First of all, the name of so-called "Obamaphones" is extremely misleading, and downright slanderous. The fact is, this program has nothing to do with President Obama; it is not funded or even supported in any way by the federal government. Rather, it is a private initiative. Furthermore, it is not new; these programs have existed for more than a decade. All that said, if cell phone users want Internet access and the program heads feel inclined to provide it, then sure, why not.
It would make it easier for people who would like to at least look online for jobs to do so. I really do think that we need to focus more on helping people become more independent, and it seems the government is more focused on keeping them dependent on them.
If you want a cell phone, pay for it. Don't ask me to do it for you. I am over 40 and I did not have a cell phone until 2005. I know many people today who still do not have or want cell phones. Speaking from personal experience If you are truly poor a hot meal and a place to sleep would be among the necessities you whish for and need.
These handouts are not getting people back on their feet. More and more handouts are allowing people to become accustomed and comfortable living off others that are trying to make something of their lives.
Obamabama phones are really part of The Lifeline program originated in 1984. Nothing to do with Obama, however the program has greatly increased in size since he began his terms.
More should be done to get these folks off of government handouts and back to a position where they are capable of standing on their own two feet without being a burden on society and the average taxpayer.
And please do not come at me with garbage about how the phones are not paid for through the federal government or the common tax-payer. That is a load of bovine scatology.
The Lifeline program is not "directly" subsidized by taxpayer monies. It is paid for out of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) through a fee assessed against telecommunications service providers, who may or may not pass those costs along to their customers. I know that I have to pay this fee every month on my bill and do not know a service provider that does not charge this fee. Service providers are not allowed however to charge this fee to the receivers of the program. This in turn means that every self sufficient person paying into a communications bill is directly paying for every non-self sufficient person's phone on this program. They just have to pay their provider that in turn pays the government that in turn pays for the program. The money still initiates from the average american that pays his or her cell phone or other communications bill.
Unless someone can convince me that having internet access on your phone is a necessity, and not just a luxury, I would say no. While it is nice to have, someone who needs a free phone from the government in the first place certainly doesn't need cheaper-rate internet access on it 'just because other people do'.
No, "Obamaphones" should not include discounted Internet service to people. The federal program is funded by taxes that are allocated by the government and adding more services will end up costing taxpayers more money. Internet is a luxury and not a necessity that should be funded by any government agency.