U.S. FCC votes to subsidize broadband for low-income households

“The Federal Communications Commission voted to expand a subsidy program for low-income families to include Internet service on Thursday,” Abigail Tracy reports for Forbes. “The 3-2 FCC vote on Thursday did not increase the monthly subsidy amount families will receive [$9.25/mo.], but simply added Internet to the list of services the program will cover.”

“Dubbed the ‘Obamaphones’ program by critics, the subsidy system came under fire back in 2012 when it was learned that ineligible Americans were taking advantage of the program,” Tracy reports. “The cost of the Lifeline program — which has been estimated to cost the government nearly $2 billion a year — and the fact that its is paid for by consumers have also added fuel to the debate over the program.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: $2 billion annually divided by $118.80 ($9.95×12 months) = over 16.8 million families receiving subsidies via the Lifeline program.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


U.S. FCC proposes taxpayer-funded broadband Internet subsidy for low-income users – May 28, 2015
Reporter issued 3 free ‘Obamaphones,’ courtesy of U.S. taxpayers – August 1, 2013


  1. This is bullshit. Tax payers should not have to subsidize other people’s services. Let these “low income” people learn to prioritize. I don’t give a damn how much everyone here disagrees with me. I am sick and tired of lazy ass non-working dirt bags leeching off the rest of us.

    1. You are a sub-human imbecile. If there was any justice, morons like you would be sentenced by the Stupid Court to clean up other people’s shit for the rest of your miserable life.

      1. Yes, you are a sub-human imbecile. Do you have ANY idea what subsidies big business receives? This is a fly-speck in comparison. Let’s hear the bombastic objections to subsidies for big business – please.

        1. Oh, big business; do you mean like Apple. Whether you realize it or not, it’s big business (and little) that create the jobs that the working American uses to earn the money to pay the taxes to buy all the entitlement crap for all of the non-working worthless bums that are getting this shit for free. You don’t have the right to call anyone else an imbecile you left wing dolt.

          1. The top one-tenth of 1 percent of our nation owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined. One family, the Walton family of Walmart, owns more wealth than the bottom 42 percent combined. In terms of income, nearly all of the new growth since the recession has gone to the top 1 percent.

            That’s the problem; not assisting the working poor, who’s full-time wages don’t even provide decent food and housing.

            People need to wake up and realize who the real enemy is.

            1. The reason the Waltons and other wealthy people are wealthy is that they EARNED IT. There is a reason that people live in places like Furgerson, MO and act they way they do. You can give all your money away but keep your fucking hands out of MY pocket.

            2. No, they didn’t EARN it; the uber-rich arranged society to direct a greater and greater share of the country’s wealth into their pockets.

              Remember the days when someone with a decent job could support a family. I would have thought the right wing would be all over that… family values, etc. etc. It’s hard enough these days for TWO working parents to take care of the basics, never mind have much in the way of luxuries. Funny how “market forces” shifted things in that direction. (Clue – it wasn’t ‘market forces’.)

              “Oh, squeal, swoon — the aristocracy are so wonderful! They earned their palaces”, gush the serfs, gnawing on their half rotten potatoes.

            3. I agree with you, BUT people’s expectations are also way out of whack, which is a huge part of the problem.

              Most middle class (and many lower income) families pay for luxury items that their income level says they can’t afford, but it’s become the norm to just finance it so “you too can have the latest luxuries!!”

              The iPhone is case in point, actually. Most of the people (of all ages) that I see working fast food have iPhones. They can’t afford them, or they wouldn’t be working fast food. I

              have friends who are horrifically in debt and barely keeping up with their payments (despite good-paying jobs)….and yet have two cars they bought new at $40K or more each.

            4. In the case of the Waltons: By “earned” you mean “won the birth lottery” Sam Walton built Walmart, his children are trust fund babies who did nothing to earn the extravagant riches they enjoy. Meanwhile the employees running the enterprise which continue to enrich them live on substandard wages and are the largest block of SNAP participants in the nation. Go figure..

              Walmart has annual profits of over 9 billion dollars, yet receive enormous amounts of welfare from our government:

              NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – Over $1 billion in government subsidies have gone into transforming discounter Wal-Mart Stores from a regional discount store operator into the world’s largest retailer, according to a report Monday from Good Jobs First, a Washington-based subsidy watchdog group.
              “Wal-Mart presents itself as an entrepreneurial success story, yet over a few decades it has made extensive use of tax breaks, free land, cash grants and other forms of public assistance,” Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First said in a statement.
              The study, which is funded in part by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, found that 91 Wal-Mart stores have received individual subsidies ranging from $1 million to about $12 million, in the form of free or reduced-priced land, job training funds, sales tax rebates, tax credits and infrastructure assistance, including investment in roads.
              In total, these subsidies amounted to $245 million, the report said.
              Separately, the report found that 84 of Wal-Mart’s distribution centers received an average of $7.4 million in subsidies, totaling about $624 million. Additionally, a database search for tax-exempt bonds issued by state and local authorities indicated that another 69 Wal-Mart stores received other low-cost financing of about $138 million

            5. There is a difference between the working poor and the millions of people who don’t work at all and just take from the system. I am all for helping the WORKING poor. It’s too bad that they don’t require one to have a job to get this assistance. I believe that is what a lot of people are tired of.

      2. Ah, spews the non-working scumbag who is on the dole. Guess now you won’t have to sell some of your food stamps to get the internet, which should thrill your six illegitimate children when they use the iPads you got in exchange for the meth you manufactured. Bet you’re a big Obama supporter and future Hillary shill too.

      3. Water, food and shelter are necessary “services” for life. Cellphones, TV and Internet services are luxuries that a person can have if he can afford it. If he can’t afford it, he shouldn’t have it. Welcome to life.

          1. Every library offers free internet usage. Such access is not as convenient as having in the home; however, as I indicated, “life support” is basically just that, not to enable convenience. My other complaint is internet access and “broadband” are not exactly the same thing: while I could potentially be persuaded that all should have access, I don’t believe everyone should get premium service, especially if some have to pay premium prices and some get it for free.

            1. And when the parents are working two substandard wage jobs to keep the light on and food in the fridge, when do you propose they take them to the library. Not everyone has one close.

              Go read a book entitled: Nickeled and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. It might shed some light on the world outside of your pretty little bubble. The fact is, most Americans receiving assistance work, many more than one job and still are not getting by.

            2. If they can afford $2,000 worth of tats they cab buy their own internet. Swear to gawd, the ghetto looks like one big ugly tattoo.

              Not too many good paying jobs for people with neck tats.

            3. I don’t disagree overall. Any subsidized broadband service should be the slowest tier being offered by the lowest cost provider in the area. That’s more than adequate for kids’ homework and basic email.

              Dial-up requires a traditional phone line, which costs as much as basic broadband in many cases, so not cost effective, IMO.

              If you need a home phone, better off with basic broadband and a phone service such as Ooma, MagicJack, etc. I’ve used Ooma for 6 years, my only monthly cost is the fed. taxes at around $4.50/month, I use it every day and have had no real problems. Buying the box at $100 or so is the biggest chunk of cost. Big fan.

              It’s also insanely slow for today’s media-centric web sites (and I’m talking size of graphics…I don’t care if subsidized internet can stream video.

    2. I see both sides. Unfortunately, many “low income” people are simply lazy. In my experience, over half are simply too lazy to try and better themselves.

      But there are also people who are really trying, and just having trouble getting ahead for whatever reason, and I have more sympathy for them. Unfortunately the lazy take her benefit of programs for the deserving.

      The ONE major reason I don’t object more to this program (for Internet access) is so that kids in “low income” homes can have Internet access to do school work. In today’s world, not having internet access for homework is a huge disadvantage…even if the parents are some of the lazy ones, I’m ok with giving the kids a chance.

      Using it for cell phones is pure bullshit, though. Cell phones are a modern convenience, almost luxury. Basic Internet access is more of a necessity today.

      And I agree with others…some of the business incentives need to get cut (and #1 needs to be tax breaks for the oil industry).

      1. There’s “lazy” at all income levels, not just the poor. What often gets missed is that if they’re doing well enough to be getting by, the laziness gets overlooked.

        What I do see (firsthand, unfortunately) with the real working poor is that many (most?) of their problems are functionally self-inflicted, through a combination of low education, poor choices, and/or poor ability at critical thought – – for example, I’ve seen a few who will burn the gas (plus wear & tear) to make a “quick” 20 mile run to go retrieve their pack of cigarettes from home.

        Granted, smoking is bad from both a health as well as from budget perspective, but that’s really just another example of self-inflicted damage that they’ve saddled themselves with.

        It is easy for you or me (as a non-smoker) to say “Hey! Just Quit Smoking” (to free up some of their money), but having watched my father struggle for 35 years before he finally kicked it – – this one really isn’t a trivial addiction to beat.

    1. That’s pure BS.

      Giving tax cuts to the wealthy only makes them wealthier, no matter what the rich Republicans want you to believe.

      Think about it….how many jobs has Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates created??

      You guessed thousands or tens of thousands? You’re wrong.

      Those three men created jobs for their personal gardeners, maids, nannies, etc, if they have them. That’s it!!

      Their COMPANIES created tens of thousands of jobs, however.

      So why do Republicans want these tax cuts for the rich? It’s not job creation, obviously!!

      Any tax cuts should go to job-creating COMPANIES, not the rich men who run them.

  2. This is evil. It is a moral hazard to the beneficiary of the free service, a coerced windfall for the carrier receiving the funds and profiting from them, and it is theft from their paying customers who receive no benefit for the expense.

    1. Hold onto your hats, left and right, because I am about to TRY and explain why this can be a good thing.

      First off, most should know by now I am a Conservative.
      Second, I work for an ISP.

      Every time there is a discussion around here about our internet service in America, whether it is the price, average speed, reliability, ranking in the world, Net Neutrality, or how much everyone hates their provider, the argument boils down to funding, free-enterprise, control and competition.

      Now, anyone that works in utilities (phone, cable, water, electric, gas) knows that a sizable overhead of time and material is spent maintaining business in low-income neighborhoods.
      Constant connects, disconnects, theft of service, collections, audits, vandalism and outright crime towards the workers require extra people to handle the same issues over and over. Of course some of this occurs in all neighborhoods, but for the most part it is the low income areas that affect the overhead for EVERYBODY by requiring all this added drama.

      Now, I’m not saying everyone should have free internet (a misnomer, anyhow), and as a Conservative I have always been for people getting help who deserve it OR for short durations of hard times, but NOT as a way of life (except for the worst off among us).

      I know liberals and others believe services like internet ought to be offered to all much as landline phone was. I believe that stifles competition. You simply cannot have one form of ISP in an area protected and still have service that gets faster and better every year (and yes, that is a reality in most places I’ve been whether people believe it or not)

      So, how de we get to the point where ISPs can compete, keep overhead low in poor neighborhoods and have an incentive to build to more rural areas? A subsidy to the QUALIFIED poor that will help them with communications, job hunting, government paperwork, education, and porn!

      What would this look like? Well, you would qualify annually based on W-2 and other info used for food stamps, rent and AFDC. The vouchers could be used for FIOS, DSL, cable, satellite, LTE, wireless or any other system that delivers a minimum of 10 Mbps for $50 (but also with a reasonable bandwidth cap). Contracts would have to be 6 months to be fair to both parties.

      Did I hear someone say ‘boondoggle’? Yes, it could very well turn into that.
      But then again, Net Neutrality could become a noose around deployment, ISPs could be required to surrender to municipalities, Uncle Sam could dictate one delivery type be Common Carrier over others or a whole host of other less palatable scenarios could take place whereas this might help stabilize competition.

      Will this be a panacea for streaming nirvana? It most likely would help by lowering overhead in many neighborhoods which would increase competition for those dollars. That savings could be used to update, upgrade and/or build-out new areas. Small rural towns with a lot of low-income are not feasible to deploy to with a low subscriber rate, but with a 20-40% higher base of qualified subscribers, it might be enough to get one (if not more) companies in there. Same for larger towns with a high percent of unemployment/underemployment.

      Can it be used for video TV channels. A big HELL NO. Bandwidth only with a basic wireless modem. VOIP could also be added to do away with crappy cell phones and as a way for a HOME to have a phone with 911 access and not just one or two in the family running around town burning cell bandwidth.

      Who does this hurt? Well, the taxpayers, be they ISP users or not. At the same time, it gives a shot in arm for broadband deployment because of more business, lower overhead and market stability while at the same increasing speeds due to competition.

      Is it perfect? Of course not. Having an economy where people can actually work and pay for their needs is always a better solution, but we are already paying a high price through our ISP bills for maintaining poor areas and through our taxes for subsidizing small areas of deployment and basic phone service. Why not try to get both parties interested in doing all this the right way that is fair to all?

      1. You sound more like an independent. Nice nuance.

        It is a downer is these problems don’t get addressed with objective economic analysis as you just did. Also a bummer that the government can’t try things and update them with experience.

        Someday somebody needs to figure out the next step in government design. I am pretty sure it involves constitutional balanced budgets, party seat limits in Congress, and maybe separation of Federal and state level parties to provide a strong check to Federal politicians.

        1. Thanks, but I am a solid Conservative, which means I pretty much have to vote Republican on national issues.
          However, since I live in the South, I vote Democrat sometimes on state or local issues.

          One remedy I see for limits is repeal of the 17th Amendment and 5 term limits for Representatives.

          If a state is selecting it’s Senator it dries up THAT election money and 10 years is enough time for service without losing the experience needed for continuation on the House side.

      2. Whether it is a good or bad idea, it is not the FCC commission’s place to levy a tax on anyone and transfer the proceeds from that tax to anyone, or to establish such a social policy. That policy should be set by Congress, not an appointed board which does not have legislative powers. Their mandate is to regulate communications, not welfare, poverty, or anything else. . . This is legislating from the Executive Branch, and is patently unconstitutional. If Congress decided it’s a good idea, then Congress can establish a law mandating the program. Until then, hands off.

      3. Nice sentiments … but.

        First off, let me be clear that I do expect consumers to pay a fair & reasonable price for proucts & services, and that maintenance of the necessary infrastructure is an integral part of this.

        Thus said, the underlying premise here is that corporations are going to be benevolent and offer their GOOD consumers a great value, wonderful customer serice, etc, etc … is flawed, because the evidence does not align with that premise.

        TowerTone sort of admits to this, but tries to blame the generic “poor” and their higher support expenses for it, even though SEC filings show that corporations like Comcast have net profit levels of ~18% (comparable to Apple) despite them providing what’s merely a commodity service (whereas Apple has a differentiated product).

        For example:

        Looking at one of the richest counties in the USA (Top Ten), which also has a high population density (over 1000/square mile – which means a lower infrastructure cost per capita) ,and with no meaningful pockets of poverty, nor crime, nor anything else obvious which would preclude this customer set from being one of the most desired by the ISPs … so then just why is it that the ISP rates in this region aren’t low and customer satisfaction high?

        The obvious conclusion is because the pemises mentioned above – – ” funding, free-enterprise, control and competition” – – are not present, so there are no competitive market forces on the ISPs to motivate them to provide better “value”.

        In other words “…the argument boils down to funding, free-enterprise, control and competition” sounds good, but the current market is already broken.

        Which means that the real question is: will throwing more money at it (in the form of subsidies to increase the viable consumer base) materially change the status quo?


        Giving more money to a boondoggle won’t create change – it will simply perpetuate and strengthen the status quo.

        1. A few more ‘real’ questions-

          How many ISP “corporations like Comcast” can you name?
          Do you have a clue about the complexities in delivering what you claim is a “commodity service”?
          Do you have an alternate idea to satisfy those who want to pump billions of Federal dollars into takeovers/buildouts vs those who want to keep it like it is?

          1. Pragmatically, the other commonly known ‘Big Boy’ is Verizon, but the more important question is … why does knowing *who* the Oligopolists are actually matters?

            And as you also very well know, in most markets, the situation is effectively a duopoly – – the mainstream “disrupter” right now is Google Fiber, who has cherry picked out a very select few midsize markets with highly favorable contract terms … and in those markets, the value for the retail consumer has improved.

            Next, on the complexities … its not the consumer’s “problem”, first off. Second, the basic technology for deploying lines across a region has been around since Thomas Edison (ditto switching, etc): this isn’t Rocket Science.


            Third, yes, I do have an alternate idea:

            * regulate these natural oligop/monopolies into regulated monopolies. This will include a correction to their profit levels to be in line with similar legacy regulated monopolies (e.g., utilities) which is commensurate with the subsequent reduction of risk to the provider (just like all of the other utilities): for the general consumer, this should result in a 10% savings on their bill.

            * mandate de-bundling of service, require increased clarifications of the contracts (e.g., uptime, bandwidth, etc) and require publication of the rates for specific predefined products. This all sets the stage for the next step.

            * obsolete the regulated monopolies with a free market with full & open competition of discrete and clearly defined service products.

            FWIW, the simple bottom line factor to the above is that there’s going to be Corporate winners & losers, whereas the current Status Quo is that they’re all Winners who can’t lose…because they relegate that to their customers.

            1. 1) OK, There are millions of customers who are not served by Comcast or Verizon, although Verizon DOES compete with us in several markets, yet buys bandwidth for cell towers from us in other markets.

              2) Google fiber is not a disrupter. They built a few systems that will probably never recoup their investment, but we all gained from that. Smaller companies like ours are actually in the process to building fiber to the home using new systems.

              3) “the basic technology for deploying lines across a region has been around since Thomas Edison (ditto switching,”
              OK, you have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. Completely lost. In over your head. Building the system is the easy part (just sh!t a ton of money), getting the bandwidth out and back with ever increasing demands is the hard part. Sorry, but like most people (who think they know health insurance, world trade, economics) you have been bamboozled into thinking the answers are so easy. I have no idea which side of the aisle you sit, but that is usually a trait of the Left (not that it matters).

              4) What are the proper profit levels? Would you also regulate how they are dispersed between maintenance/build-out and upgrading? Again, do you have any clue what you are talking about or just over-simplifying a system you have no clue about? And a word about ‘other’ utilities; they are in horrible condition. Land-line phones are dying and power companies are in need of rate increases to upgrade a lot of older systems. One way they are doing that is by passing on huge pole fees, which are then passed on by phone, cable, fiber to their customers. A small town in Texas that we won a bid to build fiber to their school (and possibly to the entire town) was thwarted because the power company changed their new pole attachment fees and killed the deal. In another system in southern Arkansas we lost another chance to build to a small town because the attachment fees made it too high for the customers to afford. Both of these examples are from regulated utilities trying to earn extra money because of rate controls.

              5) Mandate de-bundling? Again, you don’t understand. First, I can’t believe places still require it. second, cable or fiber ‘plants’ cost a certain amount to maintain, regardless of how many people use it. If EVERYONE tomorrow dropped video (which would be a blessing to those of us that have to deliver it) then the price of internet would go up proportionally to cover the loss, because it still cost the same to run the place. This will even out over the next few years after the transition to all IP.

              Yeah, I don’t expect any of this inside info to sink in, because reality of business models and why they are used is too hard to understand unless you are in that line. What do you do? Is it so simple that people with NO experience in it could just change it’s entire structure?

            2. Once again, TowerTone stoops to insults. But let’s see if there’s nevertheless a few gems to salvage:

              1) Generalizations are expected to have exceptions…and finding one does not invalidate the generalization (and what applies to the majority of consumers).

              2) True, Google Fiber won’t be a _broad_ disrupter of the market because of their strategy – – but they’ve locally had about the same magnitude of financial impact as this FCC subsidy is proposing to do.

              3) …and TT’s lame insults start. FYI, I started out slinging wire before moving up into deployment planning, etc, which means I’ve already done probably most of what your current job is.

              The fact that infrastructure costs money is the small picture. The big picture is that this is why this field is a “Natural Monopoly” which constrains competition. And sure, growing the bandwidth also costs money too…but that’s merely just another part of the same. Granted, you did finally raise a good point regarding pole fees – – that’s an interrelated issue which is also “broken” which also needs to be fixed: those poles are installed on Public Land and as such, the Public has the right to a say on rates (which is generally not being used): the problem here has been a loss of perspective.

              4) “Proper” profit levels are defined by risk levels. Having a guaranteed customer base (e.g., utilities, current duopolies) simply is not a high risk business venture from which high profit rates are merited for the stockholders.

              FWIW, other utilities are hurting, but much of that are self-inflicted business decisions because of trying to cheat on the basic business principles (above), often through net withdrawals from their infrastructure investments to try to maximize profits. BTW, there’s fraud in this too: personally saw a lot of infrastructure neglect which was claimed to have been SuperStorm Sandy damage to get the Feds to pay for it.

              5) A proposed mandate to ‘debundle’ is really more about getting a set of very clearly defined product for the customer to decide on.

              FYI, I misspoke slightly in not making it clear that this wasn’t to abolish bundles or other special services: it really is about making sure that consumers can make an informed “Vendor A vs Vendor B” product comparison by mandating that each Vendor will offer X, Y, Z to then facilitate such market comparisons.

              You are correct that ultimately this will all transition over to all IP … and at that point, the current ISP’s basically become “dumb pipes” and lose a lot of control and influence — hence, why they’re opposed to it. From a consumer’s standpoint, the product will simplify down to ~4 variables:
              – basic bandwidth rating
              – basic temporal utilization rating
              – uptime
              – retail price

              The big picture question is how does the market transition to this from the current mess?

              And getting back to the OP, the premise of an FCC Subsidy won’t do anything to advance this.

  3. Crazy responses, folks. You all need to get out more. And outside your neighborhoods. There are a lot of struggling people in this country. I have no problem with our government, acting on our behalf, helping them in these sorts of ways. Yes, some may abuse it. But I believe most deserve the assistance.

    We give gazillions of dollars in tax breaks, preferences, and dodges to the 1%. And few bazillions in all the same to the next 9%. And lord knows what to the next few deciles of the wealthy. But you are complaining about including broadband assistance in a program that costs $2 billion?

    Read Thomas Picketty’s book, _Capital in the 21st Century_ to get a sense of the huge discrepancy in wealth that exists today, and the humongous discrepancies in the returns to capital between those with wealth and those without. It will blow your mind. And maybe even change how you feel about taxation and government assistance programs.

    1. You are correct: welfare is bribery. “If you play nice and don’t steal from those who have more than you, we will give you enough money to survive.” The count who will settle for that bribe is huge because the alternative is to work incredibly hard like immigrants did for a hundred years. They knew their own lives would NEVER be easy, but if they worked hard enough, and they were lucky, their kids might have it EASIER than they did (still not EASY). That was the American Dream, but it is dead now.

  4. These are the dumbest comments I have seen on a site full of dumb comments.

    You are all so incredibly wrong it makes me laugh till I hurt. The program is called Lifeline. It is a subsidy for basic communication for All people.

    What was voted on is an extension of a program already in existence which provides basic phone service to the poor.
    Since much phone service vis a vis landlines is now VOIP, this allows that service to be covered by this program.

    All you click batters are still living in your parents’ basement trying g hard not to jerk off too much in one day.

    Get a real life, quit sponging off my tax dollars and educate yourself on the realities of 21st century life.

  5. One more thing:
    “Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund.”

    This program was endorsed by Reagan. It does not cost $2 billion/year. Its intent is to provide for public safety.

  6. Facebook and porn for free for the poor because they really need it, you know. Now the next part of the equation: the Feds will have to buy computers and tablets and smart phones for all the poor because they really need it, you know.

    How can you possibly get a job without Facebook and porn?

  7. The governments role is to collect taxes and to redistribute this money to its constituents. Often programs exist that provide services to those who have contributed to this tax revenue, and being a good idea, the government subsides these programs, matching some payment already being made by the people. This methodology is used throughout the redistribution algorithms that the government uses to distribute this wealth back to its people. It’s a subsidy because it already exist, its a unique program when it is initiated and with totally funded by the government. In this redistribution of monies collected via taxation. How do I receive some percentage of my contribution? All businesses participate in some type of taxation program that allows it to receive monies back for it levels of contribution. These programs and new research grants are often awarded to telecom companies, etc. to assure their competitiveness in the corporate world.Call it a handout, subsidy, gift, grant or any other attribute for receiving services from the government, you who pay taxes and receive no benefits, is deprived.

    1. Odd, my copy of the Constitution doesn’t talk about redistribution of wealth. It says the government’s job is lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; to borrow money on the credit of the United States; to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States; coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States; establish post offices and post roads; promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries; constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water; raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; provide and maintain a navy; make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions; provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings; make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

      Nope, no redistribution.

  8. Funny thing is that the “Obamaphone ” program started during the Saint Reagan Administration long before Obama was in any elected office. The Obamaphone is actually a Saint Reaganphone.

    I am for a subsidy to ISPs to enable rural broadband where it would not otherwise be profitable as well as community broadband. I am, however, dead set against giving people phones or Internet with tax subsidy.

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