Cash for Clunkers Misfires

The Obama administration’s “Cash for Clunkers” program misfires terribly! The clunkers deal is another example of how liberal policy makers short sightedness sorely miss the mark of actually being helpful to the American people

“Clunkers” misfired in several ways. Who was helped most? Was it the United States? If you guessed yes you were wrong. The Japanese and Koreans got top billing. Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai outsold domestic brands in a big way. Ford trucks did well, but the Japanese and Korean brands beat the big 3 by a two to one margin in car sales.

Typical of government managed programs, dealerships have complained that the gov’t website where they were to submit the voluminous info needed to apply for rebates was constantly unavailable because the servers could not handle the volume. The deadline was extended by a day to help alleviate the problem. Dealers also report that they are still waiting for the bulk of rebate money with many of them having not received a penny to date.

The big idea as I understand it was to get gas guzzelers off the road, give an economic shot in the arm to GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and lessen the U.S. carbon footprint. Just how successful has the program been?

It is true that all the U.S. brands sold more units, and finance companies made out like bandits as well. That is good isn’t it? But, it is good for only one narrow segment of the U.S. economy. Scratch the labor unions backs and they will scratch yours at the polling place is the bottom line.

Has anyone thought about the thousands of used car dealers whose inventory source temporarily dried up? They are U.S. citizens too, small business men and women who have families to feed. 700,000 cars and trucks is a huge hit for secondary dealers.

How many of those 700,000 will be repossessed in the next year? I’ll wager the number will be staggering. Any time the government is throwing cash around, greed and ignorance overwhelms common sense and people do dumb things. There is no doubt that many people signed up for loans they can’t repay. So, the end result for them is that they will be off their rubber wheels and on their rubber heels in a few months. How’s that for helping the economy?

Then there is the pollution question. Experts agree that the “Clunkers” program’s impact on carbon emissions is so minuscule it is hardly worth doing the math, so much for solving global warming.

I predict that even more than the $3 billion already allotted will be needed before all the dealers are paid. Do the math, the numbers don’t work. $3 billion to one narrow segment of the U.S. economy and that is good?

Democrats are all about style over substance. To them, posturing is every bit as important as actually doing something worthwhile. Weepy Hollywood types make dopey speeches about some cause in a far away place and are praised by the salivating media as if they are actually doing something to help. Cash for Clunkers is only the tip of the iceberg. Hang on baby, it’s gonna be a rough ride.

Liberalism unleased is a dangerous thing.


6 comments on “Cash for Clunkers Misfires

  1. Here’s another thought – what about stewardship? I have been blessed with a brand new truck this year and was able to pay cash for it and keep the old paid-for truck I used to drive. It is a 2003 with 130k and is now parked at the ranch to use for work down there. It would have easily met the C4C reqs. And I could use another truck, but the old one is still running just fine. I could not bring myself to do away with a perfectly good paid-for vehicle that has plenty of use left in it just to get a little cash on a new one I would have to finance. It came down to stewardship for me.

    Hope those used car dealers can hang on.

    Steve Valentine

  2. I think the ‘clunkers’ program was a good intention that was terribly thought out and rushed through just for the appearance of trying to do something.

    On another note, Royce, I personally don’t think it’s even accurate to call one company a ‘foreign’ car maker and the other ‘domestic’ anymore. There are just as many Toyota, Nissan & Hyundai plants in the U.S. as there are Ford, Chrysler & GM plants overseas these days. Yes, ultimately the ownership of Toyota, Nissan & Hyundai is still overseas, but much of the benefit still goes to the local worker here.

    But it’s hard for me to get weepy about the ‘poor American carmakers’ when they did this to themselves by making very poor American cars.

    And it’s hard for me to get weepy about the downtrodden American autoworker when he or she probably makes a 3:1 wage ratio including benefits compared to the average American worker. They DEFINITELY did it to themselves. But hey, in the immortal words of Gordon Gekko, “Greed is good.” Or is it?

    Anyway, I long for the day when the ‘savior of the day’ isn’t this Democratic plan or that Republican plan, when it’s less about accusing the other party of causing our problems and more about coming together as a nation and figuring out a solution. Keep the posts coming, Royce!

  3. Pingback: Cash for Clunkers Misfires « Grace Digest | Your Green Potential

  4. Royce, I agree with you on every point. I too purchased another vehicle and it is a gas saver as you know (Toyota Prius) and I’m getting over 50MPG on each tank. I also have a gas guzzler in my ford expedition but I just can’t see as Steve Valentine stated to give it up for cash when it is a great vehicle. It was Stewardship for me also. SO a used Toyota Prius but keep the used Ford.

    Love you brother,
    Bill Hester

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