The “free” phones immortalized by the “Obama Phone Lady” are now being advertised on television. Yes, people are being encouraged to sign up for these taxpayer-supported phones.

The man who is signing up for a free phone, a rugged guy who looks like he might be able to find remunerative work, talks about the United States as a land of liberty, which sounds a lot more elevated than saying it is a nation of freebies.

I can imagine it is dreadfully inconvenient to live without a phone, but should the taxpayers be forced to make up for this lack in somebody’s life?

The program advertised on TV is called Safelink. That name makes it sound as if the program is designed to cover emergencies, right?

Safelike offers a free cell phone and up to 250 minutes of free cell phone minutes a month. That is a little more than four hours of emergency calling every month!

But don’t worry if you can’t get all your emergencies covered in four hours:

If the 250 FREE minutes that you get every month are not enough, Safelink Wireless has you covered. It is possible to add minutes to your plan at your own expense. These are above and beyond the free minutes that you get every month.

And wow! You’ll even be able to text free of charge:  

If you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, you can receive a Free phone, 250 FREE minutes and 250 FREE text messages each month.

There appear to be quite a few phone companies involved in the program and whaddya bet they’re doing quite well with the program, too. So, really, the only people to be adversely affected by this deal are taxpayers. Who cares about those suckers anyway?

I notice that Virgin Mobile, my own provider, is one of the companies offering “free,” government subsidized phones. I have a $29.95 Kyocera phone (I upgraded after the $14.95 model gave out after years of faithful service). I pay $20 a month, plus 20 cents for each minute used. No texting.  

If taxpayers are subsidizing phone service, I only hope they are paying for something as basic as what I have. But I doubt it. I notice that Motorola and Nokia models are among those available.

A company called Budget Mobile was formed to take advantage of the government program. Good thing about using Budget Mobile is that you don’t even have to take good care of your free phone:

And if your free Budget Mobile cell phone is ever damaged, you are not going to have to worry about replacing it with your own money. You can simply return it and get another new free cell phone. It’s as easy as that. And in today’s day and age a cell phone is almost a necessity.

And the taxpayer is always here to provide “almost” necessities!

Somebody sent me a piece on government freebies headlined “I Wish I Had Known I Was Poor.” It’s on a website about which I have extreme reservations, but since it is by my old friend Fred Reed and so brilliantly dovetails with my free phone rant, I am going to recommend it.

Fred captures the morally-corrosive nature of government freebies.