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April 30, 2013
Just don't call it an 'Obama phone'
Jillian Rayfield writes over at Salon that the "Right wing's latest bogus obsession" is the "Obama phone": Why are Republicans looking to scale back Lifeline, a Reagan-era policy that provides discounts to low-income phone users? Because the policy, referred to as "Obama phones" by conservatives, has had the bad luck of being distorted as the Obama administration's policy of handing out free phones to welfare recipients -- a claim that was boosted by a racially charged video that went viral. This month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the policy. "The program has nearly tripled in size from $800 million in 2009 to $2.2 billion per year in 2012," Republicans on the committee wrote in March. "American taxpayers -- and we as their elected representatives -- need to know how much of this growth is because of waste, fraud and abuse." Lifeline began during the Reagan administration, and was expanded during George W. Bush's presidency to include...(Read Full Post)