Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama Phone: Fact or Fiction!?

Apparently, there is an e-mail that's popping up in alot of people's mailbox and it showed up in my inbox this morning.

This is what the e-mail says:
I had a former employee call me earlier today inquiring about a job, and at the end of the conversation he gave me his phone number. I asked the former employee if this was a new cell phone number and he told me yes this was his “Obama phone.” I asked him what an “Obama phone” was and he went on to say that welfare recipients are now eligible to receive (1) a FREE new phone and (2) approx 70 minutes of FREE minutes every month. I was a little skeptical so I Googled it and low and behold he was telling the truth. TAXPAYER MONEY IS BEING REDISTRIBUTED TO WELFARE RECIPIENTS FOR FREE CELL PHONES. This program was started earlier this year. Enough is enough, the ship is sinking and it’s sinking fast. The very foundations that this country was built on are being shaken. The age old concepts of God, family, and hard work have flown out the window and are being replaced with “Hope and Change” and “Change we can believe in.” You can click on the link below to read more about the “Obama phone”…just have a barf bag ready.

https://www.safelinkwireless. com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx
We're not talking about this kind of Obama phone but a government sponsored program that allows low income people to have a cell phone that is paid for by your tax dollars.

I've been looking all over the Internet to verify this e-mail. I have looked at Snopes as well as other websites devoted to busting Internet created myths and I have been unable to verify if this is a hoax or not. The only place where any mention of this "Obama phone" is on a few message boards.

A poster named Madam X explained that the government has been subsidizing cell phones long before President Obama:
The SafeLink program is part of the Lifeline program created in 1989 under the Reagan Administration and gave free phone service to people so they could have access in cases of emergency.

After 9/11, Katrina, etc., the FCC worked to extend the program, under the Bush Administration. Their reasoning was, "Modern universal telephone service is necessary not only to ensure that the U.S. maintains a rapid, efficient, nationwide communications network, it is important for the purpose of national defense and to promote safety of life and property."
Unless there is more to this story, then there is nothing to get upset about. Some people are saying that this is just another unjustified attack on Obama and they might be right since the program was around long before Obama entered politics.

This program has been running under both republican and democratic presidential administrations and I think the real discussion is whether the government should or shouldn't be subsidizing cell phones. What do you think? Should the government running a program like this?