There is MASSIVE fraud in the Obamaphone welfare program according to a new 90-page report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The big government was handing out free phones and it led to three times the normal fraud we see in welfare programs. Not at all predictable. What could go wrong with the government handing out freebies?
The program had been expanded under Barack Obama to include Obama Broadband. The fraud was ignored however.
Ineligible applications were approved 63 percent of the time according to the GAO review. They found that 36 to 65 percent of the beneficiaries lied in easily-detectible ways. They were approved anyway.
The reason this happened is because the phone companies did the screening. They were also the beneficiaries of the government purchases. This is kind of a conflict of interests. It’s like having the drunks handle the kegs at a keg party.
The primary fraudster was Total Call Mobile, which enrolled fake Lifeline users by the tens of thousands, pocketing $9.7 million in federal subsidies.
In addition, adding some humor to the situation, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri received a mailer at her home encouraging her to get her “free” phone. She called for the audit.
How did the government miss this you might ask? There are limits on how much agencies can spend of course, but in this case, “universal service fees” cell phone subscribers pay on their monthly bills supplied the money for the program. It’s not only that. Obamanet was a political talking point people didn’t want to touch.
It’s losing $500 million to fraud
The Washington Examiner notes that the federal subsidy known as the “Obamaphone” or “Obamanet” program, formerly Lifeline, could be losing nearly $500 million to fraud annually. This is according to a top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission.
Tucker Carlson tied up the situation nicely.
— Free Markets & Minds (@SemperArgentum) July 1, 2017