The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

07 Jul
The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

So recently, I retracted a prior criticism of former POTUS Barack Obama – the whole “food stamp president” nonsense. While this post isn’t a retraction, I want to share my thoughts on another erroneous label affixed to him – the infamous “Obamaphone”. The ironic thing about this, is that it’s origins are rooted back to 1984 when some Americans were still in “Will we ever see a black president?” mode. A “Barack Obama” if you will, was still a dream. 1984? Yep. When Ronald Reagan was president. Some even argue that it goes back as far as Roosevelt, but I digress. That year, the FCC created the Lifeline Assistance program. That’s the actual name of the “Obamaphone” program, technically. 

Obviously, cellular phones weren’t ubiquitous as they are now, in 1984, which is why the program provided free landline phone service, mainly to senior citizens. Interestingly enough, after eight years of the Obamaphone misnomer, so many remain ignorant of its history.  Am I the only one who’s never heard of an “Reaganphone”? What about a “Bushphone”? “Clintonphone” perhaps? What about a “Trumpphone”? (that sounds like the world’s worst megaphone ever). You haven’t because they were never labeled as such, even though the program existed in every presidency since Reagan. In fact, Safelink Wireless offered the first such cellular (keyword alert!) phone service in Tennessee in 2008, near the end of Bush’s second term. Barack Obama wasn’t elected until November of 2008. The program started three months earlier. 

There are some very, obvious motives and suspicious undertones, if I’m polite, associated with slapping this erroneous, derogatory misnomer onto the first black president, and literally none of his predecessors, but for now I’m not gonna go there (Hmm, no pun intended, but, did I just do that?). Now to be fair, the number of participants in the program, did increase significantly under the Obama administration, but that’s to be expected, with the expansion of any government program to assist the destitute in a recession. It’s a domino effect. If you had no problem with the program under Reagan, both Bush’s or Clinton, it’s simply hypocritical to have whined about it for the last eight years under Obama. I’ll be discussing three more things, I, and/or my political “macro tribe” got wrong, or, that were generally misunderstood or wrong when it comes to Obama. Then I’ll balance it by discussing the same number of things I stand by firmly, as far as my criticism of his presidency goes. Stay with me folks, this is about to get really interesting…


Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized


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6 responses to “The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

  1. jamesmcraig

    July 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    When I refer to the Obamaphone, it has nothing to do with race. I noticed how the program became a corrupt entitlement under Obama. Obama allowed companies to sell free cellphones to the poor. There was no oversight. No effort to ensure people didnt end up with free landline AND cellphone service. I worked for AT&T at the time. We saw small companies pop up to sell the Obamaphones with the understanding that they would get guaranteed government funding. Everyone made out like a bandit except the American taxpayer. It is a symbol of big corrupt governmt creating a sense of entitlement.

    • teemtwo

      July 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      The same was true under both Bush terms & Clinton, in terms of fraud & no one batted an eye. The money for this program is sent to the state from the Feds, so if we’re going to point fingers the state would be the most appropriate place to point Former president Obama isn’t responsible for any fraud for a plan he didn’t create. The cell phone version of it started before he was even elected. Fraud was taking place under Bush too, but no one blames him. You have to be receiving some form of public aid or welfare to qualify, or be a senior citizen on SS. That local state employees didn’t vet tho in line on the street corners for the phones is not Obama’s fault. That’s like blaming any president for the man selling his food stamps for cash. It’s just misplaced blame only at one POTUS – that’s inconsistent. In fact fraud is still taking place NOW with the Lifeline free cellular service service, but no one is blaming Trump. This economy & everything in it is his inheritance now. Since he’s done nothing so far about fraud in the “Trumpphone” program, fingers should point his way now.

  2. jamesmcraig

    July 9, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Actually, the level of spending went from $800 million during the Bush yrs to over 2 billion in 2012. In fact honest companies noted the govt induced fraud as early as 2010. Obama didn’t respond until 2 full years after the scathing report from the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service(lifeline,,link up) report from 2010. Eventually some steps to close obvious loop holes were finally enacted. Oh, and don’t worry, when the current POTUS gets around to adding more accountability, the Leftists will shriek that he is taking away seniors lifeline service.

    • teemtwo

      July 9, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      The overall level of spending. Not spending on the Lifeline program alone. Again, there has ALWAYS been fraud in this program & so many others since the Clinton years. None of them put any dent in it. The phone fraud isn’t massive at all & is a very small part on spending just for those type programs. We have spent exponentially more in unnecessary wars & corporate welfare. Blaming Obama, for a state employee on the corner not following the federal law laid out in the requirements for this program is just silly & dishonest. If none of his predecessors got the same program named after them, even with fraud during their terms, then your contempt for Obama, and that of many others as far as this is concerned has nothing to do with the program itself. You just don’t like him anyway, and you’d garner respect from me if you’d just say so outright, than whining about fraud in a program which the majority of Americans don’t even qualify for.

      • jamesmcraig

        July 9, 2017 at 8:16 pm

        I gave you the facts. I saw first hand. You don’t need defend Obama. He is out of the White House. Having a great time. The fact is Our people called them Obamaphones because they were marketed as a benefit for our people. Everyone heard on the streets of Pittsburgh that we were getting the ‘hook up’. So again, no need to defend America’s First Black President!

      • teemtwo

        July 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

        “Our people” – Pulitzer Prize winning journalists & pundits started the misnomer. The Lifeline program has NEVER been marketed as something for black people. It has been marketed for those who receive SS or any other form of government public assistance. That’s not just black people. If ya’ll got it wrong in Pittsburgh, that sounds like a local issue to me. It’s never been a black thang. I’ll defend former POTUS Barack Obama anytime I think it’s warranted. I’ll criticize him when it’s warranted. I treat him the same as every predecessor & President Trump. You are holding him to a different standard than you do white presidents. You need to take a look in the mirror & figure out why you’re so biased. That’s your issue, not mine. Since you’re not going to be honest nor fair, I’m no longer going to waste my valuable time responding to you. Have a good evening.


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