Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Romney Gave Free Cars To Welfare Recipients As Governor

Jake Tapper wonders why conservatives haven't highlighted some little known warts on Romney's record as Gov. of Massachusetts. Follow the link if you want to read about all three issues Tapper discusses. This is the one that really caught my attention. Going forward, Gingrich and Perry would be better served to focus more on things like this, and less on how many people Romney fired at Bain Capital, or what his effective tax rate is.
In 2006, Romney started a program to provide welfare recipients without access to public transportation with free cars. The idea was to provide them with a way to get to work so they could eventually get off welfare.

The cars were donated by charities, while Massachusetts taxpayers funded — as the Boston Herald reported in 2009 — “repairs, registration, insurance, excise tax, the title and AAA membership for one year.”

Romney’s Department of Transitional Assistance started the program, officially called “Transportation Support,” and nicknamed “Welfare Wheels” by the Boston Herald.
Even liberal Republican, Scott Brown couldn't stomach "Welfare Wheels."
“I don’t care who started it,” said then-state senator (now U.S. Senator) Scott Brown, a Republican. “In this day and age, it’s not appropriate. I mean, we’re paying for Triple A? You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Tapper's entire article is HERE

You can read all about the "Welfare Wheels" program HERE


Anonymous said...

It Lives!

Massachusetts Conservative said...

Looks like Romney hates poor people!

Machtyn said...

Romney doesn't understand the poor. He's never been poor and has eaten from a silver spoon on a golden plate. There's no way he could understand the travails of the poor and their inability to get from one place to another.

Oh, wait...

Still, this is a government program, which does hurt a little. But how was it funded? Was it successful? Did it have massive abuses?

If it was successful and was not rife with abuses. If it was able to get people off of welfare, which is a bigger cost than a donated car, then I'm all for the program!!

Welfare recipient = $24,000 ($1000/mo for 24 months)
Used donated car, to get person off welfare = $17,000 ($1000/mo for 12 months when person gets off welfare + car of $5000)

The math is easy. ... If it works out like that.

TexasConservative said...


Bosman would be proud of your image. It looks like one that Bosman would have created himself.


Anonymous said...

Nice try at getting Romney with that picture. It looks more like a pimp than a used car salesman and thus just reminds me of Gingrich. The image depicts someone of a sleazy and dirty character, connotations of Gingrich.

Anonymous said...

I am sooo confused... is Romney suppose to be a heartless rich guy who has no heart, who can't relate to the less privileged or is Romney suppose to be Mother Theresa??

His opponents better get their stories straight since there are only 3 days to the SC primaries...

This is too funny.

Personally I think Romney's opposition to SOPA and PIPA is a much bigger deal.

Alan said...

If you read the article, it sounds like the program was a smashing success. "In 2011, Romney for President spokeswoman Gail Gitcho defended the program to the Herald, saying “over 80 percent of participants have moved off of welfare.” In 2006, the program cost Massachusetts taxpayers $400,000; Gitcho claimed over three years the program saved the state almost $1 million in welfare payments.
Let me see $1 million in saved welfare payments - $400,000 cost of the program = $600,000 in savings to the state. Sounds like a rare government success to me.

Anonymous said...

From the link:

Gitcho claimed over three years the program saved the state almost $1 million in welfare payments.

If this is true, what is the problem?


Anonymous said...

Oh sorry, Alan. I didn't see your comment before I posted mine.


Anonymous said...

Texas, nope.

Bosman's funny pics always have some truth at their heart.

This image doesn't do that. This pic screams desperation.


Lionhead said...

RWN, It's good to see factual issues/arguements brought up on Romney. I'm surprised the Romn-bi-gots haven't attacked you more vigorously for your post.

Sticking with the facts, let's add a few more to the list. I'm sure there will be more as time goes on.

1) Romney violated the Mass. Statue for removing the computer hardware & messages surrounding his stewardship as Governor. Fact

2) Romney supports the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) one of the biggest losses of liberty for all US citizens. Fact

3) Romney's biggest campaign supporters are the NY Wall St. Investment banks, e.g. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, et al. From Federal Election Commission filings. Fact

4) Romney's Federal Election Commission filings indicate that Goldman Sachs manages the bulk of his investment portfolio. Some might opin there's a conflict of interest. I won't, but we've seen in the past the revolving door in previous Administrations to appoint Goldman alumni in high gov't positions. Fact

5) Romney will not release his previous tax returns to judge his effective tax rate & where his overseas investments may reside. He may decide to do so at some time in the future. Fact

6) Romney's attacks on other candidates has precipated a barage of negative attack adds from all candidates. In effect, sharply dividing voters into polarized camps that may not support him in November. Fact

Personally, I will never vote for Romney, support him in any way, and in fact, will vote for the Liberterian candidate should Romney be nominated. IMO, he's a divisive, unelectable candidate who will be shredded by the DNC for his past, current & future gaffes when he speaks.

Republicans can certainly nominate a superior conservative candidate than Romney. Even Nancy Pelosi knows he's toast.

Teemu said...

1) He didn't violate anything, he left everything that he needed to leave according to the laws in paper format, 600 boxes of paper, archived in totally random order :)

If the laws allow it, do it. It makes doing that kind of list of distortions or simplifications little harder when the material is harder to work on.

Anonymous said...

Lionhead, don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Right Wingnut said...

If this program was such a success, perhaps Mitt will propose this as a model for the nation, just like RomneyCare.

Anonymous said...

Nope, True Conservatives (c) don't actually want solutions that work. Just red meat.


Machtyn said...


HOW MANY TIMES does Mitt Romney have to state that state programs are not federal programs. I know it is hard for some people to understand the difference. I assume you to be an intelligent person. One who can traverse double-speak, see statements in and out-of-context, etc. But sometimes, you put my assumption to the test.

Alan said...

Lionhead> I think you forgot to keep your conservative mask on. No true conservative would find Queen Nancy to be a fountain of truth ("Even Nancy Pelosi knows he's toast.").

Martha> No problem. We both have the same critical eye.

Lionhead said...

@Teemu, you're confusing the facts because of what Romney said was legal, when in fact, what he did was illegal.

It is well settled law in Mass. that e-mails are public records that have to be preserved for the proscribed time:

You are also forgetting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Reuters on the boxes of paper documents that were not allowed to be examined previously.

Now, one might opine that Romney was not following his duties as Governor to protect & preserve all the documents of his Administration. If he was destroying or removing records for his personal political ambitions on purpose, as you alluded to (:)), then he clearly violated the statute. If Romney is elected President, what will his actions be in his Administration? Will he pick & choose what documents to save, which to destroy, which law to follow, which law to ignore?

Remember the FOIA request will eventually surface in the future. If his intent was to remove or cover up certain unflatering facts, or for pure political reasons, he has violated the statute. Would you vote for a person of such character?

Teemu said...

Lionhead, from your link

"As for the form of the retention, the Public Records Division recommends that the user print out the email message and file it in accordance with the entity’s paper-filing system..."

Romney left behind 600 boxes of paper, datamine that, opposition researchers :)

Anonymous said...

Lionhead, do you know what the word "proscribed" means?

Lionhead said...

@Teemu, that is correct, only you left out the ending, "unless it cannot be printed accurately or is too voluminous, in which case it should be stored electronically. Given the volume of email correspondence today, and the potential relevance of electronic metadata discussed below, it is advisable that governmental entities establish electronic record-keeping systems in lieu of the burden of printing physical copies."

So, let's look at what Romney did, again it is fact.

So, we know he received permission to destroy 150 boxes of records including a previous administrations records. Although we don't know if this was confirmed. More future questions to answer. And the cost? "Romney...spent nearly $100,000 in state funds to replace computers in his office as part of an effort to keep his records secret before he handed over to his Democratic party successor, Deval Patrick."

Perhaps you can opine on whether this was a wise choice of State funds. Or, maybe this: "Shortly before he left office in January 2007, Romney's staff spent $205,000 in taxpayer funds on a three-year lease on new computers for the governor's office. To do this, Romney aides broke an earlier three-year lease that still had 18 months to run and provided the same number of computers to the state for $108,000 -- $97,000 less than the cost of the new lease."

Now we have the rest of the story.

Terrye said...

Right Wing nut..oh come on..this is absurd. Lots of states have cars like this given to charities and they are used to help people get to work and some states even allow these cars to be used to help people get to the doctor or the VA.

And in 1995 Gingrich supported giving tax payer money to clinics for abortions because he said poor women who had been raped or who were victims of incest should have the same rights to this procedure as women with money...

I guess Sarah forgot about that when she kinda sorta endorsed him.

Anonymous said...

Lion head

So this is the issue we will be debating if Romney is the nominee and not the messiah's record?

I have read many accounts on this and the bottom line was that it was legal. This is just a red herring.

Teemu said...

"it is advisable"

That is not part of the law, that is that guy's recommendation and personal opinion of how to make e-mail data more accessible so that everybody can feel warm and fuzzy (opposition researchers too).

The actual law citations are in the above text, and the 600 paper boxes fills the minimum requirement. By the way, four years of governor wage, that Romney didn't take, adds up to over $550k.

So it was legal way to make opposition research slightly more burdensome, so that they have harder time producing that kind of distorted one sentence talking point lists.

Terrye said...

Lionhead..what rest of the story? The stuff is there in the basement. People can read can't they? It amazes me that people would think this was a big deal but they just blow right past the ethics violations for Gingrich or the sheer lunacy of Ron Paul or the fact that the only person on that stage who has actually spent most of his life in the private sector is Romney...they whine and complain about how he is not a true conservative and then they pander to some life long pol instead.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you around RW...if the information in the post above is correct that the program didn't end up costing the taxpayers money then I guess this program is at least better then the cash for clunkers program...nice find RW.


Doug NYC GOP said...


Nice job promoting a Romney success story.

Now as a conservative you should be thrilled Mitt was ble to get the private sector to donate the cars, the Tax Payers to pick up the marginal admin costs and the welfare receipients to buy into the idea.

So what was the result?

Private sector made good use of a product.

Taxpayers saved a net $600K.

People on welfare gor full time jobs, restoring their dignity and becoming productive.

That's what smart government should be doing.

Now contrast this against Obama merely extending Unemployment Benefits for 99 weeks and Romney has a nice little talking point to tweak him on.

Excellent job!

Doug NYC GOP said...

Empty Head loves these Romney Red Herring issues.

Makes no difference they are all for naught.

Then he states he wouldn't vote Romney but hide behind a Libertarian vote.

All that does is show him up as a vindictive little twerp.

Anonymous said...

Nice Pic!

Ohio JOE said...

"Nope, True Conservatives (c) don't actually want solutions that work. Just red meat." Then I respectfully ask what you propose.