“Obama” phones & other welfare benefits we pay for

“Obama” phones & other welfare benefits we pay for


CROMBLEHOLME 22NEWS. ITEAM OPEN JULIANA: DO YOU EVER LOOK AT YOUR PAYCHECK AND WONDER WHERE ALL THOSE TAXES GO? 22NEWS I-TEAM REPORTER RYAN WALSH REVEALS HOW MUCH OF OUR TAX DOLLARS PAY FOR WELFARE PROGRAMS. RYAN: THE 22NEWS I-TEAM DISCOVERED WHAT WELFARE BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE AND WE CRUNCHED THE NUMBERS. WE ALSO FOUND OUT THE TRUTH ON THOSE SO-CALLED OBAMA PHONES. CASH, FOOD, HEAT THOSE ARE JUST SOME OF THE THINGS YOU CAN GET IF YOU’RE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OR WELFARE. IN MASSACHUSETTS, A WELFARE RECIPIENT CAN RECEIVE MORE THAN $42,000 A YEAR, THAT’S ACCORDING TO A 2013 CATO INSTITUTE STUDY. THOSE BENEFITS COME FROM A COMBINATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE PROGRAMS. LAST YEAR, $518 MILLION OF OUR STATE TAXES WAS SPENT ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. 6 OUT OF 7 PEOPLE IN MASSACHUSETTS DON’T GET A PENNY BACK FROM THESE PROGRAMS. JEFF MCCUE IS IN CHARGE OF THE STATE’S WELFARE PROGRAM. JEFF MCCUE: ” WE HAVE TO PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH BASIC CORE BENEFITS AND IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE ABLE TO PROMOTE ACCESS WHILE BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE AND CLEARLY FULFILL OUR EXPECTATIONS TO THE TAXPAYERS,” RYAN: FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS PAY FOR THE SNAP. $1.2 BILLION WENT TO MASSACHUSETTS LAST YEAR. THAT PROGRAM IS TRACKED AND RECIPIENTS CAN ONLY BUY CERTAIN ITEMS. WHAT ABOUT THOSE SO-CALLED OBAMA PHONES YOU SEE GETTING HANDED OUT, OUTSIDE WELFARE OFFICES. (WHEN HEAR OBAMA PHONES WHAT DO YOU THINK OF?) SAMUEL CARDONA: “I THINK THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THE LESS FORTUNATE, AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A WAY OF COMMUNICATION,” RYAN: THE I-TEAM WENT INTO THE WELFARE OFFICE IN SPRINGFIELD. TO FIND OUT HOW TO GET ONE OF THOSE SO-CALLED OBAMA PHONES AND THEY TOLD US THE STATE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. JUST STAND OUTSIDE AND WAIT. THOSE WORKERS OVER THERE, THEY’RE TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO SIGN UP FOR THOSE PHONES. THE THING IS, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OBAMA, AND WE DO PAY FOR IT, THROUGH OUR OWN PHONE BILLS. YOU’LL SEE A UNIVERSAL SERVICE FEE ON YOUR BILL. THAT GOES TO THE FCC WHO DISTRIBUTES THAT MONEY TO PHONE COMPANIES. EACH COMPANY GETS $9.25 EVERY MONTH FOR EACH CUSTOMER THEY SIGN UP. THE I-TEAM OBTAINED A DOCUMENT FROM THE FCC SHOWING THAT THE PROGRAM, CALLED LIFELINE, WAS LITTERED WITH WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE. WIRELESS RETAILERS WERE EXPLOITING A LOOPHOLE. SAYING THEY SIGNED UP MORE PEOPLE THAN THEY DID. “PHANTOM SUBSCRIBERS” ONE COMPANY EXPLOITED THIS LOOPHOLE MORE THAN 446,000 TIMES. AT NEARLY 10 BUCKS A MONTH, THAT’S $4 MILLION OF FEDERAL MONEY FOR ONE COMPANY. OUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS DO PAY FOR A VARIETY OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, EACH PROGRAM HAS VASTLY DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS TO QUALIFY, BUT TO QUALIFY FOR SNAP. HERE’S AN EXAMPLE, A WORKING SINGLE MOTHER WITH A CHILD, CAN’T MAKE MORE THAN $21,,000 ($20,832) A YEAR OR ABOUT $20,000 LESS THAN WHAT A WELFARE RECIPIENT COULD GET IF THEY CASHED IN ON ALL AVAILABLE PROGRAMS WITHOUT WORKING. BACK TO THAT STUDY, THAT SAID WELFARE RECIPIENTS COULD GET $42,000 IN BENEFITS. MASSACHUSETTS WAS THE 2ND HIGHEST STATE IN THE COUNTRY, ONLY BEHIND HAWAII. TO SEE THE OTHER WELFARE BENEFITS THAT ARE AVAILABLE FROM HEATING SYSTEM REPAIRS TO FURNITURE GO TO WWLP.COM. I’M RYAN WALSH WORKING FOR YOU WITH THE 22NEWS

3 thoughts on ““Obama” phones & other welfare benefits we pay for

  1. Canada – Its a Reagan phone. But then your intention was to tie welfare benefits in Massachusetts to black Americans. So Obama phone works. But the face of poverty in Massachusetts is overwhelmingly white. A minor detail. Now why didn't Canadians think of that – blame poverty on the French, no more transfer payments !(because it would divide the country and destroy it !) Oops.

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