Among the free entitlements offered to lower-income individuals and those less fortunate are free cell phones subsidized by tax payments from the middle class. The program, originally designed under President Ronald Reagan and pushed into the mainstream by President George Bush, has exploded under President Obama with over 13 million phones issued to “qualified” individuals in 2014 alone. The phones are supposed to give people who would otherwise not be able to afford them a lifeline to emergency services and loved ones.
But according to an undercover report by CBS News, the Lifeline Wireless program is plagued by outrageous levels of fraud.
If you own a cellphone, you pay for the free phones and their wireless plans via a monthly tax on your cellphone called the Universal Service Tax. Although the Lifeline wireless program has been around since 2005 and started under President George W. Bush, it ballooned under President Obama and the phones are often referred to as Obamaphones.