The Obamaphone program clearly didn’t help Hillary win the election in 2016, so there probably isn’t a better time for a Democrat who’s up for reelection to conduct a report on the viability of the free phone for votes program. Perhaps the Obamaphone lost its appeal when voters realized all they got from eight years of an Obama presidency was a free phone. They got no new jobs, no improvements to their neighborhoods or schools…all they got for their loyalty to Obama was a free phone.
Who could forget the “Obamaphone Lady” from Cleveland, OH, who unashamedly told an interviewer she was voting for Obama because all minorities in Cleveland get a free Obamaphone from Obama, and “He’s gonna do more!” She actually woke up and admitted that she, and other minorities had been played by Obama in a follow-up video at the bottom of the page.
The controversial “Obamaphone” program, which pays for cellphones for the poor, is rife with fraud, according to a new government report released Thursday that found more than a third of enrollees may not even be qualified.
Known officially as the Lifeline Program, the phone giveaway became a symbol of government waste in the previous administration. Now a new report from the Government Accountability Office bears out those concerns.
The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money.
“A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong,” said Mrs. McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the Senate’s chief oversight committee and who is a former state auditor in Missouri.
“We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue,” she said.
The program, run by the Federal Communications Commission, predates President Obama, but it gained attention during his administration when recipients began to associate the free phone with other benefits he doled out to the poor. – Washington Times
The Daily Caller reported:
A massive portion of Obamaphone recipients are receiving the benefit after lying on their applications, according to a new 90-page report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
An undercover sting operation showed ineligible applications were approved 63 percent of the time, and a review that found that 36 to 65 percent of beneficiaries in various categories had lied in easily-detectable ways but were approved anyway.
The fraud reached unheard-of proportions because the Federal Communications Commission let the task of screening for eligibility fall to phone companies that profit off of enrolling as many people as
GAO undercover investigators applied for free government phones 19 times using criteria that should have been rejected, and “we were approved to receive Lifeline services by 12 of the 19 Lifeline providers using fictitious eligibility documentation.”
All someone has to do to apply for free cell phone service is say that they are on another welfare program, such as food stamps or disability, known as SSI.
When Congress considered reforms, phone companies took out daily full-page ads in publications read by Capitol Hill staffers. The wife of the CEO of TracFone, the largest beneficiary of Obamaphones, was a mega-fundraiser for former President Barack Obama.
The cause of the fraud rates, shocking even by federal government standards, was always clear: The FCC allowed companies with a profit motive to sign up as many people as possible to determine eligibility.
Phone companies swooped into housing projects in vans with neon flashing lights to register users. A woman approached by one such representative outside of a welfare office told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group the man encouraged her to enroll her two-year-old.
The companies weren’t checking eligibility, and the FCC wasn’t ensuring they did or punishing those who didn’t. Additionally, the FCC failed to provide many companies with the intra-government databases that would give them the ability to perform some checks, the GAO found.
The Obamaphone Lady aka Michelle Dowry made an appearance on Alex Jones’ show where she admitted to finally waking up, as she discovered that Barack Obama’s presidency was a giant hoax. The only thing that Michele and the rest of the the minority community Obama promised to help got during his 8 years in office was a tax-payer funded “free” phone: