MAY 07, 2009
The Democratic governor who has repeatedly come under fire for his costly leftwing policies is in trouble again for spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to give welfare recipients free cars as an incentive to find work.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s latest brilliant idea has inevitably caused outrage among many of the state’s 6.5 million residents as well as legislators and some news outfits. Patrick has so far allocated $430,000 a year to operate the free wheels for welfare recipients program.
The innovative program offers free cars, and all the expenses that come with them, to the state’s welfare recipients who are interested in getting to work. Those who end back on welfare after unsuccessful employment stints—brief as they may be—get to keep the publicly financed vehicles. The state spends about $6,000 a year per car to pay for insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and even an AAA membership.
Like many states across the nation, Massachusetts is experiencing a fiscal crisis yet the governor has somehow found the money to fund this highly controversial deal. One state legislator called it “mind-boggling” and another questioned the state’s priorities in the midst of unprecedented layoffs and pay cuts.
Since being elected governor in 2006 Patrick, a former Clinton Justice Department attorney in charge of civil rights, has implemented a series of changes that have outraged officials and residents statewide.
A few weeks after moving into the governor’s mansion he eliminated a measure designed to curb illegal immigration by killing a policy that allowed state troopers to detain illegal aliens. Patrick has publicly said that he believes illegal immigrants should get drivers licenses and discounted in-state tuition at public colleges.
Patrick is also working to reverse a longtime state law that allows employers broad access to the criminal records of potential employees because it discriminates against convicted felons and unfairly prevents them from landing jobs and leading productive lives. The governor is expected to announce his plan to ban employers’ access to the criminal records sometime this year.
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