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Old 05-07-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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Free cars!

This is not your father's welfare state

And here I always thought 'Welfare Cadillac' was just a stupid novelty song from 1970.

Now it turns out Guy Drake's tune is another state entitlement here in Massachusetts, compliments of the Department of Transitional Assistance, formerly known as welfare.

In Gov. Deval Patrick's Massachusetts, if you're on the dole, you may be eligible to get a free car. So much for the budget Armageddon they keep talking about at the State House.

Let the taxpayers worry about those billion-dollar deficits. If you're on welfare, come on down!

Nice enough that the layabouts get a free car - plus the state picks up the tab for insurance, excise tax, title, registration, inspection, and approved repairs. The absolute frosting on the cake is a free AAA membership.

Please, try not to let this newest handout destroy your faith in the truth of the budget crisis. You're just angry because you can't afford AAA. But your average welfare leech needs guaranteed road service a lot more than you do.

Don't you hate it when you're fleeing a department store after utilizing the five-finger discount, and the store security and the mall cops are in hot pursuit, and you jump in your Coupe DeVille and it won't start. Damn!

Of course the gimme girls and gals need Triple-A for their welfare Cadillacs. (And yes, I understand they're not really Cadillacs. Only the governor gets a Caddy on the arm.) You can't expect a body to walk to the packy for their nightly supply of forties, can you?

Supposedly, these free welfare cars will enable the non-taxpayer to get a job. If they lose the job, the state comes down hard on them -we the taxpayers will not reimburse the cost of insurance after the first six months. If the client quits work or is laid off during the first 12 months, all transportation benefits end, but the client will still keep the car.

But, but . . . what about the Triple-A? That's an entitlement, you know. Has anybody got a phone number for the ACLU?

A lot of snotty people at the Boston Globe are going to be unemployed very shortly. Finally, a ray of hope for the bow-tied bumkissers. Maybe they, too, will be eligible for a welfare Cadillac.

Cut to the final stanzas of Guy Drake's immortal tune. He?s singing about this new president and his whole new poverty plan.

'Why, he gonna send us poor folks money/They say we gonna get it out here in stacks./In fact my wife's already shopping around/For her new Cadillac.'

Guy Drake - not just a country-music hack anymore. He was a prophet.
-Howie Carr, Boston Herald

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Old 05-07-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
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That is unbelievable. Literally. I don't believe that could even become a bill, let alone get any votes.

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Old 05-07-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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Gov. Deval Patrick’s free wheels for welfare recipients program is revving up despite the stalled economy, as the keys to donated cars loaded with state-funded insurance, repairs and even AAA membership are handed out to get them to work.

But the program - fueled by a funding boost despite the state’s fiscal crash - allows those who end up back on welfare 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 Patrick administration decided last month to funnel an additional $30,000 to the nearly $400,000 annual car ownership program.

The program, which is provided by the State Department of Transitional Assistance, gives out about 65 cars a year, said DTA Commissioner Julia Kehoe.

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.”

Applicants for cars must have a job or prove they could get one if they had the car in order to qualify. Once they have the wheels, they must send DTA their pay stubs to prove they are employed.

To get the cars, they must be unable to reach work by public transportation and have a clean driving record. The program is only available to families on welfare with children.

Kehoe said the bulk of cars go to places with less public transportation, such as Fitchburg, New Bedford and Lowell.

“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.”

Only breeders qualify.

Not surprised those lutherans are involved in it. They also like to find every stray from across the globe and drag them here, give 'em housing and cars, then burden the local schools with trying to provide instruction for students with various obscure languages.

Wow- AAA too? Sweeeeet.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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Sounds like an incentive to commit fiscal hari kari
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed sheep contesting that decision.

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Old 05-07-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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lol peole just need to look harder and not be picky at all on what car they can afford. in the last 4 years weve bought 2 cars that ran and drove for $325(both cars for that)...

there should be milleage restrictions too, like distance to and from work and grocery stores and hospitals.

much like cars with antique plates are "supposed" to only go to and from cruseins/shows/etc and maintince places/purpouses.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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That sucks for the ones like us that have to pay taxes. I will have to pay an extra $5,700 in taxes for the methane that my cows give off starting next year if the bill passes. For 2008 at the end of tax time I ended up paying about the same amount of money that the average person made.

I would love to see my tax money go to a better place.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ecofarmer View Post
I would love to see my tax money go to a better place.
I agree.

But we all knew this kind of stuff was gonna happen. We voted for the people that support it. We voted for the people that promised us the world, billions in new programs, reduced taxes, and reduction of the deficit.

- Kyle
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