Friday, January 21, 2005

Universal Phone Service

Government Bytes has an interesting post concerning government efforts to expand phone service in rural areas. Link. It quotes a story in USA Today about a businessman in South Dakota whose cell phone worked fine where he worked in Sioux Falls, but he lost service when he commuted home to a small town. He and others complained, and the federal government kicked in $245,000 from the Universal Service Fund to build a tower.
I wonder if a single mom living in Detroit knows that the USF tax she's forced to pay on her phone bill is providing "salvation" for considerably wealthier farmers in South Dakota.

"The $3.5 billion fund, financed by a 10.7% fee on every long-distance bill, goes mostly to rural phone incumbents to keep basic home service affordable. That's because it's costly for companies to string wires to rural areas with few customers."

Can somebody please point me to the line in the Constitution that says all citizens shall have a right to affordable phone service?
This is a common problem. I would love to hear some president say in his State of the Union Address that he will veto any bill that does not contain a citation to that portion of the Constitution that authorizes the government to do whatever the bill is having the government do. If such a policy were enforced, we probably could get along with a part-time Congress, there would be so few bills for it to consider.


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