correctional Officer with The Great State of N.C. ?!?! They give them everything else…Welfare, is out of control !! Give them a place to work !! Give them Drug test to be eligible for all they are given…..Make it harder to get !! I guess the drug dealers will have it much easier per the Fed, Gov. now !! They take the State Employee's money to payback the Budget….are we going to pay for those as well ?? We work, for what ?!?!

    27. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      Cell Phones that can only be used for 911 calls I can see, any cell can be used this way, When I got married phone lines were scarce and we did without, calls were either made from a pay-phone or my husband made them from work. We were married four years before we had a phone in our home.( I had a child in day care) I later worked at night as a nurse and I could have used a cell back then when I broke down on the interstate going to work, I just pulled over locked my doors and waited for a trooper, he relayed message to my home. If you cannot afford something, you do without. Tax money going to pay for cell phones is maddening, if they want cell phones they can go to Wal-Mart buy a cheapy and pay as they go, you buy minutes and if you use them up your done until you buy more, Don't use my money.

    28. Anita, Chandler, TX says:

      I am a senior citizen and pay over $26.00 a month in taxes on my phone bill. My cell phone is separate from this bill, so there are more taxes there. The constitution provides me certain rights that are provided my our Maker; however I don't think that a 'right' to a cell phone is one of them. Guess who I will be voting for in the coming elections!

    29. Mary, Louisiana says:

      In Louisiana the free cell phone ads have been running for the past 6 months+. I was shocked, at first, but nothing surprises me anymore. This, on top of the food stamp program, and all entitlement programs, is appalling. While standing in line in Walmart, I have witnessed people pull out at least 5 Louisiana Purchase Cards (looks like a debit card so as to minimize any embarrassment) and I wonder just how many cards can one household receive? It’s a disgrace. I’m 61 years old and still working after 42 years and have never been on any entitlement program — believe me, I could have qualified many times during my lifetime. The work ethic is on life support. It’s up to us to revive it.

    30. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 1.19.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    31. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      I work my ass off, and I am going to have to violate my contract because I cannot afford to pay my cell bill. I think I am poorer than those getting the government hand-outs, and I am paying for it! I am going to sell everything I own, and move to a third world country where the taxes are bearable, and I can survive on the amount I can generate.

    32. BOB HARVEST, AL. says:

      IT WILL NEVER END AS LONG AS WE CONTINUE ELECTING THOSE SOCIALIST LEANING REPRESENTATIVES TO WASHINGTON. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR AN INCUMBANT.WHEN WILL WE DECIDE WE HAVE HAD ENOUGHT AND MARCH ON WASHINTON OR BETTER STILL BRING THE REP'S HOME TO STAY.

    33. Harold, Lancaster Co says:

      Oh, yes, I see it now. Give free cell phones,(because it is their right), but limit the minutes .I'm going to apply for a job, checking all those minutes, and be sure they are not going over the limit. It should be a big paying job. Plus a plush office, and maybe a secretary or two. Oh yes, of course a free cell phone. Look at all the jobs giving free cell phones will create. Oh, I forgot. They'll cut offf my cell phone if I don't pay the bill. So what, I'll go on welfare and get a free one anyway. What a good country we live in.

    34. Drew Page, IL says:

      I can see from the variety of responses to this article that there are some who feel that "in some cases, free cell phones could be justified". Tony , from PA feels this way. He says that such usage should be temporary (6 months) and limited. He feels folks should be taught to manage time and money, although he feels skeptical that this would work. He goes on to say that if government doesnt stop putting the burden of such things on taxpayers, they will be fishing in "an empty sea".

      A phone of any sort is a convenience. How many more conveniences do the working American public owe to those on welfare?

      This sort of thing isn't limited to phone usage. Many utilitiy companies have included taxes and surcharges on their bills to provide service to those on welfare and like the phone companies, do not reveal how much of these taxes and surcharges go toward financing free service to those on welfare. This sort of thing is happening all the time and always in some secretive, underhanded way. Why? Because if the taxpayers knew what was happening they would not vote for the politicians doing this.

      A number of retirees, living on fixed incomes, many times Social Security only, have commented that they receive no such free service from the government and that they must pay in full for such services. These are people who have worked and paid taxes all of their lives. How many on welfare can say that?

    35. Bobbie Jay says:

      Cell phones are a luxury. WE HAD ONE WHEN WE COULD AFFORD IT. We can no longer afford it. We no longer have one. There were no cell phones for emergencies in the past. The 'poor" can use their land lines like we do.This is another stretch to give to those, an unnecessary, expense luxury, obligating the tax payers when this LUXURY can be worked for and earned and afforded. Why would anyone trust an electronic device, a cell phone, given by an untrustworthy, threatening, fear mongering, deceiving, American government? Is this really for Obama's neighborhood militants? Or could it be worse? There is nothing to trust when Obama insists people are poor because of other people. Obama holds no one he sees inferior, accountable. Nor does he motivate ANYONE, to use their given human abilities to do for themselves. He is in opposition to this.

      By the way, mentioning "the poor' is so broad. Could you give us a range of income? Including the income of what is already given through welfare programs or not?

    36. Tony, California says:

      WOW!!! socialism at its best folks . this is why this country is so great what other country do you know can do this !? other may china ! and they DONT!!!! which is why there economy is better then ours !!! dont get me wrong i am all for a helping hand but with the gov. being ran the way its is now how much more worthless paper do we need to print to bail out everyone !!!! cell phone for the poor how about we (and this is a stretch here ) get a history book and have the pres read it so he can see how regan did it after carter almost destroyed are economy !!! by lowering payroll taxes putting the money back in americans pockets and they"ll spand it and the economy will GROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    37. Tony, California says:

      oh and please excuse the spelling and typing errors.

    38. Russell - La Mesa CA says:

      I've been saying, tongue in cheek, for a few years now that people will soon consider cell phones to be a right. Amazing – will it ever stop?

    39. Dan Burtschi says:

      This is ridiculous! Within the last year, the people of the U.S. have been vocally communicating their desire to curb spending and reduce benefits — and now some politicians think that welfare recipients need cell phones paid for? Absurd!

    40. Paula Q - Hartland W says:

      2 years ago I traveled to Hong Kong and Thailand – I have seen real poverty. I often wonder what these people would think of how the "poor" live in America. Many American "poor" own homes, have cars, have cable on their tv's and sadly many are over weight. The day that the majority of people of this nation think that having a cell phone is a right is the day that we are truly lost to dependancy and the nanny state.

    41. Jodi ... wife of Har says:

      Well said Harold and an add to is you don't even need to be a citizen to get welfare.

      This country needs the Lord plus a good kick in the seat of every congress person and VP and President's pants.

      We need take back America.

    42. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      I'm sixty three years of age. I was raised in an area that had on our same street and in our neighborhoods, families that had been on the "Welfare" System since FDR. That was how they made their living. All the other families worked at real jobs for their families, mine included, and we were taught that there was pride in work and shame in Welfare.

      I go back to the old neighborhood on occation and still see the same welfare families in the same houses, in the same neighborhood. I see no pride there, only anger, and more want and ignorance and the demand for more "Entitlements."

      I still meet with those whose families taught them the pride of work and the shame of handouts. They still work, and have pride. Some have had to use the "Systems on occation", and it was ususually because either the State or Federal Government took away their jobs, Timber Industry, Commercial Fishing, Agriculture. but, they relearned, got another trade and went back to the 'Pride' of work and providing for their families! They buy their own TV's and Cell Phones, and other things, without Government aide. They are not demanding that anyone take care of them.

      The seventh and eigth generation Wefare people are demanding more and more and will never stop and will never be happy, nor satisfied. No one needs a Degree in anything to know this, nor any scientific study. Just life's observation.

    43. Paul D. Wagoner, Sha says:

      When will the give aways stop.

    44. Dennis Social Circle says:

      Why should I as a tax payer foot the bill for a mobile phone. These people already live off my taxes and the sweat of my brow. This is just another way for people to play the system. I THINK WE HAVE PAID ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO LIVE LIKE KINGS. IT IS TIME THEY WENT TO WORK FOR WHAT THEY HAVE AND WANT.

    45. julia, nyc says:

      i'm using skype as an app with my ipod (living in a city with widespread wi-fi). super glad i'm not paying a cent into taxes any more as i used to with my regular land line and cellular phone.

      sorry folks, but as a youngster i was told by society that "you are on your own" the hard way (think collapsing pensions, social security and medicare). welcome to the jungle everybody!

      "read, learn and survive" an old guy told me. best words ever. i read my phone bill, more than half went to pay other's people phone while my income went 50% towards housing (thank you housing bubble!!!) and barely leaving me anything for food and basic utilities.

      this situation had made me unwilling to provide for anybody else (including people on pensions from teh phone companies). the weird thing is that even though my situation improved, given that i received no help whatsoever while everybody was enjoying the joys of the housing bubble, my feelings didn't change. i actually embraced the "you are on your own" mentality. i'm trying to be as self-reliant as i can be while paying as little as possible of other people's bills.

    46. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      The phrase "Money is the root of all kinds of evil" is commonly said, but it is the love of money. Ommitting a few words changes the whole meaning.

      So it is with our unalienable rights. Our federal government was established, among other reasons, not to protect or guarantee our happiness but our PURSUIT of it. Many of those in power have confused the two. If it's hard for those of you in DC to see suffering or lack of happiness reach into your own pocket…not mine!

    47. julia, nyc says:

      "These people already live off my taxes and the sweat of my brow."

      i used to be a workaholic. now, after paying my small bills i find no reason to be a workaholic anymore. marginal taxes including FICA taxes and health care costs are too high to make sense of working all day long. i'm a walden type i guess (embracing simple living).

      bottom line is: i hadn't have more free time in my life and i'm growing to love it. i kind of feel like uncle sam is subsidizing my leisure time by taxing my work so much while giving me in exchange so little: no help with childcare, non existent maternity leave, my marginal tax for my 1st dollar is the highest of my hubby, they charge me FICA even though everybody knows it's not gonna be there for us, 2 miserable weeks of vacations that by miracle could coincide with my husband's.

      besides, if people my age (30s) are gonna work till we drop, why work so much when we are young? the rat race makes no sense at all to me (if it ever did, i don't know)

    48. Pat RI says:

      Free to Welfare recipients !!!!!!! Yet the men and women who fight for our freedom to defend our rights, and safety will have to pay $2.50 to call home plus $0.50 a minute. WAKE UP WASHINGTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    49. Jenn, RI says:

      Lets give welfare recipients cell phones, yet, our military like my husband, and two brothers (one of my brothers deployed yesterday) defend our rights, freedom and safety will have to pay $2.50 to call home plus $0.50 a minute. WAKE UP WASHINGTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    50. George Brett NY says:

      When do we start handing out laptops?

    51. James Berry, Huntsvi says:

      Crazy !! If you can't afford it, you don't get it.

    52. bindlestiff says:

      sorta glad this program is loosely monitored. I qualified in one state, moved to Oregon where it's not available now, but I still have the service.

    53. Jan New Hampshire says:

      I agree with all who are against this. Now how do we correct it. We can complain and talk about it being wrong,but what action can be taken?

    54. Percy says:

      I don't have a cell phone because I cannot afford one. My income just lets me squeak by without adding any frills. I just recently got a box for my basic TV service. I'm debating now if I can keep the service or need to get rid of it to pay for my heating fuel and food etc. I worked hard all my life usually holding down two jobs at the same time. I conserved so that I could own a house and I don't want to sell it just so I can get all the welfare Bennies. My brother did not feel like I do and they blew the money as it came in. They have gone on the ocean cruises gambled, and just plain enjoyed live and had a great time. They now qualify for all the welfare perks. It looks like the young ones are learning fast and that they too know which way of life is the most fun. In lots of ways I'm just kicking myself for being an Idiot.

    55. SBC, wadsworth,Ohio says:

      Are the American people so far removed from the work ethic of our ancesters that we expect everything to be handed to us and expect others to pay our way. What happens when the burden becomes so large that the few remaining tax payers decide to quit?

    56. S, OH says:

      I just learned about the program recently…I was shocked, but do i really want a cell phone that the Gov is paying for?

      How many posting comments here know the facts?

      How many people here posting comments have actually had to try to survive on the $300.00 you get for food a month?

      or $300.00 a month for gas & bills and toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc?

      How about trying to pay for gasout of that $300.00 to drive to the required appts and there are a lot required for you to do daily and job search ???

      What about keeping your electric, heat, car insurance & home phone bills paid-

      Did you know that school students are required to have internet at home?

      Did you also know that not all Welfare to Work people are allowed to have training?

      Did you know that most jobs that you are applying for are average $7 per hour?

      how many jobs at $7 an hour do you need to work to pay bills-and with no medical insurance…

      When are you supposed to be home to raise children or do laundry…

      I think that most folks have NO idea what they are talking about when it comes to the Welfare assistance in this country…

      Not all of your money is going there…to be truthful, not much of your money is actually going for these programs…really!

      Child Support money that is owed is taken by the STATE to recoup this money…

      and most of your money that you are paying in taxes—it isn't going toward social programs—it is going into the "public servant's" pockets–

      War budgets and secret programs we will never publicly know about.

      Don't fall for the media lies about social programs…get some facts-

      • Catherine says:

        Yeah. I mean if you throw a bone to a starving dog don't hate the dog for grabbing it. . It wouldn't be a problem but you think that is YOUR bone the person is throwing. Your bone and your tenderloin roast on the Masters table,.. dog is easier to kick and so you do…while the Master is kicking you.

    57. Jim, Wisconsin says:

      Life, liberty, and the fruits of others' labor. Inalienable rights. It's right there in the New Constitution.

      Now let us pause for the playing of the New National Anthem: John Lennon's "Imagine".

    58. Harry,Illinois says:

      Check out the nursing homes in Joliet IL. I heard of one where all the employees have a free phone by falsifying documents maybe they use the residents info to get their phone!

    59. Bill Newton says:

      Until such time that we get the socialist elite out of office in Washington, we will see absurd actions like this. Most Americans are struggling right now, but we give housing, education, food credits, and now cell phones to the people who were not working before corporate America starting moving all the jobs off-shore.

      I will not vote for ANY incumbent ever again!

    60. shrila says:

      I find it absolutely ridiculous and completely irresponsible of the government to provide these cell phones… we can provide a land line for much less and put restrictions on them to ensure the monthly spending is kept to a bare minimum with little monitoring.

      I know for fact that a cell phone is considered a "frivolous" item by the IRS and is not necessary from their viewpoint. Our government backs the IRS as we are all painfully well aware. This is strictly categorized a luxury item, as is internet and cable T.V access.

      So, tell me just exactly how this program is a necessity for those that cannot pay for a "luxury" item on their own?!!!!

      Our government is far out of sync with the mainstream populace and our struggles; constantly creating too many double standards and increasing the burden we carry.

    61. S. OH says:

      People who need help from Welfare; well, there are abusers…it is true in any program. Go figure–have you noticed this from every Gov. program?

      I see such anger here from people who have never had it rough, from the perspectives I see posted here. And others who have had it tough, are just angry.

      I see people super angry that the Cell Phone Program exists…

      For folks who are making an effort to get self-sufficient, the system is designed to keep you dependent. If you make ANYTHING, they take your food assistance away and child care. Then you are back to square 1. *( see my previous post about benefits for a single mom of 1)*

      Most of you don't understand how difficult the program makes it for people who are honest, drug free and trying to get out of the grind…do you think we feel proud when we whip out the Direction card at the checkout?

      Let me help you to understand that from a previous taxpayer's view who now needs assistance due to a work-related injury that keeps me from working and the ridiculous litigation process that drags forever to get back to normal…

      I am, for one, not interested in using the cell phone program.

      I have a program idea that is designed to help people get free…the small business…how does one do that in an economic environment hostile to the small business?

      Think about the way that the gov sets these programs up…they cost too much, and have bad stewardship over them…the costs to run them are 1/3 of the budget, approx.

      The Welfare System is designed to make it almost impossible for someone to survive, and won't allow you to step out to become self-sufficient…just like any gov program, there are people making rules for people in a situation that they themselves have never been in.

      I am all for working. I am a workaholic. The program needs to be re-evaluated and re-worked so that there is a common sense approach to the way we spend the money on them.

      Put me in Coach–I am ready to play! I would happily step in to make those changes…

    62. edward keller says:

      No cell phones to welfare receipients. Pay your phone bill or write a letter. Keep the tax payers away from welfare. I don't want my money paying for anyone elses phone.

    63. edward keller woodbr says:

      no cell phones to welfare. Pay a regular phone or write a letter with a $.44 stamp

    64. Diane Scargill Melbo says:

      I guess cell phones are also a Right not a Privilege.

    65. Magdaline says:

      Have you heard. We are in the worst recession since the 1930's. The ONLY difference between a recession and an economic DEPRESSION is the length of the crisis.

      The official unemployment level is at 10% nationally. The unofficial unemployment level is much higher. For since Reagan, those who drop off the Unemployment Insurance roll are no longer included in the statistics. Nice little twist Republicans put in…to hide the effect of "trickle down" or Reagonomics.

      Families are losing their homes. Have you heard about the Banks little gamble with mortgages that was actually ILLEGAL? This brought about the crisis.

      Families with children lost their homes and jobs. That's what happens when the capitalism you idealize is actually corrupt.

      Some people actually had to divorce to 'qualify' for welfare. Is that abusing the system. You bet, but it is a roof over the baby's head that wasn't available with both parents unemployed in Michigan and homeless and hungry.

      The stigma on welfare WOMEN AND CHILDREN..that's who is on welfare and you know it…is misogyny and institutionalized child abuse at its worst. Kick them while their down. Especially if they were abandoned by the father, or divorce for abusive reasons. Instead of helping out your neighbor, and applauding her courage..just spit on them and their kids. Make sure they know they are 'defective parasites' living off YOUR tax dollars. As if they don't pay taxes. In Washington state there is NO income tax, but a 10% sales tax. Yet they have the most lucrative employment in the nation. Google, Microsoft, Boing, T-Mobile..all are based in Washington state. In the land of opportunity in America there is great disparity.

      Heritage Foundation is biased and so I am I. I'm biased to facts.

      Facts are on my side. And I'm biased to humanity. Of course, there is a eugenics point of view in welfare reform. The unwanted, "immoral" poor, how dare they exist in America. Even though that is the nature of capitalism. A class divide.

      Nowhere can one find a pay phone today. You would want woman and children, many without a car..gas is expensive, so is insurance…not to have a phone for children to call their mother if they are in trouble? My dad used to make me keep a dime in my shoe..yes, I'm that old..penny loafers. There was never an excuse not to call home if I needed a parent. Today.."home" is a cellphone. We all know that.

      This society hasn't just turned into a heartless land. We've always had people like those of you commenting on this blog. We've had our racists, sexists, homophobes. They hide under the guise of fundamentalist religion and oppressive patriarchal privilege. You want to talk about "entitlement" and "privilege". Look at the patriarchy that defines America.

      I feel sorry for those who don't understand we are one nation under God, yes…we are all in this together. Until those who want to divide figure this out, we will not stand as a nation. Time won't let us.

    66. Gen, Philadelphia PA says:

      Please stop teh handouts. It is out of control. One of those phones will end up in the hands of some potential terrorist calling yemin. these people will sell or rent out the phone. If there is nay law breaking activity that is connected to the phone they will say it wa stolen. There is no accountability in our society>

    67. J. C -- MISSION, TX says:

      WHY DO WELFARE PEOPLE NOT WORK? THIS IS EXACTLY WHY — THEY GET FOOD STAMPS, MONEY FOR EACH ADDITIONAL CHILD, ASSISTANCE ON UTILITY BILLS AND NOW A FREE CELL PHONE.

      STOP THE MADNESS — PUT THEM TO WORK LIKE OTHER PEOPLE.

    68. L-J says:

      THANKS. TO WHO EVER THOUGHT OF THIS I THINK ITS A GOOD THING AND MAYBE THOSE SILLY FOLKS THAT THINK MONEY IS WASTED ITS NOT FOR YOU TO DECIDE ANYWAY. YOU MAY NEED ONE SOMEDAY SO STOP HATING ON POOR PEOPLE.EVERYBODY CAN'T FIND A GOOD JOB AS WELL AS OTHERS. WE ARE HERE TO HELP EACH OTHER IN THIS WORLD WE ALL LIVE IN OK. SO BE KIND TO EACH OTHER AND LET'S LIVE TOGETHER.

    69. Gene, St. Louis says:

      Does anyone have a link for the bill in which this program funding was passed? I want to know who voted which way on this!

    70. Barbara, Warwick, N. says:

      Hey, I have a great idea: let's all MOVE to another country and claim status there….then after we are no longer legal American's we can ILLEGALLY force our way BACK into the U.S., and get EVERY SINGLE PROGRAM THAT IMMIGRANTS AND ILLEGAL ALIENS GET. Hey, that should do the trick.

    71. teresa oregon says:

      I am a low income family. I do work FULL time and still have a hard time paying all my bills. I live in the country and work very far away from where I live. I would love to have a cell phone for emergencies. Example I work at 5:30 am and no body I mean no one is on the road at that time. My car broke down in the middle of no where and I had to walk several miles and there are absolutely no pay phones anywhere. So yes it would have been nice to be able to call for a tow instead of spending several hours walking and trying to find a place that had a phone I could use. I feel a cel phone is a luxury item and is at the bottem of my list. But if I could get one for free, that is what it would be used for EMERGENCIES ONLY I think they have a limit on air time so it's not like people can rack up the bill. I am glad they came up with it but it's not offered everywhere. I do hope they offer it in oregon

    72. Frances Huffaker says:

      my mom & dad line in Burnett Tx zip.code is 78611 the are low income, get foodstamps and are one medcaid is there a cell phone phone out there for them , theat the govenment will paid for. may they could get 200 free min. each mo.I try to call them every week but they need a cell phone incase of ermergecy.

      so is there enyone that could help them

      thank you Frances

    73. Mike Krouse says:

      Wow….. please tell me this is from The Onion or something, because this better not be reality..

      Wat's next? A gold chain and gold teeth is God-given right too? How do I get this nonsense to stop?

    74. Peggy, Navarre, FL says:

      You should check your facts before you insinuate that the government pays for this. Our taxes do NOT pay for any of it. The subsidized phones and minutes all come from the telecom industry. They use that fee they charge on our phone bills called the "Universal Service Fee". This is not a government tax and not an "Obamaphone". Here are some links to the facts (and you can find many more just by googling it):
      http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/ https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublichttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUS192845+15-Aug-

    75. michigan says:

      Are you serious? Don't you think the poor suffer enough by being poor? I'm a mom of 3 and yes made mistakes in the past to put myself in the situation of being poor BUT do not need a jerk like you saying I don't deserve help. If you open your eyes our government has enough money to help big corp. get outta debt I know they can help me with a phone. If you think your putting out that much extra money out of your earnings to help others its not as much as you think. Have you ever been poor? No one needs to feel worse than they already do by a man that says we should prove that were out looking for work!? Did all those huge banks prove all they should to get there billions? Get a life and have a heart not everyone poor is scandelous and out to get over ok. God bless you and hope you never need help.

    76. michigan says:

      Yes I do think this is a great program and like the woman said further up , when we go to work and hardly have enough to pay bills as it is and our car we barely can afford breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no pay phone within miles should be offered one. Look cell phones are pricey and if you havent checked lately whoever wrote this article its hard to find a pay phone that even works out in the world. Should we get raped by a crazy man because we can call for help with a couple hundred mins. a mth? I have one and I appreciate it dearly but dont think of it as gold its a basis phone with no bells and whistles that I get 72 free mins. Im so sick of a republican having the answers to it all if thats the case can you come and help me get a better job? Move me to a state where there is jobs? Thats what I thought. The best of the best have problems. Think then talk.

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    78. Laura, TN says:

      I am so disappointed in people these days. Yeah, there are people out there that make too much to qualify for a free cell phone, but that means they might can afford there bills. No I don't think a cell phone is a right, heck I don't have one, but I do believe that people with disabilities that can't afford to pay for one, or elderly people that can't afford them, should be able to get these. I think it's a great idea. My mother and stepfather are both disabled. The only income they have is from the government. She has many health problems, and he has a major heart and back conditions. They don't just hand disability checks out to anyone so yes, they need it. They are both in pretty bad health so they can't work but if they did try they would lose their disability. So they live off of what they make per month from the government. And believe me it's not much, espicially in this economy! By the time they pay house rent, all of the bills, and buy gas and food… There isn't much left. And what is left ends up going on more gas and food. Not to mention they are having to support me as well, because I can't find a job anywhere and have applied everywhere for the past 2 years! Yes I think this cell phone program is a great thing for people who may have emergencies come up. They only get like 60 mins a month for emergencies so it's not like they can just talk all they want on it. What if your parent couldn't afford one, and had a health concern and was driving alone one day and it hit them? This cell phone program can save lives for people who need it! Some people are so freaking greedy! Everyone needs to open their eyes and realize this is a good thing.

      • Sue says:

        Amen Laura, It's the ones that are so greedy that are complaining. Heck I worked over 18 hours aday/6 days a week for 12 yrs. Only had Christmas and Sundays off and then had to work in my home those days, also my mother inlaw needed help so I helped her. It is Not the pesident doing this is the the phone companies, but, yes the free cell phones are a good thing and do come in handy for Anyone who needs them. People need to look in the closet of their own homes before they judge others. Just because someone Looks as if they aren't disabled does Not mean they aren't!!! It is Not coming out of ya'lls pockets so let it rest and let it be, as she said if the shoe was on the other foot and your parents needed the phones, I Bet nothing would be said from the ones complaining. Being said that I am letting it rest there, for I Could say alot more to those who are making slurs about others, also all this Hate I am reading. So it is best I stop right now where I am.

    79. Laura, TN says:

      Also, some of you think that welfare is things just handed to people that dont need them, or people that dont try? Some of you also seem to think that people entitled to welfare have it easy? Give me a break! Good Lord people, I know just like everyone else that there are people that do these things…. There are people who would rather sit back and feed off of whomever and whatever they want. Get everything handed to them that they can without eveer lifting a finger. And yes these people make me just as sick as they do you because they make a lot of you think that everyone on welfare is like that. What about the elderly that are in too bad of health to work and have nothing to their names? Or even the younger people who's health is also so bad they can't work? I know some of you that think you are right about everything think "oh well anyone can work, I don't care how sick they are, they just don't want to work!". I happen to know better! There are people too weak and tired to even get out of the bed, and a lot of them have no one there to help them, or if they do have someone they can't help them. There are also people who have nervous disabilities and can't handle certain obligations that come with working? Sounds stupid to you right? What if it was you? What if you was diagnosed with a nervous condition and told you could never work again? What choice would you have but to apply welfare? You would try every bit of government help you can unless you were born with silver and gold spoons in your mouth and can just have everything handed to you that way? The Bible says not to judge people, and I struggle with that since there are so many others out there, just in this blog post alone, that are judging all the time. I usually never judge anyone based on looks, race, sex, size, or wealth…. I can honestly say I accept people the way they are! I was some people's only friend in school, and really genuinely care about every one. I saw an elderly couple in a store one day and tears came to my eyes bc their backs were both so hunched over they were looking straight at the floor. My little cousin passed away at 3 years old with a rare form of cancer, spinal muscular attrophy, and a tumor and if it wasn't for the help we recieved, she wouldn't have gotten any help at all, because my family is Very low income. I know some of you are wondering what this has to do with anything? It's to let some of you know that some people do need and deserve all of the help they can get. Yeah some people don't deserve it as much and get more help than the one's that need it more. That's just life sometimes. I really wish some people would really think about some things before they open their mouths about it.

    80. TIFFANY, TN, says:

      REPUBLICANS ARE "SUPPOSSED" TO BE EDUCATED AND UPPER-CLASS, BUT YET THEY ARE ON THIS SITE MAKING IGNORANT COMMENTS. I SAY WORRY ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR HOUSE HOLD, NOT EVERYONE ELSES. BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU HAVE, AND STOP DOWN GRADING PEOPLE ON WELFARE. I THINK THE PHONE IS A GREAT IDEA, EVEN THOUGH I WORK AND PAY TAXES AS WELL.

    81. Lisa, NY says:

      Okay, for all those people complaining. The is a program somewhere my tax dollars are paying for but, neither myself or my daughter can take part in because it hasn't come to my state. I have been working since age 16 and I'll be darn if I am going to allow anyone piss and moan about something I can receive because, I will guarantee you that at some point in your life you received something another was denied. So, thank God for what you have and pray that what you truly need is right around the corner. Without this "free phone" I couldn't get calls from potiential employers, my daughters school could not contact me, when my daughter is home alone I can call to check on her and I can call 911. Other telephones (land line/hardline) at best are $20 to $45 per month and that just isn't affordable. Besides, Tracphone only gives you 68units/minutes per month and the new one I've seen recently is only 200 minutes per month; if you've ever had a cell phone you know that isn't a heck of alot, especially when the doctor, electric and gas companies leave you on hold for 7 to 15 minutes when you call!

    82. Nicholas Connor, PA says:

      Have or Have-not, maybe Have-little now

    83. Alexis Medley says:

      HI EVERYBODY!!!!

    84. Steven says:

      The government gives nothing but lip service, they are nothing but beureucratic imbecilles pushing paper, my upstairs tennants have five kids and it took months before they started to make partial paymentson their rent, if the government would stop hiring brainless twits for their programs they might just get some proper work done, hire people with degrees not people who don't have enough brains to even know they exist, socialism sucks Mr. Obamanation! And so do you!

    85. KAREN WHITE,BRONX says:

      HOW DO I REGISTER FOR THE FREE PHONE I AM NOW CURRRENTLY ON PUBLICC ASSISTANCE

    86. disabled child, Loui says:

      i will say everyone is JUDGING this free phone for walfare recipients. HOW DARE YOU. I'm a single mother of three children and one of them receives SSI for his disablities. I'm in public housing and YES i do work. I can't afford a cell phone, but he type of job i have, I can't just give my son's school a work number cause i go from place to place for my job. If my child has an episode, the school needs to be able to give me a call and I would be needed to show up in a notice time at the school to help out with my child. Before someone JUDGES the motives of what the government has done for others, you need to stop and count your blessing you don't need certain services. You will be judged yourself one day by someone with more power and i pray i'm not around for that day.

    87. Yolanda Takoma Park says:

      Sometimes when you just move into a new home and you have to wait days for something like the land phone or lights to be turned on that free phone is something that will help to make one feel safe when you have no other means of calling for those things or even help. What is the difference on them claiming to spend 1 billion dollars on helping the poor other then on war or something else that doesn't help any one in the country so those people that are upset should think about the other side of the coin before passing judgement

    88. christine says:

      well my daughter has one, im a single parent and work alot of hours, i like when my daughter has a phone on her walk home. so i dont have to worry.sorry our tax payers have to pay for it, but if we could get the dead beat fathers to support there kids maybe we could afford to buy them phones.there for kids not adults,

    89. Disabled, Memphis says:

      You seem to make a lot of hasty generalizations about welfare recipients. I am an unmarried, childless, well-educated, white woman under 65. Through no fault of my own, I became ill at age 32 and after several years of trying work and/or go to grad school, I just could no longer function well enough to do so. I had not been out of grad school and in my career very long, so I had no retirement and no savings. I had no family who could help me. My only option was Social Security and the welfare system. I have tried to work part time off and on, but just don't have the wherewithal to do it. I don't choose to live this way, but it's either this, the streets, or suicide. Perhaps I should just die and reduce the surplus population as Scrooge suggested.

      Granted, a lot of folks do abuse the system. But if we're going to call ourselves a Christian nation and and put the name of God all over our currency, then maybe we should ask ourselves whether it's Godly or Christian to let our citizens starve and/or live on the streets. Fix the system. Don't punish the helpless and innocent.

    90. Laura says:

      I know of a particular instance whereby a welfare recipient is using the free cell phone to obtain marijuana and solicit sex. I want to know why government isn't taking a more involved stance to stop the injection of drugs into our families and community and review/hold accountable the continued misuse of government issued cell phones. There should be no right to privacy when the government issued phone is misused to this extent. Why isn't anyone monitoring anything? It's bad enough that welfare has created a lazy society permitting individuals to sit around all day, watch tv and smoke dope. It's disgusting. Make them work for it…nothing is free except for those who know how to work the system…and the taxpayers a paying for it! It's time for it to stop!

      • Cherie says:

        Aren't you being just as lazy? Why haven't you taken the steps necessary to report the dope head who is using his welfare phone to get his sex and drugs. You just to lazy to do anything about it you want others to do something and you rely on your government to take away our privacy to catch these deadheads just because your to lazy to be responsible enough to prove to the system that some one is cheating it.

    91. Jean says:

      I WORK to pay my bills and still can't afford a cell phone. I don't think that my home phone line should be taxed to provide the poor a luxury which can be abused. The only calls they should be allowed to make are to employers, educational facilities, Doctors, Hospitals and 911. Their calls should be monitored/restricted for abusers. What's next? Flat screen TV's?, Freedom comes at a price and everyone should be required to chip in a little bit even if it's odd jobs that can help a community. Unless you're bedbound or diagnosed as a threat to the community in some manner you should be doing your part to help others rather than expecting a handout and expecting others to give you everything. The majority of people on welfare have been on it most of their life and their children continue this lifestyle. It is rare to see welfare recipients motivated to better themselves and put as much effort into finding a job as they do figuring out how to get things from the system.

      • catherine says:

        Well if you are low income then you qualify for a free phone too. In Calfornia at least you just have to be making under 24,000 a year and they will give you one.

    92. Kim, Louisiana says:

      I agree about the spending!! But for my Grandmother who still works, and drives 25 miles one way to work, at night, a free cell phone is a blessing. She is unable to afford one on her own.

    93. Cissy, WV says:

      People are always downing ppl that have to get help through the state. Some I know are just lazy. But the biggest part of the world. Just wasn't given opportunities as other. Maybe their mothers & fathers wasn't given that opportunity to give to them. We all can be critical of one another but each person's struggle is important to them & they are no less important than the other.

      I am a single mother of 2 as of 3 yrs. now. I do have to rely on the state for help. Definately was not in my plans. My father died when I was 10yrs. old so that left my mother single with 3 kids at home & 2 out of the house.. My father was a diabled vietnam vet & I was supposed to get help to put me through college. But when I went to enroll that didn't even matter to the college.. So I did go for awhile. By this time I had a child & 3 jobs. I was missing my son's life.. I was picking him up from daycare to take him to a babysetter. I started my day at 5am & it ended at 12am or 1am. At this time me & my children's father was together & he was making great money. We were living in a big city & rent is extreme. So it was like we weren't making anything at all.. Whether you make a little or alot. It all gets spent on something to get us through this life..

      5 yrs ago when my kids were 4 & 7 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer took me 2 yrs to get cancer free & 2 more to actually feel like a human being..

      The only reason I am writing this is to let ppl know not to look down on ppl who are living off of the state. Most of them have a reason. They are not just free loaders looking to take your tax dollars. I am a tax payer & was a tax payer before my life got turned upside down.. But it is getting back together pretty fast & soon I will no longer need the state. But I will never look at the person standing next to me using a state medical card or a foodstamp card & think I am any better than him or her.. My children are just as important than the Dr.'s kids.

      My children deserve to have every opportunity as any other child & the state helps me be able to make sure my children are not looked at as the poor kids that get picked on. Or treated like they are not as good. Yes children can be mean on their own but alot of this I'm better than this person comes from the parents. Nobody is better than anyone.. I don't plan on being on assistance my whole life but it is helping me be able to be with my children instead of them living at a babysetters. I never planned on being a single parent or my childs father getting hooked on pain meds when he was hurt at work. By the way that was the Dr.'s fix to his injury have him doped up for years. It didn't fix anything but make my children loose a father.

      I work 5 days a week 8 hours a day monday thru friday. My children & I also do alot of volunteer work to help people who are in need. Whether it be they need their house cleaned or taken to the store. Babysetting for free for parents who can't afford child care but unable to get assistance because they are buying a house & a car.. Life is hard.. Everyone is going to need some kind of help in their life.. Maybe not assistance through the state but something.. I & hope everyone gets the help the need…

      Now for the cell phone. I actually do have this cell phone. I only use it for emergency's so my children can reach me at all times as well as the school & daycare. I also have to continue going to the dr. out of state as there is no dr.'s where I live to help with the type of cancer I had so I have to travel 3 hrs away every 3 months. My children are in school at this time. So incase of an emergency I need to be able to be contacted. I don't stay on the phone texting for fun or call a friend just to chat or gossip about my day. When I say emergency that is exactly that….

    94. Terry Q says:

      I live in Brownsville, Tx. Like everyone I try to go shopping once a week….I see people pay with their lonestar and some of these people are driving better cars that I am(which I think is crap) . And I work 40 hours or sometimes more just so I can make ends meat and these people are getting free freaking cell phones (that is total bullshit) I swear..I pay for my own cell phone and I don't want to pay for someone else's cell phone..This so called help is getting out of F**king control….What next free cable also. So they can stay at home even more, watch tv and keep on having children so the tax payers) keep on paying..Some people should get them but NOT 20-30 something year olds people not willing to go out there and at least try to get a job so they can pay for there own stuff.

    95. Julia / St Louis says:

      You may think that ppl should sit at home waiting for the phone to ring.. but how are we supposed to get a job if we're sitting on our asses? why can't we try to cut someone's grass or clean someone's yard or other short term jobs or go fill out other job apps and still get a call from a possible FULL TIME or PERMINANT job??

      don't complain we sit on our ass.. complain we have no way to be reached because we don't sit on our ass.

      with a cell phone.. it's possible to do more! it's only 68 minutes a month! not long enough to talk to your friend or your sweetie.. but long enough to get quick info on a job or call 911 cause you don't have a car and your 5yr old was bit by a stray. (TRUE story on my 5yr old son)

    96. Angelique FLINT,MI says:

      I can understand why alot of people are upset but for people like me that are looking for work its a blessing to have companies that provide that service where i am from so many people rely on cellphones that they removed all the payphones and its very hard to keep a house phone with limited income so i appreciate them and whoever else is responsible for providing the service

    97. TONY OLD BRIDGE,NJ says:

      ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I HAD KNOW IDEA THIS WAS GOING ON,WE LIVED WITHOUT CELL PHONES IN THE PAST,WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT THEM NOW! WHY NOT A NEW CAR !

    98. Joe Tata Buffalo,NY says:

      KEEP SENDING JOBS TO CHINA! WORKING IS A RIGHT!

      KEEP SHOPING AT WAL-MART! AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT EFFECT YOUR JOB! RIGHT!!!! FOOLS SOONER OR LATER IT WILL! MOST LIKLEY SOONER!!!!

    99. Beverly, Al says:

      This is absolutely icing on the cake. They don't want to work now, giving them a phone is perfect. Pat them on the back for doing nothing. I am tired of paying in to Social Security just so others can live off of it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind helping those who are trying to help themselves. As a matter of fact, God wants us to help. I just do not agree with handing out money to people who you know are not even thinking about getting a job. Someone earlier mentioned giving them new cars. Are you kidding me. They already drive around in new cars. They know how to work the system and get everything. Welfare and driving new cars and now getting free cell phones. Heck they can even go to school for free. This is ridiculous. I know for a fact that many have used their children to recieve even more Govt help. They tell their teacher that they are dumb and can't learn so they have them tested telling them to even intentionally fail just so they can get more money. They teach each other how to work the system so that can pass it on to their friends. Something has got to be done to stop this. Who the heck came up with this idea in the first place?

    100. Morgan says:

      Your forgetting that Tracfone is a private company which is adding thousands of users to its base, only the first minutes are sponsored and Tracfone is making money because on average more people buy minutes after they use the 75 they get each month. In fact Tracfone pays for the phone, the shipping and the minutes. What they get in return are lots of new users, which benefit there corporation and boost sales. Business 101 my friend.

    101. REINA,OKLAHOMA says:

      OMG R U KIDDING ME….MY HUSBAND GOT LAID OFF FROM THE OILFIELD LAST SUMMER AND WE WAS MAKIN 4K MONTH BRING HOME AND HAD TOYS AND VEHICLES WE WORKED HARD FOR AND WHEN WE WENT TO GET HELP THEY TURNED US DOWN BIGGER THAN DALLAS..SAID WE MADE TOO MUCH ON UNPLYOMENT 420.00 A WEEK ..TOLD US TO SELL OUR STUFF THAT WORKED VERY HARD FOR BECOUSES THE ECONMY WAS SO BAD….I THIBK ITS A CROCK OFF CRAP…GUESS WE JUST NEED TO QUIT OUR JOBS …HECK WE CAN GET MONEY,FOOD,BILLS PAID FOR AND A PHONE WOW..SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN TO ME….THAT IS SOOOO SOOO STUPIED TO GIVE WELFAR PPL PHONES…..IM SURE IT WAS AN IDEA FROM OUR NEW PRES OBAMA WHO CAME UP WITH THIS ONE!!!

    102. nigel taylor,6601 el says:

      i could use a cell phone so i would be available for call backs from jobs

    103. nigel taylor,6601 el says:

      i need a free call phone to be reached by prospective employers

    104. Bob Derderian says:

      I can't believe that our "Elected Idiots" (sorry! "Elected Officials") can't see how much they are destroying our American way of life, our work ethics and our morals with outrageous interpretations of the Constitution coupled with taxation of the 'working people' to pay for everything for the illegals as well as the 'lazy'. My suggestion is very simple — EVERY Working Citizen should change their W-4 forms to include 20 dependants. Then at the end of the year when the IRS says that you have to pay more tax, you simply say "I don't have the money, put me in jail!". They just can't put EVERYBODY in jail, now can they !!! Furthermore, most of Congress would have to be sent to jail for not paying taxes as well !!!! It's a form of "Tax Revolt" !!!!

    105. Bob Derderian, San D says:

      Maybe we should all stop working — then we can all get free cell phones (to get a job, Right?), free housing, free food, free medical coverage (especially for abortions), free transportation (to get a job, Right?) and maybe even free plasma TVs — What a Country !!! Drug addicts, illegals, lazy bums and criminals have it "Made in the Shade" — all they have to do is make babies, drink beer, smoke (medical) marijuana, rob liquor stores, rape a few women and cash government hand-out checks. Is the USA merely the Roman Empire in disguise? Is it 'History Repeating Itself"? —- It sure looks like the ignorant fat slobs who are presently running our Great Country into the ground are the ancestors of the Roman Empire kings. I say "Vote all the Bums out in November".

    106. Sandra Penssylvania says:

      This program was meant for people like me. A single mother who left an abusive relationship and ended up living in shelters because they were safer than the 4 bedroom house I had. This cell phone gave me the peace and security of knowing I could call police or other emergency numbers if my abuser was nearby. I didn't want to be on welfare, I have a college degree. But I did what I had to do. I am thankful SafeLink is out there for those who may need it. Sometimes…not everyone has a landline available to them. Would you want potential employers calling for you at a homeless shelter?

    107. Richard, Edgewater, says:

      Another slick move by democrats (no doubt) to insure a strong welfare-drone voter base guaranteeing their re-election.

      As usual, this nifty scheme will explode into a multi-billion dollar boondoggle as millions of the "poor" sign on to the system. Of course there will be no need for

      means-testing since all people on the welfare dole are scrupulously honest and the employees in the various departments of health and human services will see to it that everything is legitimate…..right!!

      ….makes me sick to death to see how far our nation has sunk into depravity.

    108. Richard, Edgewater, says:

      The notion that the "poor" can't afford a cell phone without government help is nonsense of the first order. Certainly those on the public dole can find $10-plus-taxes a month out of their public assistance accounts to have a cell of their own.

      There are several excellent cell providers that have no-contract agreements and provide plans where the phone piece is free and the only extra charge beyond the basic monthly fee is for actual air time at very reasonable rates per minute. The air time fee is also an incentive to the user to stay off the phone rather than yapping nonsense hour after hour at the taxpayers expense.

      If we are truly interested in fostering free enterprise, this is the way to do it. Cell providers who exploit the "free" cellphone programs sponsored by the government in the name of "creating jobs" are hypocritical beyond belief.

    109. Martha, Michigan says:

      I am quitting my job (worked for 30 plus years) and applying for all the help I can get. Why work? Bust my butt all these years, raise 4 kids without any help from husband or govt. Had to work get 2nd full time job to make ends meet cause I was "old school". For what???

    110. Martha, Michigan says:

      Just last week. I heard some customer telling a cashier that she cant work because she has an obsession to clean her house…so she collects social security…What a joke

    111. Steve, Florida says:

      It will take politicians who are not afraid to stand up for common sense and publicly out all this nonsense. It gets by because the average American has no idea what these fees cover and how they are distributed.

      There are way too many people in the lifeboat that are not pulling their own weight. They just sit there and not only watch you row the oar, but demand you row harder for the "benefit of all and social equity." Like Obama said out of his own mouth, he "wants to spread the wealth around". That is code for socialism where the government decides how much of the providers money will be distributed to the takers. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!

    112. Personal. Everywhere says:

      I paid taxes for years and years.House, food, land, and everything the gov could tax you on. Even school tax and I don.t have any children. I live in a small growing town far from the city. I had a job and caught up on all my bills, nice used cars. house and doing ok.

      Now the job I used to have is gone to our non english speaking neighbors at half the price I was getting paid, beans and tortillas go along way for a couple of bucks. I think I will try to get assistance and let the guys from south of the border that took the food out of my mouth pay for my free cell phone and food if they are even paying taxes ( 99.9% arent) So now I walk by the job picking up alum cans for food where I used to work and listen to them laugh and wave at me speaking a language thats not english. Think about it for a while. Thousands are comming here everyday so all of you complainers could be next.and don't think it can't. It happened to me!!!!! Well got to go. I need to get to my local SRS to get my free cell phone and food stamps. have a nice day!

    113. dotty, Florida says:

      I am horrified at this waste of tax-payer dollars. My husbands brother just called this morning on his new free cell phone with 200 free minutes. This loser smokes, drinks beer all day, gets food stamps and medicaid. He worked as a contractor, made lots of money, spent it on liquor and loose women, abused his wife(now deceased) and ignored his children. He owes the IRS; why aren't they coming after him instead of giving him tax-payer dollars????I hope they are watching this site. I would be happy to give them his name. I worked and paid in until i was 67; now i have to pay out 20% of my SS and 20% of my retirement so i don't have to pay a huge amount in April.

      I am glad i don't have too much longer to see America swirl down the drain.

    114. Joslyn, Texas says:

      I read what someone else said about not paying for a landline and using only a cellphone to save money, which I agree is a smart idea. (or vice versa) certain things in life are LUXURIES. Your work should reflect your earnings. No where on my birth certificate does it say I'm entitled to a cellphone or a 52'' plasma tv. Its funny how the woman paying with her EBT card at the grocery store can afford a COACH purse while my parents buy a cartload of generic groceries for our family. I've never had a designer bag in my lifetime, and I can only afford to buy a new cellphone every time the contract renews which is ONCE every 2 years. My parents refuse to give up paying the bills to buy something we don't need, Food, Bills and mortgage come first. Everything else comes in second.

    115. Happy, ATL says:

      look idiots , U guys are the most selfish, mean, dumb, evil, unconcerned, inconsiderate, bunch of assholes ever. Ok!!! just because some one is on welfare you guys think they don't deserve a phone… listen dumb asses there are some People on welfare because they are disabled or sick (medicaid) or child care so that they can work and as for as using the money to feed the kids that's what food stamps are for, and if you are so concerned about the kids, what if something happens and a child lose their life b/c there was no way to call an ambulance or 911, also do you idiots have any idea how fast the min leave off these cell phones, i know people who have these phones and trust me it no luxury. And what business it of yours anyway , your tax dollars fund all kinds of vacations and fun time for the gov anyway , why not save a life :) …

    116. Brandy says:

      Not everyone on welfare is a lazy bum like most of you are saying. There are legitimate people who have disabilities and live on a very limited income. These would be good for the elderly and people who need a phone if they live alone. This is not for heavy usage you only get 60 mins per month. Some of you are so selfish. No not everyone deserves to have it like a woman who can't keep her legs shut and keeps spitting out kids and doesn't work, you get the picture. So stop demonizing everyone on welfare.

    117. sanford fl says:

      oh well u bastards r always complaining i work and pay taxes i dont mind if i help another person out they r just least fortunate than others screw u all

    118. fadonia crump fort w says:

      what a lovely idea, i really think this is neat for those who need help. thank u so much.

    119. rick robertson says:

      Hi i just want people to know that not allpeople on welfare get it for free i used to be on welfare i had to work 40 hours a week for 100.00 in food stamps and 500.00 a month in cash no gas help i worked very hard at the job i did i worked in garbage all day what i made did not even begin to pay my families bills so you know most people have to work for what they get that includes single mothers and dads they dont sit around all day doing nothing they work in some of the worst conditions in america maybe people need to quit listening to republican poor people haters

    120. layla,mi says:

      Its not about the poeple on walfare its for low income …for those who think its unlimted will its not its for emergency use only it gives u so many mins per month ….i dont understand why alot of the americans are mad when the u.s.a government dose somthing good for its poeple and would like to see it taken away its a shame to read all the negative comments when the country is always helping all around the world so why not the u.s poeple i personally think its a good thing to help our own and not other countrys ..

    121. mystry tn says:

      yeah yeah yeah what ever if it was one of you who lost there jobs and in my case i cant work im disabled and i have 2 kids who are disabled 1 is almost 3 mths old and has never been home has had two heart surgeries almost lost him twice and till this day he has been in a hospital i spend all my money on rent food bills diapers gas to go see my son im taking care of 4 ppl on the amount of 627 a month and after all of that where do all of you ppl get off by saying the gov. needs to stop well im glad they are trying to help other wise if i didnt have a gov.phone how would i get to check up on my son and as for my second child he is 4 years old and has autisum so if i didnt have that phone how would i get him help in this past year every thing bad that could happen happend except for very few things like my son is still alive and my other son is getting help so yeah the little bit of minuts i do get on my gov.phone has been a life saver and i thank the gov.4 trying to help when i realy needed it so figure this one out 4 me if the ones who are being rude can figure this out well maybe there is some help 4 u after all i get 769 on ssi a month and 337 in food stamps here is a brake down 4 you

      diapers 18.00 a box each 4 boxes a month =72.00

      wipes 9.00 a box each 4 boxes a month =36.00

      rent for a month = 174.00

      house hold items a month = 30.00

      laundry since i have to go to a laundrymat=40.00

      gas to see my son who is 4 hrs away from me=160.00 a month cause my fam.charges me to go see him

      extra food cause i only get enough food stamps for 2 ppl that ammount is 337 in f.stamps so i have to add an extra 115.00 in cash to make up the diffrence to feed 4 ppl

      then i found a cat who was getting tortured by neighbourhood ppl and i felt bad for her cause she is pregnate that is the ammount of 34.00 for food and litter so tell me that life is just handed out to ppl on welfare yeah i live in low income housing and i get gov.fundings so that leaves a total amount of 108.00 left unless there is an emergancy and we need it like for medications clinic fees

      so thank you to the us for trying to help by giving us a phone and trying to make things just a little easier for ppl who try and work and fight there hardest to make ends meat so all together my bills come out to a total of ill brake it down

      72.00

      36.00

      174.00

      30.00

      40.00

      160.00

      115.00

      34.00

      ————

      661.00

      so in conclussion how is 108 dollars left over some times going to get me a cell phone or any other phone when my credit was ruined when i was a minor and had no choice into not having bad credit when i got older and for the 4th person my feance he is disabled also and is waiting for his ssi approval he has smashed verdibrates in his neck and cant work he got hurt at work trying to support his family

    122. M.Dudley, Texarkana, says:

      Ridiculous….but before long guess I will qualify. They will have taken all of my money that I HAVE WORKED FOR and give to the one that don't and won't work.

    123. Sara Florida says:

      You bigots. I am an amazing, hardworking wife and mother of 4 children. They are my life and I would do anything for them. THAT being said, if it takes me being on a food stamp assistance program to ensure my children are being fed properly, SO BE IT! Some people have too much damn pride. Get off your high horse and realize not everyone who is on assistance is a lazy bum who sits around eating Cheetos all day and living the good life. Its pretty damn embarrassing using a food stamp card in the grocery store and having to try to hurry and swipe it before people see. Its embarrassing. And its great to know people like yourselves have never been in a rough spot, huh? Well not everyone lives in the lap of luxury, and people for the most part are doing their best to make things happen for their families. Maybe some families can't get enough income because their husband lost most of his work due to illegals taking all of the work. Ever think of that? Of course not! Well, thats the situation for me and my family. My husband works as hard as he can, works his fingers to the bone from 6:30 AM until 3:30 PM and in the brutal south Florida heat. I work from home online and I do about 8 hours a day. We live in one of the hardest hit areas in the entire country for the recession, and we are doing the best we possibly can. We don't get welfare money, we do get food stamps, and yes, I have a free government phone. My daughter has it as she is now in middle school and may need to call me in case of emergencies. I think everybody needs at least a little help at some point in their life, and I know I pay that help back every month by volunteering at my children's school, and doing community service. So please stop judging people before you know anybodys story! He who is without sin casts the first stone!!

    124. Erin says:

      I am a 26 year old single mother who is currently enrolled in college with a 4 year old in school. I go to school an hour away from my son. I pay for school out of pocket (through loans). I am on government assistance. I do not feel bad that I receive a free cell phone. It is a good idea. A lot of times people on public assistance work jobs where they cant receive phone calls or are in school. Everyone has this idea that all people want to be on welfare so can sit on their bums and do nothing. I had a few hurdles in my life. I thank this government that has been taking taxes out of my check since I started working at 15 to help me when i need it. When I finish school, you'll hear about me. I'll be the one making DNA vaccines to prevent diseases such as Huntington's. Thank you government.

    125. Tonya Missouri says:

      Ok I can understand people being upset about the cell phone thing, but not all people have house phones, so a cell phone is a neccassity, wat if sumthing were to happen. no phone no help. There is nothing wrong with welfare, and I personally am glad that the government is doing everything they can to keep it open. Yeah there are some idiots who use it for no reson other than being lazy, but not everyone does that. I am thankful for the help from the government and wellfare and all especially coming from myself whose kids father is a dead beat dad, can't get ne child support or any money from him whatsoever, and am a single mom doing the best I can. Some people need a little help, we're not all wealthy homeowners who have money and don't need crap. It's even hard to get a job these days. So before u go juding why don't you think about ways they can better welfare so people just can't just use it to be lazy and add more help to those who desperately need it.some people have been through a lot, I am one of them. Man some people are so selfish.

    126. Alan says:

      Can this program be repealed or eliminated? Who's decision was it to allow the FCC to use the universal service fund to give out free cell phones?

    127. Barbara says:

      You know that some of you are just sellfish for thinking that the people that are on welfare or food stamps, and are getting these free cell phones are all just a bunch of bums. I happen to be disabled and get SSDI in the grand total of $668.00 per month plus $200.00 in food stamps per month. This is what I have to support my self on. That’s right, mortgage, gas, electric, water, phone (which thanks to safe link with all is all of 76 min. per months I get ) I was able to cancel my home phone and save some money, I also had to cancel my cable which was sad because being house-bound except for doctor visits I cant afford any other entertainment (like most of you do), I also have to pay car insurance even though I cant drive just so someone else can drive me to my Dr. apts, and all the other monthly bill we all know we have. So when you go to bed tonight angry that someone is getting something for free that your not getting, just be thankful that you don’t have what some of us have and pray to whom ever you pray to that you never do.

    128. astra squillini 1315 says:

      i think its wonderful that there are free cell phones for the needy. god has blessed us!!

    129. Dan Buffalo, New Yor says:

      And we should all do illegal things so we can get amnesty. Oh I forgot us born here don't get amnesty for commiting a felony. Entering this country illegally is a Felony.

    130. Buffalo Ny says:

      F.y.i Welfare Is Sending People to Work For Their Benefits. Up To 40 Hours A Week…Cleaning Toilets And WhatNot…

    131. Larry, WV says:

      The president has no direct impact on the program, and one could hardly call these devices "Obama Phones This specific program, SafeLink, started under President George Bush, with grants from an independent company created under President Bill Clinton, which was a legacy of an act passed under President Franklin Roosevelt, which was influenced by an agreement reached between telecommunications companies and the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. Why didnt you cry about it when you paid your landline bill?

      Dont worry, your phones are better than the poors free phones.If thats what your worried about. Lets let them have a little of what we have, Im not going broke becouse of this program.

      If your on the net at work GET OFF and quit stilling time from your boss, your taking more money from your boss than your paying on your cell phone bill for this free cell phone for those who need it.

      Stingy Stingy little minded people.

    132. L, Oh says:

      Hmmmm — no monitoring. does this also include texting, because i see lot of that too. I work full time, pay all of my own bills, pay taxes, and although i have a cell phone, i do not have texting or some of the other perks, because of the price. I am grateful that those who truly need it and do not abuse it have access… but— come on, someone is not very bright if they do not believe the majority abuse this. for example, i know someone who quit working because it was to much stress and is no on "The system and loving the freebies". they are always sharing how great it is to get food stamps and the other perks and not have to leave their home, only for their own self enjoyment.

    133. Pingback: Top Ten Foundry Posts of 2010 | The Conservative Papers

    134. james mcain says:

      get your facts straight people these phones are funded by telecommunication companies not from are taxes and not from are president ,it is just a myth going around the web . peace

    135. Youhate Toomuch says:

      You know Im on welfare, it's really hard to get a J.O.B. where im living. I don't care about cash or other things like *CELL PHONES" the only thing that im happy with is having food for me and my children. Im trying my best for them in looking for a job and taking care of them, I would love to have all these great looking things that comes out new, but im not materialistic like most of us are today! so please don't talk bad about us recipients we're all not the same we're all not that bad at all, we all human beings and alot of us do try! so take it in your heart to ask forgiveness. God Bless you all. =)

    136. Priscilla says:

      I agree about our government being in debt,but their our people out there that work and is still having hard times( some have children and can not take on more jobs),people would sit back and think about where are money is going any way's @ least it's going toward our American people not other country's,now day's people don't give a hoot about any one except their self,what if it was your mom,dad,or any family member.
      I pay taxes just like all of you people but going to have to pay them if they had this plan or not,now I do agree that we do have many lazy people and many of them are the ones who take advantage of this because they can but it's people like that, that screw it up for the other's.

    137. Beth says:

      I think it's great that this service is available. Just because one is on welfare, doesn't mean they aren't working, or going to college. Most on this site is very close minded, and judgmental. So, just so you know, I know plenty that work their ass off, and are college students that get very little and the cell phone has helped out tremendously. Be careful not to throw stones, when you live in a glass house.

    138. anonymous says:

      let me say something. i know for a fact that people are abusing this system. for instance, it should be a household thing if any. not one per person husband and wife each get 250 min /mth. neither work, neither have intentions on working and have been milking the systems for years. they were given the phone for 1 year

    139. Mary Lynn says:

      I am on welfare and I just love my cell phone. Works wonderfully and its all free. Thanks! Now all you posters, go ahead and kill yourselves with hate.

    140. Jennifer in Florida says:

      You know not everyone out there who gets food stamps is some low life bum. My family gets food stamps because, my husband took and fell 40ft of a roof and broke his back and is lucky to be alive. Now he is fully disable because of this and he surely didn't ask for this to happen. His entire life has changed our family lives have changed and we have 3 children that we are raising. And do you think I wanted to sign up and be on food stamps no I didn't but, with what I make a month I have no choice to be on them. My husband worked any where from 60 to 80 hrs a week and now that won't happen again. And what about all the seniors that have worked and put in their time and paid their money in all these years. For people to down grade everyone who gets food stamps needs to stop and think about it. Not everyone out there getting them is getting something for nothing. Their are people out there that truely need them and use them the right way. Do you think I am proud of having to get them no I am not but, I have to in order to feed my kids. Never did my husband or I ever think this would happen to us but you never know what could happen.

    141. Gregg says:

      They didn't even ask if I wanted to give to this charity. Isn't that stealing?

    142. ariel123 says:

      how can ii get mines

    143. getit search app says:

      Right now people on welfare and food stamps are getting more money in food-stamps for a family of four than I ever spent feeding a family of five. Because we were on a budget. If we wanted anything we saved up for it. This Gov. just has to "STOP IT"

    144. Just heard says:

      This is ridiculous. I didn't have a cell myself because I can't afford another bill. I have a landline.
      I finally broke down and bought a tracphone with some minutes just in case my car breaks down. Why should they have all this for free, when we the taxpayers can't afford it?
      Next they will get highspeed internet, which I also don't have. Dial up internet is perfectly adequate for job hunting!

    145. ali says:

      some people want the money from the poor to use it in wars that don't even belong to us the americans. More benefits should be giving to the poor and misfortunate that is for sure

    146. ROSS BUSICK says:

      THE FREE GOVERNMENT CELL PHONES AND MINUTES OBAMA PLAN

    147. Yolanda ; Baltimore says:

      I just recieve food stamps. I want to work and i ask the social service people to put me in a work program and to help me get and job, it was told to me that i would be better off finding a job myself!! So I just apply to jobs on line , I go out and fill out apps ,even went to Mc Donald's,NO ANSWER SO I'm going to my 3rd JOB READINESS PROGRAM , But this one is only for a week. and i not giving up,some one will use me some were , If you want to hire me I'm very at cooking ,trayline,cold prep(kp),and house keeping .(a closed mouth don't get feed) peace!!!

    148. TED says:

      Cell phone ownership is not a right! Get a clue Mr. Fuentes.

    149. nancy says:

      i would love a cell phone i have foodstamps and i live with my husband in public housing, I have medicare and i am on ssi and ssd

    150. Glenn says:

      I know a guy that is part of this program with life wireless and get $8 for everyone he give away. $8!! just to give phones away to these bums. How can we get a petition to send to Congress to stop this? They hide this under the Universal Service Fund line item on our phone bills but it is really a tax on working people.

    151. Anna says:

      I am a married woman taking care of my disabled husband and 3 kids. I am just getting by to pay my bills. I am glad that the government is doing something for people like me. There are alot of people out there that make it bad for people nlike me to be able to get any kind of help and to hell to all of you if you think that i dont need a cell phone. At any minute my kids could have an emergency at school, likle my son who has seizures. I have no neighbors around to come and tell me. So whoever thinks that some of dont need the phones, I dont really give a damn. I need it as much as you need youre computer. BTW Im using the library comp!!

    152. tanya burns says:

      how do you get one of them cell phones

    153. steve farmer says:

      i like that your helping getting me a cell phone

    154. Helen S says:

      Cell phones are a necessity whether one realizes it or not. What I find ignorant about what many of you are stating is how welfare recipients should not have a phone but then claim they need employment/ stop being lazy and so forth….what we fail to realize is that when we were seeking employment we had a number employers could reach us right, so stop the crap…I bet you all have asked some relatives for assistance right? until you got on your feet so stop acting like your life has been perfect. If you were born with a silver spoon then you probably dont know what tough times are…not everyone on welfare is lazy, nor taking advantage of the system many do but not all. Emergency purposes are also a great reason for cells. i dont mind taxes being taken from me for such a thing as such…

    155. Catherine says:

      Don't hate me because am mentally disabled and now someone wants to give me a free phone.. Before this I just used a prepaid and I paid 20 dollars for 3 months of use but I could only use 6 mins a week so I ended up just not carrying a phone all all half the time and depending only my magic jack at home. BUT I often kicked myself for this as is/was a irreponsable act on my part because There are no pay phones anywhere any more because it is assumed everyone can afford a cell phone now. I am 43 years old and remember when their were not cell phones and I am ok if I don't have one …BRING BACK THE PUBLIC PAY PHONES AND I WILL THROW THIS FREE PHONE AWAY AND NOT CARRY ANY PHONE AT ALL BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD FOR YOUR BRAIN ANYWAY> thanks

    156. Laura says:

      All I have to say is that the mentality of people is so wrong. I am a single mother and I have a job. A full time job that does not provide me with enough money to take care of my daughter. It is the mentality of some of you that make me ashamed to need the help at times. I do all I can for my daughter but she still goes without a lot. This phone that I am provided gives me a way to call the doctor's if I need to. Or the school to get a hold of me if she needs to come home. It is unbelievable how bad this country has become on helping those in need. It is all about the me me me. While I do feel there are a lot of people who take advantage of welfare, there are still a lot who do not. Maybe instead of worrying if someone gets a cell phone or not everyone should be more worried about how to change the welfare system so that it stops helping those who don't help themselves and starts helping more those who do. And as for unlimited minutes, I do not get unlimited minutes. It is a total of three hours a month. That's it. And if I don't call customer service once a month the phone gets shut off and the process will have to be started all over again.

    157. MATT says:

      If any of you idiots had the slightest clue about anything your talking about you would first know
      A- that this is also available for people with disabilities
      B-THAT TO BE ON WELFARE AT ALL YOU HAVE TO ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR A JOB OTHER THAN
      EXEPTIONAL SITUATIONS INVOLVING CHILDREN
      C-Though many of tou probably think a cell phone is a toy for obnoxious pontification,it is a crucial tool in this day and age PARTICULARLY if you are in search of employment.

      Many of you are probably those same fools who-inspite of the fact that they are not `members' of that
      microscopic `club"hva no problem giving tax breaks to the filthy rich.
      ALSO- Are any of you aware that VERIZON has not paid squat in taxes for three years now and the IRS
      just looks the other way? Have the backbone to recognize the TRUE leaches.Only cowards attack the most vulnerable.

    158. MATT says:

      Hate to brak this to you, Nevada, but it IS availablle nation wide.
      Duh, maybe because it's the same necessity it is for any of these idiots
      who share your sentiments..I

    159. Yolonda says:

      The comments I have read on this post have been terrible. How would one expect those on welfare to get off if they do not have a phone to get that important call asking for an interview? What about their kids in school sick or hurt and nobody can get in touch with the parent? I researched the information and they are only allowed 250 min a month and if they want more they have to pay. Obviously if the government is helping pay for this service there was a need found and justified for it. I just hope none of the people who commented negatively or even ignorantly do not ever need the governments help for anything. Landline costs just as much as a cell these days which may be the reason why alot of you have only a cell and not a landline.

    160. John says:

      Sorry Boss, but I cant come into work today….I have to go "protest" people who work harder than I do……Oh, and when do I get my "free" cell phone?? Food stamps? Heating fuel?? Transportation??Tax return that I dont pay into??
      What a friggan JOKE!!!!

    161. Just Sayin says:

      Makes no sense to me. I work hard everyday need medication can't get it cause I don't have the money. But if I sit at home I get it for free. I struggle every month to pay my land line and cell but if I stay home I can get it for free. This country is sick with it. Re-evaluate things heck give me a discount for my well need medications and those sitting at home and smoking all day make them get a job then offer them half price for things they really can't afford.

    162. dxbronxman says:

      i bet 80% of the people here trash talking are pink….get a grip, people like yourselves wouldn't give crumbs to starving children…not even pink ones

    163. Diana S. says:

      Need a phone real bad.

    164. Billy Kornegay says:

      Blly NC
      These phone will ring one day and people with them will be told if you want to keep your free phone you know who you best go vote for

    165. Maggie says:

      Lifeline phone service is available in California for as low as less than $7/month and rates nationwide are comparable. I used to have a cellphone (for business) and paid $15/month for 300 minutes, which was a Sprint plan they did not offer online or advertise anywhere; I was only told about it when I called to cancel my former ($30/month) plan.

      People can tell me all they want that they NEED a cellphone or that they have one instead of a landline, but I'll just bet they don't have inexpensive plans like I had, and I'll also bet they use their cellphones for a lot of unneccesary stuff. When my business tanked along with the economy, I cancelled my cellphone. I bought an inexpensive answering machine/cordless phone combo (my current cordless was acting up) and with my Lifeline Service, I'm set. Even if you're out job hunting, you can call home for messages. It isn't the technology that's a problem, but the mentality. Just because a gadget is invented does NOT mean everyone and his dog needs to buy one. I know most people pay far more for a cellphone than they would for a landline and the few who don't, are people who are frugal by nature and are really conscious of what they spend. The current recession has not taught a lesson to enough people and as usual, Head Stuck in Sand = Empty Bank Account.

    166. Most of the comments on this page are very selfish and only proves a lack of knowledge and wisdom. Most of the people making comments have no knowledge of the Lifeline Link Up Program, not even a clue. Before you make predujice statements, first read and learn about the program,; you may be the next person in need.

    167. confused says:

      Someone in my family has a government phone, all I say is for real… to many people whom do drugs and drink are entitle to this service as they are entitle to getting welfare as well or disability, because they have a drug addiction or a mental condition that trust me some people blow up… I had a child young and his father died when he was 2 years old, I could not get social security because he did not sign the birth certificate.. I did finally get it when he turn 9 years old and with a lawyer… I was on welfare for 5 years and off it when he turned 5 and could be in school while I worked and did not get any further welfare assistance….

    168. tespino says:

      Well for ppl that are low income cant afford a landline they still have doctors appointments am
      d some are looking for jobs so say they are out and a child gets hurt at school how do they contact the parents and what if the person on welfare is out and need to make a call there are no more pay phones in los angeles county so how do u guys supposed they do that a cell phone is needed for emergencies outside the home and not all ppl who are on welfareare lazy or just don't try my sister is on welfare and her husband works 40 hours a week but with no rent control in california they cant afford to pay their house gas and take care of a family without the assistance of welfare you guys are so closed minded its ridiculous if you have a little even that helps and we are supposed to help others it has to be in your heart somewhere that you area person and need assistance sometimes. This just down right amazes me that ppl complain about helping others where is the compassion but you guys cant wait to see them help ppl in other countries when disaster strikes when there is so many problems right here at home. God Bless

    169. Davinki says:

      Have you seen a pay phone around lately? Probably not as they are almost obsolete. These cell phones are for basic communications, have no bells and whistles and definitely are not luxury items. Many, many people are out of work and/or homeless due to no fault of their own and have poor prospects for finding any type of work without a phone for the employer to contact them. I seriously doubt that the very limited number of minutes is something the impoverished will use for fun or entertainment. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you post your petty gripes.

    170. LMR says:

      I am a single mother and I am on welfare. I was working for the county till I was nine month's. After I had my baby girl 2 month's later they cut 9 positions from our work due to budget cuts. So I had to get on welfare. It is helping me a lot. I am currently going to school to become a Paralegal and I am not lazy as some of you think "welfare recipients are" they ask a lot from us. You have to be in school 8 hours and on top of that study for 12 hours a day just to get passed your classes. We have no breaks at all! When college student's have Christmas winter breaks we do not. We still have to go to school 8 hours a day to take a whole long 8 hour class. I understand from another persons point of view from these people that do abuse welfare and do not want to work and get by life the easy way. There are women like me that want something better I am hoping for the best it is hard not finding a job and having experience! I have tried so hard you think I want to live my life making only 500 a month to raise my baby and food for only 200 hundred a month noooo but it is getting me by I do have a roof over my babies head thanks to my mother's help. I also take car of my mom she is on retirement. It is so hard and yes I do believe this cell phone thing will help for some of us 65-150 a month for a cell phone we cannot afford. I had to cut my cell phone it is too expensive. I have to buy diapers for the baby sitter and my house so it is double the money. Food,clothes,bills everything. To all of you making money thinking you work hard put yourself in someone elses' shoes for one minute. Not all of us thought about our companies shutting down and getting on welfare. I sure did not but look at me now! I have to do so much just to re-start my life. Oh ya, and do I feel ashamed swiping this ebt card everywhere hell yah I do I want to make my own money and say hell yeah I have more money to spend for myself but, I do not. Quit being so ignorant. A lot of you did not need to struggle and never will. That is great that you have two jobs I wish I had two jobs I would not complain at all.

    171. Dontjudge says:

      All the job losses in the last couple years, let me remind you people who are being so judgemental. These same people who had been working for years that lost their jobs, are losing what they've worked so hard to get. You don't kick people when they are down by no fault of their own. Keep this in mind, when people get cash assistance every dime of that money has to be paid back to welfare by the recipient. Liens are put on their property, houses, mobile homes, businesses, cars, what have you. These benefits come with a tag. If it wouldn't have been for child support covering what minor bills I have ( because I downsized everything to feed my kids, and keep the lights on.) I had to let my landline go because its outrageous in cost. I had to keep my internet to apply for work because its the only way to apply for work through career link, there is no longer a place called unemployment office like 20 yrs ago. If I had not got one of these phones, I'd have missed out on a job interview at a prestigious facility today. Those phones only come with what people get on extra free minutes in your bundles. Verizon prepay phones come with a pay plan of .99 a day usage if you make a call, and .45 a minute. A texting bundle is minimal at 10.00. Minimum payment allowed 15.00. Its apparent that some of you are not familiar with how much 15.00 is when you dont have it let a lone pay that landline bill every month. I happen to be grateful for the help, because if I was dying along side the road and you people were nearby…I'd be as good as dead. Also remember, that all people on welfare are not unemployed !! IF you meet the low income requirement for family size you can get that little extra help. Im not worried, because this country is on such a down hill spiral ….everyone will a get their turn to find out how it is to struggle.

    172. sharon says:

      Don't you get it yet??? This is just another way to track people and divide us by pissing us off. Do you really think the government cares about welfare recipients? It's all about control and division.

    173. Druid says:

      This is conclusive proof that the Dems cannot help themselves, and we must turn them out in order to save our country. Welfare folks with cell phones that I pay for is an insult.

    174. gordon says:

      id rather see welfare spend the money by giving drug test rather than cell phones

    175. JAMIE says:

      THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WASTING THE TAX PAYERS MONEY.FREE CELL PHONES? YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING! I AM 53 AND HAVE WORKED HARD ALL MY LIFE.I HAVE BEEN HEARING FOR YEARS ABOUT THE MESS SOCIAL SECURITY IS IN AND YET SOME BONEHEADS DECIDED THAT CELL PHONES WERE A NECESSITY???
      SO IF YOU ARE ON PUBLIC AID YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A CELL PHONE THAT I HELP PAY FOR AND YET SO MANY SENORS ON SOCIAL SECURITY CAN'T AFFORD ONE. I PAY FOR MY PHONE AND MY MOTHERS AND NOW I AM PAYING FOR EVERYONE ON THE PUBLIC AID SYSTEM TO HAVE ONE.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THESE FOOLISH GOV.PROGRAMS.FOOD AND SHELTER ARE NECESSITIES NOT CELL PHONES!!!

    176. brandi says:

      I recently got pregnant and had to receive welfare due to seriouse complications that dont let me work any longer. But still this is rediculouse receiveing medical and food stamps is one thing but to get a cell phone through welfare comeon i hope they think about this one.

    177. As a recipient of one of these free cell phones,i must say,They are not just given to so called welfare people. they are also given to disabled people who cant afford to pay for cell phone services and in a emergency we do need them.i live alone in a mountainous region and in a emergency i helps me. And i will have you know that i paid taxes for years and worked for yeras and put into the system along with many other people who qualify for this program.and for those in these economic times looking for jobs and who cant afford to pay the phone bills and the mortgages they do help in finding jobs. So yall should really stop and think,you too may one week short of becomming bankrupt and in need of some help..I know many of people who i seen loose busineses ,homes and they were hard workers.and now thye have nothing..these are difficult times and we should ban together and help not stand in judgement ,wehn you to may be in thier shoes soon.

    178. @ninjoe1 says:

      Always go after poor ..The welfare things play to the republican base. What about the welfare to corporations is that alright.. don't believe in either but never hear nothing about the corporation paying nothing and getting a refund .. 63% of big corporations pay NO tax and most get rebates .. what about big oil? Pick and choose republicans NEVER MENTION corporate welfare that is why the country is in this problem that and the out sourcing of our jobs which the republicans sat on their hands when Obama mention it . Guess they just love outsourcing of our jobs.

    179. cc says:

      Just want to add…a land line cost much more than a cheap pre pay phone with 30 minutes on it each month. So it is a cost savings to the government.

      It is sad how black and white most of you view welfare. so unrealistic to the reality. Get on welfare and see how awesome your life is. What a nice home you live in. How on the first of the month you wait in the parking lot until midnight to get a recharge on your food stamps card because all you and your kids have had to eat were a can of beans. Your fridge is bare your cupboards are bare. Both you and your spouse work a min wage job yet can only cover rent and part of the utilities. You wish you could make more but all those jobs are taking by people who live in a black and white world and don’t see how any one could possibly be poor unless they wanted to.

      So how about businesses starting paying a livable wage. The new min should be the livable wage. Slave wages is what put people in welfare…not being lazy. So until you go and work a min wage job and take care of all your needs I say shut up because you don’t know Jack…all you know is your right wing propaganda machine and you obviously believe everything it spews out. Go live with someone on welfare and see what there life is really like. You wouldn’t last a day i that struggle.

    180. Terry C, NV says:

      I worked hard for the last 35 years and payed in to the system and never took a dime out of it . my mother and father worked into their 80s and 90s also never ever took a dime and the same for their parents so pardon me if I am not working and have lost my home in a state that has the worst unemployment in the country, if take a dam cell phone. I doubt a free cell phone will bring down my country, if it could survive some guy in the white house for 8 years that let us slip into this abysmal economy then we will be ok.

    181. Smokin' Joe says:

      Thanks, to F.D. R, Lyndon Jonson and the Great Society and Democrat Party the Nanny state live on! This is all ludicrous, we are on the brink of economic destruction, but ! stillhave my cell phone!

    182. Pam, WV says:

      This is outrageous, and who gave the government our permission to enact this program? I mean we are the ones paying for this, shouldn't we be advised? This is one entitlement aht needs to be totally dumped.

    183. ken says:

      as usual our elected officials continue to find ways for us to pay for their relection. stop them america write your representatives, voice you displeasure every week

    184. Teresa says:

      Lost my job,house,savings,everything…….still paid for a cell phone until i couldn't any longer, for future employer to be able to contact me. What a god send this program is, just applied. I'd rather have a job so I could pay for it myself. I hope everyone who thinks getting food stamps and maybe a cell phone temporarily actually makes people lazy. I find the whole process degrading. Just remember it COULD happen to you!

    185. Bob Leavitt says:

      the goverment couldn t give the eldery people a raise the last few years this year 3 percent so thats 1 percent each year the last 3 years welfare they already get a check 100 percent hosptial etc. rent rebate food stamps oil and lights ass. section 8 and more they must have save the elderys raise the last 3 years so they can give them free cell phone and they have it so uf the eldlers make over 10 dollars they can t get any help oh i forgot they they get pot now yes some need it but don t tell me the others not selling it goverment must figure they need a cell phone so why should they go to work when they are makeing more than the people that did work for and are retired now or on ssdi that mean people work for it while we have to pay 4.29 for fuel etc. well at lease now they can order a pizza the people that need it have a hard time getting help only in america while our service people comeing home missing leg or arm and goverment won t help them out they have to fight for it its sad

    186. I agree with the frustrations on this issue. We have one of these phones. I needed it because I am sick often, and need to be able to contact my husband in case of emergencies. We usually need to get $250 extra minutes a month, but could not afford a phone any other way. I think the phone companies putting these phones onto circulation should have to be responsible enough to shut down the phones if the people are no longer in need of help. I also am aware that many people on Welfare, cheat the system by dealing drugs and lagging on Welfare for expanded periods of time when they could work. I wish I could work, and have tried often, but no longer can drive or cook by myself. It is a win, and loose situation depending from the glasses you are looking from. DSS P.s. My husband works full-time…We get a few food stamps a month

    187. khrisna says:

      i not believe

    188. This makes me ill. Free cell phones for the elderly I have no problem with. They deserve all the breaks we can give them. I do have a problem with the majority of the welfare recipients receiving this benefit. Welfare for one year, with drug testing each month. I'm tired of supporting those who won't get off their butts and support themselves.

    189. Wes Cantwell says:

      welfare breeders the new america…

    190. Tonya Harding says:

      In the last 8 year term, they threw the dam budget away now yall crying about a cell phone!!!wow Do anybody have any brains here, should of complained 8 years ago before the dam budget got wiped out! my tax money way was totally wasted then. LOL that real talk

    191. Tonya Harding says:

      At least He is spending the tax money in the united states, not in some other country making his friends rich.

    192. Bill Dillon says:

      The next thing that welfare recipients will recieve is a 2 week paid vacation. They already can get a car, gas card, cell phone, monthly check, alcohol, meth, housing, utilities, medical, clothing and a college degree. Why would anyone want to work with all these perks. The system was set up for the working person who was down and between jobs for the elderly or disabled. This needs to stop. If we all stop paying these stupid fees maybe this crap will end.

    193. Emily says:

      screw all of you. the poor and the homeless need programs like this to help us get on our feet. fall of your high horse and see how life is on the other side. you will have a different perspective on life,and people!!

    194. cyndi says:

      I agree there are some people and families who need the help and assistance but to deliberately stay home,not get a job and have babies and live off the government…makes me mad. They should only be allowed a few months of assistance and then be cutoff, That should make them get up and get a job. These programs are just making people lazy and to feel entitled.

    195. marie helene says:

      I am so tired of listening to welfare recipients. I have worked with them for 29 years from California where I used to lived to Michigan whereI live now. I broke my shoulder, ask for medical help because my insurance wouldn't cover anymore physical therapie. They asked me if I had chidren, I don't. Refused to give me help through disability . I guess, I wasn't hurt enough. Spend my life savings for rehabilitation. In 2008, I lost my condo due to medical bills and a coowner that left me with all the bills.I had no place to go if it wasn't for a friend that let me stay in her place.. they also denied me food stamps last year when I needed the most and I have no car phone because I can't afford it. I work for over 29 years in this country and my ex husband made alot of money we paid a lot of taxes. Welfare should be to help people that have worked in their life, not a livestyle and we should't give money to foreigners that have never paid unto the system, no, I am not anti foreigners, I am one my self. the only difference is that I only asked for help when I really needed it, it got refused anyway. I swear a God. it looks like I am the only one without a bridge card

    196. marie helene says:

      people that are collecting welfare should have paid into the system for so many years. I have worked in this country for 29 years, got hurt 11 years ago, couldn't work. michigan disability turned me down after my ex paid very afty taxes every years. 8 ears ago, I lost my condo due to medical bills, needed help, applied for bridge card, would have in the street if my friend didn't offer her home to me. I made too much money to qualified. But it seems that almost everyone is on the bridge card but me. I cannot afford a car phone and they get one for free. Shame on the politicians.

    197. linda says:

      Does it really matter all that much to all of you that posted. I mean really? Get a grip, find compassion. Instead of complaining do something, to pay it forward. Then maybe some folks would not have to get certain services for free.. PAY IT FORWARD. Go volunteer in a womens homeless shelter, or a center for abused. Or soup kitchens. Sit down and talk with these people, hear their stories. And be careful, because one day out of the blue, like alot of people in this economy. You just may need food to feed your children, or a phone so you can connect with job prospects, because your phone got disconnected. Becaue of no income. Be ware, it could happen at any minute… And if you are a rich person, stop complaining. And go get on your yacht and sail away, with no cares in the world….

    198. Colleen says:

      How do I get the phone ?

    199. stephanie coats says:

      I have read some of your coments, and all of you who down welfare must have jobs. i am a singel mom that has been looking for a job for three years now, not even a call for a job interview. if it was not for the cell phone how would i get a call for a job when i'm running all over applying for jobs taking my daughter to the doctors cause she has a prexiting condition. if it wasn't for welfare my daughter would be in state cusody and i would be homeless. i was laided off after i got preganat and then my husband changed him mind about having a famliy and left us with nothing. so that is why i thank GOD for the help i've got in not one of those people who sit on there butt. I am trying to have a better life for my daughter and i its just taking longer then i tought

    200. rob says:

      you won't hear me bashing welfare recipients- much. but this program is worse than this article reads. I have an employee that received a phone through this program and he does not even qualify. When asked if he rec'd food stamps (by a door to door salesperson on commission I'm sure) he said no. the salesperson then said but if you check here you'll receive a free cell phone. he did and he received it. I reminded him he committed fraud. I'm sure there are corporate welfare recipients also committing fraud, but we need to be aware of both.

    201. Serena Gonzalez says:

      Other countries take care of their homeless; the Chinese and other cultures take in family members and have a village takes to raise a family approach. Some elite and not so elite people think they are above this and refuse to help those in need, even if it costs them little to no money. Why is it a bad idea for a cell phone ESPECIALLY for a homeless person who is trying to get back on their feet. You know so many homeless and low income people DON'T get their jobs DUE to a lack of phone or add. An add can be fixed, but how about a lan line out in the heat in TX, ON THE STREET??? I don't think lan lines are available or can be plugged into your brain as of yet, technology is just not their yet. We, ALL of us need to be considerate and compassionate and feel lucky for what we have and not be mad that others who are going through a very hard time are getting the hand to help them back up and function in society again. I wish I had had that a few years ago, and I wish no one to be in a position like that. God Bless America for helping in this time of need.

    202. Dawn says:

      People on Walefare looking for work need a way for employers to contact them. Also, what is someone is homeless with a child and needs to call an ambulance?? Seriously people. Cell phones have become a necessity. Stop complaining! There are definitely needs that every human being has come to need. A phone, especially when pay phones are almost non-existent, are a true need.

    203. Oh my goodness! How does this happen? The government is going out of control with the tax payer money and doesn't care about those who actually pay for those expenses. No wonder we, the hard workers in America, are getting more and more taxes and lesser and lesser money. It is a burden to us tax payers.

    204. argue says:

      what about those of us who are working, but barely make enough to make ends meet. one check goes to the gas tank to get us to that mininmum wage paying job and back home to our familes. having three children, the food stamps and medical cards are what have kept my children alive. a free cell phone to carry with me while i'm in the car for emergencies would be something nice to have. i realize that there are people out there who are too lazy to work and shouldn't get the benefits. but there are some of us who do work, but don't make enough money to pay for doctor visits and food.

    205. Common Sense says:

      1.) Find out who are the people that have made and, are making money on this swindle.
      2.) EXPOSE this dirty little secret money-laundering scheme.
      3.) Demand that they pay back the money (with interest) to the Taxpayers.
      4.) Insist that if these cell phone providers are so concerned about the poor…
      They can provide the services free.

    206. Karen says:

      I have a back and neck injury and am unable to work and because i dont have a young child or have been proven disabled yet i do not qualify for medical assistance nor housing nor prescription coverage and no cell phone. I am a prime example of the loop holes in the American coverage. I have no family and my husbands low income knocks me out o applying for ssi. Many people like me die without coverage while foster parents and able-bodied folks get free government assistance all the time. Help stop these loop holes in coverage and assistance. I thought this was America.

    207. Sucked Dry says:

      This will only end when the "givers" (us) run out of money or give up and become a "taker". The number of "takers" is growing at an alarming rate. Guess what, they also vote…

    208. vietnamvet says:

      To those of you who have commented on the cell phones, I ask you to research the history of the cell phones and see if the history supports your comment.

    209. gilly says:

      I know how some of the phones are used they call some man for sexual purpose and the
      tax payer's have to pay for that the goverment is sick.

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