(Fox News) A viral video of an Obama supporter touting her “Obama phone” has put the spotlight on an obscure federal program that provides discounted phone service to qualifying low-income Americans.
“Keep Obama as president,” the animated woman says on the video. “He gave us a phone.”
The video is drawing attention to the government program — Lifeline — as a national debate unfolds on entitlements and the growing percentage of Americans who pay no income taxes and get a long menu of government benefits. But even though some beneficiaries may credit President Obama for providing the phones, Lifeline is an extension of a program that has existed since 1985. Still, critics including Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., note the program has swelled from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion.