Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Nov 24 2012 10:00 PM

Free 'Obama phones'? Not quite

By The Bakersfield Californian

A recent letter writer ("A country of takers," Nov. 22) decried his lost America now that his candidate lost and we have become a country of takers. One of his examples struck me as just one of the lies that is repeated and believed: the concept of "free phones" under President Obama. Here are the facts.

The Lifeline program, which has been in operation since the mid-1980s -- expanded in 1996 and again in 2008 to include cellphone service -- consists of two parts: Link Up, which helps income-eligible people set up home phone service, and Lifeline, which helps income-eligible people pay their phone bills.

This program varies from wireless service to service, and is administered by the FCC, but not funded by the federal government. It is funded by the pooled funds of subscribers to wireless and home phone services, who pay into the fund via small surcharges on their monthly bill. Now, doesn't it make just a little sense that poor and low-income folks have access to communication networks so they can compete in the current society and job markets?

Folks need to do their own research about the facts before they parrot talking points that are misleading, or just flat lies.

Stephen Hanson

Bakersfield

Bakersfield.com Daily Deal!

Kern Value Card

Daily Deal

2 Kern Value Discount Membership Cards for $9

Value
$20
% Off
55%
You Save
$11
0 Bought
Buy Now! See more deals