Cash for clunkers runs out of money … after one week; Update: Feds scramble to save program

posted at 9:56 pm on July 30, 2009 by Allahpundit

Unlike pretty much every other Hopenchange economic policy, not only did this one work, it worked better than expected. And yet, I can’t help thinking there’s a lesson in the fact that a centrally planned program budgeted to run through the end of October went bust in, er, seven days. That’s some miscalculation — not unlike the miscalculation that promised unemployment no higher than eight percent once we pinched that $787 billion loaf known as the stimulus. And naturally, the program came buried in so much bureaucracy and paperwork that some dealers gave up on it despite the amazing business it drummed up.

Ah well. I’m sure none of that will happen with national health care.

The program — aimed at giving at boost to the U.S. auto industry — was supposed to expire at the end of October. But in the one week since it took effect, it appears to have run dry of the $1 billion allocated to it, aides said Thursday.

The White House will need to decide whether to push for more money at a time when it’s also pushing an ambitious and expensive domestic agenda — or let the program fade after it was touted as a way to help Detroit while improving the environment.

One Michigan Republican, Congresswoman Candice Miller, has alreayd come out in favor of extending the program, saying in a statement that “There can be no doubt that the Cash for Clunkers program is a complete success given the fact that the entire $1 billion allocated to the program was expended in less than a week.”

She called the program “simply the most stimulative $1 billion the federal government has spent during the entire economic downturn.”

Imagine how stimulative it would be if it wasn’t limited to fuel-efficient cars, per the left’s green agenda, but to any current model. Actually, though, it really isn’t limited: Via the boss, check out Cato’s easy peasy scheme to turn C4C into free money which you can use to buy the clunker or muscle car of your dreams. If they end up extending the program, I’m totally getting that ‘Vette I’ve always wanted. Thanks, Barry!

Update: Looks like I might be getting that ‘Vette after all: “Although key members of Congress were notified by the Secretary of Transportation Thursday that the program would run out of money at midnight, sources said ‘Administration and Congressional officials are working to keep it up and running.’”


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Let me try that one!

Progressive = socialist bordering on, if not full fledged, Communist!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Wait, I see the problem. When I said, “You’re lying.”

I didn’t mean….YOU’RE LYING. I mean, that’s what they say too.

Sorry, if I offended anyone.

My point is that they fall back on that argument. What I always think is they don’t recognize opinion versus fact.

Nobody is lying. It’s just opinion as to what will work and what won’t. What will promote our country and what will hurt.

I didn’t mean anyone here was actually lying. (Although, sometimes, that is the case.)

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Why didn’t the great and wonderful Oz and his lollipop kids institute cash for clunkers before two of three American car makers went bankrupt?

Speakup on July 31, 2009 at 12:55 PM

oh great, they suspend at 8pm last night and restart again at noon the following day.
Do they have any idea the they could not look less compettent?

ORconservative on July 31, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Obamas Lying!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 12:56 PM

The problems arising from this program are validating me. I wanted a truly pragmatic president, with experience. I felt strongly that Hillary had learned the hard way about trying to govern from big ideas. She found out. The devil is in the details and how smoothly programs are introduced.

I felt strongly that Obama was a charming, affable guy, without that experience, who met the unspoken inner need of Americans to give the black guy a shot. I agreed with Ferraro totally. This was the year of the black man.

It was a huge stretch for him. We’re seeing that’s the case.

Several programs have simply bombed. He’s proven to be Carteresque. But I still think American will evaluate this based on healing race relations, too, and come out saying, “It was worth the risk.”

I probably was overly pragmatic.

We’ll muddle through this administration, in short.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:05 PM

He mortgaged the future to pay for the war and gave tax cuts. First time in history, too.

Had the economy continued to boom, he’d have gotten by with it.

As it is? He’s not one whit different than Obama. He did NOT pay for the war. He sold debt.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:22 PM

You didn’t answer my questions. Nice dodge, though.

What is the role of the American government as prescribed by our founders? What is the role of the state, generally? I’ll add another: what is the role of the state in regards to economics?

Mommypundit on July 31, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Let me try that one!
Progressive = socialist bordering on, if not full fledged, Communist!
dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM

On target!

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 1:14 PM

What is the role of the American government as prescribed by our founders? What is the role of the state, generally? I’ll add another: what is the role of the state in regards to economics?

Well, not every war is supported by the public. That’s a ridiculous argument.

But, what I personally love about Democracy is that we’re fluid. We grow, change, meet challenges.

The basic social contract is excellent. It must serve people.

That, to me, is conservative thinking.

Now, we will disagree about how that contract is met. To me, that just means, we’re not sure. We’re working through the issues.

But those of you who propose that you don’t care about people at all, who really do seem to support that the state has NO say-so in healthcare or the economy?

No, I’ll never be interested in that ideology.

I think the State has huge influence.

It does make a difference in my daily life. And I can’t imagine rolling back to 19th century thinking.

So, no, I disagree.

I think we’re representative, so it’s often frustrating. It’s not direct democracy.

I know my own state senator is liberal and voting against public option. I figured out why, too. Our state is broke. If the Feds withdraw the funds and shift to the states, we’re really, really dead.

I get it.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:15 PM

In other words, healthcare reform cannot be Federal Mandate.

CA is dying under one mandate, which is the inability to not offer benefits to illegals.

We’re forbidden, by mandate, to do that.

That has totally destroyed our benefits programs.

This should not become that type of situation. Palin’s warnings are apropos.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Its real simple!
Have you heard the commercials for the cure for —–?
The side effects are diarrhea, vomiting, blurry vision, dizzyness,nervousness and insomnia!

The public says screw that the side effects are worse than the illness.

With Government HealthScare the side effects are far worse than the condition.
They will ruin the best medicine known to man, bankrupt the country (which is already nearly there), drive doctors, hospitals ,and clinics out of business and end the lives of many Americans that would otherwise choose to further there lives through medical treatment!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Stupid It is time for back to school cars. Why shred them? What next? Bulldoze houses under 50,000 dollars?

If they buy a new one with payments they can’t afford?

seven on July 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM

The purpose of this program, supposedly, is to get the “clunkers” off the road but what happens to them after the dealer takes them in trade? Are they the property of the government? Are they hauled to the car-crusher and turned into scrap? Are they sold to a car auction and picked up by small used car dealers and re-sold to illegal immigrants? What?

One billion bucks is a lot of money. I want to know where these cars go. Barak? – anybody?

lonesomecharlie on July 31, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Okay, AnninCA , since you’ve served onto healthscare, try (not) answering these questions:

If healthcare is supposed to be a right, how can it be rationed?

If the existing programs work okay, and aren’t the usual government bureaucratic nightmares, why not simply use those to cover the uninsured?

If the plan is so wondrous, what do they want to rush it through before anyone finds out about it?

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 1:29 PM

— not unlike the miscalculation that promised unemployment no higher than eight percent once we pinched that $787 billion loaf known as the stimulus.

Not unlike the universal healthcare for children in Hawaii.

This is fun. What else is this O miscalculation not unlike?

eucher on July 31, 2009 at 1:37 PM

I want the Vette too…too bad I cannot drive it :(

I bet my husband would want it but I am NOT letting him drive it–a chick magnet? And where he parks the car are soooo not considerate of car boundaries-comes home every week with some scratch.

I luv detailing my car though it’s hard-still not buying the idea that I have to get some clown car where I cannot put my family in, haul wood/Lowe’s supplies and put my giant breed dog on a passenger seat. Heh-smart car with a deer hitch on the back.

ProudPalinFan on July 31, 2009 at 1:38 PM

If healthcare is supposed to be a right, how can it be rationed?

Here is my true answer. I joined Kaiser way back when my family was young.

Yeah, it was different. But I grew to absolutely love it.

I don’t object to Kaiser-type insurance. I have changed.

I think private insurance today puts a HUGE burden on people. Man, you have to now figure out your disease, even though you’re not a doctor, and then figure out where to go and what treatment is right.

I don’t envy that.

I really like my insurance program. They do share info. I don’t get an antibiotic with every cold.

That’s OK.

I think they are right.

Anyway, I really don’t get all the healthcare fear stuff about this.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Breaking on Fox: House approves $2 Billion MORE for Clunkers…

Sure hope this comes out of Pelosi’s checking account, cause the USA is broke.

TN Mom on July 31, 2009 at 1:49 PM

If healthcare is supposed to be a right, how can it be rationed?

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I don’t see an answer anywhere in there, that must mean you know that there isn’t an answer.

That it’s either one or the other, but not both, correct?

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I’m totally getting that ‘Vette I’ve always wanted.
Although a Vett in NYC seems odd, we will want pictures.

Cindy Munford on July 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM

It’ll blend in trust me. He just can’t get it in yellow b/c people are just gonna make him pull over and get in XD !!!

ProudPalinFan on July 31, 2009 at 1:57 PM

A 200% increase in funding almost immediately after the “plan’ was put into effect?

Can’t wait to see an “emergency” doubling of funding for Obamacare in the weeks immediately after it is passed…if it is passed.

coldwarrior on July 31, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Chainsaw…you are like the elementary school of questions.

I ignore you a lot because I can’t quite figure out how to resond without being completely dismissive.

However, we’ve reached that critical point in posting.

You’re an idiot.

LOL*

Sorry, but you just are an idiot, and I’m not going to even pretend to answer your inane questions.

How do we pay for this?

Duh*

I’m trying to talk about real issues, and you’re back there acting like we should balance the budget.

It’s just too far apart for communication.

Seriously.

I admit. I just think you’re an idiot.

It’s OK if you think I’m one.

But, I’m not into conversing with idiots.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Which means,its a killshot for the used car parts market!

Team Obama’s brilliant forward thinking once again!!

canopfor on July 30, 2009 at 10:04 PM

Before you know it, the clunker parts will be worth more than the new crap.

bloggless on July 30, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Therefore, if your car is paid off and running well and it’s part of the car bailout look out! I got enough junk in the garage to be storing spare car parts which I dunno what/when’s gonna be broken.

Thank goodness I don’t have my Ford ’78…

ProudPalinFan on July 31, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Health insurance, as any insurance, is esentially an investment with costs shared among policy holders and outside investors. You are playing against the house.

If you never have to use it for anything, well, it was not such a good investment for you.

If you have to use it, for the amount you have invested you will get a large to huge return on your investment.

Same with life insurance. When you kick off your beneficiaries get to reap the profits from your investment.

All along the way you hope nobody else has to use it. A the same time they too are hoping you never have to use it. Both parties are also hoping that when the time comes, it will be there for them to use.

At what point should government guarantee any private investment?

And what is wrong with tax-free individual health savings accounts? Likewise, a personal investment.

coldwarrior on July 31, 2009 at 2:05 PM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Calling someone else an idiot while demostrating so thoroughly how you can’t even construct a single coherent thought, paragraph, or sentence only make you look like the idiot.

Scrappy on July 31, 2009 at 2:06 PM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Considering that you can never answer a simple question with a straight answer – and in less that 50 words or less, it’s sort of ironic that you should use such language.

Clearly you advocate certain positions around here, and yet you can’t seem to properly defend those positions.

I will leave it up to others to judge who that word should apply to.

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 2:13 PM

This is so stupid. When its all said and done these stupid cars that people are buying are going to end up costing the taxpayer, what, like 300k because of the interest we are on the hook for with this borrowed money. STUPID MF’rs in DC

Lisa on July 31, 2009 at 2:14 PM

I am also a member of Kaiser and it SUCKS! It always has.

Lisa on July 31, 2009 at 2:18 PM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM
Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Jeez, you two sound like you are dating or something am I on the wrong forum Allah? Ed?

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 2:22 PM

And you’re back there acting like we should balance the budget.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM

OMG! You actually posted that!

Let me get this straight, you think I’m an idiot because I advocate fiscal restraint?

You really should think these things through before posting them.

We all make dumb mistakes in postings, but you really need to check you’re assumptions.

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 2:23 PM

So, one of the most luaded provisions in the stimulus can’t even last a month because the government had no idea how much it would cost and now can’t figure out how to fund it, but somehow they think they can manage the entire healthcare industry. Keep that crazy train running.

Scrappy on July 31, 2009 at 2:24 PM

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 2:22 PM

LOL, Hey! Hey! Hey! There’s no call for that kind of thing here!

How do you report commentor abuse?

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 2:27 PM

dhunter:

You know I’m just kidding, right?

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 2:33 PM

LOL! Report abuse to your nearest liberal they care sooo much.

Me, I don’t care if’n your datin, married or just shoppin, I’m just killin time!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 2:22 PM

That was low, dhunter. Funny, but low.

So AnninCA, where in the Constitution does it say the government has the right to bankrupt the country to pay for anyone’s healthcare?

Lily on July 31, 2009 at 2:54 PM

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I’m just having fun trying to get her to think for once.

Just don’t bring up other things like that – it invokes too much of the ‘eeewww’ factor.

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 3:00 PM

No offense intended Chainsaw, anninCA,
just havin fun on friday its either that or get soo pissed that I want to crawl up into the TV and squeeze the life out of that weazel WhoreAldo and about 535 Democrats and RINOs.

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Heard the CBS Radio News this morning and they said the program has been so “wildly successful” that it needs more money.

Jim-Rose on July 31, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Heard the CBS Radio News this morning and they said the program has been so “wildly successful” that it needs more money.

Jim-Rose on July 31, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Gee I wonder if giving people their own money back to pay for their medical bills as they see fit would be as successful as giving people $4500.00 to pick out the car they want to drive?

Lily on July 31, 2009 at 3:06 PM

AnninCA–having to choose your own doctor was just too difficult of a burden for you to bear….? And people with private health insurance have to diagnose their own illnesses? Wha???

Um, you do sound like somebody who would enjoy socialism. How glorious to never have to make decisions about your life.?!

funky chicken on July 31, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Gee I wonder if giving people their own money back to pay for their medical bills as they see fit would be as successful as giving people $4500.00 to pick out the car they want to drive?

Lily on July 31, 2009 at 3:06 PM

There ya go ask the fools in their townhalls why we can have our own money for clunkers but not have our own money back for healthcare and listen to them outright Lie their asses off.

It’s not about
HealthScare
its about socializing these United States and redistributing the Wealth!.

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Hey, I’d rather have the cash 4 clunkers program than direct bail-outs to the car companies (not that I love either one, but…putting the money in the consumer’s pocket is better). Likewise, I supported the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers. I really wanted them to do a tax credit for all people buying their primary residence this year, but…oh well.

The dumbest part of the program is the demand that the old car be destroyed. They could have required the dealers to bring the used vehicles up to current smog code, or even above that, before allowing them to sell the used cars to folks who need cheap transportation.

I also find it hard to believe that 250,000 cars sold in 4 days to run the program out of money.

funky chicken on July 31, 2009 at 3:12 PM

How do we pay for this?

Duh*

I’m trying to talk about real issues, and you’re back there acting like we should balance the budget.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Do you realize what happens if we go “broke” and begin to either default on bonds or print money to cover our debts? Health care for all with be the least of your worries. Food, water and shelter will be the first.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Looks like I might be getting that ‘Vette after all:

Is that a Chevette?

loudmouth883 on July 31, 2009 at 3:18 PM

If China stops buying our debt, HealthScare is off the table as are a lot of other things and the way Pinnochio and his merry band of fairies are headed it could happen.

Safest place for your money right now looks like guns, ammo, and clunkers, all of which the Goberment would like to make go away!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM

If China stops buying our debt, HealthScare is off the table as are a lot of other things and the way Pinnochio and his merry band of fairies are headed it could happen.

Safest place for your money right now looks like guns, ammo, and clunkers, all of which the Goberment would like to make go away!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM

China recently had a failure of a local bond auction. If China keeps having problems they will not only quit buying our debt but begin to cash the bonds they already own and use the funds to attempt to stimulate their own economy.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 3:23 PM

I want to know where these cars go. Barak? – anybody?

lonesomecharlie on July 31, 2009 at 1:27 PM

As I understand it (and I haven’t read the 135 pages of regulations), the engines on the traded-in clunkers are required to be destroyed by the dealers, and then the cars are supposed to be sold for scrap. But somebody who posted on one of these threads last night said he works for a car dealership, and according to him, there is no provision in the law for any verification by the junk dealers that the clunkers have actually been scrapped. There appear to be a lot of loopholes in the program, and that means there is likely to be a whole lot of fraud.

AZCoyote on July 31, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Safest place for your money right now looks like guns, ammo, and clunkers, all of which the Goberment would like to make go away!

dhunter on July 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I hear ya – that and Gold.

BTW, I’m an idiot since I want the government to live within it’s means – that’s according to AnninCA, Who knew?

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Do you realize what happens if we go “broke” and begin to either default on bonds or print money to cover our debts? Health care for all with be the least of your worries. Food, water and shelter will be the first.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 3:12 PM

I guess the question is whether the FED lets the federal government default on its bonds, or it buys enough of them to keep it solvent. Of course, by ‘buy’, I mean print money for the government to use while pretending the bond means anything.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 4:17 PM

I hear ya – that and Gold.

BTW, I’m an idiot since I want the government to live within it’s means – that’s according to AnninCA, Who knew?

Chainsaw56 on July 31, 2009 at 4:04 PM

No telling on gold, either. It’s price could go any which way, though it does have the limitation that there is only so much of it in the world.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

I guess the question is whether the FED lets the federal government default on its bonds, or it buys enough of them to keep it solvent. Of course, by ‘buy’, I mean print money for the government to use while pretending the bond means anything.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 4:17 PM

GDP numbers just came out today. Why is it always Fridays.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

i wonder how many of the cars turned in ,or the vouchers sent to the Government actually exist im sure there are many quick thinkers that took advantage of this wonderful govt program ………..how quick do you think Obamacare will run out of bucks?????

coninnyc on July 31, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Wow! AnninCa: give chainsaw a reasonable answer and he/she will get off of your back. And for our enlightenment, where in the Constitution does it guarantee health insurance. I’ve read the document, have an ancestor who signed the document, (and the declaration of independence) and I can’t find it there anymore than I can find a guarantee of happiness after marriage, or the guarantee of a job. I am familiar with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness but as for health care, not so much. And if you want a reason why so many people balk at socialized medicine, governmentally controlled medicine–whatever–look to two places: the VA and the Indian reservations. These are prime examples of how well our government manages health care. (Sarcasm definitely engaged) I love my private insurance company. I get better care there than I EVER got at Kaiser.

As for Cash for Trash or whatever they are calling it: OH BOY! MORE DEBT FOR MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO PAY! Of course it’s a success..the perception of free money. However, this adds to our national debt because you know NO ONE buying these cars through this program is actually paying cash for the cars. They’re buying on credit. YAY!!

This shortsightedness by the Administration really bodes well for us as a nation, eh? The clown car arrived in Washington DC on January 20th and dumped it’s load on the Capitol steps. I don’t know whether or not it was a Prius.

Driefromseattle on July 31, 2009 at 4:38 PM

I also find it hard to believe that 250,000 cars sold in 4 days to run the program out of money.

funky chicken on July 31, 2009 at 3:12 PM

You are forgetting that this is a government program so there will be a few little, teensy, minor, overhead costs involved.

Costs could include but not be limited to the Barney Frank Gentleman’s Club Maintenance Fee, the Nancy Pelosi Botox Surcharge, the Chris Dodd Irish Cottage Renovation Fund, the Friend of The One’s Beer Cooler Fund, the White House Garden All Organic Pesticide Fund, and the Bitter Clinger’s Re-education Program Fees.

Sure the individual costs are small but when you add them all together, pretty soon you are talking about real money.

Lily on July 31, 2009 at 5:06 PM

I don’t agree that this program was a “success” simply because it already ran out of many. Reportedly only 23000 vehicles were sold using this program out of the budgeted 250000 it was limited to. The reason it ran out of money is the same reason all government programs fail: bureaucracy.

Remember the OBamacare diagram showing the number of offices your request for medical attention would go through? Same thing with Cash for Clunkers. You could get up to $4500 for a new car but I am sure that $15000 more were spent just doing all the paperwork and going through all the hands that approval had to touch before reaching the dealer’s pocket. And that is not mentioning that most likely some money was lost in less than transparent ways.

The reality is that on top of supporting the crazy agenda of the environmental nuts out there this also harms the market. Even with this tax- payer loan people were still paying more out of pocket for the new vehicle when they could have bought one of those used cars, that now were destroyed, for less. All because in a “green world” you can’t choose to buy an used car if you want to.

On a funnier note, a leftist publication was talking about the “cars to look for” in 2010. Most of them were either Chevy or Chrysler models with a few Scion lunch- boxes thrown in for objectivity. One of the most praised models was a new Chevrolet (didn’t we bail them out?) which will “revolutionize” the market with a primary electric engine that will render better mpg. The kicker is, of course, the cost- $40000.

So, if Cash for Clunkers continues you will get $4500 to get a new $40000 car. Sheesh…

ptcamn on July 31, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Does this mean we are going to have to bail out the used car dealers now????????

Since everybody is rushing to buy new!

Rick007 on July 31, 2009 at 6:07 PM

What if the car is worth more than 3500 or 4500??

Will the dealer just keep it and resell it?????????

Rick007 on July 31, 2009 at 6:08 PM

I think you are right about the bureaucracy issue. While only 23,000 cars were processed, there were over 220,000 applications in the backlog, theoretically using up the entire money fund.

The only good that I see from the increased allocations to the fund is that we might skimp on fruit fly mating habit research or ATV parks. How many turtle tunnels can you build with 2 billion dollars? Answer : too many.

Multibucket on July 31, 2009 at 6:11 PM

What if the car is worth more than 3500 or 4500??

Will the dealer just keep it and resell it?????????

No, they have to destroy the engine at the dealership and then take it to be smushed at a scrapyard.

Multibucket on July 31, 2009 at 6:12 PM

A friend of mine runs a small junk yard and they crush those cars first come first serve. If the engines have been destroyed and the cars are taken to a salvage yard, they will get crushed when the guys get to them.

Terrye on July 31, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Rick007:

Not everyone will rush to buy new. My guy has an old buick that would be perfect for this program, but he won’t sell it. He has not had a car payment in years and does not want that to change now. In fact he has several old cars and owns them all outright. People who drive old cars like that are often people who do not really want to pay a car payment or pay a lot for insurance and plates.

Besides, lots of cars do not fit into the program.

Terrye on July 31, 2009 at 6:15 PM

I’m not an accountant, and I don’t play one on TV.
This morning on Fox & Friends, it was reported that the program was being shut down. They reported that the gooberment had handed out 98 million in five days. If 1 Billion was provided, where did the other 900 million go?
Was Acorn, or SEIU involved in the dispersement of the remaining funds? You never know with this crew.

M-14 2go on July 31, 2009 at 7:07 PM

I saw this at Fox:

Opposition already is mounting in the Senate.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said by Twitter that extending the program with taxpayer money isn’t affordable.

“Idea was to prime the pump, not subsidize auto purchases forever,” she wrote.

The program was launched last week and has been publicized heavily by automakers and dealers. The $1 billion was supposed to last four months, but apparently, it took only a week to exhaust the funds.

Called the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, the program is designed to help the economy and the environment by spurring new car sales. Car owners can receive federal subsidies of up to $4,500 for trading in their old cars for new ones that achieve significantly higher gas mileage.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the new money for the program would come from funds approved earlier in the year as part of an economic stimulus bill.

But Senate Republicans are threatening to use delay tactics to kill the bill.

A spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told FOX News that he rival will object to the bill next week, even mounting a filibuster.

“I not only wouldn’t vote for the extra $2 billion, I was opposed to the initial billion,” McCain told FOX News Radio.

McCain marveled at how recovery funds are being used to subsidize the domestic auto industry.

“It’s really an incredible process that we’ve gone through where recovery money that is supposed to be used in order to keep people in their homes and help the economy recover, we’re now again bailing out the automobile corporations, two of which we own,”he said. “It’s remarkable.”

McCain predicted that the program’s flaws will soon be exposed.

“Within a few weeks, we will see that this process was abused by speculators and people who took advantage of what is basically a huge government subsidy of corporations that they already own,” he said.

But Obama pointed out Friday that skeptics were unsure just a few weeks ago that the program would succeed.

Succeed? Well of course they succeeded in giving money away. That is never hard to do. The question is if it will help the overall economy. After all, this is tax payer’s money.

Terrye on July 31, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Each infusion of tax funds per Congressional project raises our taxes that much higher. Can you imagine how astronomical our taxes will skyrocket when government keeps giving its health care bureaucracy more and more funds. We already know that Congress hands out trillions of dollars without stipulating how the funds are to be directed and spent (TARP, Stimulus, Clunky$)let alone bothering to report who they handed the appropriations–as if they have no idea, as if no one knows.

Sec./Treasury economy czar doing the distribution? He answers to no one.

What we know is that of course they know, but no one’s telling.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 7:51 PM

When push comes to shove, given limited funds, it will be GM dealers whose refund vouchers actually are processed reimbursing for the deals before any other mfg. dealership.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 7:53 PM

So you mean all of these billions and billions and 100′s of billions of dollarss are all accounted for? Wow thats really something. That alone is amazing in itself. That whole administration has it all kept track of? gee they are great.

johnnyU on July 31, 2009 at 7:56 PM

To all those who think people were buying clunkers for a few bucks and trading them in:
You must have owned and insured the car for a year.

As far as the parts:
The drive train and engine must be destroyed, but the salvage yard may at their discretion dispose of all other parts which includes body panels, interiors, glass and other parts which do not have Mercury and polluting chemicals in them.

It’s still a bad idea due to the fact it promotes more debt and we all have enough of that to go around.

Nalea on August 1, 2009 at 6:39 AM

GDP numbers just came out today. Why is it always Fridays.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

The author of that piece is still missing the big picture — the government spending is causing much of the drop in private spending, not “making up for it”.

Count to 10 on August 1, 2009 at 9:52 AM

It’s still a bad idea due to the fact it promotes more debt and we all have enough of that to go around.

Nalea on August 1, 2009 at 6:39 AM

This is an evil program.
There is something very diabolical about it.

Americans do not go about destroying perfectly good running cars. Yet, here were are, destroying cars for pieces of silver.
It was said at one time that Americans loved their cars. That the car was the closest thing to a living being man could make. Now for a price, they are taking them to the back lot and dumping poison down their throats and having them chopped up into little pieces.
Call me paranoid,, I do not care. This is the beginnings of something evil.
I posted last night how Orwellian this was. It is Orwellian.
You have the government now owning GM,,, and now you have the same government starting a program to buy cars and then destroy them. These programs never get smaller. They only expand. Think of ethanol. Think of the school lunch program.
What if the next time they didn’t give you a choice, but mandated you HAD to trade that so called clunker in. And what is a clunker?? Words are wonderful things aren’t they. Why,, a clunker can be a perfectly good running 1988 BMW 535IS, or a fine old 57 Chevy. No allowances are made,, all must be destroyed. This is more than just taking old clunkers off the streets, this is erasing American culture and art. This is about changing mindsets. Americans have affections for their cars. But for a price,, we see now how quickly things can change.

1984, From Part 2, Chapter 5

In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

Yes,, there is something evil about this.

JellyToast on August 1, 2009 at 10:04 AM

If they missed the cost for this program by this much.Just imagine what the real cost of the health care bill will be.Not 2 trillion but more like 25 to 30 trillion over the next 10 years.People there is not that much money in the world.These Socialist /Communist have got to be stop at all cost.We must attend all of these town hall meetings and let these fools hear from us and let them know they work for us.

thmcbb on August 1, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Cash for clunkers. Bla bla bla.

When Jay leno makes a statement by scraping his guzzlers, ( just a bad thought) Then we’re in trouble.

I knew he was a car enthusiast but “Wow” What a collection.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/cars/

Texyank on August 1, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Unlike pretty much every other Hopenchange economic policy, not only did this one work, it worked better than expected.

Did it really? What was the goal of the policy? If it was to help the environment, then it failed. If it was to help struggling Americans save money? Failed. If it was to help American carmakers catch up with foreign automakers? Failed.

Even if the goal was to stimulate car sales, it likely only shifted future purchases to the present and reduced used-car inventory.

hawksruleva on August 1, 2009 at 1:04 PM

My husband checked we don’t even qualify who is this program targeted at? It’s true our autos are newer is this to take stuff made in the 70s and 80s off the road? If someone is driving that old a car how much expendable income do they have from their personal -family budget? Just saying are we creating some new kind of bubble again?

Dr Evil on August 1, 2009 at 1:11 PM

No telling on gold, either. It’s price could go any which way, though it does have the limitation that there is only so much of it in the world.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Well, temporarily at least. Remember – gold has been valuable since the time of the pharaohs. It’s unlikely to completely devalue…unlike the currencies of literally thousands of nations throughout history have done, now only having value as collectors items.

Dark-Star on August 1, 2009 at 1:41 PM

C4C is a great test for this administration and it’s miscalculations regarding cost. Just think of the nightmare a national health policy would be economically.

workingforpigs on August 1, 2009 at 2:34 PM

There is a real problem here

The C4C is NOT outta money!
It is projected to be out of money. At only 10% of program use. The usual linear projection of a dynamic situation.
Sigh
Another f’n stupidus plan.

Flying Welsh Dragon

Caststeel on August 1, 2009 at 5:16 PM

HOPE I didn’t step on somebody else’s comment. The repetition will not CHANGE anything.

Flying Welsh Dragon

Caststeel on August 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM

As I understand this program…..the clunkers are to be destroyed (smashed flat) after the engine is disabled and only then the engine and crank shaft are salvaged. The engine is supposedly going to China. Any good recycle-able working parts are destroyed. WHAT!!?! Any good junk yard could dismantle and resell these parts…but the Gov’t wants to remove and replace these cars.
Wait until the sheeple wake up with a car payment they can’t make and higher insurance payments – will they then realize that they are deeper in debt. Myself – I am going to drive my 91 Honda Accord until the wheels fall off and love the $0 car payments and the $30/month insurance!!

whatzit2u on August 1, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Obama is ‘da man. He is building new bridges to sleep under. If you were foreclosed and then he comes along and lets you be funemployed, what were you thinking? You can’t let your car get repossessed and buy a clunker. They go to the shredder.
People want to sleep in cars this winter where they can run the motor and use the heater. We will have a shortage of cars to sleep in that run.

seven on August 3, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Patience. Before long, there will be a Clunkers for Cash program, after lease payments and loan payments go in arrears across the country. After all, gotta have a roof over your head.

shaken on August 3, 2009 at 10:29 PM

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