A top Federal Communications Commission official reveals how the Obama administration turned a rural phone access program into a half-billion dollar inner city vote-buying scam.
The "Lifeline" program was started in the 1980s, using a small fee on phone bills to build additional telephone lines out into rural areas so farmers and ranchers could make emergency phone calls.
But, never missing a chance to use taxpayer funds to buy votes, the Obama administration has turned it into an inner-city welfare entitlement.
The program now gives away free cellphones to virtually anyone. Not only did the Obama administration intentionally remove anti-fraud measures so people could scam the program to rack up free phones at taxpayer expense -- Obama political organizers made it clear in his 2012 re-election campaign that getting out the vote for Obama and Democrats meant more free phones.
Now, an FCC commisioner reveals the fraudulent vote-buying program is costing taxpayers half a billion dollars.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The federal subsidy known as the "Obamaphone" or "Obamanet" program could be losing nearly $500 million to fraud annually, according to a top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission.
Commissioner Ajit Pai made the accusation Wednesday in letter to the Universal Service Administrative Company, referring to the FCC's Universal Service Fund, which provides a monthly $9.95 subsidy for telecom service to low-income consumers.
Pai wrote that data obtained by the FCC last month revealed carriers had enrolled nearly 4.3 million subscribers using the IEH override process between October 2014-April 2016, or 35.5 percent of total subscribers for the period. "It is alarming that over one-third of subscribers — costing taxpayers almost half a billion dollars a year — were registered through an IEH override.
The subsidy is limited to one per "independent economic household," or IEH, but telecom companies have the ability to override that restriction if applicants check a box stating they represent a separate household, even if they have the same address.