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NEWS and OPINIONS by BILL STANLEY

Lifeline Phone / Internet Service Rips Off Taxpayers

(9 July 2017) The FCC's Lifeline program, administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), helps low-income, fake and dead people pay for phone and Internet service. Lifeline paid $1.5 billion in subsidies last year to more than 12 million households. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed 3.5 million Lifeline accounts during its 3-year audit and was unable to confirm eligibility for 1.2 million. Investigators also found that thousands of active Lifeline accounts belong to non-existent or dead people and that the FCC has provided little to no substantive review of the program during its 30 years of existence. Undercover investigators applied to work for a company that contracts with Lifeline providers to verify applicants’ eligibility. The company hired them without background checks or interviews and then paid them as they enrolled fake applicants in the program using fabricated eligibility documentation. USAC is supposed to audit telecom providers to make sure they’re paying their share of contributions into a fund for the Lifeline program. In its audit, the GAO reported that the corporation never audited more than 0.5% of the providers. (Sources: Government Accountability Office, 5 July 2017 Sacramento Bee)

E-85 Is 15.1% More Expensive Than Gasoline To Drive The Same Distance

(9 July 2017) In April 2017, the average price of gas (up to 10% ethanol) sold was $2.38. The price of E-85 (average 70% ethanol) was $2.74, adjusted to reflect the lower energy content. (Source: energy.gov)

2 Largest Soda Sales Decreases ... Regular Or Diet?

(6 July 2017) In 2016, Diet Pepsi sales decreased 9.2% and Diet Coke decreased 4.3%. (Sources: Beverage Digest, 19 Apr 2017 Fortune)

Medicaid Generated No Significant Improvements In Physical Health

(1 July 2017) In 2008, Oregon experimented with expanding Medicaid to low-income adults to assess the effects on health outcomes over 2 years. Data was obtained from 6,387 adults who were randomly selected for Medicaid coverage and 5,842 adults who were not selected. "Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years," (Source: 2 May 2013 New England Journal of Medicine)

Voter Fraud Does Not Exist ... Really?

(1 July 2017) An employee of Democrat Party affiliate Harrisonburg Votes plead guilty to fabricating 18 Virginia voter registration forms using names, addresses and ages at random from Democrat data. Virginia removed more than 5,500 noncitizens from voter lists, including 1,852 people who had cast more than 7,000 ballots. In 2012, 3.2 million to 5.6 million noncitizens were registered to vote in the U.S., and 1.2 million to 3.6 million of them voted. (Sources: May 2017 Public Interest Legal Foundation, Harvard / YouGov, Just Facts, 19 June 2017 Washington Times, 27 June Townhall)

74.5 Million On Medicaid ... $574 Billion Per Year

(30 June 2017) Medicaid enrollment has increased from 29 million in 1990 to 74.5 million in April 2017 ... an increase of more than 150% over a period when the population increased 30%. Medicaid covers 16.6 million more than Medicare. Medicaid costs $574 billion, 175% more than the $209 billion in 2000. In 1967, 95% of men 25 to 54 years old were working ... 85% now. Among all people 25 to 54 years old not working, 53% are on Medicaid. Among men 25 to 54 years old not in the military, 21% are on Medicaid. (Sources: Manhattan Institute City Journal, Census Bureau, 28 June 2017 Townhall)

Only 4 Of 23 Obama Care Health Insurance Co-ops Will Exist In 2018

(30 June 2017) Czar Obama claimed the 23 tax-funded non-profit health insurance co-ops created by Obama Care would successfully compete with for-profit commercial insurance companies and drive down health care costs. Minuteman Health was awarded $156.4 million in taxpayer-funded loans in 2012 and 2013, and is withdrawing from the Obama Care exchanges in 2018, leaving only 4 co-ops in operation. Very little, if any, of the $1.24 billion in federal start-up and solvency loans to the failed co-ops will be repaid. (Source: 28 June 2017 Washington Free Beacon)

Higher Minimum Wage ... Fewer Hours Worked / Less Monthly Pay Or Loss Of Job

(28 June 2017) In 2014, Seattle passed a minimum-wage law that increases gradually to $15 per hour in 2018. Starting in 2016, the minimum was $10.50 to $13, depending on business size, benefits and tips. The law has increased wages by 3%, but monthly pay decreased by $125 because of reductions in hours. The law also caused a loss of 5,000 jobs. (Sources: Univ. of Washington, 26 June 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research)

If You Love $15 Per Hour, You Will Love Fewer Employees

(22 June 2017) McDonald's announced it will have digital ordering kiosks in 2,500 U.S. restaurants by the end of this year. (Source: 20 June 2017 CNBC)

Illinois Has Lowest Credit Rating ... $130 Billion Unfunded Pension Obligations

(22 June 2017) Democrats have had the majority of seats in both the Illinois House and Senate starting in 2003. Moody's Investors Services downgraded the Illinois credit rating to the lowest of any state. The state currently has $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations. (Sources: Wikipedia, 20 June 2017 Fox News)

Another Chunk Of Obama Care Just Crumbled

(22 June 2017) Anthem, the second-largest health insurer, announced it plans to pull out of Obama Care individual plans sold through government exchanges in Indiana and Wisconsin next year. (Source: 21 June 2017 Fox News)

UN Health Spends More On Travel Than On AIDS, Hepatitis, TB And Malaria Combined

(19 June 2017) The UN's World Health Organization (WHO) spends $200 million a year on travel ... first-class airfare, private helicopter excursions, and stays at luxury hotels that cost more than $1,000 a night ... more than it spends fighting AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The U.S. provides 25% of WHO funding ... more than any other country. (Sources: Associated Press, 13 June 2017 Citizens Against Government Waste)

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents Don't Receive Food Stamps When Required To Work

(8 June 2017) Clinton's 1996 welfare reform bill included a provision for able-bodied adults without dependents receiving food stamp (SNAP) to get a job. Obama's 2009 stimulus bill allowed states to ignore the work provision, causing the number of able-bodied adults without dependents on food stamps to more than double … from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010. In 2013, Alabama waived the work requirement. The requirement was reinstated for 54 Alabama counties in 2016 and the 13 remaining counties in 2017. Food stamp participation among able-bodied adults without dependents fell by 85% in those 13 counties in the first 4 months of 2017. (Sources: 2012 Congressional Research Service, 6 June 2017, Independent Journal Review)

Obama Care Disaster Continues To Get Worse

(8 June 2017) This year, Anthem is the only insurer to sell Obama Care individual plans in all 88 Ohio counties. Next year, it will not sell any plans in Ohio through the government exchange, leaving 18 Ohio counties with no insurers selling Obama Care individual plans through the government exchange. (Source: 6 June 2017 CNBC)

Liberals Must Love Higher Premiums ... Do Not Want Obama Care Repealed

(24 May 2017) There are 39 states that use the Obama Care exchange for individual policies. From 2013 to 2017, the average monthly premiums increased from $224 to $476. The average at least doubled in 20 states and at least tripled in 3 states. (Sources: Dept. Of Health and Human Services, 23 May 2017 FOX News)

How To Bankrupt California

(24 May 2017) California’s current total annual general-fund budget is less than $200 billion. SB 562 would impose a single-payer health care system costing taxpayers $400 billion per year, including administrative costs. All medical care for every resident, including illegal aliens, would be covered with no premiums, co-payments or deductibles. The bill does not include any method to pay for the cost. (Source: 22 May 2017 LA Times)

Big Difference Between Obama And Trump

(21 May 2017) ICE has arrested more than 41,000 individuals who are either known or suspected of being in the country illegally. This reflects an increase of 37.6% over the same period in 2016. Nearly 75% of those arrested during this period in 2017 were convicted criminals. (Sources: Dept. of Homeland Security, 18 May 2017 FOX News)

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