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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Let's call them on this

Federal spending outrage of the day:

Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills.

C'mon, liberal defenders of an ever-expanding safety net. Isn't this one of bit much even for you?


Tim Zank
Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:39pm

Dreams do come true? Well for some...



Harl Delos
Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:46pm

We used to have "lifeline" telephone service for low-income people, giving them a $38 landline phone for $7.  This program is a lot cheaper, at $10/month cost.

Some people on the program are disabled or retired.  They need a phone for doctor's appointments, or to call an EMS in an emergency. 

Others on the program are unemployed. What do you suppose your chances are of getting hired if your potential boss can't call you in for an interview?

Here in PA, you have to phone the County Assistance Office if there's any change in your circumstances - but they don't answer the phone.  You leave your name and number, and they call back, because that costs the county less for manpower that way.

My disabled neighbor qualifies for one of those phones, but she bought a Virgin phone at Radio Shack for $30 and pays $20 every 3 months for airtime, because the Virgin phone has an alarm clock in it that reminds her to take her pills on time, and a calendar that helps her keep track of medical appointments.

You could get by with pay phones, I guess.  Last I heard, there was one about 90 miles away.  All someone has to do is to figure out how to phone for a taxi to get to it....