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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Wheels for Welfare" in the People's Republic

The People's Republic of Massachusetts has a program called "Wheels for Welfare."

"... the keys to donated cars loaded with state-funded insurance, repairs and even AAA membership are handed out..."

The state is missing a great opportunity here to put unemployed chauffeurs to work driving these cars for the welfare recipients.

"... those who end up back on welfare [get] to keep the cars anyway.

"'It’s mind-boggling. You’ve got people out there saying, "I just lost my job. Hey, can I get a free car, too?"' said House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading)."

[... .]

"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... which also [do] the repair work on the car and [bill] the state."

Mitt Romney was still governor in 2006. He's also a big booster of the Massachusetts program which mandates that everyone have medical insurance.

"... 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.'"

[... .]

"'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.'"

Since government furnishes food stamps, doesn't it make sense that government should also provide the recipients personal transportation to the grocery store? And once the medical care system has been nationalized, people are going to need a way to get to the doctor's office.

This article doesn't say anything about the makes of the cars. I wonder if Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Mercedes are available...

Here's the PDF of the Wheels for Welfare application process.

Thanks to Victor Jeffreys for the link.

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