Let’s All Feel a Little More Entitled

Last week, two videos indicating precisely what’s wrong with America surfaced on the Internet.

Both were shot at a campaign rally for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Bedford, Ohio, by an amateur filmmaker who then posted his footage on YouTube.

In the first, pro-Obama protesters – chanting slogans like “Romney go home!” and “We don’t need no bad economy!” – unabashedly reveal that they are being paid $11 an hour by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to picket outside the event. 

The second, more disconcerting video, features a woman explaining why she plans on voting for President Obama in November. 

When asked why she’s supporting the President, the woman eloquently responds, “Everybody in Cleveland, low minority, got Obama phone. Keep Obama in president, you know? He gave us a phone!”

And Romney? “He sucks! Bad!”

This viral video prompted an investigation into the process of obtaining a free so-called “Obama phone” and caused many to doubt the existence of such a program.

As it turns out, there is, in fact, a program that distributes free cell phones to qualifying participants in our country. Funded by the Universal Service Fund (a collection of the monthly fees tacked onto cell phone bills), the Lifeline program was founded by President Reagan in 1984 and expanded under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush to include the subsidization of cell phones in addition to landlines.

Under President Obama, the number of people with Lifeline accounts has grown from 7.1 million in 2008 to 12.5 million today and the annual cost of the program has increased from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion today.

The President’s “Truth Team” moved quickly to distance itself from the program and the “Obama phone” woman, posting on Twitter: “FACT: Discounted phone services are provided through telecom companies, ‘the President has nothing to do with it,’” which makes the above video even more disturbing.

Its reflection of the sense of entitlement that is currently sweeping through America is noteworthy and alarming. This woman is voting for President Obama not because she supports his opinions on the economy, foreign policy, or social issues but because she wants more government-funded benefits, including the phone she believes Obama himself gave her.

Forget about the astronomical amount of debt our country is currently holding and the millions of Americans out of work, as long as this woman has her free cell phone, in her mind everything is fine.

Someone should let her know that there’s still no such thing as a free lunch…or phone. 

Caroline Sohr