Besides the $1 billion price tag, which is likely to increase as more states implement the service, not to mention the concern for growing entitlement created by this program, cell phone recipients are loosely monitored. According to Heritage welfare expert Robert Rector, this means that if an individual's income increases to where he or she is no longer eligible for the service, there is no one to make sure he or she stops receiving it.
Jose A. Fuentes, director of Government Relations for TracFone–one of the providers of the free phone service–says that the phones are not meant "for heavy usage." Instead, they are meant "for quick phone calls, as well as a way for people to reach you in case of…emergency or for calls from a potential employer," not meant to replace a landline. This idea indicates that not only should government subsidize phone service, but that as SafeLink, one of the providers of the cell phones, states, "cell phone ownership is a right."
This is just another example of the ever-expanding welfare state and the increasing entitlement mentality. At the very least, policymakers should require greater monitoring of the program to prevent misuse. Furthermore, if the purpose of the cell phones is truly to give lower-income people more access to potential employers, participants should be required to account for their job search activities. A welfare program that does not require personal responsibility will only encourage dependency and diminish human dignity.
Where will it end?
The only thing we know is when it will end: when Democrats are booted out of power. And not a moment sooner.