Thursday, August 1, 2013

Obama Phones: A Telling Tale

It is almost a natural reflex in today’s mixed up, backwards world of politics to turn to the government to “fix” things in our society. Whether it’s; obesity, speeding, freak accidents, bad behavior, or a reaction to any headline the media decides to put front and center. A man jumps off a bridge, lower the bridge. A woman leaves a dog in a car with the windows down, remove windows from cars. People flush 5 gallons of water down the toilet, make toilets 3 gallons. The underlying question is why Americans reflexively turn to the government to “fix” things?

Any casual review of the results of government programs will tell you; government is incompetent at best, evil at worst. Take the issue of Obama phones. To be fair to this president, the program that has become the Obama phone program was started long ago to bring basic service to the poor so they could have a basic line in case of emergency. It was a program of good intentions which is common with every government program, but the results? Fraud and abuse is the result.

Since the program was expanded to include cell phones in 2008, the costs have gone from $822 million to $2.2 billion. This well intentioned program is now being completely abused. But why would we be surprised? Look at Detroit, Camden, Newark, Chicago, NY, and many other places across the country that are littered with government programs intended to help the people it is destroying. Section 8 housing, food stamps, welfare, public education, Medicaid, and on and on. These programs have spread misery, poverty, and ignorance in the communities they are intended to help. So why would giving “free” cell phones be any different? Actually, why would any government program produce different results?

The Obama phones that this reporter was able to accumulate without even lying about his status shows the potential abuse of every government program. So why do we keep asking the government to get involved in matters that are best left for individuals, local communities, churches, and civic groups to fix? Is it just a reflex? Or is it that people just don’t know where else to turn? I think if we can figure out these questions we can begin to really fix our issues as a country.

This reporter received 3 Obama phones which he wasn’t even eligible to have. The reason was that the federal government promises to pay private carriers for every phone they give out under the program. Do you see a problem with that incentive? Why didn’t the federal government?

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