Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Clunker Crap

I hope this is the last post I make on the stupid CARS aka "Cash for Clunkers" stupidity.

I've heard from numerous individuals attempting to use the trade-in program state that many auto dealerships were selling their vehicles at MSRP (the ridiculously inflated sticker price) whenever someone wanted to use Cash for Clunkers. Basically all other rebates and discounts were out the window in those cases, even though this was supposed to be an incentive to car buyers and not a way for the dealerships to be the only beneficiaries of lining their pockets with tax money.

If the price would have been the same without the "Clunker" trade-in, what was the point? But this is what was happening, and it's not really surprising, as the fools in government never consider the consequences of meddling with the free market in the first place.

I was still also hearing of people trading in vehicles they never really used for new ones they would use. So one supposed reason for the program (to get those gas guzzlers off the road) was also baloney. I spoke to a woman who told me she would have to get a jump start or probably a new battery to get her old car over to the dealership, a car that was indeed registered and insured but that had just been sitting for months without being driven.

The unconscionable wastefulness of the program was also indicated time and time again, as with a gentleman who told me his early 90s van was in very good condition and how he hated to get rid of it, but just couldn't pass up the opportunity to get $4500 on it as a trade-in on a new car.

If the program was such a success, as our overlords keep telling us, why have they ended it? Maybe it didn't really make sense after all? Nah, couldn't be.


  1. Your final paragraph perplexes me. So the wasteful, evil program ended... and because it's not still going on for you to complain about, it further justifies how useless it was?

    I agree that the program was designed to benefit both consumer and dealership alike, and I believe it probably helped the dealerships more. However, I don't see the harm in it, even if in my mind the money could have gone to help retarded kids who save rain forests, or whatever liberal backwardness I support. I think it helped millions of peopleget new, more fuel efficient cars and in the process helped a struggling industry.

    Perhaps one thing that might have helped would be a caveat that the car must be manufactured in the US, if you believe in protectionist policy. Of course, all the dealerships are American owned businesses, regardless of where the cars are from.

  2. Your final paragraph perplexes me. So the wasteful, evil program ended... and because it's not still going on for you to complain about, it further justifies how useless it was?

    Why so perplexed? I'm not one who thought it was a success, but if indeed it worked so fabulously, why not continue it or even expand it?

    But obviously there is something called reality that eventually intrudes on the fantasy world of "government can solve the problem by throwing money at it" make-believe.

  3. and in the process helped a struggling industry.

    Talk about perplexing statements! Now that the drunken car-buying binge is over, what will happen to the auto industry in the months to come?

  4. This was a subsidy for the auto industry and the unions and nothing else. It baffles me how this program can be even consider in favor of consumers.

    It likely destroyed tens of thousands of perfectly good cars, vehicles that could have been filtered into the used auto market and benefited younger and poorer drivers who cannot afford a new car, especially in this environment.

    I've also been told that it is expected to have a serious impact on the auto part market and will directly impact the ability of Americans to maintain older vehicles they wish to keep.

    Finally, the money you got could only be used towards leasing or buying a new car. If the goal is better gas mileage, why not let people purchased cars that are a couple years old but get very good gas mileage?

    Yeah, definitely pro-consumer (so long as you're a consumer who can afford to purchase a new car in the midst of a horrible recession).

  5. It was expanded once before, do you want it to be a permanent fixture? I don't.

    Wouldn't it be better to provide a tax credit or rebate for those who purchase/own fuel efficient cars? I think the money saved in fuel efficiency is sufficient, but who knows...


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