Free Obama Phone Claim Stirs Controversy [Video]

There’s been a lot of talk about entitlement, welfare, and taxes during this election season. Mitt Romney was criticized last week when he was recorded saying that 47% of the country was dependent on the government. Well, a new video on Youtube of a woman saying that people should vote for Obama because he has free phones has some pundits on the right saying that the GOP candidate was absolutely right in his assessment.

Rush Limbaugh said:

“So these are the people that don’t like Romney because of what he said about 47%? No, these are the 47%!… She knows. She knows how to get this free Obama phone. She knows everything about it. She may not know who George Washington is or Abraham Lincoln, but she knows how to get an Obama phone.”

In the video, the woman says that we should “keep Obama as president” because “he gave us a phone.”

According to Alternet the woman in the video, and Rush Limbauh, are both wrong.

The woman is referring to the “Lifeline program” which was started in 1984 by President Reagan to provide free phones to low income families. The legislation was put in place to make sure that everyone had the ability to contact “emergency services, government services and surrounding communities.”

Think Progress reports that a similar program was also started by President Bush in 2008 to provide low income people with a free or low cost cell phone.

The Obama Phone website reads:

“It’s true that government provides free cellphones to the poor and disabled people. But the Obama part is not true as Obama didn’t initiate this program. It’s on the run since the administration of Reagan.”

Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., acknowledged that the program wasn’t started by Obama but also said that the Lifeline Program had swelled from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion under the President’s watch.

Griffin said:

“It’s a government-run, taxpayer-funded program that’s running wild and costing more and more.”

Here’s the video.