More Money Being Taken From Those Who Earned It And Given To Those Who Did Not

NBC News is reporting today the the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to expand a telephone subsidy for low-income Americans to include Internet access. Originally Republicans had reached a deal with one of the Democratic members of the Commission to cap the cost of the program, but evidently she changed her vote due to pressure from other Democrats.

The article reports:

Republicans have pushed for a budget cap for the $1.5 billion annual program, called Lifeline, which has helped lower-income Americans get access to telecommunications technologies since 1985. There is currently no cap.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican, said Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn had signed onto a deal with Republicans earlier in the day after intensive negotiations, only to change her decision.

Pai’s aide, Matthew Berry, said Wheeler had “bullied” fellow Democrat Clyburn into withdrawing from a “moderate, bipartisan deal” that would also have set a minimum standard on broadband speeds.

I do not have a problem with providing cell phones to low-income people (within reason), although that is not the government’s job. We need to remember that the government has no money of its own–the only money the government has it takes from working Americans. If low-income people do not have land lines, they need cell phones for emergencies. However, I need someone to explain to me exactly when internet access became a right. Most Americans pay for internet access, and for many, that payment represents a significant part of their budget. Why are some Americans not only forced to pay for their own internet but also forced to subsidize someone else’s internet? It is also telling that the Democrats on the FCC were unwilling to put a budget cap on the program. That is the kind of thinking that creates the massive federal debt that has become part of America.

Does Anyone Else Think This Is Upside Down?

My Way News posted an article today about the hacking into the cheating website Ashley Madison. The list of clients includes some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress, and law enforcement agencies who used Internet connections in their federal offices to access and pay membership fees to the website. The obvious concern is that the information could be used to blackmail people in sensitive positions.

The article reports:

The AP traced many of the accounts exposed by hackers back to federal workers. They included at least two assistant U.S. attorneys; an information technology administrator in the Executive Office of the President; a division chief, an investigator and a trial attorney in the Justice Department; a government hacker at the Homeland Security Department and another DHS employee who indicated he worked on a U.S. counterterrorism response team.

…The AP is not naming the government subscribers it found because they are not elected officials or accused of a crime.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed the Pentagon was looking into the list of people who used military email addresses. Adultery can be a criminal offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

So let me get this straight–a high level security officer probably won’t face any consequences for his stupidity, but an army private who was using the site will be investigated. Ask yourself, which is the greater risk to the country? Either go after everyone or leave everyone alone. Remember when President Clinton was doing whatever in the White House, we were told that it was a private matter. He was, at the time, Commander in Chief. The same rules that apply to the Chief should apply to the Indians.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Below are some of the provisions in the current farm bill being debated on by the House and the Senate. Are these really things we need to do when we are currently more than $17 trillion in debt?

Some highlights:

…provide for “Economic Adjustment Assistance” that would pay domestic manufacturers of cotton products $66 for each ton they use of “upland cotton”—the most common type of the fiber grown in the United States

…grants have included $1,055,996 to the Unison Resource Company, San Francisco Carbon collaborative, and EcoAnalytics to prevent global warming by reducing intestinal methane emissions from cattle

…transforming goat manure into “biochar” (a.k.a. charcoal) to mitigate global warming. Said biochar is buried to eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise occur from the natural degradation of goat manure

…a tax of 15 cents per (Christmas) tree on sellers to support a marketing program for enhancing the image of the industry

…$100 million and the House $225 million for the “Rural Energy for America” program. Recipients have included the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona, which was awarded $45,263 to install a solar energy system. The center is dedicated to “whole-person enlightenment” under the direction of an ordained rabbi, “acknowledged” yogi, and four-year Native American Sundancer. (Just FYI: The body-cleansing regimen starts at $3,159.)

…subsidies for “Access to Broadband Telecommunications Services in Rural Areas.” The Senate would double the current spending—to $250 million—and include subsidies for “ultra-high speed broadband.” The House proposes to maintain spending at $125 million

Just as some of the smart phone commercials used to say, “There’s an app for that,” Americans can say in almost any case, “There’s a government program for that.” I don’t think that is a good thing.


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