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Is Cash for Clunkers a Government-Hype Job?

August 1, 2009

cash for clunkersThe government “cash for clunkers” program and surrounding events has turned into a national news drama and advertising frenzy. Is the drama real or something else altogether? The worry is that the program may be running out of money after only a matter of days as car shoppers “flock to dealerships” to take advantage of government rebates. Is it real or is it ad hype: simply more excitement in the hopes of spurring a real buying frenzy?

On July 30, the White House reported that it was assessing options amid concerns that the $1 billion budget for rebates for new car sales may have been depleted. What? If you are amazed that the nation has already ripped through $1 billion on this program, you aren’t alone.

Reporting statistics indicate that approximately 23,000 new cars have been sold under the program indicating that the same number of clunkers have been brought into the government program for mandatory scrapping. If the 23,000 clunkers brought into the system cost “Uncle Sam” $4500, the government is out between $103 and $104 million dollars. Actual reporting so far indicates a total $96 million spent because of rules in the program. This is a far cry from $1 billion dollars.

The Achilles heel of most government programs appears to be a superior quality of ineptitude in the mix. This program appears to be no exception. Cash for clunkers has depended on a website that has spent most of its’ short life out of service, supposedly overloaded with demand from dealers. As a result, “Uncle Sam” isn’t certain how many cars have been traded in and slated for destruction.

The eternal question still must be asked. Where did the $1 billion dollars go that was slated for the program? Does the cash for clunkers government program cost that much taxpayer money to administrate when our free enterprise system and buyers are already covering most of the costs? How much does it really cost to shred less than 50,000 cars and is this any kind of national bargain, much less a national stimulus for all that money spent.

The excitement for the program was reported to be so huge that panic has set in that $1 billion isn’t enough to cover the program. Now, the geniuses in Congress are looking to approve another $2 billion for the cash for clunkers program. What is “Uncle Sam” really spending the money on or is the whole program and press excitement simply a con to get you down to the dealership to buy a car if you can? Let me know if you can figure it out. I smell rotten fish for the taxpayer and more money spent for the elusive economic stimulus of the nation. – E. Manning

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