Phone Phreax: The E-Rate Swindle Continued

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Last month's indictments of four officers at Connect2Internet was just the tip of the E-Rate iceberg, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The Center's new report says the federal program, which uses "universal" fees from telephone and wireless bills to connect schools to the internet, is "in financial disarray … virtually out of control … honeycombed with fraud and financial shenanigans." CPI bases its report on the FCC inspector general's Halloween audit, about which one FCC auditor said, "It's not unfair to say we have found something wrong everywhere we have looked … It appears to be both intentional and unintentional." But don't despair: An official at the American Library Association promises "The full picture isn't going to look like this sampling," and an FCC commissioner says, "If there is fraud and abuse, root it out. But let's not ignore the benefits that this program has brought to our children, our communities and our nation." In other words, Keep paying your phone bill, jerky, it's for the children!

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  1. the moral of this story: any time someone wraps it in the flag or says “do it for the children”, hang on to your wallet (and your ass).

  2. Please, let’s not confuse the issue with fancy terms like “E-Rate”. Everyone knows this as the “Gore Tax”.

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