With the recent surge of suddenly-fiscally-concerned citizens out there, there have been more people searching for wasteful government spending. Which isn’t a bad thing. Several other bloggers have also been pointing out some of the more absurd tax-payer funded entitlement goodies. One of them is the “Emergency” cell phone.I saw an ad for this several months ago at my Mom’s house and later looked it up online. If you are special enough (i.e. are on disability, food stamps, HUD housing, etc.) you qualify for a free cell phone. Because, you know there might be an emergency where you would need a cell phone. Ok, I’ll sort of agree with that. But get this; the plan includes TWO HUNDRED & FIFTY minutes of talk time. What kind of emergency would require you to receive 250 minutes of cell phone time?
José Fuentes, TracFone's director of government relations (and brainchild of this program) was quoted as saying, “A telephone service, just in general, is not a privilege, it's a right….”, and the government is more than happy to perpetuate that absurd idea.
You ticked? I am. But get this little piece of garbage on another “Free Emergency Cell Phone” page:
Copied directly from the Reach Out Mobile “About Us” page:
“The Universal Service Fund program is not a tax paid by U.S. taxpayers. The Universal Service Fund program is funded from contributions by telecommunications carriers collected in part from the Universal Service Charge applicable to all forms of interstate telecommunication services.”
Hmmm, not a “tax”? Well, what would you call it then? Look on your phone bill (cell or land line) and under Taxes, Fees and Surcharges there is a charge for the Universal Service Fund Surcharge. So let me get this straight. I didn’t ask for this USF “service” to be added to my bill, but I’m still paying it. I don’t have a choice to opt out of this so-called service. So as long as we call it a “Fee” or Surcharge”, it’s not a tax, hugh?
I’m convinced that this little blurb on their webpage is there for the sole purpose of washing their hands of any taxpayer-wrongdoing. And I’m sure the government was all for this “disclosure”.
But wait. The USF was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and they are a government entity. So a government body is mandating that you pay for this funding.
Last time I checked, that would be considered a tax.
So, not only is our government saying everyone has a right to a cell phone, but they are denying, no – let me rephrase that - LYING, about the source of funding for it. Namely, you and I.
Ok, I’m done with this Political Rant & I apologize for the interruption of your regularly scheduled Krazo Acres blog. But I wanted to give you some information if some leftist wackjob tells you that he KNOWS it’s not taxpayer funded.