Thursday, July 16, 2009
Colorado Planning Free Cell Phones
For Low-Income and Indigent
From Mobile Crunch:
...a Colorado plan [is] to give free cellphones to low income people. Similar programs, using landline telephones, have existed for some time, paid for by a federal tax on telephones. So it’s not like this is new money we’re talking about, you know, being used to help people [sic]. Why don’t we just give them all free cable TV…and a free Tivo, so that they won’t ever have to worry about missing an episode of Oprah. This is why we are broke! Since when is a cell phone a necessity of life? Is cable, satellite service? What is next? Time for a tax revolt-the producers are getting sick of pulling the cart for the non-producers of the country. Time for a tax revolt.
[Here are some comments].
And so on. It’s a bit of an overreaction, yes, especially when there’s no new money involved. It’s an existing tax.
Why don’t we just give them all free cable TV…and a free Tivo, so that they won’t ever have to worry about missing an episode of Oprah.
This is why we are broke! Since when is a cell phone a necessity of life? Is cable, satellite service? What is next? Time for a tax revolt-the producers are getting sick of pulling the cart for the non-producers of the country. Time for a tax revolt.
The money comes from the Universal Service Fund. The Denver Post:
The money — more than $800 million in subsidies were paid last year for low-income phone service across the country — comes from the Universal Service Fund, a tax on all telephone lines. Of that amount, Coloradans received nearly $3.2 million in low-income subsidies.
TracFone's subsidized program, called Safelink Wireless, gives users at least 68 minutes of free cell service each month — in Colorado, it would be 83 minutes — and unlimited access to 911 service even if the minutes are used up.
Users also get a free Motorola phone worth $50, according to the company's PUC filing. As long as subscribers are on the welfare rolls, they get the phone subsidy.
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