Amid increasing reports of food stamp fraud among Americans dependent on the federal government, recent reports show that another entitlement program is experiencing similar abuses.
The Federal Communications Commission released its findings that many who have received so-called Obama phones have misused or defrauded the program. In response, the FCC Enforcement Bureau is cracking down on violators and implementing new, more enforceable rules.
More than two million recipients are believed to have improperly received a phone under the Lifeline program, almost twice as many as an FCC estimate last month suggested.
Though the program was in effect prior to Barack Obama’s presidential win, the wasteful initiative has come under significant scrutiny over the past few years. In the years between Obama’s first term and second term elections, for example, spending within the program nearly tripled from $819 million to $2.2 billion.
So far, the FCC has implemented several fraud-fighting tactics, including fines of more than $32 million against mobile providers who knowingly violated the program’s rules. Furthermore, the commission’s enforcement arm has removed at least two million duplicate accounts.
Significant reform is still needed, however, considering the widespread fraud uncovered by the FCC. More than 40 percent of those receiving such assistance were unable or unwilling to provide documentation supporting their eligibility, according to an investigation into the largest facilitators of Obama phones.
In total, the nearly $50 million in proposed fines and refinements to the system will constitute just a drop in the bucket compared to the overall fraud perpetrated by unscrupulous recipients and providers.
Though the misallocation of billions in taxpayer money should outrage all citizens, this program represents business as usual among leftists. By promising them someone else’s money, progressive politicians are able to effectively create an entire class of dependent voters beholden to the Democrat party.
No matter how sound a conservative’s position might be, it is hard to compete with free phones and subsidized groceries.
–B. Christopher Agee
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