Tag Archive: Ripoff


Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. government ( Taxpayers ) spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

The carriers—AT&T T +0.62% Inc.; Telrite Corp.; Tag Mobile USA; Verizon Communications VZ -0.05% Inc.; and the Virgin Mobile USA unit of Sprint Nextel Corp. S +1.04% —accounted for 34% of total Lifeline subscribers last May. Two of the other largest providers, TracFone Wireless Inc. and Nexus Communications Inc., asked the FCC to keep their counts confidential. Results for the full program weren’t available.

The program is open to people who meet federal poverty guidelines or are on food stamps, Medicaid or other assistance programs, and only one Lifeline subscriber is allowed per household.

The program, which is administered by the nonprofit Universal Service Administrative Co., has grown rapidly as wireless carriers persuaded regulators to let people use the program for cellphone service. It pays carriers $9.25 a customer per month toward free or discounted wireless service.

Americans pay an average of $2.50 a month per household to fund a number of subsidized communications programs, including Lifeline.”

Amtrak’s $16 burger

” “I just went into this McDonald’s, and I could buy a drink for a dollar and a hamburger for a dollar. But if you buy a hamburger on Amtrak, it costs the taxpayers $6.65,” Mica said.

  The media event was a follow-up to a Thursday hearing that focused on the.railroad’s food and drink losses. A hamburger costs Amtrak $16.15, with riders paying $9.50, according to committee figures. Taxpayers pick up the remaining $6.65, Mica said. “

  As this NY Sun editorial makes abundantly clear , the Fed doesn’t work for us , the people , it works for the government and the banks .

” We’ve often thought of that harbinger in the context of the current crisis over the fiat dollar, but it was all brought together in column by Judy Shelton in today’s Wall Street Journal. She notes that many in America “fear that our nation is going the way of Europe —becoming more socialist and redistributionist as government grows ever larger.” But, she warns, “the most disturbing trend may not be the fiscal enlargement of government through excessive spending, but rather the elevated role of monetary policy.” She’s referring to the way the Federal Reserve, as she puts it, “uses its enormous influence over banking and financial institutions to channel funds back to government instead of directing them toward productive economic activity.” “

“The answer is sadly simplistic: Despite the fact that Kobe Beef, as well as Kobe Meat and Kobe Cattle, are patented terms and/or trademarks in Japan, these are neither recognized nor protected by U.S. law. As far as regulators here are concerned, Kobe beef, unlike say Florida Orange Juice, means almost nothing (the “beef” part should still come from cows). Like the recent surge in the use of the unregulated label term “natural,” it is an adjective used mainly to confuse consumers and profit from that confusion.

This matters because the reason food lovers and expense account diners want Kobe beef, and are willing to pay a huge premium for it, is because of the real Kobe’s longstanding reputation for excellence. The con the US food industry is running is leading you to believe that what you are paying huge dollars for – like the $40 NYC “Kobe” burger – is somehow linked to this heritage of excellence. It’s not.”

Take That Snobs !

PS: Be Sure and Read Parts 2 & 3 . You won’t be sorry .