Remember Barack Obama’s “Obamaphone” program? That, of course, wasn’t the official name of the program but a nickname it attracted. Regardless of the name, it served to provide roughly 10 million low-income Americans with phones and minutes free of charge.
The first story you read on Obamaphones probably included the memorable video below from the time around the 2012 election, which has garnered nearly 10 million hits.
Miraculously, the women in that video changed her views on government handouts after working and becoming a taxpayer herself (watch an interview with her here). Anyone with skin in the game has more reason to be concerned about government waste – and the “Obamaphone” program.
Little could she know that her one-time-favorite program was littered with waste.
The Lifeline Program, known colloquially as “Obamaphone,” is teeming with fraud, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GOA).
The report states that 36% of the 10.6 million people using the service may not actually qualify for it – a fact investigators discovered after sampling the population and discovering that a good number of people couldn’t actually prove their eligibility upon a second review.
“More than 5,500 people were found to be enrolled for two phones, while the program was paying for nearly 6,400 phones for persons the government has listed as having died,” The Washington Times reports.
It gets worse.
According to the GOA’s report, investigators submitted intentionally fraudulent applications to 19 phone carriers to see if they would be flagged. In the cases of 12 carriers, they weren’t.
It gets worse yet.
“The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money,” The Washington Times states.
So in total, that’s roughly 3.8 million people with Obamaphones who may be ineligible for the program.
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And by the way, just a year ago when “only” six million people were using the program, there was hints of fraud. And did the Obama Administration encourage the government to look into it? According to the FCC commissioner, they were told to keep quiet on fraud in the program until after there was a vote held to expand the program.
Waste, fraud, abuse, and cover-up from the man who claimed his administration was one of the most transparent in history? Say it ain’t so!
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