President Trump may end free phone program. We are now at the beginning of a new administration and with new presidents, there are often new changes. The President is making cuts to 15 important agencies as a promise to cut waste and fraud.
There are major government programs that are being significantly cut. There is a good chance the President may end the free government phone program. I hope that is not the case.
Opponents of the Lifeline Phone Program
For years politicians have complained about the cost of the program spinning out of control. The program started as a befit offered by Reagan to help rural poor for emergency programs. Like many incentives, it started to help one group, and then grew to include many other groups. The cost has gone from $143 million dollars to billions of dollars today. Senator David Vitter is one of the lawmakers speaking out against the program.
How the Public Feels
Hard working Americans are furious that people who don’t work get to have free phones and service. They feel why should someone who doesn’t work get a free phone when they have to work home every day. It has often been reported that many people have signed up and received more than one phone. This is illegal and punishable by a fine and being barred from the program.
This is illegal and punishable by a fine and being barred from the program. This fraud finally caused the government program to require proof of income, such as photo ID, payroll stubs, letter from government agencies, W-2 returns, etc.
Fraud and the Free Phone Program
Many of the attention has been placed on dishonest people, but there have been problems with cellular phone provider that have been trying to cheat the government. Lifeline fraud has been a real problem in the past years. The biggest problem is the phone providers who manipulate the number to increase the amount of money received from the FCC.
Total Call Mobile was fined $51 million dollars, which is the largest fine to date for signing up gaining millions of dollars by fraudulently signing up non-existent phone prescribers. TerraCom Wireless was also reported for customers receiving more than the allotted one phone per family; and unqualified people receiving phones.
President Trump May End Free Phone Program
President Donald Trumps (read more) New Budget Cuts
President Trump often spoke about the waste in fraud in every area of the government from the Federal and state-run programs. If you ever listened to one of his rallies, you would know that one of his promises was that if he were elected president, he was going to cut all government waste and fraud. It’s a possibility that Trump may end the free government phone incentive.
All the push-back he is getting from people in the government make me believe, he is keeping his promise. There are many departments that are duplicated and some that are not necessary at all that are being targeted. He is set to cut the budget for:
- Depart of Housing and Urban Development – Cut 13%
- Department of Transportation – Cut 12.7%
- Department of Health and Human Services – Cut 16.2%
- Department of Education Cut – 13.5%
- Environmental Protection Agency – Cut 31.4%
- Environmental Protection Agency: $2.6 billion, or 31.4%
- State Department: $11 billion, or 28.7%
- Labor Department: $2.5 billion, or 20.7%
- Agriculture Department: $5 billion, or 20.7%
- US Army Corps of Engineers: $1 billion, a 16.3% cut
- National Institutes of Health spending by $5.8 billion, a nearly 20% cut.
As you can see, President Trump is serious about cutting the Federal budget. If the President is taking a knife to these most important agencies, there is a good chance that the free government cell phone program will soon be on the list.
If Trump Ends the Free Phone Program
Like everyone else, those receive free government phone will have to make the adjustment to find affordable pre-paid phone services and other options for phone service. There are many companies that offer phone services for as little as $20 a month.
If cuts are being made to the National Institute of Health and the Department of Education, the free cell phone program, may not be far behind. However, I would not panic quite yet as if have not officially heard any rumors of cutting the free government phone program. Keep your fingers crossed!