Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Carlos Slim and the Notorious Obama Phone

I've wondered why Carlos Slim Helu, the richest man in the world, seems to have an affinity for President Barack Obama. Carlos, for all who know him, is a very sharp businessman. He didn't earn a net worth of about $80 billion by being a slouch. So for the past four years, I kept trying to figure out what Slim's angle was in this. Slim feels that it's better to own a politician than to be one...

It turns out that Carlos Slim is one of the prime movers who supply 'free' ObamaPhones to Americans.

You don't need to be poor to get your ObamaPhones and free air time. (you can get as many phones as you want and as much free airtime courtesy of the US taxpayers - if you don't believe me, just sign up. walks you through the procedure.

Carlos Slim owns a controlling stake in TracFone, which makes $10 per phone for each device it provides to poor Americans. The company, whose president and CEO is Frederick “F.J.” Pollak, also makes money from extra minutes and data plans it sells to subscribers who get phones and service through the government's Lifeline program. The program, which began in the mid-1980s, has exploded in the past four years after being expanded from supplying landlines to the poor to providing cellular phones. (Fox News)
Slim’s Movil America owns TracFone and recently snapped up service provider Simple Mobile for $100 million. TracFones and Simple Mobile service are huge players in the Lifeline program through the company's “SafeLink Wireless” brand. TracFone had 3.8 million subscribers through the federal program as of late 2011. 
Pollak has donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign. His wife, Abigail, is a campaign bundler for Obama and has raised more than $632,000 for the president this cycle and more than $1.5 million since 2007. She has personally contributed more than $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2008
The Pollaks hosted Obama at their Miami Beach home in June for a $40,000-per-plate fundraising dinner, and hosted a similar event with Michelle Obama in July 2008. The couple personally donated a combined $66,200 to Obama’s re-election effort that year.
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, (R-Ark.) said, “I simply do not think that the taxpayers should be footing the bill for someone’s cell service and social interaction,” Griffin said. "If that’s the case, what should the government pay for and not pay for? Let’s just start paying for everyone’s gas.”

It's hard to blame Carlos Slim when the more or less legal bribes/campaign contributions that he and his dole out to President Barack Obama provide such a handsome return. 


  1. Slim is a businessman. But the Univision he owns DID speak out against Obama. Why the dissonance?

  2. Univision didn't actually speak out against Obama. They simply asked questions of President Obama, and he's not accustomed to answering questions from those other than the softball style Q & A delivered by David Letterman, the ladies on The View or correspondents like Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell or Chris Matthews. I don't think Slim felt the Obama is quite the oaf that he turned out to be on Univision or the format might have been different.