The Dayton Daily news reported recently on a program that gives subsidized cell phones to low-income individuals that has just about doubled in size in in Ohio in the last year (story).
Nationwide there were about 11.5 million participants in the first quarter of 2011. Through the first quarter of 2012 the number had risen to 16.5 million.
The program is estimated to cover over a million people in Ohio.
The program is funded through the “Universal Service Fund” charge on phone bills (i.e. you are paying for it).
See this chart of annual expenditures since 2008:
Obama’s Ohio victory margin in 2008 was 262,224 votes. Could the over-a-million covered by the free phone program in Ohio be persuaded to support the President’s reelection? Sound far fetched? Listen as the woman in the video below speaks about her “free Obama phone”:
What progressive politicians ever thought to support this idea? What lobbyists for cell phone providers teed the idea up in the first place? Talk about redistribution – isn’t your cell phone bill high enough already?
This is yet another example of incompetent, overreaching, unprincipled, and interventionist government. The unintended (or perhaps intended) consequence may determine the 2012 election.
In her speech at the GOP convention, within the context of her life story about fulfilling the American dream and standing up to preserve the promise of America for the next generation (see previous post), New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez told the story about her conversion from Democrat to Republican. Before she ran for district attorney, a couple of Republicans had invited her to lunch. She knew they had a party switch in mind, so her plan was to enjoy the free meal with her husband and then politely go on their way. But during that lunch, her hosts didn’t use the words “Democrat” or “Republican”, “liberal” or “conservative”. They talked about the issues. For example, they talked about welfare, whether it should be a hand up or a way of life; and they talked about the size of government, about how much it should tax families and small businesses. When Susana left, she had a startling realization. She turned to her husband and said, “I’ll be damned – we’re Republicans.”
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, been totally in sync with them in your discussion of values and issues, and then found out that they are a Democrat? You wonder how this could be possible, knowing that their values are far removed from those of the other party. As you probe a little deeper, you find that their parents or even grandparents were Democrats; and much like religion, they follow in the footsteps of their elders. They don’t realize that the Democrat Party has moved further and further to the left, and further away from their own conservative values. Ronald Reagan was a Democrat before he became the standard bearer for the conservatives. He once said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the party left me.” This seems to be true for many people.
We don’t join a political party like we join a church or country club, and we shouldn’t cling to a party like a sports fan that remains loyal to his favorite team. Rather, we should vote for the candidate whose positions best reflect our values. Most of us have been taught that good manners preclude talking to others about religion and politics because those topics can be so contentious. But with so much at stake in this November election, with the future of America hanging in the balance, we need to be bold in talking to those in our circles of influence. As we engage in meaningful conversations with others, we must help them to see where their values align and encourage them to vote accordingly.