September 28th, 2012

Beyond Obamaphone

If you are a denizen of the blogosphere, you’ve probably already encountered the Obamaphone lady:

I already knew about the program she’s referring to—which actually wasn’t started under Obama, by the way—so she didn’t seem quite as crazy as she may have seemed to others. In fact, she’s exactly correct.

But I didn’t know the details that are explained in this video (hat tip: Ace):

Interesting, no?

It’s not just about this particular program, either. It’s a good example of the trend for such programs to ascend to ever-expanding heights of waste and fraud, outside of general public awareness. Who knew that all cell phone owners pay a user tax (although it’s not called that) to fund not only free emergency landlines for those on welfare, but free cell phones, to the tune of over a billion dollars?

Once such a program exists, it’s only a matter of time between its implementation and efforts such as the one made by the woman in the first video to try to drum up votes for Obama and/or other Democrats under its promise.

Bread, circuses, and cell phones. The Grand Inquisitor may not have predicted the cell phone. But still, he kind of foresaw it all, didn’t he?:

Oh, never, never can [people] feed themselves without us [the Inquisitors and controllers]! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, “Make us your slaves, but feed us.” They will understand themselves, at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share between them! They will be convinced, too, that they can never be free, for they are weak, vicious, worthless, and rebellious. Thou didst promise them the bread of Heaven, but, I repeat again, can it compare with earthly bread in the eyes of the weak, ever sinful and ignoble race of man?

34 Responses to “Beyond Obamaphone”

  1. Mac Says:

    “In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet…” Chillingly apropos.

  2. Teri Pittman Says:

    It sorta made sense when they were talking about landlines. People need a phone to look for work and for emergencies. The thing is, people don’t need cell phones for that. It’s a convenience. And the next step is to decide that they not only need cell phones, they need smart phones and data plans.

    I work for an internet service provider. We provide voip phone service. In May this year, we had to start collecting state sales taxes and 911 charges on the phone part of the service. So it’s now not just people with conventional service paying for that free stuff. It’s also people with internet based phones.

  3. George Pal Says:

    If the Grand Inquisitor does not inform, the Great Society programs of the ’60s (and subsequent) should. It is possible, given enough torque, to make a feeble case of ‘good intentions’ for every program but impossible to note the swelling and conclude it wasn’t bleeding hearts but blood-sucking leeches to blame. Foremost among them our duly elected pandering politicians who made long political careers of spending a dollar’s worth of a taxed dime.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Teri Pitmann: I agree that landlines for emergencies seemed to make sense. But it’s a slippery slope. That’s why it’s all so insidious, isn’t it? The camel’s nose in the tent, with benefits and entitlements and all the rest. What seems reasonable (and probably is) at the beginning soon morphs into something unreasonable and much larger. That is the problem.

  5. Roman Says:

    Some people work for a living, some people vote for a living.

  6. Sangiovese Says:

    So that’s where some of those high fees on my phone bill go. Just another example of spreading the wealth around.

  7. Lurch Says:

    who really needs a cell phone? i just got my first (no-contract) cell phone last year. costs me about $7 a month. cancel 1,000 programs like this, and there goes the trillion dollar deficit. the programs are there. somebody just needs to point them out. and we need politicians willing to actually lead, rather than pander.

  8. Bob from Virginia Says:

    My daughter did some social work in the inner city. This mindset is not unusual there. Indeed this may be the future of America, maybe the world; the final step in man’s evolution.

  9. Lizzy Says:

    I’d really like to see a list of what poor people DO pay for themselves, it seems that just about everything is subsidized, a lot of times redundantly – housing, food stamps, free food at schools, medical care, etc. In addition, there are so many goods and services available through private charities, too. Makes me wonder why I work and budget my expenses while this sad women scoops up all these goodies for free.

  10. Jay Guevara Says:

    My daughter did some social work in the inner city. This mindset is not unusual there.

    Poor work ethic and poverty. An amazing coincidence.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    There is no question that there are plenty of people who work very hard and yet struggle to make ends meet. Some of them even have to resort to the public dole from time to time, although they tend to not want to do so, and they try to get off it as soon as possible.

    I wouldn’t lump all the poor in together.

    And there is no question that there are people who see welfare and government as a really nice free ride that they’ll exploit as long as they can, and to the greatest extent possible.

    And there are probably people in the middle between those two extremes, as well. I don’t know what percentage of the whole each group is, although probably somewhere out there are a bunch of people who’ve studied it.

  12. conrad Says:

    The thing that’s most galling about these federal giveaways is that WE pay for them but Obama gets all the credit in the eyes of the recipients.

  13. Sangiovese Says:

    The poor keep getting poorer because they keep doing the things that made them poor in the first place. Depending on free handouts is one of those things that keeps them poor.

    And the reverse is also true.

    A good friend was a single mother 30 years ago. She refused handouts. She supported herself and her child with two jobs. Today she is a conservative, a business owner and part of the hated 1%. Obama wants to punish her for her hard work while rewarding those who want free phones, free food, free medical care, etc.

    We are witnessing the end of America.

  14. Mr. Frank Says:

    A major effect of all the subsidies for poverty is the destruction of marriage among the poor. Few non union working class men can compete with government benefits to unmarried women with children. If you add up food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, school lunches, AFDC payments, WIC, job training, free phones, and such, few men can compete. Marriage ends the gravy train.

    The lack of a father in the home predicts all kinds of pathology down the road.

  15. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Could one reason the program gives away cell phones instead of supplying land line service be that with pre-paid cellular, one can actually limit the minutes allowed?

    Or is there already a way to prevent recipients of subsidized land line service from making hundreds of dollars in long-distance/toll calls?

  16. Tom Murin Says:

    Would it be a “gaffe” to say that these folks are part of the 47 %?

  17. parker Says:

    Angry cell phone woman is a part of the 15-20%, those who are now the 3rd generation of ‘family’ that has been on the dole since LJB’s great society.

  18. n.n Says:

    Assurance Wireless
    You may qualify for Assurance Wireless, a Lifeline Assistance Program, if you participate in programs such as Food Stamps or Medicaid.

    How issues are framed is significant. For example: reproductive rights or evolutionary dysfunction; redistributive change or involuntary exploitation; social justice or denigration of individual dignity; affirmative action or institutional discrimination; Dream Act or American Displacement Act; hate crimes or thought crimes; emotional appeals or emotional extortion; etc. The outcome of semantic and rhetorical games is progressive or cultural corruption. Recalling a selective history, a selective science, a selective reality, sponsors corruption.

    Americans are pioneers. They are entrepreneurs. They are, in the majority, averse to involuntary exploitation (e.g. progressive taxation). They value individual dignity and most, historically, recognized an intrinsic value of human life. These principles exist at a high energy state and will not appeal to opportunists and many, if not most, vulnerable individuals. This is important to consider when we review our reproductive success (or failure) and immigration policies, especially illegal (or unmeasured), which do not consider assimilation rates.

    Progressive or cultural corruption obscures or defends corruption in the exception. We will not be able to successfully cope with the latter until the former is addressed and resolved.

    America is still Americans to lose, if increasingly by a narrow margin.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    Neo Once such a program exists, it’s only a matter of time between its implementation and efforts such as the one made by the woman in the first video to try to drum up votes for Obama and/or other Democrats under its promise.

    You put the cart before the horse, there is no matter of time, they line up before implementation and use it for votes before implementation too – in fact they are ready responders and will appear by the hundreds on rumor. See news for various incidents.

    anyway… that’s NOT the worst of it…

    I have brought up the S.B.A. 8a program, but given I get in enough trouble for space, I didn’t point out what KINDS of businesses that S.B.A. and programs are focusing on building.

    From their website..

    What is the Purpose of the 8(a) Business Development Program?

    The focus of the program is to provide business development support including:
    Mentoring
    Procurement assistance
    Business counseling
    Training
    Financial assistance
    Surety bonding
    Other management and technical assistance

    Doesn’t that sound stupendous and great? Well, there is a catch…

    If you cant get into the program, you cant play…

    As the program dishes out so much advantage, and the banks participate, is a kind of dirty little secret as to why some are getting loans, and things and others aren’t… this has a trickle effect as those who don’t know this is what’s going on, blame the person, not the systems “adjustments”.

  20. Jay Guevara Says:

    I wouldn’t lump all the poor in together.

    Neo, my point was that poor work ethic –> poverty, not that the groups evincing each were co-extensive.

  21. Artfldgr Says:

    Under Section 7(j) of the Small Business Act, the SBA is authorized to provide management and technical assistance, through grants and cooperative agreements, to qualified service providers. This management and technical assistance includes specialized training, professional consulting and executive development

    Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing.

    8(a) firms are also able to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts…

    Also, see the Mentor-Protégé Program for more information on allowing starting 8(a) companies to learn the ropes from other experienced 8(a) businesses.

    Under the Small Business Act, certain individuals are presumed socially disadvantaged – thats a quote from their website :)

    but WAIT!!! that is not all they win, is that Don Pardo?
    Why no it isn’t…

    Depending on which group your in, you can find bonus prizes!!!

    Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

    The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible:

    Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or

    Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs)

    [so one does have to wonder what the heck OWS is protesting for and not looking up... ]

    about the only fair one is the innovation research program.. but its unfairness becomes clear the minute you start to fill out forms and may not have the academic or paper requisites…

    and the mentor program?

    Benefits of SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program

    Technical and management assistance – The mentor’s expertise, resources, and capabilities are made available to the protégé.

    Prime contracting – Mentors can enter into joint-venture arrangements with protégés to compete for government contracts.

    Financial assistance in the form of equity or loans – Mentors can own equity interest of up to 40% in a protégé firm to help it raise capital.

    Qualification for other SBA programs – A protégé can obtain other forms of SBA assistance as the result of its good standing in the Mentor-Protégé program.

    the other flipside to this, is that outside these special programs, it wont help you build a deli or such… its main focus is in creating companies who will sell or do work for the government…

    so guess what?
    WELFARE is a lot larger than WELFARE.

    there are loans and grants, but a lot of them are about building a company that will do things like work with beaten women.. (ergo all those womens shelters and no mens shelters)…

    Annual budget $569 million USD (2008)

    Cato institute – argues that “the SBA benefits a relatively tiny number of small businesses at the expense of the vast majority of small business that do not receive government assistance. SBA subsidies also represent a form of corporate welfare for the banking industry.” Cato notes that the failure rate of all SBA loans from 2001 to 2010 is 19.4%,[17] contributing to a cost to taxpayers of $6.2 billion in 2011

  22. Artfldgr Says:

    And the rubes think monopolies can exist without the government, and that such backhand business ways of fixing economy isnt fascism…

  23. rickl Says:

    Lizzy Says:
    September 28th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Makes me wonder why I work and budget my expenses while this sad women scoops up all these goodies for free.

    That’s more or less the premise of Atlas Shrugged.

  24. Artfldgr Says:

    SAT: Average critical reading and writing scores have declined since 2008, to 496 and 488, respectively, while average math scores have remained stable at 514. Just 4 percent of test takers achieved a score above 2100. The highest possible score is 2400. The College Board, which owns the SAT, says students must earn at least a 1550 to succeed in college.

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2012/09/24/20120924studies-kids-lack-basic-skills-college.html

  25. Francesca Says:

    I do hate to be picky, but that woman is no lady. Maybe it’s just a southern thing, but clearly a lady she isn’t.

  26. Oldflyer Says:

    Oh Francesca, just what do you mean by that? To a Southerner of a certain generation that is a coded statement.

    Neo, the phone program started in 1984 to provide land line service. In 2008, cell phones were added and the cost escalated to $700mil +; in 2011 the cost was $1.6B, and an audit found that numerous recipients had multiple providers.

    I use a pre-paid cell for necessary calls, and now texts, only. The cost averages under $10.00/month. I wonder if the government ever considered that as an alternative to whatever they do. I guess it would be too restrictive for people who expect free phones.

  27. Saaf Says:

    The presidential debate myth: not the ‘game-changer’ you might think

  28. NJcon Says:

    The U.S. suffers from moral poverty. Prior to Obama’s poverty growth plan there were very few actual poor people in the U.S.. That is people without food, clothing and shelter. The classification of being poor has morphed in meaning and now society demands that working Americans give “the poor” money buy to buy a house, feed their kids breakfast, lunch and dinner at school and pay for their childcare for a job their not working. Oh, and free college. All while we struggle to do these things ourselves.

    We don’t have a poverty problem in America, we have a problem with making people comfortable in moral poverty.

  29. Charles Says:

    Yea, we can all laugh at this “lady” (quote marks because of what Francesca said – “that woman is no lady); but, I do have to wonder if in some regard she isn’t smarter than suckers like me.

    I work hard, pay my own way, do without a lot of things so that I can save money – in the end I’ll most likely be considered “too wealthy” to collect Social Security. Yet, folks like this lady will be collecting and watching TV on that big screen while talking on her free cell phone to her other friends laughing about suckers like me paying for all her stuff!

    Man, this country is morally bankrupt!

  30. NeoConScum Says:

    And, lest we forget, that brainchild talkin’ s*** to the camera,’Yo, is being paid $11-bucks an hour by the SEIU to wave her taxpayer paid cell phone and DAMN Mitt Romney. Mad Magazine anyone??

    AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: How’s that worked for the Greater Good of the ‘hood,’Yo?? The college entrance part of that well-meaning, yet malignant, law is scheduled for the SCOTUS this season. Reason enough to remember that IF The Boy King gets re-elected he’ll be able to appoint two more hard lefties to the Court.

  31. Jay Guevara Says:

    Prior to Obama’s poverty growth plan there were very few actual poor people in the U.S.. That is people without food, clothing and shelter. The classification of being poor has morphed in meaning

    Absolutely right on all counts. The new classification of “poor” means “in the bottom third of income distribution” and/or “black,” regardless of actual income (hence the oft-heard statement that Obama is “up from poverty.” Apparently bank VPs now count as an impoverished group.)

    This clearly is a Red strategem, since it is impossible to make everyone above average, but provides a pretext for implementing Red policies to ameliorate a problem that doesn’t exist.

  32. NeoConScum Says:

    Hugh Hewitt has a terrific piece out today from Townhall on the polling. A MUST Read.

  33. A Perfect Description of Modern Socialism | The American Catholic Says:

    [...] to Neo-neo Con who suggested the connection to me with this post.  Dostoevsky in his The Brothers Karamazov has a striking tale of the Grand Inquisitor.  In that [...]

  34. thomass Says:

    OlderandWheezier Says:

    “Could one reason the program gives away cell phones instead of supplying land line service be that with pre-paid cellular, one can actually limit the minutes allowed?”

    Thats probably not the reason (IMO); but a cell can be as cheap as a landline. Actually; the cell does not need service to be able to call 911…Some factory is still making ‘old’ (8 years old model) base model Motorola phones. I bought one on ebay new / no contract. $50.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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