The $1 Billion clunker for cash program is a horrific failure and I’m tired of hearing the talking heads say what a success it has been. Just how is spending a billion (borrowed) taxpayer dollars a success? So, by virtue of the government being able to spend money quickly it is a success? Nonsense. It is a failure through and through. Moreover, the math doesn’t work.
The federal government already has no money. Every cent that is spent is either borrowed or printed. So the brilliant Congressmen and the Brilliant President decide it would be a good idea to borrow ANOTHER billion dollars to “help” the economy. Here’s how they decided to do it…
If you have a car up to 25 years old, you can trade it in to the participating car dealership and get an automatic voucher for up to $4500.00 toward the purchase of a new car, with better gas mileage – it must be at least 22mpg. The idea is that this will help clean up the environment with newer, cleaner cars on the road, and help the car dealers and auto makers by moving some of their inventory. Sounds great on paper. But of course, the government screwed it up.
First, as just reported on ABC news (WMAL AM 630 in Washington DC), some 22,000 vehicles were sold under the program in the opening week. Great! Success! Not so fast. It is the car dealerships that had to go out of pocket for the vouchers. Now they have to wait for the reimbursement from the government. Guess what? The government is already underwater – backlogged with the requests for reimbursment. Meanwhile, the dealers are out the car, and the cash, while they wait for the bureaucracy to catch up.
Yet we are to believe based on the news stories that because of the speed with which the $1 Billion in borrowed tax money was spent, this was a success.
Second, What about all the people who had to pay for this? We, the taxpayers, are subsidizing new cars for our neighbors. How is that fair? Where the h&%l in the Constitution does it say that the government can take money from one segment of the population and give it to another so that they can buy new cars?! That the government has already spent all the tax money it confiscated and is now borrowing more or printing it, to be paid back with mmore taxes in the future, just ads insult to injury.
Third, this morning (July 31) I received a nice mail piece from Koons of Manassass, a local dealer who has many dealerships in the DC area. I imagine that Koons had similar pieces go out all over Virginia. The problem is that the government doesn’t have any more money to cover any more vouchers (not that they did in the first place, but I digress). Do you realize the cost of producing and mailing a direct mail piece? Graphic design, copywriters, marketing analysts for the offer, printing, stuffing, postage, not to mention the time spent by the staff to produce the piece. Guess what? Worthless. The piece dropped three days ago, hit my mailbox yesterday and the deal is defunct.
Lastly, the math. It doesn’t work. A Billion dollars could have purchased OUTRIGHT $25,000.00 cars for 40,000 people. Yet what is being reported in various news outlets doesn’t add up, except for one thing: the government has no idea what they are doing. Get this: According to the NTSB as reported in Bloomberg, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is running the program, said yesterday that 22,782 vehicles worth $95.9 million had been sold.” According to my math the 22K + vehicles sold under the program should only amount to a little over $100 Million. But the USAToday reports that, “As of late Thursday, the government had committed nearly all of the program’s $1 billion, according to calculations by NADA and various congressional offices.” So which is it?
My guess is that the government has no idea.
The worst part about this is now you have clowns in Congress like Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., and Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio who want to expand the subsidy 4x! Yes! Let’s put $4 Billion into this mess – they don’t even know how to manage the first Billion, or hundred million, or how ever the h&% much they have spent. Who knows? They surely don’t.
To call this a success is true by one measure only: A successful illustration of the governments ability to spend money they don’t have and have no idea where it went, all the while increasing the tax burden and putting a strain on the monetary system.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.