RUSH: TIME Magazine: "Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills." Can I give you the numbers here again? In 2008, the federal government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills. Since 2008, since Obama, $772 million has become $1.6 billion. It's more than doubled.
"But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don’t qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone. Last summer, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story shed some light on a government program that relatively few Americans knew existed. The Lifeline program provides low-income Americans with free cell phones." They're not smart phones at least, but that's probably coming. "It covers up to 250 free minutes each month. As many as 5.5 million residents in Pennsylvania alone could qualify for the program, which is funded primarily by the Universal Service Fund fee added to the bills of land-line and wireless customers."
So all of us are paying $1.6 billion in our phone bills to cover free phones and accounts for 12.5 million people. (interruption) Well, I guess you could probably apply to get you a government phone with your government mortgage payout. Yeah, you should go for it. You don't even have to be underwater. You can apply. Some of these people have more than two phones, more than two accounts. That's the thing. Obama's stash. What else is in there?
What else is gonna be made available to people before November of this year? What other goodies are people going to be able to have just for asking or just for being an American or just for being one of the 99%? Or just for being screwed by the rest of the country, just for being screwed by this unfair Constitution and Declaration of Independence. This is how we're gonna make it up to you for all of the rotten treatment you've had since this country was founded, $1.6 billion, free cell phones and the monthly bills, one and a half million wireless accounts, that's up from $772 million.
RUSH: This free cell phone and minutes program, it's called SafeLink. This is the program I just told you about, $1.6 billion totally from taxpayers and your phone bills, to pay for 12.5 million Americans to have free cell phones and free cell usage of 250 minutes a month. And this, for those of you watching on the Dittocam, is one of the advertising techniques. You can find this in websites. They buy space in magazines and so forth, and this is one of the many ways in which you can apply. From the SafeLink website: "How to qualify: If you already participate in other state or federal assistance programs such as federal public housing," you're qualified.
"If your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your state and/or the federal government..." Sounds to me like they're trying to "trick" poor people into getting free phones here, just like they "tricked" people into getting mortgages. This is a trick! They're tricking people into getting free phones. "And if you refer a friend to the program..." They are advertising this, and they are trying to expand this! You know, the point of government assistance ought to be to remove people from it. But with the Democrat Party and Obama, the objective is to increase the number of people, and they use you.
Not you, obviously, but they use other people who are dependent to recruit others. In the cell phone program, "You can get an additional free 100 minutes if you recommend a friend." That's right. It says plain as day here: "Pay nothing!" exclamation point. "No bills, no contracts, no credit checks, no hidden fees. Don't worry, you can't go over your free minutes. You can purchase more if you need them, and you can get a hundred free minutes by recommending a friend to the program." They've spent $1.6 billion, up $772 million since 2008. SafeLink is one of these free Lifeline providers (they're the biggest, in fact) and, if you get food stamps, you can get a free cell phone. If you get food stamps -- and what is it, 48, 49 million Americans are on food stamps?
This is the "food stamp president," as Newt properly says. You qualify for a free cell phone. "That's right, 100 SafeLink bonus minutes will be sent to your phone on your next monthly delivery for each friend who gets qualified for SafeLink services. Your friends who get qualified for Lifeline services receive 30 bonus minutes on their monthly delivery, too." I got a note during the break: "Oh, yeah, Rush. This program, you're acting like you just now heard of it." I did just now hear about it! I heard about it in TIME Magazine. "Oh, Rush, this program's been around forever. In fact, the people that have these phones call 'em 'Obama phones.'"
I'm not surprised. They call them Obama phones.