In 1996, the Clinton Administration enacted an initiative guaranteeing every American family had a telephone landline. Called “Lifeline Across America,” it was specifically designed to provide lower-income families with telephone access in case of emergencies.
In 2009, President Obama augmented Lifelong Across America so that the focus was no longer a telephone landline but a cellular telephone. This meant families that already qualified for “Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, School Free Lunch, Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance” could have a government-subsidized cell phone with 68 monthly minutes and free emergency calls.
The issuance of “free” cell phones rests on the assumption that cell service is a human right, just like the right to “free” healthcare or the current European-based push for recognition of the right to “free” Internet access.
This gradual broadening of what constitutes a human right allows governments to extend their reach into the lives of their citizens in the name of compassion.
Just as “free” healthcare is called universal healthcare, Federal Communications Commission spokesman Mark Wigfield said that behind the push for passing out “free” cell phones was the government’s goal of “universal phone service."
Safelink and Reachout Wireless are providers the U.S. government is subsidizing to distribute “free” cell phones under Lifeline Across America. Safelink touts the “free” aspect of their phone services while Reachout Wireless says that "cell phone ownership is a right.”
And TracFone, the company providing the bulk of the phones being distributed under Obama’s plan, also considers cell phone ownership a human right. José Fuentes, TracFone’s director of government relations, said: "A telephone service, just in general, is not a privilege, it’s a right, and we feel it’s a corporate responsibility to provide it."
How long would Fuentes and the rest of TracFone’s management share this view if it weren’t for the fact that our government is reimbursing them for the phones they provide?
Where will such programs lead our nation if not toward socialism? Have we not watched these utopian social programs take European nations down the road to serfdom?
In April 2009, the leaders of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela wrote a letter asking President Obama to join them in their belief that “the basic services of education, health, water, energy and telecommunications … [were] human rights.” While Obama side-stepped, and even dismissed the letter at that time, he has since joined ranks with the dictators on healthcare and telecommunications through the pursuit of “universal phone service.”
How long it will be before he also aligns himself with the view held by 87% of Europeans, that Internet access should be provided to everyone on the grounds that it is “a fundamental right of all people? Finland and Estonia have already concluded that Internet access is a human right for their citizens.
The April 2009 letter from Latin American leaders urging Obama to expand the definition of human rights also recognized “migration [as] a human right, not a crime.”
Therefore, the same dictators pressuring Obama to label “the basic services of education, health, water, energy and telecommunications” human rights are also angling to have all forms of “migration” – legal or not – similarly recognized because they believe immigration policies that keep families separated are a violation of
human rights. If illegal immigrants have it made now, just wait till Obama makes them citizens and gives them “free” cell phones and “free” Internet access as part of the deal.
Proponents of these ever growing, government-subsidized programs will try to shame opponents into silence by arguing it is “anti-poor” to be against them. But the government’s appeal to human rights doesn’t distinguish between meeting human needs and meeting human wants.
After all, it’s our wealth, rather than his own, that Obama is spreading around. He’s the ultimate Sugar Daddy.