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Old 10-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
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Free Cell Service

It appears that if you meet guidelines for low income, you too need a cell phone from the taxpayers.

.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/program_info.aspx
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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That link didn't work for me, but this one does.

I want my M T V!

If this is a government supplied phone, I wonder if it is asking too much that government law enforcement, correctional, and public safety agencies should be able to know where it is all the time. Without a warrant. The technology is there and easy to implement. No intrusions on privacy--no one has to take this phone.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:44 PM   #3
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Samclem I hadn't even thought about that! I just infuriates me at the thought of my tax dollars being spent on cell phones for others. I remember party lines and a walk to the store to use the pay phone. Now our poor folks have debit cards for food stamps, housing subsidy, utility subsidy, transportation subsidy, cell phones and more discretionery income than many working folks who have their pride. Maybe if Sheriff Joe was in charge of the cell phones he would do a round up!
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:09 AM   #4
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There is a lot being said about this issue so Let me google that for you.

For example:
TracFone Wireless Launches SafeLink Wireless to Aid 309,825 Low-Income Households in West Virginia
Quote:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Lifeline program in 1984 and worked to update the service after the crises of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the tragedy of September 11th. At the dawn of the 21st century, modern universal telephone service is necessary not only to ensure that the U.S. maintains a rapid, efficient, nationwide communications network, it is important for the purpose of national defense and to promote safety of life and property. By approving the SafeLink Wireless program, the FCC took action to enhance its Lifeline program and keep the right to communicate in pace with technology.
(I am pleased you started this thread.)
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:50 AM   #5
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the FCC took action to enhance its Lifeline program and keep the right to communicate in pace with technology.
I wonder where this "right to communicate" (with anyone, via cell phone at someone else's expense) came from. "Free" health care, free cell phones . . . there must be entire pages of the Constitution that I didn't see.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:05 AM   #6
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I wonder where this "right to communicate" (with anyone, via cell phone at someone else's expense) came from. "Free" health care, free cell phones . . . there must be entire pages of the Constitution that I didn't see.
Yup, I a agree with you Samclem. I ought to check to see where the broadband connection and free computer is in the constitution. The tax paying class gets to provide their own but it seems that these items are being classed as so essential to life that we may soon provide them for free to society at large. I guess that was a mistake to my way of thinking that the library was a means to be connected. After all, many of us remember the days of old where your work and pay your bills or do without.

What's really cool is that within just a year or so it's expected that less than 50% of all Americans will pay any tax. Think I may go looking for the gravy train to jump on!
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I wonder where this "right to communicate" (with anyone, via cell phone at someone else's expense) came from. "Free" health care, free cell phones . . . there must be entire pages of the Constitution that I didn't see.
Yeah, this is the same law right that requires utility service be provided to the McMansion in the wilderness and that all services should be equal to the town with population of 2 as it is to those living in NYC. (Note all those "extras" on your phone bill, for example.) Democracy in full bloom.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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This is good news. Looks like MIL will qualify and I can stop providing a prepaid phone for her. (DW and I got it for her for safety reasons, she's 84.)

Having a MIL that is living on about $12.5k SS has been an educational and informative experience. From helping her stretch out her savings to finding govt and charity sponsored programs she can take advantage of, it keeps you on your toes and always looking for deals like this.

So far, so good. She's depleted almost all savings and now has a reverse mortgage on her condo which takes care of association fees and property taxes (reduced for being elderly and low income). Medicare payments are reduced through a state program. Automoble registration is reduced. She attends many senior events such as dinners, entertainment, etc., sponsored by local organizations for free or extremely low cost. She lives in a nice (but small) condo unit in a great neighborhood, drives a decent car and, to anyone looking from the outside, would not seem to be living so close to the edge.

Now she should be getting free cell service. I'll have DW help her with the forms this weekend.

Anyone know of any deals like this for cable TV?
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #9
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In Wisconsin, which I am familiar with, it is only 60 minutes a month, so you don't get much. The organization I volunteer with got some people lined up with these phones so they could have a call back number for job searches.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:06 PM   #10
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I am going to look into this for an elderly Aunt of mine. She worked all her life cleaning other people's houses and never made much money. Late husband left her nothing but debt and she is trying to make due on SS, medicare and what little she could save. Oh yes, and the assistance of family. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy connie View Post
What's really cool is that within just a year or so it's expected that less than 50% of all Americans will pay any tax. Think I may go looking for the gravy train to jump on!
Just move to a red state...

The Tax Foundation - Number of Americans Paying Zero Federal Income Tax Grows to 43.4 Million
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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I posted this originally as we have had so many discussions on cell services. For a senior who still gets out and about I agree a cell is a big safety tool. An hour or so a month is a good thing if it can not be afforded. We also have a subsidized land line phone service for the truly poor. That is better value and also a good thing. I hope that this helps a few of our friends and relatives out. For the most part here it is something we are not eligible for. We have finances and can afford the modest fees if we want. I have not heard of a single forum member who only accesses this BB from the Libraries. I still find it irksome that folks expect Uncle Sam to provide necessities and luxuries. Many of the consumers of Social Services are doing so by choices they have made in the past and will continue to make in the future. I am not attempting to project a Holier than Thou attitude, rather lamenting a loss of personal responsibility.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #13
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Universal service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Universal Service Home Page

And like everything else nowadays, there are a kagillion Google hits on both sides of the issue.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:19 PM   #14
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Wow. I'm speechless. I don't even own a cell phone.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:53 PM   #15
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If it helps poor and/or homeless people land a job (by having a phone to search for openings and a call-back number to set up interviews, etc.), so that they can become productive, tax paying citizens, I would consider it a good use of my tax money.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:11 PM   #16
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It might be a good cause for a charity. Collect voluntary contributions to help provide cell phones for people who need them. Lots of people would contribute. Maybe it will help some poor people get jobs. But to take (by force) the property of some Americans to provide what many still consider to be a luxury? For a purpose not defined in the Constitution? (How far will we stretch the"welfare" clause in the Constitution? It's time for a SCOTUS revisit of Helvering vs Davis in light of what has happened since 1937, and what is about to happen.)
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:50 PM   #17
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http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/

Shelter Alliance is a leader in cell phone recycling. Go Green!

Mobile Cell Phone Recycling, Recycle iPod, PDA, Recycle Digital Cameras, Donate Cell Phone, Cellular Recycling for Charities

Cell Phone Recycling: How to Donate Your Old Mobile Phone
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:11 PM   #18
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Im all for this! So exactly where do you draw the line for giving people things they have not earned at the expense of others hard work
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:23 PM   #19
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I have found that I am much happier if I simply count the blessings that I enjoy in my own life and don't worry about whether someone else gets something they haven't "earned".
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:26 PM   #20
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That is great. I'm a bit happier when people stop sticking their hands in my pockets for something that they didn't work for.
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