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August 7, 2009
My Cash for Your Clunker?
What a wonderful
country! Where else, other than in socialist-friendly Europe, can you get
the government to pay up to $4,500 for your next new car?
I particularly don’t
like the federal government borrowing money and giving it to people
who otherwise might not be able to afford a new, more fuel-efficient
automobile. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Does it to you?
If it does make sense,
then you are probably reading this while standing in line at your local car
dealer picking out your shiny new ride. Why would you want to pay an average
of $4,000 more for a car if Uncle Sam, or more specifically, the taxpayer,
is willing to do so?
Here are the reasons
the Cash for Clunkers program is nothing more than another government
giveaway boondoggle program that won’t do a darn thing to stimulate the
overall economy. Besides the billions of borrowed dollars allotted for the
program, the consumer can purchase a vehicle from any manufacturer
that meets the mileage qualifications, not just American-made autos. Unlike
the European experience, touted by Congress as a success story, Americans
have many more choices than their European cousins, and they will not
necessarily purchase a car made in Detroit. So, probably half of the
taxpayer money will indirectly help foreign car manufacturers. Also,
the people who couldn’t afford a new vehicle before the program’s conception
will probably still not be able to afford the payments. What will happen to
all those repossessed autos? Should there be a bailout program for that?
Will there be used car lots at federal building parking lots around the
Within a few days of
the Cash for Clunkers program getting started, consumers were told that the
program was suspended and then canceled because of its overwhelming
popularity. Never fear, the House of Representatives enacted a speedy bill
to expand the program threefold to $3 billion from the original $1 billion
allotted. By my math, the program is now three times worse than it
The EPA modified the
list of cars that qualify for cash several times before the program even
began. And, at the last minute, it modified the list again, throwing the
entire program into chaos. Those who thought they qualified for a new car
were told at the last minute that their deal could not be consummated
because of the lack of funding or the change in mileage criteria for their
particular new vehicle. Now the Senate is mulling over changing it again.
These are clues, folks.
The government cannot manage anything like this without causing massive
confusion, unexpected delays and broken promises. Spending estimates are
always triple what Congress originally intended, as evidenced by this
program. Just imagine how it will be when the government takes over your
health care. You thought you were qualified for a kidney transplant, but
instead you only qualify for hair plugs.
Die-hard liberals will
argue that hair plugs will enhance one’s quality of life, but not if your
kidney isn’t working properly! The point is: How can you trust the
government to run a $1 trillion health care system if it can’t even
manage a $1 billion car purchase program?
Regardless, as a
taxpayer, I’m offended that I am the one footing the bill for this program.
Why not just give every American a $4,500 payroll tax reduction so they can
spend it as they please and “spread the wealth around” to other industries?
An across-the-board tax cut would achieve a stimulus for all services and
industries. But, in that Congress is controlled by pseudo-socialists who are
ideologically opposed to anything that would truly stimulate the free
enterprise system, that is not likely to happen.
Congress wants to
socially engineer your driving habits and get you out of that Ford F-150
pickup and into a Toyota Prius. The “greenies” don’t care what you drive, so
long as it gets higher gas mileage and lowers the demand for more domestic
oil drilling. Their goal is to raise the price of gasoline once again to
discourage you from driving your shiny new car at all.
You can reach Gregory at email@example.com.
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