Via Drudge, I see the Boston Herald has blown the lid off a shocking welfare handout in Massachusetts:

Gov. Deval Patrick’s free wheels for welfare recipients program is revving up despite the stalled economy, as the keys to donated cars loaded with state-funded insurance, repairs and even AAA membership are handed out to get them to work.

But the program - fueled by a funding boost despite the state’s fiscal crash - allows those who end up back on welfare to keep the cars anyway.

Unbelievable! Except the people who get the cars--which are donated by charities--also see cuts in their benefits, so the state basically breaks even. And while the Herald informs us that a scandalous 20 percent of beneficiaries returned to the public dole, that implies that 80 percent of these people kept their new jobs. Which would make this one of the most effective welfare-to-work programs of all time! And almost undoubtedly a net money saver for the state, even if a handful of lazy unemployables wind up crusing around town in their excellent now-presumably-uninsured donated old jalopy. The budget conscious GOP hacks quoted in this story should demand more cars, not fewer.

I like a peppy city tabloid as much as the next guy, but this is just brain-dead demagogue journalism. Update: And as commenters are noting, it's a good reason to root for the Boston Globe's survival (and I'm not just saying that because I once worked there....)

--Michael Crowley