Report: Obamaphone Service is Literally More Fraud Than Program
According to a new undercover investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office, the MAJORITY of Obamaphone recipients lied on their applications and were given access to free cellphone service anyway. The study of the controversial initiative shows that not only was this a massive welfare expansion to begin with, but that it suffers from the same problems as all forms of government welfare; i.e., there are too many people getting access to the program who don’t actually need or deserve it. Except in this case, the problem actually represents the bulk of the entire system.
The GAO’s 90-page report exposes the extraordinary amount of waste being funneled through the Obamaphone program. According to their investigation, ineligible applicants were approved for the service 63% of the time. A separate review showed that between 36 and 65% of applicants had lied in ways that should have been easily detected…but were given access to the program anyway.
Once some basic accountability structures were implemented, things changed dramatically. With only some bare-boned checks and balances, the program managed to cut the cellphone program’s budget expenditure from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion. In only a month’s time, anti-fraud checks cut monthly payments by $40 million.
But you know what’s astounding? The GAO’s 65% rate of fraud is what they came up with AFTER these basic checks were put in place. We can assume, therefore, that the program was almost ENTIRELY fraudulent in the beginning.
Unlike most forms of welfare, the Lifeline program isn’t funded through Congress. It’s paid for instead by (mandatory) cell phone undercharges that every customer must pay as part of their monthly bill. In other words, you may not be directly paying for people to get free cell phones on April 15, but you’re damn sure paying for it every month when you get your bill from your cell service. As if those bills aren’t high enough on their own, you are actually subsidizing free phones for people who, according to this report, don’t actually need them. They just don’t want to pay the price. How convenient for them.
Why was it so easy for these fraudsters to pick up a free government phone? Well, because there was only one qualification: You had to be on some other form of welfare program. But instead of actually verifying that this was the case, the government merely ASKED the question. And applicants could then freely choose to lie. It was never verified. Never questioned. These people lied and then they got their free cell phones. Thanks, Obama!