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Why Are Some People Getting Free Cell Phones Through Taxpayer Money?

A lawmaker is set to produce a bill to overhaul a program called “Lifeline,” which started years ago and was intended to provide those in need with landline phone lines. Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin says the program has exploded because a few years ago, the government said that landlines weren’t enough and expanded the program to include free cell phones. Spending for the program went from $488 million in 2000 to $1.8 billion in 2011.

Congressman Griffin joined America’s Newsroom earlier today to discuss the issue, and categorically said, “I don’t think the federal government should be giving out free cell phones."

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He continued, saying that through the program, some people are getting “two and three, 10 and 20 and 30 cell phones and you’re paying for it!” He went on to say that if you look at your phone bill, you will see a line that reads Universal Service Fee, which is the tax that pays for this program.

“[People] aren’t just getting cell phones, they are getting iPhones, they’re getting blackberries, they’re getting stuff that you and I are paying a lot [for] every month,” Griffin said.

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