One of those extra fees on our phone bills is a Universal Service Fee. When originally implemented under President Reagan, it was to provide landline phones for rural poor people who could show the need for a phone. In 2008, the program was extended to free cell phones. Free phones are now being advertised on Ohio TV stations. Read More.
This week a video of a Cleveland woman, protesting at a Mitt Romney rally, went viral as a bad example of this government program being abused.
As you can read in the linked article, this program in Ohio has doubled. The costs we’re assessed on our phone bills is likely to increase as this program’s use increases. Although not mentioned in the article, I have read other articles that report on abuses in the program citing examples of people receiving up to 20 cell phones which they then sell. This is far from the original intent of the program.
Just another government program run amuck!
FYI, here is another video at the same Cleveland protest.