Originally Posted by MACH1
Wheres my free phone.
In the racist commercial. Here's some truth not found on Fox
Is this Obama Phone phone real?
Sort of. The Federal Communications Commission has a program called Lifeline that provides low-cost or free phone service. The agency's website
says this is because it and Congress "recognize that telephone service provides a vital link to emergency services, government services and surrounding communities." Who qualifies varies by state, but "in general," to qualify you must have an income that is no more than 135 percent of the federal poverty line, or be enrolled in assistance programs like Medicaid, public housing assistance, discounted school lunch, or yes, food stamps. (This Factcheck.org piece has a good overview
of the issue.) Strictly speaking, it's not a government-funded program: the telephone companies make payments to a fund administered by a non-profit called the Universal Service Administrative Company, but anyone with a phone bill chips in through a surcharge on their service.
Is the Obama Phone Obama's doing?
No. The universal service requirement dates back at least to the Communications Act of 1934. The Lifeline program specifically was started in 1984
under President Reagan and was expanded in 1996 under President Clinton to allow qualifying households to choose to apply the benefit to either a landline or a cell phone. So no, it's not an Obama handout.
Shockingly, despite the bipartisan origins of the service, the idea of an "Obama Phone" for the undeserving has existed for a long time. A couple email forwards, debunked by Snopes.com, were circulating in October 2009
and described poor people shamelessly showing off their free phones: