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August 9, 2012

Take Home Cars: An Unnecessary Perk

Blaine R. Young

As most everyone knows, I am a radio guy at heart. But sometimes television is okay. And sometimes it is very, very good. This is one of those times.


WBAL-TV, Channel 11 in Baltimore, recently did a story on how much Maryland taxpayers are being bilked by our state government as a result of what is obviously an overly generous policy of allowing state employees to take home (for personal use?) state government vehicles.


According to Channel 11, there are 1,284 state employees who have what are known as “take-home” cars at their disposal. These cars cost the taxpayers of Maryland $3.9 million a year.


As a footnote, this number does not include the 1,550 marked state police cars that are taken home by said troopers. I wholly support our State Police driving their marked cars home to their neighborhoods, as long as they live in the State of Maryland. I always get a great deal of comfort seeing a state trooper parked in a driveway near my home; and, seeing how these guys put their lives on the line for us every day, they are more than welcome to their cars.


But almost 1,300 civilian state employees drive state issued vehicles home in the evening, leaving them in their driveways at night, and getting back in them to commute to work the next morning? You have got to be kidding me.


Of course, our “business as usual” Democrat-monopoly government in Annapolis thinks this is perfectly acceptable. I guess we should expect nothing different, since our so-called “leaders” at the state level think nothing of sticking their hands into our wallets every legislative session. And this year they were not content with what they managed to get from us during the regular session; they had to call another special session just to raise our taxes even more.


So, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that, as Channel 11 has pointed out, the State Highway Administration has given 533 employees take-home vehicles, all fueled by gas paid for by the taxpayers, covered by insurance paid for by the taxpayers, and maintained with our tax dollars. The SHA vehicles alone cost the taxpayers $1.3 million a year. Of course, the SHA spokesman has no problem with it; she says that this allows the employees the ability to respond “24/7, nights and weekends…”


The problem with that is this. Again according to Channel 11, many of these vehicles are not equipped with emergency equipment, such as sirens, flashing lights and radios. And, many of them are used by state employees to travel across state lines to their homes in neighboring states. Obviously, that has nothing to do with serving the taxpayers of the State of Maryland.


This is just one more example of the arrogance and reckless extravagance of our well entrenched, been-in-office-too-long, Democrat monopoly government in Annapolis. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I pay for the vehicles that I use to drive to and from work, and I expect most of you do as well. Why should someone, just because he or she works for the government, be entitled to a government car to ease their commuting burden?


The answer is simple. The O’Malley Administration, and its co-conspirators in Annapolis, could care less about our economic well being as long as they can continue to grow the size and cost of government and further burnish their liberal Democrat credentials for Martin O’Malley’s run for the White House in 2016.


Someday I hope the majority of the people in this state will wake up and see that they are being taken for a ride by the Democrat monopoly – and throw all the bums out.


Watch the report by WBAL-TV by going to the link:


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