There’s a new study out that says having tax dollars go towards free cell phones for the poor actually creates money for the economy. They’ve been dubbed “Obama Phones” in the press even though the program, Lifeline Assistance, has been around for many years. The theory behind the program is that people who cannot afford to have a phone miss out on work opportunities. The study, conducted by the New Millenium Research Council, found that the new expanded measures for the program could actually delivery $4 billion to the economy.
The study is based on survey data from 5,541 TracFone SafeLink Wireless customers in 22 states. The repost found that subsidized cell phone usage generates on average $259 per participant, per year. They go on to say that if all 28.5 million eligible adults took advantage of the program, it could have $3.7 billion income for the poor. It works out quite well for both sides says the report, “By this measure, the program is already paying for itself.” And about half of the users reported that the cell phones, “improved their financial situation by helping them find or keep work.”