Did You Get Your Free Obamaphone? Part 1
by Robert Morley
Last week, I almost got my very own Obamaphone—by accident.
I own a Tracfone; it is one of those prepay plans. The carrier was upgrading from 2G to 3G, and I was sent a new phone to replace my old one.
I called the service department to get my number reassigned to my new phone—and that’s when something went wrong. A series of transfers between various representatives left me wondering if I would ever have a working phone. Turn the phone off, then back on; punch in this code; try calling now; look up this number; lots of never-ending, mind-numbing background music, etc.
Two days later, success!
And then the discovery! My perfectly good Tracfone had been mysteriously transformed into an Obamaphone.
It happened by accident, I think. “Thanks for finally fixing this phone,” I sincerely told the fourth service representative. “While you are on the line, can I sign up for auto refill.” I simply wanted Tracfone to automatically bill my credit card and save me the hassle of having to call in or go online every three months to renew.
Imagine my surprise when the service representative told me there was no need: “It’s all free.”
I know the phone’s free; it was a replacement. I want to sign up for auto refill: $20 every three months.
“I understand, sir. But you are enrolled in SafeLink Wireless.”
What is that?
“You get free domestic calls and free texting and Internet access. You don’t have to pay anything.”
I don’t have to pay?
“No you don’t. Is that all?”
I get free calls and text and how much Internet? … My old phone didn’t even have Internet.
“That’s right, sir; it is SafeLink. You don’t have to pay.”
But I normally pay every three months.
“Yes, but you are enrolled in SafeLink now.”
I know, you told me that. But I have a Tracfone plan. How did I get this SafeLink?
“You signed up for it.”
No I didn’t.
“Yes you did; you filled out an application.”
No I didn’t.
“You must have. … Oh wait, the computer doesn’t say.”
And had I stopped there, I
might have had a tax payer-provided phone with free monthly minutes and unlimited text messaging for life! Plus a whole lot of free Internet access too!
That’s how close I came to my very own Obamaphone.
It’s a testament to the efficiency of the United States’ welfare industry—and it gives new meaning to the concept of “the land of the free.” A person doesn’t even need to sign up for a government-sponsored social program; they can simply end up in one.
That’s what happens when you combine the best aspects of American-style capitalism with government-mandated socialism. Together they are creating the biggest welfare state in American history. And it is going to come crashing down in spectacular intensity.
Politicians create social programs funded by taxes on industry—then corporate collaborators on the government dole employ capitalist efficiency to make the programs the biggest possible.
From what I can tell, here is what happened: Tracfones are often used by people with low incomes, since the phones are inexpensive and you don’t need good credit in order to finance the latest expensive model. Since Tracfone’s clientele is mostly low-income, the government contracted this successful phone company to expand the Obamaphone program. As I found out, SafeLink and Tracfone are both owned by Mexico’s América Móvil. The service reps for Tracfone appear to be the same ones for SafeLink. All it took was a wrong transfer—and voila, free calls and texts anywhere in America, including Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii, courtesy of Uncle Sam.
I would have been part of a very big club. Approximately 20 million Americans have received Obamaphones through government programs like SafeLink. That’s the equivalent population of Nevada, Nebraska, New Mexico, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming and the District of Columbia combined.
In fact, if rumor is true, entire inner cities have Obamaphones.
Remember the “Obamaphone lady?” Her YouTube rant went viral and was watched by millions in the lead-up to President Barack Obama’s reelection.
She explained: “Everybody in Cleveland, you’re a minority got Obamaphone. Keep Obama in president. … He gave us a phone. He going to do more.”