The ObamaCare-CRA-TARP-Clunker lesson

posted at 11:35 am on July 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Somewhere in here, there’s a lesson to be learned about government distortion of private markets.  When government artificially inflate the value of a commodity in attempting social engineering, it usually either spends more money than they initially realize, leave the private sector holding the bag, and make themselves look foolish … at best:

The government suspended the explosively popular cash-for-clunkers program, fearing it would go broke before it could pay what it still owes dealers for a huge backlog of sales, according to congressional offices and a dealer group.

Suspension of the program was confirmed by Bailey Wood, legislative director for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), which had been called Thursday night by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which administers the program. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., confirmed as well, saying she had been told by congressional leaders.

Why was it “explosively popular”?  It made worthless cars valuable again.  The vehicles got $4500 for a brief window rather than their previous real value, in many cases a fraction of the government payout.  That inflated value prompted people to rush to their local dealers to use their government subsidy to buy new vehicles.

Unfortunately, Congress miscalculated how many people would be willing to squash their old car for that kind of boost in trade-in value.  No harm, no foul, right?  Not exactly:

Carmakers and dealers have booked expensive advertising to capitalize on buyers’ interest in CARS, and now will be left promoting a tie-in with a discontinued government program — one that wasn’t supposed to end until Nov. 1. “Disappointed,” says Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown..

“It’s too late to recall the ads,” says Beau Boeckmann of Galpin Ford, the nation’s largest Ford dealer, in Los Angeles. Galpin had done about 100 clunker deals and was hoping for more. ” We had increased our ad budget to get the word out. We are very heavy on radio, newspaper and getting direct mail together,” Boeckmann says.

“Now what do you tell people when they walk in” for a clunker deal? “It’s tough.”

And how did the government run what should have been a relatively simple program?  In its typical fashion:

Rules governing the program totaled 135 pages. They required dealers to register, then to fill out electronic forms after each transaction. Dealers had to guarantee they gave the customer the appropriate discount, that they wrecked the engine in the clunker so it never could be reused, than the non-running junker went to a scrap dealer.

“They keep coming up with new forms to sign,” says Churchill.

In the Queens borough of New York, Paragon Honda already hauled away nearly 60 clunkers to a junkyard before it found the rules require them to be disabled on the auto lot. Now they have to be brought back, have their engines destroyed and hauled back.

The government imposed all these costs and heightened expectations on car dealers without having a plan .  And this was just to kill a few hundred thousand gas-guzzlers.  Imagine what it will be like when the government takes charge of keeping hundreds of millions of people healthy.

Of course, no one has really explained why taxpayers should subsidize the destruction of gas-guzzlers (we do remember that we’re paying those ridiculous subsidies, don’t we?) that many of us couldn’t afford when they were sold as new, or that we had better sense than to buy.  No one explained why taxpayers should subsidize sub-prime loans for people who didn’t qualify to buy the houses they wanted ten years ago, either.  It’s yet another example of how government rarely learns from its own mistakes.  This one, fortunately, will be much less costly, but therefore also much less likely to teach people anything.


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Comment pages: 1 2

There you go again, Ed. Using logic and common sense.

ignorantapathy on July 31, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I wonder, how many businesses work on the model of spending $10.00 for raw materials to be put into a $0.03 product?

Limerick on July 31, 2009 at 11:40 AM

OT but cool. Glen Beck is playing a song that some anonymous guy sent to him. Usually these things are crap. This song is brilliant and truly artistic. It’s about America having lost its way. The guy’s on the air now, talking to Beck, the man is amazing. Intelligent. As an artist he’s edgy as hell. Outstanding. Beck is having the song produced. It’s really cool. Keep an eye out for it.

jeff_from_mpls on July 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM

And, of course, destroy valuable engine parts for honest Americans who simply bought a car when it used to be legal and want to keep it running.

Punditpawn on July 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I feel bad for the dealers. They can’t undo this advertising.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM

if govt stuff was better than private sector stuff we’d all be driving soviet Zaporozhets.

reliapundit on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Democrats could never live on Vulcan. It would be highly illogical.

SouthernGent on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

“Now what do you tell people when they walk in” for a clunker deal? “It’s tough.”

You tell them that Obama and the Democrats screwed everyone over, and they’ll do it again.

Grafted on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

I saw about 4 commercials this AM for the clunker program. They were amusing. :)

becki51758 on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

They can’t even run a “rebate” and we expect them to run the entire healthcare system? No thanks.

vcferlita on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

The left is cheering over the ‘success’ of a plan, whereby someone’s automobile purchase is subsidized with my tax dollars, and borrowed ones at that. Brilliant.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 11:44 AM

“And this was just to kill a few hundred thousand gas-guzzlers.”

Actually, it was in order to get an extra 3 or 4 miles per gallon.

If we divide 1 billion dollars by 4 MPG….we get…Bueller? Bueller?

percysunshine on July 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM

It’s the old joke. “I have blank checks left in my checkbook. How could I be overdrawn?”

Congress has the checkbook. While there are still blank checks in the book there must be enough cash in the bank to cover everything. Right?

Yoop on July 31, 2009 at 11:47 AM

The government imposed all these costs and heightened expectations on car dealers without having a plan .

Plan? We don’t need no stinkin’ plan!

I’m a victim here. I was all set to go car shopping this weekend to replace my 2000 vehicle.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:47 AM

CASH FOR GEEZERS — Government run healthcare.

tarpon on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Ah, the unintended consequences of another ill-conceived “green program.” Aren’t they all? Green, it’s the new RED!

JAM on July 31, 2009 at 11:50 AM

“CASH FOR GEEZERS”

LMAO

percysunshine on July 31, 2009 at 11:50 AM

what Fluffy said.

Tru2my2 on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Democrats could never live on Vulcan. It would be highly illogical.

SouthernGent on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

After the most recent Star Trek movie, I kinda wish they did all live on Vulcan. :-)

Doughboy on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Stupid is as stupid does. Dems exemplify stupid.

Jvette on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I saw about 4 commercials this AM for the clunker program. They were amusing. :)

becki51758 on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

I think it is hillarious that the choices for the news today are a photo-op to undo the filthy liar’s tendency to shoot off his mouth, announcement that a government program ran out of money in four days, or the ongoing discussion about how Obamacare has gone down in flames until at least October (Schumer was talking by Christmas).

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

This successful program is a twofer: it let people get rid of idle cars at a profit and gave work to people in the advertising and media businesses.

burt on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I remember reading, but not in the ObamaCare bill itself, that is would cost an employer $1200 (a fine) to have an employee covered by the public plan. What happend with C4C will happen if ObamaCare gets passed. Employers will dump employees to the public plan at the same pace as people traded in the worthless cars in the C4C program.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 11:54 AM

CARS does not increase the demand for new automobiles, it merely shifts them forward. People who take advantage of the program were probably thinking about buying a new car or truck anyway.

This program really doesn’t stimulate as much as transfer resources from one group to another. Money spent on the new car is money not spent on something else. If the new car is bought with borrowed money someone else doesn’t get credit and it reduces future consumer income. Credit is nothing more then a future claim on your income.

jerryofva on July 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM

This successful program is a twofer: it let people get rid of idle cars at a profit and gave work to people in the advertising and media businesses.

burt on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Using borrowed money that taxpayers who didn’t get a car will have to pay for, with interest. Some success.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM

After the most recent Star Trek movie, I kinda wish they did all live on Vulcan. :-)

Doughboy on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

A very successful Dem retreat that would be.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I feel bad for the dealers. They can’t undo this advertising.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Won’t be able to undo a government health care plan either.

a capella on July 31, 2009 at 11:57 AM

This successful program is a twofer: it let people get rid of idle cars at a profit and gave work to people in the advertising and media businesses.

burt on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I so no success in the use of one person’s money for the pleasure and\or profit of another via the federal government. NONE.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 11:57 AM

This successful program is a twofer: it let people get rid of idle cars at a profit and gave work to people in the advertising and media businesses.
burt on July 31, 2009 at 11:51 AM

But it took work away from people like me, and I could have kept those clunkers running without using a billion bucks worth of other people’s money.

Bishop on July 31, 2009 at 11:58 AM

I have not read the terms of this program but was always suspicious about it. You know, kinda like those silly-assed gun turn-in programs where some guy turns in a rusty old revolver for a $100 Walmart chit that he can use to by ammo for his Glock or a thief turns in a hot Saturday Night Special.

(Don’t get me wrong. These gun turn-ins are a tremendous waste — especially when some aging widow turns her late husband’s souvenir luger and the thing gets dumped in the bay. Lunacy.)

VoyskaPVO on July 31, 2009 at 12:00 PM

You know it is not very difficult to give away $1 billion when you have a network willing to give it to anyone who walks through the door. Dear Leader is missing a teachable monment, here.

d1carter on July 31, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Pulled my 82 Toyota P/U out of storage when fuel prices reached $4.90. Tuned it up, and it gets 30mpg with over 500k in the original motor. My 4×4 Ford F-150 is parked and non-opt, because it gets around 8mpg. I haven’t had a car payment since 1989. You can keep your friggin taxpayer funded clunker program, your government health care grab, your crap n tax energy plan and get the government out of my life.

Stronger message to follow……….

Rovin on July 31, 2009 at 12:01 PM

So the government is screwing Government Motors? Is this for real? I guess so, the government is screwing everyone else why not themselves?

hip shot on July 31, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Another side affect of this program comes from the requirement that “junkers” be crushed, not scrapped.

In the past, junked cars went to scrap yards and had their usefull parts recycled (gee, I thought liberals liked recycling). This enabled many people who couldn’t afford new parts, much less new cars, to keep their old cars running a little longer.

With all of the junkers being crushed, this supply of used parts will dry up.

MarkTheGreat on July 31, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Rules governing the program totaled 135 pages… [One dealer had] already hauled away nearly 60 clunkers to a junkyard before it found the rules require them to be disabled on the auto lot. Now they have to be brought back, have their engines destroyed and hauled back.

Better learn to live with it. This is how EVERY business works in a Communist country.

logis on July 31, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Rules governing the program totaled 135 pages.

Wait for it…..you know it’s coming….

Honest people will try to stay within the rules…….meanwhile dishonest people don’t care if there are 3,000 pages of rules, they’ll ignore them.

Meanwhile, y’all continue with your delusion that all this government intervention is because the rule makers are honest but misguided innocents. So, just one question;

who got the money? Where did the 4 BILLION dollars go?

Skandia Recluse on July 31, 2009 at 12:04 PM

What do you mean What do we tell them???!?! How about trying a little HONESTYYYYYYY!?!? The government screwed us again folks! lol

Wake-up America!!!!

ohiobabe on July 31, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Using borrowed money that taxpayers who didn’t get a car will have to pay for, with interest. Some success.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I know. I love how success is defined here.

lorien1973 on July 31, 2009 at 12:04 PM

People Do the MATH –
.
1 BILLION minus 96 MILLION = 904 MILLION

.
HOW IS THAT “running out of money” in the program???????
.

WHO IS ZOOMING WHO????

ordi on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

And the reason most car dealer owners are Republicans becomes clear………….

Techie on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

cash 4 clunkers program wildly successful, “explosively popular,” car sales surge; conservatives complain

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Wildly successful = broke in one week

Wow, I can’t wait for that health-care public option.

Techie on July 31, 2009 at 12:06 PM

CASH FOR GEEZERS — Government run healthcare.

tarpon on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Wrongo, Fuzzbreath. “End of life counseling” costs just pennies for one printed word on a card they will hand out as your official counseling session… “DIE”.

ps-tarpon? I only fish offshore. I took a tarpon fisherman offshore once… a denizen of the deep broke his tarpon rod.

CC

CapedConservative on July 31, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Imagine what it will be like when the government takes charge of keeping hundreds of millions of people healthy.

Who will insure people age 65+ after ObamaCare goes belly up?

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I feel bad for the dealers. They can’t undo this advertising.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Hey, you just said cash for clunkers was a huge success.

Make up your mind, or did your talking points get jammed up in the printer?

Knucklehead on July 31, 2009 at 12:11 PM

The lesson here:

Gov’t gives away money for clunkers.
Demand was infinite, causing a shortage, then a collapse.

Now what happens when government gives away health care?
You know the answer.

Supply and demand.

jeff_from_mpls on July 31, 2009 at 12:12 PM

With all of the junkers being crushed, this supply of used parts will dry up.

MarkTheGreat on July 31, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Making used cars more expensive to operate may be part of the “plan.” Just another way to manipulate them out of the market.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 12:12 PM

I feel bad for the dealers. They can’t undo this advertising

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM

And you can’t bring grandma back to life when she dies due to the collapse of the insulin market, when it’s given away for free.

God help America.

jeff_from_mpls on July 31, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Who will insure people age 65+ after ObamaCare goes belly up?

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Soylent Green personified………

Rovin on July 31, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Who will insure people age 65+ after ObamaCare goes belly up?

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM

The Forest Park Plan.

ICBM on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

With all of the junkers being crushed, this supply of used parts will dry up.

MarkTheGreat on July 31, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Creating a black market for parts at ungodly prices.

Libs are going to do this to health care.

Even libs should be concerned. Imagine black market abortions.

Kill the health care bill before it kills us.

jeff_from_mpls on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Imagine what it will be like when the government takes charge of keeping hundreds of millions of people healthy.

Rules for getting an appointment total 135 pages.
Rules for getting an MRI total 135 pages.
Rules for getting chemo therapy total 135 pages.
Rules for getting hip replacement surgery total 135 pages.

Ok, enough imagining, time to drink.

rockhead on July 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM

The Forest Park Plan.

ICBM on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

..er wouldn’t that be Forest Lawn?

VoyskaPVO on July 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM

I especially like the part how this middle class subsidy will have the added benefit of reducing the supply of used cars for the low income types, thus making them more affordable.

Obamanomics, where anything is possible if you simply rename the curves.

R Square on July 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Cash for Clunkers.

Where do I turn my in dummocrat coworkers for the cash?

Can I bring more than 1?

bloviator on July 31, 2009 at 12:17 PM

The Forest Park Plan.

ICBM on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM
..er wouldn’t that be Forest Lawn?

VoyskaPVO on July 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Plenty of Forest Park’s in my area.

ICBM on July 31, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Creating a black market for parts at ungodly prices.

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff…..have we not learned something from the entire Gates affair. This was clearly a teachable moment but I guess you were not paying attention. We need to move away from racially motivated streotypes and language that conveys power relationships based on identity.

A more appropriate term would be unregulated underground markets

Care for a beer?

R Square on July 31, 2009 at 12:22 PM

CASH FOR GEEZERS — Government run healthcare.
tarpon on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Another great caller on Glenn Beck today: Cash for Cripples

LMAO… as someone who’s been laughing in the face of MS for 35 years, it’s gonna take some big bucks to get my lame a$$ on that ice floe ;-D

mbo213 on July 31, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Medicare regulations already take up more pages than the entire Internal Revenue Code. How much more will ObamaCare require?

rockmom on July 31, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Lesson for Obama:

Capitalism works.

Try a “Keep your own cash” plan and see how it really stimulates the economy.

izoneguy on July 31, 2009 at 12:26 PM

I’d like to know the ratio of people who bought gas guzzling brand spanking new or preowned SUVs when they turned in their “gas guzzlers”.

Avatar72 on July 31, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Rules governing the program totaled 135 pages.

If it takes 135 pages of instructions to administer what is essentially a voucher system, how many pages would it take to deal with grievance procedures under Obamacare. Or do we give up our right to dispute what the death czar dictates?

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Dealers had to guarantee they gave the customer the appropriate discount, that they wrecked the engine in the clunker so it never could be reused, than the non-running junker went to a scrap dealer.

I’m really getting sick of having to proof read news articles. I thought these people were our betters??

bloghooligan on July 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Who will insure people age 65+ after ObamaCare goes belly up?

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM

The Forest Park Plan.

ICBM on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Yes I am sure the mortuary, cemetary, cremation business’s will be booming.
A sure stock pick winner if ObamaCare gets passed.

izoneguy on July 31, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I’d be interested to know how many of those “junkers” were recently re-titled? Me thinks those with means simply found $100 cars…like I was thinking of doing.

bloghooligan on July 31, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Will this program even put a dent in the “gas guzzler” problem? My guess is that most of these cars aren’t driven long distances, so the savings from better mileage won’t be significant.

jt on July 31, 2009 at 12:41 PM

People Do the MATH -
.
1 BILLION minus 96 MILLION = 904 MILLION
.
HOW IS THAT “running out of money” in the program???????
.
WHO IS ZOOMING WHO????
ordi on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

I was thinking the same thing this morning. I figured Fox & Friends must have meant to report that 960 million $ was already spent.
WTF?

Colorado Anne on July 31, 2009 at 12:42 PM

How do you do quotes, strike-outs, etc. with a mobile device on this website?

Colorado Anne on July 31, 2009 at 12:46 PM

cash 4 clunkers program wildly successful, “explosively popular,” car sales surge; conservatives complain

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Guess what tool? Giving away money is always explosively popular.

I’d like to know the ratio of people who bought gas guzzling brand spanking new or preowned SUVs when they turned in their “gas guzzlers”.

Avatar72 on July 31, 2009 at 12:28 PM

The program didn’t allow people to purchase preowned vehicles; they had to be new.

Yesterday a congressman was on t.v. complaining that many of the new car purchases under the program were Lexuses; he wanted to know why taxpayers were giving money away to people who can afford to buy new Lexuses. But why should we worry about that, right sesquipedalian? It doesn’t matter if the program makes sense, just that it’s “wildly successful” and “explosively popular”– right?

AZCoyote on July 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Canya get 22-inch spinners on that new car?
And one of those woofers that takes up the whole trunk?

guntotinglibertarian on July 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Scams a-plenty with this one. Guys buying old cars for a couple hundred dollars and getting cash for clunkers on a new car. Then, they are taking the new car and selling it and making a cool couple of thousand dollars. Stupid government and we are paying for this stupidity. Nice going Debbie Stabenow – Michigan should be so proud. No wonder their economy is in the toilet.

suzyk on July 31, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I’d like to know the ratio of people who bought gas guzzling brand spanking new or preowned SUVs when they turned in their “gas guzzlers”.

Avatar72 on July 31, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Can’t do that. You had to buy a vehicle that met a certain mandated EPA MPG floor in order to qualify. Apparently some people got screwed in that part of the deal also as the government changed the rules in the middle of the game (gasp, they’d never do that with health care, would they?/sarc). Rush related a story yesterday of someone who had purchased a car last week that met the requirements but was completing the paperwork, the EPA changed the mileage designation over the weekend, and now the new car he bought doesn’t qualify. Dealership is demanding that he return the car or pay the dealer the extra $4500.

AZfederalist on July 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Rules governing the program totaled 135 pages.

…Honest people will try to stay within the rules…….meanwhile dishonest people don’t care if there are 3,000 pages of rules, they’ll ignore them.

Skandia Recluse on July 31, 2009 at 12:04 PM

At this point, honesty no longer has anything to do with it. It’s not HARD to follow 135 pages of hastily-drafted regulation; it is IMPOSSIBLE.

For all practical purposes, a GM dealership in America today cannot be operated in a way that is fully legal. So it’s no longer a question of which dealers are “honest” or “dishonest”; it’s only a question of which ones will toe the political line and pay the right bribes to the right aparachick, who will ALWAYS be able to find a reason to arrest and/or expropriate them if they don’t.

And very soon that will be the case with all businesses in America.

logis on July 31, 2009 at 1:00 PM

I’m personally sick and tired of these kinds of programs that use our tax dollars to help a select group of people. If you’re going to hand $4500 to someone to buy a car how is that fair to the person who bought a car last month and got nothing? Same with these mortgage bailouts, which I won’t go into because we’ve already blogged the daylights out of that subject. And taxes…you can increase the tax on cigarettes so only smokers pay more yet people who are obese but continue to graze at Dunkin Donuts and McD’s don’t pay a penny more? That’s illogical.

scalleywag on July 31, 2009 at 1:06 PM

So they will have us Fed Ex our hemmorhoids to prove they were really removed? Then the doc waits for 60 days and gets a gift card?

seven on July 31, 2009 at 1:31 PM

How long will it take to ramp up cube farms to manage this clunker caper?

seven on July 31, 2009 at 1:36 PM

without having a plan

I call that an epic failure. Is anyone compiling a list?

Everything this clown does needs to fail. It was a stupid plan right from the onset, because among other things it would never have the stated effect. (See China and India for details)

dogsoldier on July 31, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Scams a-plenty with this one. Guys buying old cars for a couple hundred dollars and getting cash for clunkers on a new car. Then, they are taking the new car and selling it and making a cool couple of thousand dollars.

suzyk on July 31, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Heh, I was wondering just yesterday why that wouldn’t work.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

And one of those woofers that takes up the whole trunk?

guntotinglibertarian on July 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM

That’s all we need – more fart cars pounding out crap music.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Dear Ed,

Congrats. Your gassed editorial is very good.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 31, 2009 at 2:00 PM

This one, fortunately, will be much less costly, but therefore also much less likely to teach people anything.

I wouldn’t say that. I bet this program has been eaten up with fraud. Give it a few weeks to settle and wait for the stories of fraud and corruption to begin to filter out.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Wait until next year when the energy tax credit reduces the amount of tax money the government gets. I just ordered six new windows that may not reduce my energy cost that much. I am replacing wood double paned windows with vinyl windows. Since these tilt in, I can wash my own windows and also I will not have to pay someone to paint them.
I looked in the clunker program, but my old car gets too good of gas mileage.

jeannie on July 31, 2009 at 2:08 PM

And this was just to kill a few hundred thousand gas-guzzlers. Imagine what it will be like when the government takes charge of keeping hundreds of millions of people healthy.

Dude, that is a totally unfair comparison. Gas-guzzling cars emit CO2, so they HAVE to be destroyed for the good of the planet.

Trying to imply that liberals believe the same thing about human beings? That’s…. terrorism!

(I was going to say “that’s the absolute tr*th”, but I didn’t want to trigger any of the new Secret Service Internet red flags.)

logis on July 31, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Ah, the unintended consequences of another ill-conceived “green program.” Aren’t they all? Green, it’s the new RED!

JAM on July 31, 2009 at 11:50 AM

My Euro pals can’t stand ‘em either – they call environuts “Watermelons” over there; a thin Green skin but solid Red right to the core.

Who was it that said something like, “When the legislature is put in charge of buying and selling, the first things bought and sold are the legislators?”

Blacksmith on July 31, 2009 at 2:17 PM

… and don’t forget how this fiasco interferes with the free market in used cars and parts …

corona on July 31, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Creating a black market for parts at ungodly prices.

Libs are going to do this to health care.

Even libs should be concerned. Imagine black market abortions.

Abortions will always be available (at taxpayer expense) to prevent the return to “black market” abortions.

Wasn’t the whole liberal justification for Roe Vs. Wade to prevent “home style” “black market” abortions? Can you imagine black market heart surgery? Brain surgery? Gall Bladder removal, knee replacement etc., when the govt deems such procedures as not cost effective due to age, disability (physical or emotional), or condition (no liver transplants for alcoholics), and they are performed under who knows what kind of conditions and limited facilities (garages, homes, etc.).

jerseyman on July 31, 2009 at 2:31 PM

It sounds like Congress is scrambling to “fix’ this problem they created. Meanwhile, Obama says it is working as planned! We WILL destroy the evil automobile industry (by making the dealers give customers 4500 dolars then stiffing the dealers) followed by a whole generation of buyers who will be afraid to buy new cars for years.

jerseyman on July 31, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Can’t…stop…laughing…

Wyznowski on July 31, 2009 at 2:47 PM

How do you do quotes, strike-outs, etc. with a mobile device on this website?

Colorado Anne on July 31, 2009 at 12:46 PM

I can see that you have become acquainted with our lack of features, so you are now, truly, a HA poster. Welcome to the family.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 2:55 PM

The comparison to sub-prime loans doesn’t make sense to me. Unlike what happened with the housing fiasco, the government is not suing banks and/or car dealers demanding that they give car loans to people who can’t afford to own a car.

And unlike foreclosed homes which are repo’d by the banks, at least these clunkers are paid for before they’re brought in to be sent to the clunkyard, and exchanged for a shiny (government subsidized) new one.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 2:56 PM

The difference between ignorance and stupidity is that one is curable.

hoakie on July 31, 2009 at 2:57 PM

How do you do quotes, strike-outs, etc. with a mobile device on this website?
Colorado Anne on July 31, 2009 at 12:46 PM
I can see that you have become acquainted with our lack of features, so you are now, truly, a HA poster. Welcome to the family.
DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 2:55 PM
Oh, so it’s not just me. WHEW! Didn’t wanna sound stoop-ed. : – 0

Colorado Anne on July 31, 2009 at 3:27 PM

~~~UPDATE~~~

House Approves Additional $2B for ‘Cash for Clunkers’ to Continue…

Geezer sends…

Geezer on July 31, 2009 at 3:49 PM

I’m still not getting part of this.

Car companies sunk money in ad campaigns to maximize their piece of the $1 billion plan, and somehow we’re supposed to feel bad for them because they could have gotten their piece of the pie for free, if they hadn’t misread the market as badly as the Obama administration and congress?

taznar on July 31, 2009 at 3:55 PM

CASH FOR GEEZERS — Government run healthcare.

tarpon on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Hey tarpon, do all you folks down there in the gulf wear “Cabela’s–guidewear” shirts and shorts…?

Geezer on July 31, 2009 at 4:03 PM

CARS does not increase the demand for new automobiles, it merely shifts them forward. People who take advantage of the program were probably thinking about buying a new car or truck anyway.

This program really doesn’t stimulate as much as transfer resources from one group to another. Money spent on the new car is money not spent on something else. If the new car is bought with borrowed money someone else doesn’t get credit and it reduces future consumer income. Credit is nothing more then a future claim on your income.

jerryofva on July 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I haven’t figured out yet how they’re going to pin it on Bush when they realize that the next year’s worth of demand just got used up in four days. Pretty good chance that the industry collapses harder than it did last summer. The blame game would probably have to be Halliburton-related in some way.

vitocorleone99 on July 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Car companies sunk money in ad campaigns to maximize their piece of the $1 billion plan, and somehow we’re supposed to feel bad for them because they could have gotten their piece of the pie for free, if they hadn’t misread the market as badly as the Obama administration and congress?

taznar on July 31, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Most of the ads came from local car dealers to get people to show up at their car lots.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 4:27 PM

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