- Dan Strumpf at Associated Press, with his cleverly titled piece: Fence-sitters have made `cash for clunkers' a hit. Do you note the subtle implication the center is moving towards President Obama?
- Representative Ed Markey: Clunker Success Proves Clean Energy Legislation Is a Win for Consumers and the Economy. Wow, I didn't think it would be possible, but he actually tried hit the quadruple play tying Green-n-Clean with the Economy, Congress and You.
- Your Local Auto Dealers: Local Dealers Admit Success Of "Cash For Clunkers" Was Surprising.
- President Barack Obama, Himself: "This program has been an overwhelming success." However, his facts are all wrong.
How do we really measure success of Cash for Clunkers? I don't know, because we were never given a goal, we have no criteria to measure the program. There is nothing in the law that defines the criteria for success. The left likes it that way... they hate actual numbers... because they are so confused by them.
Remember President Obama's erroneous unemployment predictions? He was really wrong about that. With this program, by not specifying a criteria he can declare victory with any result. Clever, huh?
Anyway, just what is the goal? Are we trying to subsidize the auto industry? Are we trying to get people reliable, cheap or efficient transportation? Are we trying to reward losers who drove gas hogs for years and years? Are we trying to irritate the people that bought fuel efficient cars with their own money because they like the idea of 'going green'? Whatever it is, the method is to interfere with the natural progression of events.
Yes it is a popular program, clearly anytime the government takes money from our grandchildren and starts handing it out, well people will stand in line. CARS is not a successful program, because $1 billion cannot really do anything good for America, but it can do some harm. Here is a short list of the harms:
- By selling cars at artificially-depressed prices, it subsidizes weak dealers who will be able to keep their doors open and compete against stronger dealers.
- By artificially increasing demand now, it will artificially reduce demand in the future.
- By artificially reducing the supply of used cars, It will artificially increase the demand for and price of the remaining used cars.
- By mandating the destruction of used cars, Cash-for-Clunkers will unintentionally distort the market for spare parts and auto repairs.
- By providing what is, in effect, a $4500 tax cut for those who can afford to purchase a new car during a recession, it punishes those who may need help the most.
If this program is so popular, why not make a 'cash for clunker computer' program? A 'cash for clunker television' program? Yes CARS is a popular program, like Welfare, Social Security, and Medicare are all popular. None of them are a success.
It is important to know the difference.
More: Several bloggers suggest Cash for Codgers and Silver for Seniors as the next Obama administration programs. Let us not forget the all too familiar Cash for Congress.
Still More: from Reason Magazine: Here's an idea: Let's give $50,000 to anyone looking to upgrade to a brand-spanking-new, environmentally friendly home. All we ask in return is that you burn your previous residence into a heap of smoldering cinder.