FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Free cell phones for the poor. Yet another example of where our government is getting involved.
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports on programs that provide free cell phones and 250 monthly minutes to people receiving government support like Medicaid or food stamps.
These programs, which exist in most states, are paid for by the federal Universal Service Fund. Federal law requires all telecom providers contribute to this fund.
An industry spokeswoman tells the newspaper that all cell phone carriers charge consumers a fee to recover the cost of their contribution to the fund.
Translation: People who pay cell phone bills are also helping pay for those who get free cell phones.
There are millions of participants nationwide in these programs. Customers only need to provide proof of income in order to qualify.
Supporters say the program is about "peace of mind,” that it's one less bill for someone to pay so they can afford to pay their rent or day care.
But critics say free cell phone service is no right, that you don't need a cell phone to live.
One expert at the Heritage Foundation calls the free cell phone programs "particularly wasteful and unnecessary,” adding that our society can't afford to give free everything to everybody.
Other experts suggest programs like these could help the overall economy since having a phone can help people find jobs – especially since public pay phones aren't on every corner like they used to be before cell phones became so prominent.
Here’s my question to you: Should the government decide whether poor people get free cell phones?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.