Carr: Tax keeps hacks living large
Carr: Tax keeps hacks living large
Soon your TV screen will be full of apocalyptic images of crumbling bridges, giant potholes and assorted wheelchair-bound grannies plunging over cliffs — the hacks’ vision of a bleak future without automatic annual increases in the gasoline tax.
Vote No on Question 1 … or you die. That’s the hackerama’s pitch on this referendum question, and of course it’s very believable. The tax-fattened hyenas simply don’t have enough money. But if you’d like to know the truth about how the transportation hacks are spending your dough, check out the new report from the state Inspector General, “Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Fleet Vehicle Operations.”
Here’s a sampling of what their — our — money is going for:
The DOT used a federal grant of $3.4 million to buy “green” vehicles and get rid of 107 evil, polluting, polar bear-murdering Crown Vics. But once they got their greedy hack paws on the “green” cars, they kept all but six of the Crown Vics, handing them out to their connected DOT buddies.
Before the IG inquired, 180 of the DOT vehicles didn’t even have inspection stickers on them. Of course if you get caught with no sticker, you’ll be paying insurance surcharges for seven years. A bank-robbery conviction disappears from your CORI more quickly than an expired sticker.
Some of the expired stickers are, or were, on Troop E State Police cruisers, but wait, it gets better. Until the IG busted them, the State Police were using fake license plates on some of their Troop E patrol cars. That’s illegal — even if the DOT calls them “fabricated.”
One of every five DOT workers (if you can call them that) drives a free state car. Five of the top hacks have two DOT vehicles assigned to them.
“Dozens” of DOT hackmobiles are unmarked, with private plates. The IG doesn’t use the word “confidential,” but that’s what the plates appear to be — if you get a ticket written on a confidential plate, it can’t come back to you, because the plate isn’t formally assigned to anyone.
When the Inspector General pointed out the potential for abuse, “MassDOT indicated that 32 of these vehicles are assigned to senior staff … and at this level of management, MassDOT trusts these employees to use their vehicles appropriately.” Surely they meant to say “inappropriately.”
One MassDOT worker “who lives in Vermont” commutes back and forth to the Green Mountain state in his state vehicle. As if we didn’t know, the IG points out that hacks in state cars, “avoid personal commuting costs, including tolls, parking, gas and overall wear and tear on their personal vehicles.”
So paying ever-higher gas taxes, automatically, with no oversight by anyone except the greedy payroll Charlies themselves, is the least we can do. It’s for the children.
How arrogant are these hacks? The Inspector General sent out questionnaires to 125 coatholders driving unmarked state vehicles. Only 72 of the payroll patriots even deigned to answer the questionnaires.
Here’s how the vehicles get handed out: “Typically, the most senior employees receive the newest vehicles when new vehicles are purchased. Their former vehicles are then given to more junior employees, whose cars are then reassigned to lower-ranking staff … This practice adds to the perception that vehicle assignment is a perk.” Perception? It’s not a perception, it is a perk. And who is assigned the newest, Bluetooth-equipped, gaz-guzzlingest vehicles?
“Right-of-way agents, diversity officers, toll collection managers, administrators and environmental analysts.”
You never know when a “diversity officer” is going to be called out in a blizzard, do you?
If you want these hacks to go on living even higher on the hog than illegal aliens, be sure to vote No on Question 1. It’s for the polar bears … and the hacks.