The Lifeline program originated in 1984, during the administration of Ronald Reagan; it was expanded in 1996, during the administration of Bill Clinton; and its first cellular provider service (SafeLink Wireless) was launched by TracFone in 2008, during the administration of George W. Bush. All of these events happened prior to election of Barack Obama.
I know someone who currently has the “Lifeline” credit ($) applied to highspeed Internet services. Now you may think that highspeed Internet ought not to qualify as a “Lifeline.” But you’d not be thinking deeply enough if so. You see, the fees collected from The Program by the highspeed Internet Service Provider is a lifeline for the ISP. The Lifeline Program is a form of welfare for corporations.
Supply and demand are not the only factors determining prices of products and services. The “hunger” or “needs” of the corporation is also a major factor involved. And when corporations can receive welfare, such as the fees from programs like Lifeline, they are not as required to gain a competitive edge while striving to satisfy the hunger or need. Of course, another way of saying this is the Lifeline Program would increase demand for services, which in turn would satisfy the “need” for profit of the corporation.
Colonial legislatures and later State governments adopted legislation patterned after the English “poor” laws. So, in a sense, welfare legislation has been active in the US almost since the beginning. A People who is in need are more prone to protest and rebellion than A People not desperate for life’s bare necessities. This fact has been known for a long time and steps are taken accordingly. However, the purveyors of capitalism supported by social welfare programs have learned to prey upon this cultural requirement.
Now when I first noticed USF charges on my phone bill some years ago, I was told that the fee was to provide indigent individuals with emergency phone service. Okay, that was a good idea. But the USF (Lifeline) has move from providing emergency access for indigent folk to providing welfare to corporations for highspeed Internet service. Therefore, if you wonder why no competition seems to exist for Internet Service in your area, then chances are the ISPs in your area are on welfare.
And when you go the the grocery store and shop for some milk, or eggs, or cheese, or et cetera, and you notice the prices seem to have increased far faster then what one would expect, then chances are the WIC Program or some other form of corporate welfare has reduced supply and increased demand, thereby increasing profits for the welfare recipient (grocery store). Even mom and pop corner stores have little to no choice but to obtain their inventory from any other than a corporate supplier (indirectly a welfare recipient).
On last short speculation on Socialized Health Care:
Regardless of whether it is the Clinton health care plan of 1993 or the “Obamacare” (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)) effective March 23, 2010, I suspect the influence of corporate lobbyists will eventually cause the programs to become little more than another form of corporate welfare, comparable to those forms just mentioned.