Governor Patrick's car giveaway (updated)

Sometimes, you read something on the net and wonder what country you're living in.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has begun a program that simply hands car keys to welfare recipients to "help them get to work." True, the cars are donated. But not the insurance. Nor any necessary repairs. Nor the AAA Motor Club memberships. That comes courtesy of the taxpayer.

Besides all that, they get to keep the cars if the recipient goes back on welfare.

Hillary Chabot of the Boston Herald reports on the taxpayer outrage the program has engendered:

The state pays for the car's insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership for one year at a total cost of roughly $6,000 per car.

The program, which started in 2006, distributes cars donated by non-profit charities such as Good News Garage, a Lutheran charity, which also does the repair work on the car and bills the state.

Kehoe defended the program, saying the state breaks even by cutting welfare payments to the family - about $6,000 a year.

"If you look at the overall picture, this helps make sure people aren't staying on cash assistance. It's a relatively short payment for a long-term benefit," Kehoe said.

But Kehoe admitted about 20 percent of those who received a car ended up back on welfare, and while they lose the insurance and other benefits, they don't have to return the car.

"Given the state's fiscal condition, paying for AAA and auto inspection costs is outrageous," said Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield). "There are so many families out there trying to deal with layoffs and pay cuts. You have to wonder what the state's priorities are at this point."

At $6,000 a car, that is some serious money. One lawmaker sounds almost plaintive when questioning the need for the program:

"I can't believe there are no restrictions on how they use the car," Jones said. "I just don't see this as a core function of government."

No one wonders why Massachusetts is going broke. But they may wonder abut the sanity of their governor.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Update: Ed Lasky points out that Tracy, California is giving residents $500 gift certificates to buy a new car. Considering the fact that Tracy has one of highest foreclosure rates in the country, and has new developments with many unsold homes, this seems a particularly wasteful use of our tax dollars. Why are Americans giving a gift to Tracy residents?

Hat tip: Instapundit





Sometimes, you read something on the net and wonder what country you're living in.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has begun a program that simply hands car keys to welfare recipients to "help them get to work." True, the cars are donated. But not the insurance. Nor any necessary repairs. Nor the AAA Motor Club memberships. That comes courtesy of the taxpayer.

Besides all that, they get to keep the cars if the recipient goes back on welfare.

Hillary Chabot of the Boston Herald reports on the taxpayer outrage the program has engendered:

The state pays for the car's insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership for one year at a total cost of roughly $6,000 per car.

The program, which started in 2006, distributes cars donated by non-profit charities such as Good News Garage, a Lutheran charity, which also does the repair work on the car and bills the state.

Kehoe defended the program, saying the state breaks even by cutting welfare payments to the family - about $6,000 a year.

"If you look at the overall picture, this helps make sure people aren't staying on cash assistance. It's a relatively short payment for a long-term benefit," Kehoe said.

But Kehoe admitted about 20 percent of those who received a car ended up back on welfare, and while they lose the insurance and other benefits, they don't have to return the car.

"Given the state's fiscal condition, paying for AAA and auto inspection costs is outrageous," said Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield). "There are so many families out there trying to deal with layoffs and pay cuts. You have to wonder what the state's priorities are at this point."

At $6,000 a car, that is some serious money. One lawmaker sounds almost plaintive when questioning the need for the program:

"I can't believe there are no restrictions on how they use the car," Jones said. "I just don't see this as a core function of government."

No one wonders why Massachusetts is going broke. But they may wonder abut the sanity of their governor.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Update: Ed Lasky points out that Tracy, California is giving residents $500 gift certificates to buy a new car. Considering the fact that Tracy has one of highest foreclosure rates in the country, and has new developments with many unsold homes, this seems a particularly wasteful use of our tax dollars. Why are Americans giving a gift to Tracy residents?

Hat tip: Instapundit