back to article Trump's new telecoms chief bins broadband subsidies for the poor

The Trump administration's propensity for bold and sudden action reached the United States Federal Communications Commission on Friday, as commissioner Mignon Clyburn and the Commission's chair Ajit Pai clashed over an end-of-week “news dump” that has profound policy implications. The FCC dropped a dozen announcements on …

  1. Oh Homer
    Mushroom

    Prevent an informed electorate

    By limiting their access to information.

    Especially the poor, as poverty breeds socialism, and they're the very last people Donald Dump wants to have an informed opinion. Obviously.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Prevent an informed electorate

      Yep... can't have people have access to REAL facts...

      Only state-controlled mainstream-media 'alternative facts'...

      (Or lies as some people tend to call them...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prevent an informed electorate

        Only statebig business-controlled mainstream-media 'alternative facts'...

        TFIFY.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Prevent an informed electorate

          You can get your lies from the NYT every sngle day.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @Destroy All Monsters -- Re: Prevent an informed electorate

            You can get your lies from the NYT every sngle day.

            Given that it's politics and any politician who's lips are moving is lying.. go right to the source... Think about the Bowling Green Massacre, "approval polls are wrong" among others. What I'm seeing is the ferocity of them defending themselves. Yeah... the MSM is full of shit but then, so is every politician on either side of the aisle.

          2. Radio Wales
            Mushroom

            Re: Prevent an informed electorate

            Surely not! Isn't NYT a Murdoch paper? Nothing but the truth there folks - Honestly - Would he lie to you?

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Prevent an informed electorate

      I seem to remember a TED talk which noted that increased education does not lead to more data-based reasoning. Apparently, educated people are better able to seek out information which confirms their already-held biases and to convince themselves of the biases of their peer-groups.

      1. Bad Beaver

        Re: Prevent an informed electorate

        That would explain a lot, P. Lee. Then again, my perception is likely biased. Please share a link to that talk should you find it, I would love to share it among my more educated friends.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Prevent an informed electorate

        Is there any trend then for people being likely or unlikely to control bias? Or is it simply inherent to the human condition?

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Prevent an informed electorate

      more like ELIMINATE EXISTING SOCIALIST PROGRAMS that RE-DISTRIBUTE HARD-EARNED WEALTH from the middle class to the TAKERS in society!

      There. I said it. And I'm *SICK* of having to pay *EXTRA* for my LAND-LINE because of "programs" like "lifeline". *I* never benefit from that. Why should ANYONE ELSE "deserve" it?

      1. James 51 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Prevent an informed electorate

        You forgot the joke icon.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prevent an informed electorate

        "There. I said it. And I'm *SICK* of having to pay *EXTRA* for my LAND-LINE because of "programs" like "lifeline". *I* never benefit from that. Why should ANYONE ELSE "deserve" it?"

        Because if you depend on food that comes from rural farms, which are the most likely to be the beneficiaries of these kinds of things, then you might want to reconsider since the Internet helps farmers to optimize crop yields, or would you rather be paying more at the market for the fresh goods you need everyday?

        The thing you have to remember is that we live in a SOCIETY. And in a society, people are connected to each other even if we don't realize it. Choice made even in solitude can have effects that ripple through other people.

  2. Keef

    Idiots elected an idiot.

    But it gets worse, he's both an idiot and a bully.

    You've fucked your country because you elected a narrow minded incompetent racist idiot bully.

    Go USA!!!!!!!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Idiots elected an idiot.

      > Idiots elected an idiot.

      > Go USA!!!!!!!

      Are you affiliated with antifa? The level of foul-moutheness and general inability at coherence would say yes.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Idiots elected an idiot.

        The message was clear as day. Which part did you not understand?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots elected an idiot.

      Trump isn't an idiot, but he is a bully. But the USA has been acting the bully with regards to it's foreign policy and it's belief that its jurisdiction extends everywhere for decades, so I guess there's no real change there.

      1. Chris Parsons

        Re: Idiots elected an idiot.

        Not an idiot? What makes you say that? He's not a successful businessman, if daddy hadn't been rich, he certainly wouldn't have been. He has the attention span of a goldfish. Nope, he's an idiot.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    FAIL

    "Sweet" Pai already starting to earn that non exec VP post.

    "Regulation"

    He's heard of it.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "Sweet" Pai already starting to earn that non exec VP post.

      Yeah, it seems pointless having commissioners at all if the new chairmen, who lost a previous vote on that very topic while a commissioner but as chairman can just steamroller it through.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    That's not nice!

    But I don't really care. Iran is far more a danger to sudden trumpificative excesses.

    These providers include a minority-owned business

    Probably owned by white, non-muslim, non-gay, non-transgender males?

    1. MrDamage

      Re: That's not nice!

      And that's like arguing that compared to swallowing cyanide, smoking crack is positively good for you.

      Doesn't matter if someone is a bigger douche than Trump, a douche is still a douche.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: That's not nice!

        Yes it does matter. Because if there's someone worse than Trump, then the preference would be to stick to the evil you know. Transmetropolitan springs to mind. No one realized there was someone worse than the Beast until the Smiler came along. This seems to echo that situation pretty well: people voting against the known evil and now we have a worse evil.

        IOW, there's a douche, and then there's an enema.

    2. Radio Wales
      Trollface

      Re: That's not nice!

      >> Probably owned by white, non-muslim, non-gay, non-transgender males?

      With red necks?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is an exercise

    in how America really works....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The dead hand of Obama lives on...

    Here we have a classic Democrat freebie courtesy of the US taxpayers. This time tho it's also one of Obama's many parting gifts to Trump, and they are all designed to keep on giving. To the media I mean. Yes, I'm talking to you, Chirgwin.

    Each of these last second EO's and giveaways was created in the knowledge that they would probably be rescinded by Trump, and each such reversal would then be painted by the media as terribly mean spirited of Trump. Think 'ammunition stockpile.'

    I can imagine the media meeting with Obama after the election:

    "Mr. President, it sure would be useful if you could come up with a few giveaways to the poor that Trump will probably oppose as President. Then we can rip him a new one every time he "takes away" something from the poor. Whadda ya say, Barack?"

    "I say, how many do you need?"

    1. MrDamage

      Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

      Funny thing is, a lot of right wingers like yourself harp on about wanting a healthy society, and strong community, but you can't have either without a little bit of socialism, and communism.

      Hell, even the bloke the most ardent of you claim to worship taught socialism, or do you think he somehow spun a profit from the feeding of the masses? Didn't John the Baptist also teach "Let he who hath two shirts give one to he who hath none?"

      You treat the bible like a EULA, you just scroll to the bottom and click "I Agree", without actually reading it.

      I wouldn't have a problem with Republitards, or Christians (not to mention Demotwats and Greenies), is you all weren't a bunch of fucking hypocrites.

      1. SundogUK

        Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

        "but you can't have either without a little bit of socialism, and communism."

        You have no idea what 'socialism' or 'communism' mean, do you?

        1. MrDamage

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          > "You have no idea what 'socialism' or 'communism' mean, do you?"

          I know what the classic meaning of the terms are, before they were bastardised into the boogey terms they are today.

          But in this instance, they mean we get to see the spittle start to foam up in the corners of mouths of certain commentards, well as pushing that vein in their forehead close to bursting point.

          They're easier to trigger than vegan, genderfluid bronykins on tumblr.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

        "you can't have either without a little bit of socialism, and communism."

        *WRONG*

        "A rising tide lifts all boats" - Ronald Reagan

        In other words, you do not LIFT UP the poor by TAKING AWAY from EVERYONE ELSE and *GIVING* them something they did *NOT* *EARN*. You LIFT UP the poor by LIFTING UP EVERYONE SIMULTANEOUSLY!

        All socialism and communism can do is *TAKE* *THINGS* *AWAY*, and after excising a small percentage for those "oh, so, wonderful" BUREAUCRATS in the middle, "give away" with SUCH "compassion" and "caring" to those who SHOULD! BE! EARNING! THEIR! OWN! MONEY! TO! BUY! THINGS! but for some reason are *ADDICTED* to the *PUBLIC* *TEET* from the soon-to-be-delapidated-SOW of PUBLIC PORK PROGRAMS!

        There. I said it. because not ALL of us can become GREECE and EXTRACT WEALTH from every OTHER member of the EU, like they DESERVE it or something, because of BAD SOCIALIST POLICY. *SOME* of us are *STUCK* *PAYING* *FOR* *ALL* *OF* *THAT*!!!

        (actually, that would be MOST, because all socialism can do is DRAG EVERYONE DOWN to benefit a VERY SMALL MINORITY OF PEOPLE who are generally ADDICTED to WELFARE and won't lift THEMSELVES up!)

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          I think you are confusing socialism with corporatism.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          Bob, I wish a rising tide would destroy your shift key.

          But no, we've had several decades of trickle-down economics and I think the empirical evidence is in. Without some societal encouragement money does not flow like water, but gathers in increasingly big blobs like mercury.

          Just like Christians should really read the Bible, rather than just taking what suits them, free market economists should really read Adam Smith. I've had an actual member of the Adam Smith institute accuse me of quoting Marx when I quoted him Adam Smith --- and he wasn't even embarrassed when I pointed out his mistake.

        3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          "A rising tide lifts all boats" - Ronald Reagan

          I do not know where to start here as some people really need their meds, but I will try:

          1. First of all, I love that you quote all good Ronnie The Raygun. The reason USA is such deep sh*t is that he f*** up the tax and borrowing policy to bring the tide and the demise of "communism". From there on nobody could balance the budget because of the lack of tax receipts combined with superweapon mania needs.

          2. I agree with you on LIFTing everyone simultaneously. The best way to do it is to provide the means for everyone to be lifted up. MEAN No 1. Free Education to a level sufficient to start coming out of the swamp (whatever it is today). MEAN No 2. Free Healthcare. These are "enablers" so that everyone can fulfill their potential. They are not handouts and give-aways. They are not PUBLIC PORK programs either. The weapons budget is PUBLIC pork, it serves no other means at the moment. Education and Healthcare are not - they are LIFTers. The other LIFT-er is equal taxation policy. Earning enough money to employ an accountant should not provide you with any tax benefits. Otherwise, you do not lift anyone, but the ones who can afford to cheat the system. If I can read your argument correctly (a bit difficult with all the foam flying out of your mouth), you are advocating neither.

          3. Greece. Greece economy was as f*cked fraud during a fascist regime (the Black Colonel Hunta) as when it became part of the Eu. In fact, the f*cked fraud started there and at that point it was extracting wealth from UK and then USA (you can pull the post-war 1940-es, 50-es and 60-es budgets out of a library to have a look how much it was sucking from us). What followed later was a logical conclusion when it was allowed to join the Eu without any of the strings which were attached to the Romanian and Bulgarian membership. It just continued sucking what it started sucking from us on the day Churchill reinstated fascist rule there in 1944.

          Disclaimer - I have lived on both sides of the Iron curtain and I generally travel a lot so I have seen both sides, their downsides and upsides. Based on that I can say for sure - in the USA, once you are down and out that is it. There is no going up. It is exactly as in http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/alicecooper/lostinamerica.html

          Also, you need to learn a bit about "Socialism" and "Communism" (quotes needed) in the fav Ronnie The Ray Gun scarecrow form. There was little or nothing socialist or communist about what was to the East of the wall. It was a theocracy with the party assigned the role of the Almighty. Just the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost were replaced by Marx, Lenin and Engels. The only way to accommodate anything starting from the 3rd volume of Das Capital (do not even get me started on Lenin's syphilitic drivel) was to follow literally the posters which were saying guess what:"We believe in the bright communist future". We believe. Period. This is also why they were so vicious on religion by the way - theocracies do not tolerate competition.

          So coming back to socialism, most idiots fuming at the mouth about it have not lived in a socialist country. I suggest they go and live for a few years in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria or even modern Eastern Europe. They are closer to the definitions of socialism from the early works of the "Father" and "The Holy Ghost" as well as the early-20th century Social Democrats than any of the East-of-Iron curtain theocracies. In fact, they are about 90% there today. Most of them do not have the TIT of WELFARE scarecrow problem either - that problem exists when you are "once on Welfare, forever on Welfare" - as in USA and UK and exist exactly because it's just Welfare, there is not enough money spent on LIFTers and Equalizers (education, etc). There you may end up on welfare and be back in the society in a few months time (or a couple of years if you decide to take an education). In USA - not an effing chance in hell. Exactly because of fuming at the mouth idiots who are incapable of understanding that education, healthcare, etc are not pork, not welfare tit - they are a social mobility enabler.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

            "Free education" and "Free healthcare" (described as 'means' to allegedly 'lift everyone up') are NEVER *FREE* because *SOMEONE* has to pay the teacher's salary, the doctor's salary, the cost of maintaining the buildings and keeping the lights on, yotta yotta yotta...

            And WHERE does that money come from? Right. You just TAX "the rich" (which means "the middle class", actually). Or let's just say it straight: TAX the PRODUCERS in society, and GIVE to the MOOCHERS and LOOTERS.

            Wouldn't it be BETTER of people just EARN enough to PAY for things, the way it's ALWAYS been up to the point that SOCIALISM was thought up? Otherwise, WHERE is the motivation to EARN?

            "I'll just get whatever for free, so now I'll sit on my ass most of the time and spend the REST of my hours standing in bread lines"

            (that's a short description of COMMUNIST SOVIET RUSSIA - both sides of the iron curtain, you should've SEEN that happen, right?)

            Obviously those NOT STUDYING HISTORY have FAILED to LEARN from it!

            (and revisionism that denigrates "trickle down" aka SUPPLY SIDE economics, via FAKE NEWS and FAKE "FACTS" is just, plain, stupid)

            1. DJO Silver badge

              Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

              Free education" and "Free healthcare" (described as 'means' to allegedly 'lift everyone up') are NEVER *FREE* because *SOMEONE* has to pay

              Now I'll put this in short words you might be able to understand:

              Well educated people tend to have better jobs than poorly educated people, better jobs tend to pay more than crap jobs, better paid jobholders pay more tax and make a greater contribution to society.

              Sick people are a drain, healthy people a benefit, poor or non-existent healthcare increases the number of non-productive people.

              The conclusion from this is that money spent on both education and healthcare benefit society in both the short and long terms. Cutting budgets or restricting access to education or healthcare are 100% counter-productive and only cause damage to the parts of society least able to help themselves.

            2. LDS Silver badge

              Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

              The issue is USA once had rich people like Andrew Carnegie, not it got Trump... you can't blame a student if he or she wants to study but his/her parents are poor, even if they are poor because they are lazy idiots - and not all of them are. When you lose your job because some top exec has kept increasing his pay endlessly in the past fifty years, and the decides to embellish the balance sheet before selling his stock options after years of bad management, by firing thousand of people, who is the culprit?

              If you don't give poor people any chance to get a decent job and then pay for themselves (including taxes), you're just dooming them to perpetual slavery - and then you will start to pay them subsidies to keep them quiet and avoid revolts.... what is better than? Free education and healthcare, or subsidies to keep the "proles" calm?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                "If you don't give poor people any chance to get a decent job and then pay for themselves (including taxes), you're just dooming them to perpetual slavery - and then you will start to pay them subsidies to keep them quiet and avoid revolts.... what is better than? Free education and healthcare, or subsidies to keep the "proles" calm?"

                The hardcore would propose the third option: let them starve, and if they rise up, nuke 'em. After all, who needs all the excess baggage? Close the walled garden!

                PS. Not my personal sentiment.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                "The issue is USA once had rich people like Andrew Carnegie"

                Ah yes, one of the robber barons who stamped on everyone and everything in sight. Eventually, he started doing good with his ill gotten gains to buy his way into heaven.

                1. Mark 85 Silver badge

                  Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                  That sounds like some others I can think of including at least one in tech.....

                2. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                  I prefer someone who understands his mistakes, and changes, than someone who stubbornly keeps on making them, and never change.

                  By the way, Carnegie didn't fund religious schools, AFAIK. Many thinks the easiest way to buy heaven is to give money to some church. He didn't do that. Was he perfect and should be made a saint? Of course not. But if you prefer those who just waste money for their own silly pleasures until they die - and to buy heaven force religion into government policies....

            3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

              Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

              And WHERE does that money come from? Right. You just TAX "the rich" (which means "the middle class", actually)

              And rightfully so. To put things into perspective, there has been only a couple of periods (usually only a few months each) in my life since the age of 14 when I earned less than 5 times the national average. In different countries too. So let me spell it for you - I would LIKE to be taxed if the TAX will result in SOCIAL STABILITY. I am middle class and as a member of the middle class I pay my taxes (I wish the upper classes paid them too).

              If you put a lid on a fraction of the society and lock them up in perennial "no-future" and let them stew without _ANY_ safety valve it will BLOW UP. It may not be in my face, it may be in my kid's face. Or their grandkids. I do not want them to hang off the lampposts.

              The only way for this to happen is to _ACCEPT_ some socialism values - namely providing a safety net for the members of society which fall through into Down Below and provide them with assistance to be able to climb out of it. The key is "climb out". AKA: "I do not want to survive, I want to live!". This funnily enough is equal to a choice of free education or free education. The tax they will pay after they have climbed out will very happily pay for it. We should consider it an investment (ditto as someone pointed out - the free healthcare).

              1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                As someone once said, "I like paying taxes, with them I buy civilization."

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                  "As someone once said, "I like paying taxes, with them I buy civilization.""

                  To which another would reply, "Civilization is overrated. Why doesn't any other animal on the planet do it?"

                  1. James 51 Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                    Name another animal that dominates the planet the way humans do. Civilisation is the tool which has allowed us to do that.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                      I pointed out how Obama weaponized his EOs during the transition to paint Trump as the bad guy, and the only responses totally ducked that charge and tried to defend Obama by basically saying free handouts are good things so shut up.

                      Sorry, but my point remains unopposed: That subheadline was a gratuitous smear by Chirgwin, enabled by a righteous feeling of indignation over Trump's ending of one of the free giveaways Obama saddled Trump with. Or if Chirgwin didn't do it, his editor did, same thing to my mind.

                      And all according to Obama's plan. And now most of you wanna-be socialist chumps are behaving exactly as planned as well. It's really very depressing to watch. Well, at least it only works in venues that are overcrowded with true believers.

                      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

                        Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                        "I pointed out how Obama weaponized his EOs during the transition to paint Trump as the bad guy, and the only responses totally ducked that charge and tried to defend Obama by basically saying free handouts are good things so shut up."

                        From the article: "In opening Lifeline for Internet services, Wheeler was putting into force a decision voted on in March 2016. The two commissioners that voted against Lifeline then were Pai and O'Reilly."

                        So-o-o-o-o-o... This was a "weaponized" transition-period executive order... exactly how?

                      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

                        Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                        I pointed out how Obama weaponized his EOs during the transition to paint Trump as the bad guy,

                        You need more meds.

                        1. The program was originally established by Ray Gun

                        2. The program was expanded to cover the Internet by the FCC, that had nothing to do with Obama EOs.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                "The only way for this to happen is to _ACCEPT_ some socialism values - namely providing a safety net for the members of society which fall through into Down Below and provide them with assistance to be able to climb out of it. The key is "climb out". AKA: "I do not want to survive, I want to live!". This funnily enough is equal to a choice of free education or free education. The tax they will pay after they have climbed out will very happily pay for it. We should consider it an investment (ditto as someone pointed out - the free healthcare)."

                Until the one job opening pops up and it's you versus him. That's the big problem with socialism: it doesn't stack well against reality where the game is zero sum and there's always fewer opportunities than people. All socialism does at that point is overload the demand, which as an economist would tell you makes things harder on everyone by depressing the return on labor. It may be brutal, but sometimes you just have to consider if the lives are worth saving now only to make them suffer later at the chokepoints.

                1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

                  Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                  Until the one job opening pops up and it's you versus him.

                  First of all, you need to spend some time at the real bottom. The REALLY DEEP ONE. So you learn what differentiates a Human from a C*nt (as in "personality found in celebrities and politicians). You are definitely in the second category. Sure, there are people who survive by stamping into a bloody pulp with bones sticking out of it the hands of others trying to climb up onto their lifeboat. They usually end up in a gutter with a 9 inch blade between their shoulders and nobody testifying who did it. It is well deserved too.

                  Second, you are summing your zero sum over a very narrow time interval and you have the assumption that the resources do not move in/out and are constant. Both are incorrect. I have also done the zero sum and I have accounted in the "value" me or my kids hanging off the lamp-posts. I can of course account it differently, for example accounting for it the way Germans do. They subsidize the hell out of the tech education resulting in jobs STAYING locally and not going out. In your case, there will be a point where your job will simply leave. It may in fact be exactly that - that there will be _NOBODY_ to hire in your location if you are being run over by a bus or nobody to hire if more than one pair of hands is needed.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

                    "Sure, there are people who survive by stamping into a bloody pulp with bones sticking out of it the hands of others trying to climb up onto their lifeboat. They usually end up in a gutter with a 9 inch blade between their shoulders and nobody testifying who did it. It is well deserved too."

                    No, because these people are the ones who know how to command fear. Anyone who dares will likely be given an acid bath while everyone else is forced to watch. But not before his/her family is given the same. That's why sociopaths make the most dangerous people. They can play people like puppets. Funny thing is that the most ruthless people in the world usually don't get offed internally. They either had outside help (Hitler, Hussein) or are able to live out their reigns (Castro, the Kim dynasty to date).

                    Oh, and that nine-inch knife? Deflects off the knife-proof armor under my clothes.

                    "They subsidize the hell out of the tech education resulting in jobs STAYING locally and not going out."

                    And now Europe's all ruffled up because of refugees. That's the same problem from another angle. Australia has the problem, too, as does the US. How good is a bleeding heart when it bleeds OUT?

            4. Mike Moyle Silver badge

              Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

              "Wouldn't it be BETTER of people just EARN enough to PAY for things, the way it's ALWAYS been up to the point that SOCIALISM was thought up? Otherwise, WHERE is the motivation to EARN?"

              How far back do you want to go? Should all roads be made toll roads? Maybe have a coin slot and turnstile at the end of your property to pay the owner of your street before you get onto it?

              Are you willing to pay back the cost of your education, at full market rate, from nursery school on up, as well as that of your children, if any, so that you can be out from under any "socialist" obligations? Because I will guarantee you that your parents and you paid less in taxes for your education than it actually cost.

              Garbage collection...? There's "socialism" for you! Why should someone be paid at the public "teet" (sic) to empty trash cans in public when people should just carry their trash home and pay someone to haul it away to their private (unregulated) dump? And if I don't WANT to pay someone to haul my garbage away, then I shouldn't be FORCED to, because it's on MY PROPERTY, isn't it?

              Firefighters? Police? All the protection you can afford? Back in ancient Rome, unscrupulous real-estate speculators would rush to the site of a house fire with a gang of "firefighters" and offer to buy the burning property for a ruinously low sum, all while their bully-boys were keeping anyone else from extinguishing the blaze -- not uncommonly leading to pitched street battles between the staffs of rival speculators while their bosses were "negotiating". If the owner didn't sell, they would let the property burn to the ground. If he did sell, they would extinguish the blaze but the previous owner was still ruined financially. It wasn't until the Vigiles (serving predominantly as firefighters but acting as a police force, as well) were established by the State (*gasp* SOCIALISM!!) that this practice was stopped (or, at least, significantly reduced).

              ...Or is it just anything that's changed since your grandparents were born that must be kept in The Free Market (TM)?

            5. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on... @bombastic bob

              >>You just TAX "the rich" (which means "the middle class", actually).

              That's because the really rich evade paying any tax, you moron.

              You are fighting the wrong dudes!! Wake up from your indoctrination before it is too late. Even now Trump's crony is promoting his daughter's products on TV.

              http://news.sky.com/story/trump-adviser-kellyanne-conway-counselled-for-ivanka-fashion-plug-10761834

              There are not enough FAIL icons to express this correctly.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

            "A rising tide lifts all boats" - Ronald Reagan

            Oh? A LEAKY boat sinks.

        4. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          ""A rising tide lifts all boats" - Ronald Reagan"

          Quite right. I get all my economic ideas from ex-film stars.

          1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

            Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

            "'A rising tide lifts all boats' - Ronald Reagan"

            The problem is that -- as with many aphorisms -- many people who use them reflexively have them exactly backwards.

            In this case, supply-siders see it as meaning "If the rich get richer, wealth will trickle down and everyone will benefit."

            What it REALLY means is "If you help the mass to rise, even the ones NOT part of that mass will be lifted as well."

            There's a reason why no one ever said "A rising yacht pulls the tide behind it."

        5. InNY

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          Stop shouting at us. Please! You are beginning to look like an ignorant fool.

          On the question if subsidies, what are you thoughts on the subsidies granted to the NFL for the Super Bowl last night? Or those granted to the oil companies? Or the subsidies the coal extractors enjoy?

          I dare say a fair few fol would like to know.

        6. TVU Silver badge

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          "In other words, you do not LIFT UP the poor by TAKING AWAY from EVERYONE ELSE and *GIVING* them something they did *NOT* *EARN*. You LIFT UP the poor by LIFTING UP EVERYONE SIMULTANEOUSLY!

          All socialism and communism can do is *TAKE* *THINGS* *AWAY*, and after excising a small percentage for those "oh, so, wonderful" BUREAUCRATS in the middle, "give away" with SUCH "compassion" and "caring" to those who SHOULD! BE! EARNING! THEIR! OWN! MONEY! TO! BUY! THINGS! but for some reason are *ADDICTED* to the *PUBLIC* *TEET* from the soon-to-be-delapidated-SOW of PUBLIC PORK PROGRAMS!

          There. I said it. because not ALL of us can become GREECE and EXTRACT WEALTH from every OTHER member of the EU, like they DESERVE it or something, because of BAD SOCIALIST POLICY. *SOME* of us are *STUCK* *PAYING* *FOR* *ALL* *OF* *THAT*!!!

          (actually, that would be MOST, because all socialism can do is DRAG EVERYONE DOWN to benefit a VERY SMALL MINORITY OF PEOPLE who are generally ADDICTED to WELFARE and won't lift THEMSELVES up!)"

          ^ That is just a medieval, incoherent, mean spirited and decidedly un-Christian rant.

          It is better for both individuals and society if people are in work and are contributing to society. These days, a lot of job recruitment is done online so a relatively small internet subsidy can help people back to work and these people can then pay taxes and spend money in their local communities - win-win situation.

          In your blinkered and uncharitable universe, you would rather have have unemployed people stuck on larger welfare payments (at the taxpayers' expense) than get a bit of help getting them back into work. Now just how stupid and economically destructive is that?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

            "That is just a medieval, incoherent, mean spirited and decidedly un-Christian rant."

            They're atheists who believe in the Law of the Jungle, especially when it comes to overpopulation. What you would consider medieval and mean-spirited they see as brutally necessary: three people but only room on the life raft for two.

            "It is better for both individuals and society if people are in work and are contributing to society."

            But there are only so many jobs, and the number is shrinking, not growing. Increasing the worker pool does nothing to the job pool, which is dictated by other factors.

            "In your blinkered and uncharitable universe, you would rather have have unemployed people stuck on larger welfare payments (at the taxpayers' expense) than get a bit of help getting them back into work."

            No, they'd rather they just DIE and trim the excess population. Like culls when the wildlife population gets too large and becomes a nuisance or a threat to habitat.

        7. Radio Wales
          Flame

          Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

          >>> "you can't have either without a little bit of socialism, and communism."

          *WRONG*

          "A rising tide lifts all boats" - Ronald Reagan

          In other words, you do not LIFT UP the poor by TAKING AWAY from EVERYONE ELSE and *GIVING* them something they did *NOT* *EARN*. You LIFT UP the poor by LIFTING UP EVERYONE SIMULTANEOUSLY! <<<

          That is SO wrong as to only mean something to Trump.

          If you lift a poor person from a dollar a day to ten dollars a day by lifting another from $100 a day to $1000 a day, then you have lifted both by a factor of ten - Which is your point.

          What you have really done is increase his poverty by a factor of ten - as prices will rise by the highest amount.

          Oh wait! Is that what is really happening, and what you really want to happen?

          Never give a poor person an even break - because if you do, you wouldn't be quite as rich would you?

          That's the REAL truth right there.

      3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

        Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on... @MrDamage

        >>You treat the bible like a EULA, you just scroll to the bottom and click "I Agree", without actually reading it.

        LOL, I might have to steal that :)

        Upvoted ↑↑↑↑↑↑

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

      You need to listen to the Sermon on the Mount. And understand it - yes, I know, tough order.

    3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: created in the knowledge that they would probably be rescinded

      This sounds like a game.

      Reminds me of card games like Whist and Bridge where you can win a trick using what are known as "Trumps".

      In Bridge if you have a "Balanced Hand" (note choice of terminology) you can defeat such antics by entering into a "No Trumps" contract.

      (From what was being said in the run-up to the Election it sounds like Trump is partial to a game of Poke'r)

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

      Wasn't "Lifeline" program established by the Reagan Administration in 1985? With the rationale that to get a job you need to be reachable? No surprise Obama extended it to the Internet now most of that shifted to it today.

      That's another example Trump is not Reagan. Just like the Fool says to King Lear (another who listened to his daughters too much) " Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise"

    5. HausWolf

      Re: The dead hand of Obama lives on...

      You realize the lifeline program started under Reagan...... that fine example of helping the less fortunate in the US.

      the last part was sarcasm for those who don't understand

  7. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    What this is..

    ..is a sign of the times. There are a lot of hungry, suggestible people living in poverty. Partially because of their own actions, but also partially because ironically people like Trump have been taking advantage of them for decades. Throw in some marketing and misdirection, a weak alternative candidate, the obsolete and increasingly useless Electoral College just for spice, and a lot of people who may or may not be on the low side of the bell curve, yet whose votes count as much as anyone's, will pick an abomination over a more rational choice. This is both democracy at its best allowing for true freedom of choice, and also at its worst, allowing a really bad choice to be made.

    What to do? I don't know. Sometimes you can't predict the weather and you just have to batten down the hatches and ride the storm out I guess, then see what is still standing when the tornado finally passes by.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What this is..

      "There are a lot of hungry, suggestible people living in poverty. Partially because of their own actions, but also partially because ironically people like Trump have been taking advantage of them for decades."

      Thank you for so eloquently assigning only half the blame for the existence of poor people to President Trump. At least you didn't dump the whole shit load on him.

      Yet.

      1. Potemkine Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Paranoia

        people like Trump

        blame for the existence of poor people to President Trump

        Typical fallacy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Paranoia

          > "Typical fallacy."

          Oh you noticed that, did you? Caught me in a logical trap! Only, I'm talking about insinuations, and they have nothing to do with logic but plenty to do with swaying the weak-minded. Please try harder.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: What this is..

      Problem is, that runs the risk of YOU not being among the ones still standing, so you're instinctively going to fight it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What this is..

      ride the storm out I guess, then see what is still standing when the tornado finally passes by.

      And sometimes, when the storm is really bad, it might clear away some of the crap you can do without as well, and you can build something better after the good weather comes back. Hopefully.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: What this is..

        One, there may be nothing left with which to build AND no means to go elsewhere.

        Two, YOU may be among the things swept away.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Make Amercia great - screw the proles

    The poor don't pay taxes so they are an obious target

    Can they take away the presidents twitter because he's proud that he pays no taxes like the poor.

    Ohhhhh my brain hurts this early on a Monday.

  9. Potemkine Silver badge

    Bloody poors!

    How do they dare to steal that money from the Rich Ones who got it by exploiting them?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bold and sudden

    Is that the new euphemism for 'knee jerk' ?

    1. James 51 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bold and sudden

      I might have to borrow that description.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An opportunity...

    ..for the few / many companies that like to "slurp" personal data to step in and pay for decent broadband access. If you want the data, pay for it, its not like they havn't been avoiding paying their fair share of taxes now is it?

  12. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    Are you blind?

    Trump: Look over there at [poor people, muslim, terrorist, judge, etc.] ================>

    <=====Don't look over here at my rich pals getting richer and me getting a cut of everything.

  13. Alien8n Silver badge

    One good thing about Trump...

    The one good thing about Trump as President is now I can see all the people who I once considered as reasonably intelligent, thoughtful and caring in their true light. It's scary seeing so many people turn into rabid lunatics, foaming at the mouth. People who genuinely cannot see beyond their own blinkered views. Remove welfare? So what happens when the rest of the country take that same attitude, and you lose your job? How long before you starve to death? Many cities in the US are now making feeding the homeless a crime. Removal of affordable healthcare? Have you seen how many people even now still have to resort to crowdfunding just to pay for treatment? And don't say that's what health insurance is for, most people with pre-existing conditions find that their health coverage ends the moment they become an adult. I'm not a socialist, but even I can see that some social reforms were necessary. No one should starve to death because they can't find a job. No one should be homeless. No one should die from preventable or treatable illnesses. Anyone who thinks that someone does not "deserve" healthcare, education, housing, a basic level of income, should first try living without. Because if you genuinely think someone who is poorer than you, or a different religion than you, or a different colour than you does not deserve what the rest of the world see as basic and fundamental human rights then you are a Fascist.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: One good thing about Trump...

      "No one should starve to death because they can't find a job."

      There are twelve starving people on the island but only six coconuts. The spaceship has fuel to get one person to safety but not two. Trying to save everyone just ends up killing everyone. So at some point a decision must be made: you or someone else? Who gets to live, because if you don't decide, the world will simply answer, "none of you."

      1. Palpy

        Re: @Charles:

        Bad, bad analogies. With respect to Western poverty, there are plenty of "coconuts" and "rocket fuel" in Western societies. The problem is not scarcity. The problem is unequal distribution.

        There is one big ape on the island who has 5000 coconuts. We only need 100 to save everyone else on the island. Do maths. It helps.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Charles:

          Their reply: You SAY 100, but that NEVER stays that low. Let's see you actually DO it with just 100. I'll be impressed if you can live in Manhattan on a dollar a day with no handouts and with nothing to your name but your old torn clothes.

  14. Palpy

    Just a note on rising tides, drowning, and forests.

    Whilst the wealthy and the upper middle class do indeed have boats, and hence rise with rising tides, people in poverty are standing on the bedrock. With water up to their chins. They don't float. They drown.

    As others have noted, the "rising tide" or "trickle-down" idea has been tried several times since 1980. It hasn't worked. Ever. It fails.

    I've been doing a bit of escapist reading, which for me means science-for-the-layman. It seems that in a beech forest, the trees share nutrients through their roots. A sick or damaged tree in a forest can be helped along by its neighbors until it recovers.

    Why? Why would nature, bloody in leaf and twig, eschew survival of the fittest in favor of vegetable socialism? It appears that a forest creates its own climate -- cooler, more humid, sheltered from wind, better at retaining water. Breaks in a beech forest where trees have gone missing degrade the forest climate. The more breaks, the more degradation. Therefore it benefits the whole community if all members have at least a minimum standard of well-being.

    The parallels with human nation-states is obvious enough I won't belabor it further.

    I suppose the reason Trump idolizes Putin is that the leader of Russia is, like Trump himself, a believer in the Big Tree theory: only the biggest -- ie, most powerful -- members of society matter. They are the winners, and winners are the only ones who are important. The little trees are the hoi polloi, like Big John and Bombastic Bob. They are there to be used, lied to, abused, and then chipped for mulch when the Big Trees decide they are no longer useful.

    Back in December, Trump tried to ditch the press en route to a rich-guy dinner at Club 21. He dined with a "sampling of the wealthiest denizens of five boroughs [of New York]". And he told them, "Don't worry about it -- we'll get your taxes down." Which is exactly what the scanty details of his administrations tax policy reveal: large tax breaks for the very wealthy, and a complete repeal of the inheritance tax on large fortunes.

    And so forth, and so on. Nobody changes their mind after reading a post on an internet site, even a forum as shiny and intelligent as this community of commentards. So I'll stop now.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Private healthcare can go take a long jump off a short pier

    I grew up lower middle class in the UK, if you were ill you went to the doctor and they got you fixed, sometimes it took a while, but if it was anything serious then doctors would move mountains to get you seen.

    My partner damaged her knee, what was initially diagnosed as bruising turned out to be a broken shinbone and torn ACL, once this was discovered she had an MRI the next day and keyhole surgery within a week. She then got diagnosed with a chronic inflammatory condition, it took about a month in hospital to work out exactly what it was and how to treat it but now she gets treatments every two months to keep it under control. This was all on the NHS and we paid effectively nothing.

    We recently moved back to her home country where there is no public healthcare, luckily her insurance covers pre-existing conditions as the drugs for treatments she needs cost £2500 every two months.

    Fortunately her insurance covers 80% of the drugs cost (there is no generic) but if she lost her job she'd lose her insurance. Let it just sink in that it costs her £1250 per month just to live. Without these treatments SHE WILL DIE. I'm earning less than twice that amount so if it was up to me to support us both we wouldn't be able to afford our rent, making us homeless,.

    This is why it makes me so fucking angry when people dismiss nationalised healthcare as "handouts to slackers", private healthcare is a poor tax pure and simple, middle class and wealthy people can afford good insurance (or get it as part of their salary) but if someone gets made redundant without a wonderful golden parachute or without the luxury of a big pile of savings they literally cannot afford to get better if they're ill.

    Maybe some of that famous "trickle down" hyper-capitalists are so fond of should be having to pay the medical bills of everyone else in the hospital before they get treated, but the only thing that trickles down from the rich to the poor is shit.

  16. Donn Bly
    Pint

    Program Expansion

    It is my understanding is that the changes were made to keep the program from expanding beyond its original mandate through the 11th hour changes that were put in place against the advice of those overseeing the problem.

    Basically, the changes boil town to:

    (1) The program cannot spend more than it takes in

    (2) A program to be used for voice lines cannot be used to pay for anything BUT voice lines.

    I am not opposed to programs used to subsidize low-income citizens in need. I do, however, oppose the constant unchecked expansion of government programs.

    If we pass a specific tax to fund project "A", then that is how the money should be spent. You don't spend it on "B" then turn around and ask for more money for "A". If the government wants to spend money on "B", then it should either take it from the general fund.

    If I give you money with the condition that you spend it on baby food, and you spend the money on beer, don't come back and say you need MORE money for baby food. Be honest enough to say that you want the money for beer (because the water isn't safe to drink and it's cheaper than bottled water) and you just might end up with it. Or might not - but as least you won't be taking money under false pretenses.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Program Expansion

      But the problem is that you can't expect that from people. People CHEAT, it's part of the human condition to get one up on the other man. Put up an obstacle and people find ways to get past it, guaranteed.

    2. HausWolf

      Re: Program Expansion

      Actually the landline in my neighborhood costs more than a basic internet line through the cable company. So limiting it to landlines only is more expensive and giving people less options than slow high speed internet.

      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: Program Expansion

        Besides, if the recipient can decide how to apply the government subsidy then it's officially a "voucher". Based on the controversies swirling around charter schools and Republican plans to replace Social Security, Medicare, et al here in the States, I thought supply-siders LOVED vouchers!

        1. Donn Bly

          Re: Program Expansion

          I don't have a problem with vouchers - it allows the consumer to pick their own supplier, thus increasing competition and driving down prices.

          However, if the tax and voucher are for "voice lines", then you shouldn't apply the voucher to Internet access any more than you can apply a voucher for school choice to your car payment.

          If the money was coming out the general fund it wouldn't be an issue, however in this case we have a directed tax - a tax specifically passed and implemented to fund a very specific task. To use that money for anything else is fraud. Cancel the first tax and create a new one if necessary, but be HONEST about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Program Expansion

            "However, if the tax and voucher are for "voice lines", then you shouldn't apply the voucher to Internet access any more than you can apply a voucher for school choice to your car payment."

            Unless of course you're using an INTERNET phone (a la Vonage), or to use your example, because it's cheaper long-term to get a car than to pay the bus every day for several years on end.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Program Expansion

      Bush expanded it to mobile phones when they become common as landlines. Then Obama to the internet when most communications shifted to it. It's still fulfilling the original aim. It wasn't changed to allow to buy lottery tickets or play with slot machines (note to Mr. Trump: the idea is mine).

      All to often we complain laws and policies don't follow the changes time brings, and the evolution of the society, and when they do we still complain?

  17. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Draining the swamp, looking after the workers

    Oh how we laughed......

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