Free cars for welfare recipients – now with AAA!

The Commonwealth of  Massachusetts has a program providing automobiles to welfare recipients – including taxpayer funded insurance, auto repairs and a AAA membership – as an incentive to get them to go to work and stay off welfare.

Granted, these are not new cars, but the program costs the commonwealth more than $400,000 per year since Massachusetts covers insurance, registration, taxes, repairs and the AAA membership.

About 20 percent of the program participants end up back on welfare and keep the car. Massachusetts penalizes them by making them cover their own insurance and repairs, but they keep the car.

No word on the AAA membership, which is paid a year in advance.

Here’s part of the story from the Boston Herald.

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. …

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.

So these people could go to work if they really wanted to, but the commonwealth needs to nudge them a little and provide them with a free car to get them to go to work?

I’m all for helping people in need, but where does this stop? This culture is driving citizens to depend on the government for everything – and that seems to be the goal of many.

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