A Small Success

Looks like cash for clunkers was popular:

New-car shoppers appear to have already snapped up all the $1 billion that Congress appropriated for the “cash for clunkers” program, leading the Transportation Department to tell auto dealers Thursday night to stop offering the rebates.

But a White House official said the program had not been suspended, creating confusion about its status. The program offers $3,500 to $4,500 for people who trade in an old car for a new one with higher fuel economy.

Quick. All the dealerships around here were advertising this.






81 replies
  1. 1
    BDeevDad says:

    A friend replaced a 20 year old Jeep Grand Cherokee with a brand new Hyundai Elantra. So, if others are similar, I hope it effects gas usage.

  2. 2
    flukebucket says:

    Fuck a car payment.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    I’m sure only the liberal car dealerships are getting the rebates, completely fucking the dealerships owned by Republicans. This is a clear and wanton effort of Obama’s to bankrupt conservative donors and increase the number of backseat abortions.

  4. 4
    matt says:

    A success? Guess you’re just waking up.

    The right wing blogs are telling us this program was an enormous failure as the gov. didn’t plan well for its popularity.

    For real.

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    Damn, Punchy got there before me.

    aimai

  6. 6
    gex says:

    It was insanely popular. Last weekend I was at the local Toyota dealership shopping for a replacement for my Avalon that was totaled in May. It was crazy, people were 3-4 deep waiting to talk to a salesman.

  7. 7
    Face says:

    @BDeevDad: considering the JGC didnt come out until 1993, something doesn’t compute.

  8. 8
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    OT:

    Wikipedia has crashed.

  9. 9
    Lowkey says:

    Honestly, I’m thrilled at this news. A second stimulus package probably isn’t politcally possible, and this is working as great stimulus for many people that need it the most, and it’s a tax credit! Republicans will probably go for more of this, and if they won’t, we can still get it done anyway, and then we get to dance and sing “Republicans against tax relief AGAIN! They’ll even opposite tax relief, their favoritest thing ever, if it means saying no to Democrats. Wheeee!!” If the Congressional Democrats have a brain in their skulls, they’ll pump another 4 or 5 billion into this toute suite.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    Yeah, but I heard some guy who had a buddy who was listening to talk radio and they mentioned some guy on the internet who had done a statistics study and it showed that all the money went to Kenyan Obama donors.

  11. 11
    BDeevDad says:

    @Face: I don’t know the exact age, but it was in the double digits and looked 20 years old. Definitely needed to be replaced.

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    Looks like cash for clunkers was popular

    Oh, cash for cars. I thought that “cash for clunkers” referred to the bonuses that were being paid to bankers receiving bailout money, even if the banks had no profits.

    U.S. banks paid out $32.6 billion in bonuses as government spent $175 billion bailing them out

    Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and seven other American banks banks paid more than $32.6 billion in bonuses in 2008 while receiving $175 billion in taxpayer funds, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

    The lavish payments, mirrored at banks across Wall Street and the City, came after Merrill lost $27.6 billion last year and was forced into the hands of Bank of America in an emergency takeover to save it from collapse.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....g-out.html

    By the way, re: auto related tax breaks. If you buy a new car, you may be able to deduct the sales tax you pay. See your tax person and the IRS web site for details. And wingnuts can refuse these breaks as they turn away from another instance of Obama soc i al ism. Also, too.

  13. 13
    gbear says:

    Only Obama could have come up with a government program as hot as Springsteen tickets.

    @gex:

    Sounds like your Toyota dealership was as busy as the scooter shops were last year when gas hit $4/gal.

  14. 14
    Lowkey says:

    Curses! Hadn’t finished my coffee. “Oppose tax relief, oppose. Well, that’s what you get when Carrie Prejean is a national earwig.”

  15. 15
    Comrade Jake says:

    So, in summary, we have a program where:
    1) people trade-in old cars that get low gas mileage
    2) they get $4500 cash towards a new car with pretty good mileage
    3) US dealerships are actually selling vehicles

    What’s not to like about that? Sure, the taxpayers are footing the bill but this seems pretty g-d full of win to me. Quadruple it.

  16. 16
    Nathan says:

    The lesson seems to me to be to provide more funding while tightening the fuel efficiency standards for eligibility.
    That will make it more meaningful in every way.

  17. 17
    MrSnrub says:

    According to something I saw on the Consumerist, $1B comes out to about 12 vouchers per dealership. Some dealerships were submitting 80+ vouchers.

  18. 18
    A Mom Anon says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    I just looked up something there and it was fine. I’m reading The Best and The Brightest and keep going there to familiarize myself with some of the players. So far I’ve not had a problem with the site.

  19. 19
    BDeevDad says:

    Have any wingnuts come out and complained about folks buying foreign cars? I mean they were so supportive of Chrysler, GM and Ford during the auto bailout.

  20. 20
    Comrade Jake says:

    What’s the minimum gas mileage the new car has to have?

  21. 21
    anonevent says:

    I have already seen dealers advertise that the program is running out of money. “Get to ______ fast before all of the money is gone.”

    I also saw Nissan advertise that you could trade in your bankrupt based GM or Chrysler vehicle for one of their cars.

  22. 22
    Crashman06 says:

    @Lowkey: Yeah, this sounds like a good use of stimulus money to me. I hope they keep it going.

  23. 23
    Halteclere says:

    @BDeevDad: Hell, Wingnuts would probably prefer people bought foreign cars so that government-supported car companies would be punished!

  24. 24
    BDeevDad says:

    @Comrade Jake: FTA

    Under the program, a buyer who picked a car with a mileage improvement of more than four miles per gallon but less than 10 were eligible for $3,500; a buyer whose new vehicle was rated 10 miles per gallon or better than the old one was eligible for $4,500.

    I believe min was 23 or 25 mpg.

  25. 25
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @BDeevDad: in the short term, perhaps. long term, people just drive farther. Buy a home farther from their job, for example. Fuel fleet economy does less for overall consumption than one would hope. You have to tax the gas, or even more effectively, tax the roads. Only that works for overall consumption.

    On that note, if they want to continue the program, they should raise our pittance of a national gas tax to pay for it.

  26. 26
    joes527 says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    What’s not to like about that?

    I have an old car that has always gotten decent mileage. (when it runs) So I am eligible for nothing from this pot-o-money that we all paid for, but my neighbour who bought and drove a gas guzzler gets his new car subsidized by me.

    Yes, I understand that in the big picture this is for the best, but rewarding folks who have purchased and operated dirty cars at all of our expense kind of sticks in the craw.

    Yes, I support this program and am glad that it has been so popular. But I don’t smile when I think of it.

  27. 27
    steve s says:

    Why all this concern trolling of auto dealerships?

  28. 28
    Trinity says:

    @El Cid: Win.

  29. 29
    anonevent says:

    @joes527: Think of it this way: they are still having to make a car payment because 4500 won’t pay off any car, and think of it in the same way you pay for drug rehabilitation programs. Consider them all oil druggies.

  30. 30
    El Cid says:

    If you do a gas-per-mile calculation, it’s a lot more beneficial to reduce overall fuel use to bring the mileage up for very low fuel efficiency vehicles then it is to improve a moderate fuel economy vehicle to a higher level.

    So if we can get a bunch of 15 mpg vehicle drivers into 18mpg vehicles, it’s a lot more significant in terms of overall gasoline use and emissions per driven mile than getting 22 mpg vehicle drivers into 26 mpg vehicles.

    Now, that’s not overall energy expenditure, which often has much more energy expended building a new vehicle than maintaining even an inefficient older one. But that won’t help the auto industry or its workers.

  31. 31
    jenniebee says:

    @Brachiator: that’s funny, I thought it meant billions in unrequested defense appropriations!

    Despite objections and veto threats from the White House, a $636 billion Pentagon spending bill passed by a 400-30 vote Thursday contains money for a much-criticized new presidential helicopter fleet, cargo jets that Gates says aren’t needed, and an alternative engine for the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the Pentagon says is a waste of money.
    It also contains $128 billion for Pentagon operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which would bring the total appropriated by Congress for those wars and other efforts to combat terrorism above $1 trillion. The bill rejects Obama’s $100 million request for the Pentagon to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

    Crossing fingers, hoping the blockquoting works…

  32. 32
    Michael D. says:

    The only thing I DIDN’T like about the program is that I thought it gave out FAR too much money per vehicle.

    $3500-4500? Seriously?

    I live in Georgia, where we have at least one or two sales tax holiday weekends a year. People go NUTS for these things.

    Think about that. Thousands upon thousands of people going nuts over what amounts to nothing more than a 7% off sale.

    The same results, in my opinion, could have been achived with a $1000-1500 credit.

    But what do I know? I’m just a caveman.

  33. 33
    gnomedad says:

    Maybe someone told Palin she could get the cash if she’d resign.

    Also, to the wingnut “1984” litany, we can add:
    * Success is Failure.

  34. 34
    Comrade Jake says:

    @joes527:

    Good point. We’ve got an old Jetta I’m driving these days. The AC is shot and the rear window is duct-taped shut. Would love to take advantage of this program, but it’s not eligible.

    It would seem to me that one ought to be able to trade something like our cars in, provided the new car still got 10 more miles to the gallon. That probably puts me into Prius category but I would think that would be a good thing.

  35. 35
    Wossname says:

    Part of the deal is that the traded in clunkers must be destroyed, not resold. Who’s watching the watchers watching the dealers?

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @matt:

    The right wing blogs are telling us this program was an enormous failure as the gov. didn’t plan well for its popularity.

    This is part of the official and unofficial game plan: always knock Obama, no matter what.

    A local conservative talk radio show tried to bash “cash for clunkers” by speculating that consumers and auto dealers would find ways to commit fraud, but then had to admit that the program has safeguards (a person must be the registered owner, the clunker must be drivable, etc).

    And what the boneheads didn’t realize was that by talking about the program, even negatively, they were giving it free publicity.

    Also, on this radio station and others, it is common for commercials to be referred to as “The Obama home sales plan” or “The Obama energy credit plan” when advertising mortgage products and home insulation products, etc.

    It’s funny to see how Obama is getting groundswell credit for everything related to the stimulus programs even as official wingnut talking points refuse to acknowledge anything that he has done.

  37. 37
    gnomedad says:

    That was supposed to be an asterisk “bullet” if anyone’s wondering.

  38. 38
    joes527 says:

    @anonevent: Like I said – in the big picture this is a good thing. It is just a bummer that there is no $$ in the pot for me.

    I like the idea of funding this on an ongoing basis with a new gas tax, and I think the popularity shows that they could have pushed the mileage improvement requirements a bit more. Again, it seems odd to be subsidizing folks to get new cars that STILL have worse mileage than my old car. But these are tweaks.

  39. 39
    jenniebee says:

    @joes527:

    rewarding folks who have purchased and operated dirty cars at all of our expense kind of sticks in the craw.

    Yep, it’s just another sign that Capitalism is a Moral Hazard, but if it means 50,000 more cars sold, that’s a whole plant that stays open and a lot of jobs at dealerships that keep going, which means that all the people manufacturing and selling those cars keep paying taxes instead of using services… the net cost doesn’t seem like it would be too egregious.

    Better than paying those folks to dig holes and fill them back in, and even that would be better than nothing.

  40. 40
    PeakVT says:

    What’s not to like about that?

    1) It’s not getting the worst polluting cars off the road, which are mostly being driven by people who can’t afford a new car with even with a $4500 subsidy. 2) It may end up just pulling sales forward by a quarter or two, leading to a dip in sales later in the year. 3) A lot of the money is going to leak over the borders.

    The program is mostly about helping dealers (and to a lesser extent manufacturers) by clearing inventory. In the annals of stupid policy it’s not the worst, but it’s not exactly great, either.

  41. 41
    Bill H says:

    I see much to like in the plan, especially the reduction in fuel use. The spending bothers me a bit, but the stimulus bill was error only in being too small, so I have no real problem with that. The problem I do have with it is that the stimulus was supposed to be about JOBS, and this is about SPENDING, which is not the kind of stimulus we need.

  42. 42
    Bill H says:

    I see much to like in the plan, especially the reduction in fuel use. The spending bothers me a bit, but the stimulus bill was error only in being too small, so I have no real problem with that. The problem I do have with it is that the stimulus was supposed to be about JOBS, and this is about SPENDING, which is not the kind of stimulus we need.

    I know about the “spending means jobs saved” and all that, but stimulating spending to create jobs has just never made that happen. What’s happening is that cars are being sold off of the lot, and do you really think factories are going to crank up to replenish that dealer inventory?

  43. 43
    Bill H says:

    Sorry about that, I have no idea what happened.

  44. 44
    joes527 says:

    @Michael D.:

    The same results, in my opinion, could have been achived with a $1000-1500 credit.

    Around here, you can get $1K trade in on anything that didn’t have to be towed into the dealership. (and you could probably get it even if you had to be towed in) They just build it into the price of the new car. I think that what they do is ship all the unsaleable trade ins down to Mexico. I’m pretty sure someone is driving my 83 Colt down there right now.

    Replacing a $1K trade in with a $1K credit isn’t going to do anything for turn over, and the money built in to the new car price for the trade in isn’t going to be given back. At this level the program becomes a simple subsidy to dealerships. (not necessarily a bad thing, but not what this program was supposed to be about)

    If a clunker is really at its end of life, then this program is a win all around. But if a low mileage car has reasonable life left in it, then figuring out whether continuing to operate it, or junking and replacing it (with all the cost manufacturing and decommissioning accounted for) is really better over all is pretty complex. I think that they low balled the mileage spread needed to justify the manufacturing cost of a new car, but that is just my gut feeling. I don’t even have numbers scribbled on a napkin to justify it, so I may be wrong.

  45. 45
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @PeakVT: It’s not getting the worst polluting cars off the road, which are mostly being driven by people who can’t afford a new car with even with a $4500 subsidy

    In an un-intentional way, it is. The methods they suggest for destroying the engine will also take out most of the drive train, cutting down on the supply of used parts for those trying to keep their old clunker running on the cheap.

  46. 46
    lamh31 says:

    OT, but I’m sure no one will be surprised here:58 percent of GOP not sure/doubt Obama born in US

    Shocker poll from Kos/Research2000 today.

    A whopping 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US (28 percent) or aren’t sure (30 percent). A mere 42 percent think he was.

    That means a majority of Republicans polled either don’t know about — or don’t believe the seemingly incontrovertible evidence Obama’s camp has presented over and over and over that he was born in Hawaii in ’61.

    Surprise, surprise: Birther sentiment was strongest in the South and among the 60-plus crowd

  47. 47
    gex says:

    @Comrade Jake: I didn’t pay close attention (since my car was totaled, it is beyond a clunker and not eligible) but it did not appear that this could be used on trucks. At the Toyota it seemed like Camry, Prius, Corolla, and Yaris were the cars eligible, but I could be wrong.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    OT – But I thought this was right in DougJ’s wheelhouse.
    Anyone else see the Politico piece about congressmen and local townhalls? Here’s their lead para:

    Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress

    Now, silly me, but I thought this was going to be another tangential birther piece. But no. They detail all Dems that are in clear retreat mode from their constituents, ostnesibly because they’ve been voting for things Obama has been pushing. The only Repub they mention is Castle.
    Astonishing, no?
    Good ole nonbiased Politico

  49. 49
    lamh31 says:

    Sorry, the whole part after the link is supposed to be in BLOCKQUOTES!

    Man I miss the edit function.

  50. 50
    Michael D. says:

    @joes527:

    Replacing a $1K trade in with a $1K credit isn’t going to do anything for turn over, and the money built in to the new car price for the trade in isn’t going to be given back.

    I think my point above was this: “People aren’t that smart.”

    Again, at least here in Georgia, people will go to the ends of the earth for what amounts to nothing more than a 7% off sale…

  51. 51
    Jean says:

    news alert: From NYT– White House Says ‘Clunkers’ Rebate Plan Will Go On

    The White House said Friday that the “cash for clunkers”
    program was still alive even though the $1 billion that
    Congress had appropriated for it has already been snapped up.

  52. 52
    Hoya says:

    I’m trading in a 2002 Merc Mountaineer that gets 14 MPG and a 22 gallon tank with 98k miles for a New Focus that gets 30 MPG. I paid almost 5 grand last year in gas and another 1.5k in repairs.

    C4C is a win for someone like me.

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @Comrade Darkness:

    in the short term, perhaps. long term, people just drive farther. Buy a home farther from their job, for example.

    I don’t see this as a problem. I think that getting increases in fuel efficiency is often better than reducing consumption, taxing gas or roads, or conservation just for the sake of conservation.

    So people drive farther, but people who use their car for business purposes or who drive to go to job interviews to look for work see some of their costs decrease. And the money that is not used for gas can be saved or spent on something else that might help the economy.

    So people buy a home farther from their job, but if that home is more affordable than one closer in, that is good for the homeowner, and more home sales is good for the economy.

    On that note, if they want to continue the program, they should raise our pittance of a national gas tax to pay for it.

    This may be necessary down the road, but I think that we are headed into a deeper recession, and any increase in taxes has to be considered carefully.

    Michael D — The same results, in my opinion, could have been achived with a $1000-1500 credit.

    The program seems to be doing quite well in California and especially in Michigan (I just heard a radio news bit where the REPUBLICAN congressman in Michigan was praising the program). The higher dollar amounts help in California as well. If you like, we could vary the amount by state.

    By the way, the $4500 is the maximum credit amount. Not all vehicles will qualify for the max amount.

  54. 54
    gex says:

    @lamh31: Why, oh, why won’t Obama lay this to rest by personally raiding the archives and stealing the original paper document and going house to house to “release” it to the public? It would be a simple thing to do to put the matter to rest.

    /end Sully

  55. 55
    Lowkey says:

    @Brachiator:

    Ooh, interesting point. The idea of being functionally aided by wingnut freakouts is delicious. You could create perpetual motion thusly.

  56. 56
    joes527 says:

    WordPress database error: [MySQL server has gone away]
    SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = 24789 AND comment_approved = ‘1’ ORDER BY comment_date

    If I collect all the SQL strings does that mean I get to have my own balloon juice?

  57. 57
    Zifnab says:

    @joes527:

    Yes, I understand that in the big picture this is for the best, but rewarding folks who have purchased and operated dirty cars at all of our expense kind of sticks in the craw.

    You’ve been rewarded by lower gas taxes to the tune of $.13 / gallon. Over the life of the vehicle, that can add up.

    If he averaged 15 mpg and you averaged 20 mpg, and you both drove the vehicle 100k miles, he bought 1666 gallons of extra gas and paid $216.58 extra to the feds. When the price of gas was $4 / gal, he paid 33% more to our oil executive overlords. He also likely paid a higher sales tax on the vehicle to his state government, as higher mpg vehicles tend to be larger and more expensive.

    I’ve heard more than one GOoPer Congresscritter declare that this was “unfair” to him. Either way, he’s being rewarded for switching to a cleaner car now. You were rewarded for switching to a cleaner car back in 2004, when the price of gas spiked. I know bus fares and train usage also went up quickly in response to higher energy prices. Metro got it’s reward.

    Ultimately, it’s not unfair that he’s getting this credit now. It’s absurd that this sort of incentive (or a better one) wasn’t put in place years ago.

  58. 58
    Zifnab says:

    @gex: Because that would be a waste of taxpayer money and/or a trick by ACORN field agents to make us take the US Census.

  59. 59
    slippytoad says:

    @Brachiator: The only real answer here is that Conservatives are self-defeating, America-hating stupid fucks who will viciously slander anything that actually works for us if it is not their idea.

  60. 60
    WereBear says:

    The crux of this is that we are always going to have to push dumb people to do smart things.

    Yes, it makes the smart people feel put upon, but we are smart people… I figure that’s enough of a life bonus to make up for a lot.

  61. 61
    Church Lady says:

    Even better is that Chrysler is offering to match the CFC allowance, even if you don’t have a clunker to trade in. On Monday, we bought our son a 2009 Jeep Patriot to go to take to college. The dealership gave us a fair trade in amount for our 2003 Chevy Suburban (it was worth more than the $4,500 CRC maximum) and also gave us a $3,500 CFC match rebate. Even after tax, tags and title, we wound up only having to pay right at $12K. He’s thrilled with his new car and we’re pretty darn happy with what it cost us.

    And yes, the trade is definitely better for gas mileage. The Suburban only got around 15MPG city and the Jeep averages 22 MPG. Highway miles are even better.

  62. 62
    joes527 says:

    @Zifnab:

    If he averaged 15 mpg and you averaged 20 mpg, and you both drove the vehicle 100k miles, he bought 1666 gallons of extra gas and paid $216.58 extra to the feds. When the price of gas was $4 / gal, he paid 33% more to our oil executive overlords. He also likely paid a higher sales tax on the vehicle to his state government, as higher mpg vehicles tend to be larger and more expensive.

    In other words, we made our choices and lived with them.

    Now, money is being collected from everyone to be given specifically to the folks who chose badly. Unluckily? Foolishly? Selfishly? Probably a mixture of all of those.

    I am NOT arguing against this program. I support it and think it should continue. (but as I noted earlier, I think the mileage improvement requirements can be bumped up)

    But to pretend that there is no issue at all with this redistribution of wealth from the frugal to the wasteful seems to be missing something.

    Isn’t it possible to look at the pluses and minuses without having to dismiss any aspect that doesn’t support The Right Conclusion (R) ?

  63. 63
    Nellcote says:

    @Brachiator:

    >it is common for commercials to be referred to as “The Obama home sales plan” or “The Obama energy credit plan” when advertising mortgage products and home insulation products, etc.

    I guess this is what they mean by the Obama “brand”?

  64. 64
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    $1 billion divided by $4,500/car equals 222,222 cars.

    Average monthly auto sales are around 1 million/month, without any special $4,500 deals, doubled by the dealer. Figure a 50% bump, or 1.5 million vehicles/month equals 4 days of funding.

    The Obama Administration sucks at math. This particular calculation is not difficult.

    College Professor.

  65. 65
    Comrade Mary says:

    joes527: But to pretend that there is no issue at all with this redistribution of wealth from the frugal to the wasteful seems to be missing something.

    Here’s a parallel, I think: I’m a Canadian who earns a healthy middle class income and pays appropriate taxes toward health care. In fact, this province also has a health surcharge based on taxable income, where I paid about $600 last year, but someone earning less than $30,000 paid no surcharge.

    I eat well, exercise, see the doctor regularly, don’t smoke, drink moderately, yadda yadda yadda. Some of the people who pay little or no taxes toward health care live similar lifestyles, but many don’t (as do many of the richer people paying higher taxes). Unfair? Maybe, but while I agree that encouragement and incentives should be offered to help people live healthier lifestyles, I don’t believe in lifestyle mean tests or shaming.

    People are going to vary. People are going to do dumb things. And many people go for a marshmallow now versus two marshmallows later. They aren’t the only ones hurt when they make these choices, so it’s both empathy and enlightened self-interest that allows me to accept paying more to help them.

    (Oh, and I earn a middle class income in part because I’m smart and work hard, but I also owe the province and nation for the welfare payments that got me through high school and the grants and loans that got me through university. The place that got me started in my current field wasn’t looking at anyone without a university degree, no matter how knowledgeable they were. Without government support, I could be doing something completely different now.)

  66. 66
    Tax Analyst says:

    Joes527 said:

    “But to pretend that there is no issue at all with this redistribution of wealth from the frugal to the wasteful seems to be missing something.”

    Basically this is going to happen anytime the government finds it necessary to step in and pump money into a specific area that is ailing. Since they are changing direction it sort of means that if what you are doing is working it will probably not work as well after the change.

    When the FED kept lowering interest rates until they hit zero saver’s (like myself) bit the big weinie. I had an interest-earning checking account that at one time earned over 4%, FDIC insured. A few months ago I looked at my statement and saw that the current rate was .01%. That’s 1/400th of what it earned only a couple years ago. To put that in some perspective let’s say you had $100,000 in that account. Where it once earned $4,000/yr it now earns $10/yr.

    Whenever choices are made to reallocate money there are going to be winners and losers. Yes, it sucks to open the paper and find that your ox has not only been gored, but has also been ground up into taco filler, but if the overall impact of that reallocation helps heal the entire economy you might expect to reap at least some benefit from it. For instance, I was less than delighted at the hit my savings interest took, but if the interest reduction had succeeded in stimulating the economy (I did not believe it would and don’t believe it did, considering how everything melted down in spite of it) then perhaps it would save my job or the jobs of people who spend money, perhaps at the company I work for. Whatever, if it had boosted the overall economy I would have satisfied with it. At least with the “cash for clunkers” it appears the overall result will be significantly positive. If the tide rises your boat will go up at least a little bit too, unless the bottom is punctured.

    Now the Fed’s Interest Reduction, well, not so much. The economy continued to tank and saver’s got slaughtered. I’m OK, but a lot of older retired folks were hurt quite badly. Not a “win”.

  67. 67

    C4C is simply a way for elitists to wrap their lefty fingers around everything you do, and decide what kind of car you should drive. And where. And how fast. And where you park it, and how often you wash it. Etc, etc.

    Do you really want a government bureaucrat coming between you and your car salesman? Between you and your service advisor?

    Just say no to this government takeover.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    @SrirachaHotSauce:

    Do you really want a government bureaucrat coming between you and your car salesman? Between you and your service advisor?

    Gee. I was watching some news items on “cash for clunkers.” Lots of smiling car salesmen happy that people were coming in to buy cars.

    Why don’t you go and ask one of them whether they would like to see the program expanded or eliminated? Ask a few car buyers as well,

  69. 69
    Face says:

    And here I read the title of this post and thought it’d be a story about Jonah Goldberg finally finding his wang.

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    debbie says:

    The real issue with this program is that dealers were selling it at least a month ago, before they even knew all the rules of the program or exactly which cars would be covered (a revised list came out earlier this week).

    Why did the program shut down so quickly? Not because of government incompetence, as Republicans were quick to claim, but because of dealer greed. Isn’t that the American way?

  71. 71
    bodacious says:

    Wheeeee!
    As I was sitting in the dealership signing the papers for my new Prius ($4500 bonus + no sales tax incentive program), the word came through the sales staff the program was shutting down. I guess it was a good idea to drive 200 miles to make the deal last night!!!!!
    The sad note is our ‘clunker’ (max 18 mpg rating required), wasn’t all that junky, and I never would have trashed it. It could have helped a great number of struggling families that need a minivan. Someone actually had just clunked a Lexus that made the sales staff sick; acid in the engine, and no parts saved.
    I’m just not wasteful by nature, so taking a semi-perfect vehicle out just didn’t feel right. Change is difficult, but driving the Prius – priceless.

  72. 72
    ruemara says:

    let’s see, over $1bn in funds given away in about 5 days, with the effect boosting car sales (lagging industry) by an additional …3%. Bloody successful and I’m so damn sure it’s being painted by a failure.

  73. 73
    PeakVT says:

    @Comrade Darkness: Yeah, but in doing so it is reducing the inventory of cars a step or two above junker – ones that people who can afford a new car are still willing to drive.

    As long as it’s a short-term emergency program I don’t really care about what incentives or disincentives it creates. But if it going to be extended, it should be structured in a different way.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @bodacious:

    The sad note is our ‘clunker’ (max 18 mpg rating required), wasn’t all that junky, and I never would have trashed it. It could have helped a great number of struggling families that need a minivan.

    This is a good point. Aspects of the cash for clunkers plan may have been too draconian. The idea to get cars off the road may be worthy and good for the environment, etc., but they should also have considered to used and foreign car market.

    And someone else noted that a similar plan in Germany appeared to help car sales, but also led to a severe decline in the auto parts and scrap metal business.

    By the by, a radio segment on the program featured a clip with a car dealership manager who happily noted that his sales people stayed to midnight to sale cars, and stayed past 2 am to do the paperwork.

    I am hearing news reports that Congress is allocating another $2 billion for the program.

    No comments from Republicans about government interference in the free market.

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    @Brachiator:

    Dude? Your smile-fu is weak today.

  77. 77
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Dear S.H. Sauce,

    I have corresponded with you several times about some burning issues and received no reply. Please let me know if I should be using a different email address.

    Warmest Regards,

    J.S. Fuckhead

  78. 78
    Joy says:

    Church Lady – I did the same thing. I got 4500 for my clunker plus the 4500 Jeep Rebate. The salesman said they were swamped. I live in central Illinois and there were people coming from Chicago to buy a Patriot. None were left in the Chicago area. At one point a dealer was actually auctioning the one Patriot he had left. While we were test driving my car, two people called and left deposits on it in case we didn’t want it. Supposedly there were fisticuffs up north over these things. It was nutty.

    I understand the part about the qualifying cars. My car barely qualified and only because it had a “supercharged” engine – a 92 Olds 98. If I didn’t have the supercharge, it wouldn’t have qualified. All in all, I’m satisfied and probably would have bought the car without the clunker rebate because of Jeeps’, but they are quickly going through the inventory. I believe only the Patriot and the Sebring qualified for the rebate, so the rest of the traffic must be due to the rebate offered by Chrysler/Jeep

  79. 79

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Are you still at the hotmail address?

    I am sending a party to search for you mails.

  80. 80
    Church Lady says:

    Joy – Pretty much the same thing here. There are two Jeep dealerships in town. One was completely out of Patriots and the other had only two on the lot. My son got one of the two. Both dealerships were completely sold out of the Liberty model and had only a few Compasses left on the lots. And this was last Sunday and Monday. By now, what remained is probably gone. The dealerships, which also sell Chryslers and Dodges, were absolutely swamped with prospective buyers. All of the salesmen seemed to be in a VERY good mood.

    Not sure what giving away an extra $3500 to $4500 per vehicle will do to Chrysler’s bottom line, but they certainly are reducing inventory at a rapid rate with this program.

  81. 81
    Jordan says:

    It doesn’t matter if they dole more money. They problem is still the backlog. Read this article: The Real Reason for the “Cash for Clunkers” Suspension. The ex car salesman blog shares exactly why they stopped the program. Even reports that some sales managers are calling asking for the money back because they were denied the rebate when the final paperwork was submitted but their car was already ruined by dumping a solution in the engine. They now have no car. Scary. See: http://tinyurl.com/ml9sdo

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