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Cell phones as welfare benefits goes too far

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POSTED: May 20, 2009 9:19 a.m.
I recently saw a commercial for a company offering free cell phones and wireless service to people who receive government assistance. The commercial showed this pleasant “mom” with her two kids, having car trouble and she needed a cell phone to call for help.
As she calls for help, she is all smiles, as a result of her having a cell phone. As the commercial is ending, the narrator says, and I am paraphrasing, if “you are receiving food stamps or housing energy assistance benefits or are in low-income housing, you are probably eligible for a free phone and free wireless service from us.”
After the commercial, I got online to check the company and, sure enough, it was offering cell phones and service to folks receiving welfare benefits. And as if there was any doubt, according to the site, the company does receive funding from Uncle Sugar, i.e. federal funding.
Folks, I don’t know about you, but that ticks me off. I know many people who receive government benefits are really needy. Many of these good folks are older people on fixed incomes and many are good, hard-working people who just need a little help.
But I also know a bunch of these folks are lazy, sorry individuals, who don’t want to work, abuse the system and shouldn’t be receiving a dime.
These abuses are evident to all of us as we see the vehicles these people drive, the shoes their kids wear, the number of computers and TVs that entertain them in their homes and, of course, by the food items they buy in supermarkets.
Now, lo and behold, a government sponsored, or at least partially sponsored, company is going to give them a free cell phone and service.
Give me a break.
You know, I work two jobs, my wife works and even my 15-year-old daughter is working part-time.We all do this so we can have what we have. So, if I seem a little harsh on this issue, you’ll just have to excuse me. But a cell phone is not food, water or shelter. And in reality, those are the only things, that welfare ought to help purchase. Not a cell phone, not cable TV, not day care and not even free breakfasts and lunches if you are already being paid food stamps to buy these meals at home.
An irony of this company is that though it is promoting giving cell phones and wireless service away, it also advocates registering for them online. Hmmmmmmm, online, as in, the people can afford a computer with Internet service, but they can’t afford a cell phone to call for a tow truck when their automobile breaks down.
Oh, my goodness. That poor mother in the commercial can afford a computer and Internet service and, probably, though I cannot say for sure, Nike shoes for her rugrats, but she can’t afford a cell phone for emergencies. How outlandish. Where are her priorities? Maybe she’s not even a good mother, and DFCS needs to take her children away for neglecting their well being.
Well, friends, maybe I’m too insensitive, maybe I’m missing something. But to me, this doesn’t seem right. Times are too tough. People need more of their money left in their paychecks, so federal funding for programs like this cell phone company need to stop.
 

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