How National Review Journalist Jillian Melchior Got Three Obamaphones

0 Shares

National Review Franklin Fellow Jillian Kay Melchior published a piece last week detailing how she, a comfortably affluent New Yorker with a white collar job, was able to qualify for three free government-paid cell phones through the Lifeline program – a public service established in the pre-cell phone Reagan era to ensure impoverished or geographically-isolated people could call 911 in the event of emergencies.

Like every other government subsidy President Barack Obama inherited from previous administrations, the Lifeline program has exploded into an entitlement bazaar. “Obamaphones” aren’t supposed to be available to people who don’t qualify for at least one other government welfare subsidy (such as Food Stamps), and they’re limited, in principle at least, to one phone per recipient.

But Melchior explained to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren how, through the abuses of privatized implementation and the ever-sinking welfare threshold under Obama, she was able to receive three Obamaphones – two from the same provider.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • Motov

    Time for a brand new government, forget impeachment, just arrest all those who shred the Constitution, and jail them.

    • Ron r

      Like congress , and laymen constitutional scholars.

    • Motov

      With a brand new government, we can fire all those bureaucrats, remove all those useless programs, discourage government dependence, restore dignity, enforce our bill of rights, end the incredible waste, fraud, and corruption.

      • chris

        And don’t forget about government spying

  • berrylsdaughter

    The Lifeline phone program began in the Reagan administration, and the costs are paid by a fee on your telephone bill with is NOT a government regulation.

    • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

      A “FEE” on your phone bill is equivalent to a tax. If the free phones & free cell service were not being given out, the phone bills of all PAYING customers would be lower. If you truly believe the free phone & service are good ideas (we do not), then strictly adhered to guidelines would make the fee for PAYING customers lower. This is but one of numerous examples of the PAYERS being FORCED to subsidize the TAKERS.

  • Shorty Stuff

    This regime is doing all this on purpose, trying to bankrupt this country. Too bad there are no men with enough cajones in Congress to do anything about it. I just hope we survive as a capitalist country after these tyrants leave office.

    • kibitzer3

      But who’s to say they are going to “leave office”, Shorty Stuff?? A more plausible scenario is that, being extremists – NOT European-style socialists – the Obama wrecking crew are going to goad a Martial Law declaration into being – somehow; anyhow they can – and then rule indefinitely, by fiat; until they and their paymasters establish their vaunted New World Order. And we have been taken over. Just like that. Easy peasy, when the populace has gone asleep at the switch, from freedom to slavery, because they thought somebody else was keeping an eye on such things. That it was somebody else’s job. Not theirs. They’re just one of The People.

      Who will have had a rude awakening to what the American form of government was – used to be – all about: an alert citizenry, governing themselves. And with their alertness, keeping the wolves at bay.

      There’s still time. But not much.

  • chrisnj

    One should not miss the attempted hit on privatization – which the effort to remove services from government and return them to the private sector where they belong.

    Of course any time you have government administering a pot of money you will have individuals who will seek to snag as much of it as possible, and government bureaucrats are notoriously inept (and not particularly motivated since they can’t go out of business) at preventing fraud and abuse.

    In fact, government programs are incentivized to sign up as many people as possible whether truly qualified or needy or not. A larger program means a larger budget and a larger fiefdom for high-level government bureaucrats and the politicians who sponsor them.

    True privatization is not a joint partnership with government, where government provides the thugs to confiscate money from some people for distribution as payments or benefits to others. Privatized services depend on the demands of the free market and voluntary economic exchanges, and not the whims of a politicized economy.

  • chrisnj

    One should not miss the attempted hit on privatization – which the effort to remove services from government and return them to the private sector where they belong.

    Of course any time you have government administering a pot of money you will have individuals who will seek to snag as much of it as possible, and government bureaucrats are notoriously inept (and not particularly motivated since they can’t go out of business) at preventing fraud and abuse.

    In fact, government programs are incentivized to sign up as many people as possible whether truly qualified or needy or not. A larger program means a larger budget and a larger fiefdom for high-level government bureaucrats and the politicians who sponsor them.

    True privatization is not a joint partnership with government, where government provides the thugs to confiscate money from some people for distribution as payments or benefits to others. Privatized services depend on the demands of the free market and voluntary economic exchanges, and not the whims of a politicized economy.

  • Chester

    chrisnj , if this were a truly PRIVATE thing, it simply wouldn’t be happening, as there isn’t enough profit in charity work for most private groups to worry about it. Ever take a look at what happens when everyone has to rely strictly on local charities for help when everyone needs help? Very quickly all supplies are gone, and there is no money to help those who need it worst.

  • Jeff Noncent

    are you kidding me? this is a joke, right! that’s why he won the 2012 election, and he got in through fraud, this not right someone need to confront the Rat on these issues

    • Vis Fac

      Freebies trump honesty all the time. How do you compete for the lazy people’s vote if you don’t provide free items? How do you expect to get elected when the majority of people cannot even spell their own names use a dictionary or even want a job? Giving things away using taxpayers money virtually guarantees a win. Go figure!
      Semper-Fi

      • Jeff Noncent

        you are right Force right my friend

        • Vis Fac

          Simple common sense issues at play here, unfortunately liberals are deficient in that department. They are more concerned with what others can provide them.
          Semper-Fi

  • W J L

    Why do they need cell phones? What is the problem with land lines like the system was set up to provide?

    • Vis Fac

      They say they need a cell phone because they don’t want to miss a telephone call for are you ready for this? A JOB OFFER! What a load of CRAP A job offer these people have no intention of looking for work not as long as the government provides them sustenance.
      Semper-Fi

  • jag

    Come on now everybody, u gotta b able to put a few poor and homeless people in jail for all the stuff they say on the phone,the powers that b even want to listen to what their planning ?…..Ha! Just another way to track EVERYBODY.., thanks obama!

  • jag

    By the way,if the gov. can give the saudi’s our tax money Where’s my phone!!!