The Tao Of The Clunker

posted at 3:37 pm on August 3, 2009 by Doctor Zero

The Left loves to criticize capitalism for being short-sighted, while benevolent government takes the long view, planning for the future through the brilliant designs of a command economy. Like many of the Left’s beliefs, this is the exact opposite of the truth. Consider the latest example of socialist government’s astonishing nearsightedness: the Cash for Clunkers program.

Originally slated to last through October, Cash for Clunkers blew through its billion-dollar funding in a week, and has received an injection of two billion additional dollars from Congress. Those are your dollars, by the way, assuming you are one of the 57% of Americans who pay federal income tax. You might not enjoy spending time in used-car lots, but last week, you were forced to help pay for thousands of old beaters. You might have had some unpleasant experiences at car dealerships, but I doubt any of them robbed you at gunpoint, as the Democrat Congress just did. Even more of your tax money will be appropriated to help destroy the clunkers, which aren’t even being broken down for spare parts. Downturns in the free market may reduce the value of assets, but only through the magic of government can the value of a useful asset be reduced to less than zero.

If it makes you feel any better, remember that all of this is being done in the name of a religion you probably don’t believe in. Oh, wait, that’s going to make you feel worse. Good. It should. The sight of Obama’s apparatchiks squealing with glee like little girls, and declaring Cash for Clunkers to be a phenomenal success, should fill you with blind rage. Maybe we could get a little value for our money by having the federal government assign the brainwashed schoolchildren trapped in its rotting educational system to fashion bits of metal from the destroyed clunkers into decorative keepsakes, and mail one to everyone who paid taxes last year. We could call them Planetary Savior Trophies, and each could come with a little prayer you recite each morning, to reduce global warming. It would be as effective as anything else Big Government forces us to do in the name of global warming.

Far from being short-sighted, the free market designed a system that generates useful value from automobiles decades after they are manufactured. New cars become “pre-owned” after their original owners decide they want a new vehicle. After the second owner gets finished with them, the cars devolve into “clunkers,” affordable by the young and the poor. Even when a clunker dies, its parts become useful assets in the repair and maintenance market. Every car is an organ donor.

The genius politicians who designed Cash for Clunkers, and blew through a billion dollars of taxpayer money in five percent of the allotted time, should be laughed out of the room when they call free markets “short-sighted.” What have they every produced that was still generating positive value twenty years later?

Besides transferring three billion dollars of our wealth to people who used to drive beat-up old cars, the Cash for Clunkers program also short-circuits the used car marked for the coming decade. Dealers get a short-term sales boost, but they’ll pay dearly for it over the next few years. Because the program generated some positive headlines, the government pronounces it an epic success, and plows more money into it. The only criteria for the success of any Big Government program is whether it produces a short-term bump in the polls, and comes in handy as a prop, every couple of years during elections. What system could be less likely to produce lasting, long-term benefits and deeply rooted economic strength?

It’s also worth noting that those $4500 clunker vouchers are not enough to completely pay for a new car. The people taking advantage of those vouchers will need to kick in a sizable amount of their own money. Those who would otherwise have waited to buy a new car will be diverting resources they would have invested elsewhere, if not for the voucher program – so it amounts to $3 billion spent to divert several times that much money from other industries, into new car sales. By the way, who makes those new cars? Do they have some sort of trade organization, which has a cozy relationship with the Democrats? I seem to remember reading about something along those lines.

The Left always portrays businessmen as rapacious predators who would gorge themselves on today’s profits, without any thought for the future. This is a far more accurate description of socialist government. Capitalists, as a group, are not interested in destroying vast amounts of future wealth to obtain a quick infusion of immediate profit – that’s just stupid. Some individual businessmen may act in such a manner, and some take it to the level of criminal activity that should be punished, but the vast majority of them are in business for the long haul. By definition, a company that destroys its own market for immediate gain is destroying itself. Individual companies rarely have the power to inflict that kind of market damage anyway – such power is the province of Big Government alone. Even if greedy new-car dealers and manufacturers wanted to increase their profits by blowing all the old cars off the road, they could never have done what Big Government did last week.

Only the government is eager to sacrifice future wealth for immediate gain. It’s written into the DNA of socialism. A businessman would think you a fool for suggesting he sacrifice decades of future opportunity for immediate gain, while a politician would think you a fool for suggesting otherwise. What matters to a politician more than today’s polls, and next year’s elections? A businessman looks at people who aren’t his customers yet, and sees the opportunity to expand his market. A politician looks at people who aren’t his constituents yet, and sees enemies that need to be suppressed. Politicians think they have an infinite supply of tax money to tap into, when their schemes go wrong. The deficit can always get a little bigger, and they can always steal a little more from the vastly outnumbered top income earners. Crashing the entire financial system for political gain in the 90s was a net win for the Democrats, and they would do it again in a heartbeat. Destroying the auto market to provide a little economic “stimulus” they can trumpet on the Sunday talk shows is a no-brainer.

If you paid federal income tax last year, you should stop by a new-car dealership today. They’re probably serving free coffee and soda to their crowds of customers. If you’re lucky, they might be giving away hot dogs and pizza. Help yourself to as much as you can eat and drink, because it’s the only thing you’re going to get in exchange for the three billion dollars the Democrats just stole from you. When someone treats you the way Barack Obama just treated taxpayers, the least you can do is expect them to buy you a drink.

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A sacrifice to the false god of global warming.

Hening on August 3, 2009 at 3:41 PM

I think I’m going to puke………again

bladegripp on August 3, 2009 at 3:41 PM

I’m with the thrust of this piece, but…

there has to be more to this Volvo than meets the eye.

Why would anyone take only 4500 trade-in for this car, and since a dealer could sell it for much more than that, why run it through the program at all?

Why not just take it as a normal trade and resell it?

Typhoon on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Centralized planning in action.

Vashta.Nerada on August 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Not to mention that the requirements for this disaster are myriad and devious, and by doing so cut out quite a few lower or lower middle class people who might actually need a new car.

If you haven’t had insurance on your car for 12 months or if you have had so much as a one day lapse during that time, you are out of luck.

The program uses an average mpg to rate whether your clunker is acceptable or not. If the average includes a half (ex: 18 1/2 mpg) the program rounds it up and therefore seeks to exclude.

There is no set interest rate at which the new cars must be sold so those with questionable credit are going to get socked by the interest rate.

Bishop on August 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

How long will it be before we start hearing stories of people who turned in their clunker (which, although it was old, was a perfectly good vehicle) to purchase a brand new car (which they probably couldn’t afford, but didn’t want to pass up a deal) find themselves in a position of not being able to make their monthly payment and their car is repossessed?

Also, how do all those charities feel about the supply of donated vehicles suddenly dropping off

behiker on August 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Also, the clunker also needs to have been registered for at least a year, also without so much as a one day lapse.

In states like MN there is a grace period for getting new tabs; MN’s is ten days. But if someone were to utilize this grace period, they are excluded.

Bishop on August 3, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Cash for Votes. You got to hand it to them in one sense. There is hardly a clearer example of an attempt at vote buying with the funds of your own money.

Amazing.

anuts on August 3, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Dealers get a short-term sales boost, but they’ll pay dearly for it over the next few years.

They don’t even get much of a boost. It costs money to scrap cars even in the free market; dealers recoup some by ‘parting out’ the car. Given that the engine is the most valuable part, they’re not making as much money under ‘Clunkers’ as they would otherwise… in fact, they may even be losing money on each car.

Paul_in_NJ on August 3, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Why not just take it as a normal trade and resell it?

Typhoon on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

The car has California plates; the owner was probably some left-wing loon who just wanted to support Dear Leader’s program.

behiker on August 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Also, how do all those charities feel about the supply of donated vehicles suddenly dropping off

behiker on August 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

This is what’s most maddening to me. This should have been some sort of exchange, not a take-it-and-destroy-it program. Somewhere is a church or community organization using a donated 1984 Skylark that pollutes and gets terrible mileage. That Volvo would have been an improvement. The program should have taken the clunkers and tried to use them to replace even worse vehicles. Every little bit helps, doesn’t it?

DrSteve on August 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM

your right of course.

rob verdi on August 3, 2009 at 3:56 PM

The medium term impact will to be crash car sales. Sure it’s great in the short term but when everyone rushes into the market at the same time, before they were perhaps ready, it simply moves demand to a single point in time. After the program is over, car sales will drop significantly again. I have a paid off car that gets 18 miles/gal. It’s a better deal than one that gets 25 with a monthly payment.

DerKrieger on August 3, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Besides all the obvious reasons, one thing I hate about C4C is that it unfairly punishes people who are out of work and can’t buy a car right now. Unemployment payments are taxed therefore you end up paying for cars for somebody that you can’t afford to buy for yourself.

Guardian on August 3, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Why not just take it as a normal trade and resell it?

Typhoon on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

I’ve been making this point for a couple of days now, while tying it into a bigger issue, namely there is no way the program ran out of money in four days. The program was meant to cover 250,000 transactions. That’s 62,500 transactions per day on average for the four day period. June of 09 total U.S. car sales for both cars and trucks, domestic and import, was appx. 34,000 per day on average. That means that sales during those four days in July beat last months average per day sales figure by twice as many. And as you point out, surely more people could trade in their car for more than the 4500 being offered by the government without all the other restrictions, which would push that four day average even HIGHER than twice the amount last month. Today the sales figures for most car makers came out for July, and while they did show an up tick over against last month (20% – 30%) it’s nowhere near the level of sales required to include four days straight of 62,500 on average. Something is wrong with this. The money is gone, but it didn’t go to 62,500 people per day over four days. And yes I’m taking into account the cost to run the program ($50 million of the 1 billion, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Where did the money go?

Weight of Glory on August 3, 2009 at 3:57 PM

there has to be more to this Volvo than meets the eye.

Typhoon on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Yeah…wtf?! The engine, wheels and tires are worth more than $4,500. To ruin that engine makes no sense whatsoever. These effing imbeciles gave that guy $4,500 for the car and then threw the entire thing in the garbage.

Whoever designed this program should be horse-whipped.

Jaibones on August 3, 2009 at 3:59 PM

The cash-for-clunkers will also have a negative effect on the poorer Americans. They are not able to take advantage of the program, and a diminished supply of used vehicles will tend to inflate the prices of the remaining used vehicles.

ICBM on August 3, 2009 at 3:59 PM

where do I sign up for the govn’t to run healthcare after this smashing success?

gatorboy on August 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM

The C4C program is in direct conflict with these hard core global warming believers. Why aren’t they saying anything?

http://www.globalwarmingisreal.com/blog/2009/01/05/earthtalk-rising-seas-and-buying-a-new-car-vs-keeping-a-well-maintained-used-car/

Firmworm on August 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Cash for Kidneys is next. Who needs 2?

faraway on August 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM

These effing imbeciles gave that guy $4,500 for the car and then threw the entire thing in the garbage.

but but but… they planted a tree to offset the carbon, so all is fine

gatorboy on August 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM

When someone treats you the way Barack Obama just treated taxpayers, the least you can do is expect them to buy you a drink.

What happened to the good old days when you could expect dinner and a movie?

SKYFOX on August 3, 2009 at 4:03 PM

“When someone treats you the way Barack Obama just treated taxpayers, the least you can do is expect them to buy you a drink.”

Sorry, I forgot to attribute the quote to Doctor Zero.

SKYFOX on August 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM

It is doubtful the government could generate positive value that lasts 20 minutes.

tsagen on August 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Weight of Glory on August 3, 2009 at 3:57 PM

A buddy of mine was looking for a new vehicle earlier in July. When he mentioned to the car salesman that he wanted to wait for the C4C deal, the salesman said they could honor it then. Do you suppose there was some loophole the dealers had found and started doing C4C earlier in the month?

behiker on August 3, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Thank goodness we learnt from mortgage crisis and aren’t using tax dollars up front to create loans that will create havoc down the r—DAMN!!!!

Chris_Balsz on August 3, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Do you suppose there was some loophole the dealers had found and started doing C4C earlier in the month?

no. they just squeeze the other side of the balloon, but in this case they get to market the trade-in as well instead of scrapping it.

gatorboy on August 3, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Do you suppose there was some loophole the dealers had found and started doing C4C earlier in the month?

behiker on August 3, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Good question. I don’t know if that happened. I’ll call up some of the local dealerships here in Houston, and see if that happened.

Weight of Glory on August 3, 2009 at 4:12 PM

This piece just underscores what the real problem is with Obama’s form of socialism. He thinks he can sneak it in.

You can’t impose socialism on top of a capitalist economy.

There aren’t enough rich people to pay for. No matter what liberals think.

Jaynie59 on August 3, 2009 at 4:15 PM

I traided in an 20 year old pickup with 290,000 miles on it and got the $4,500. I would have taken $1,000 for it, but Obama has it now, and I have a new SUV for half price (sticker price 19,500 and drive out $9,500 after all the discounts and programs.

I jumped on it day 1 because I had the extra truck and was trying to get rid of it. Now I have an extra new vehicle.

saiga on August 3, 2009 at 4:22 PM

JiangxiDad on August 3, 2009 at 4:16 PM

So far, reality is paralleling ‘Door into Summer’. Soon, it will parallel ‘Logan’s Run’, or ‘Soylent Green’.

Vashta.Nerada on August 3, 2009 at 4:25 PM

I asked my husband this question yesterday, I dunno if any of you know…please help? Because I wanted to drive by our Honda dealership and ask a salesperson.

Do sales agents PERSUADE YOU to not get in the C4C program and just do a regular trade-in transaction; that is, if the vehicle is like that Volvo–a fine piece of work?

My husband said of course, the program is stupid but ppl would push for it no matter what, even if (perhaps) get more value for their trade-in. I also wanna see how many clunkers our Honda dealer have in back, considering its huge lot.

Now every car we see on the road classifies as a clunker, after watching the vid (yes I had to, and I had my husband see it too). *ballcap on my chest*. Hey even the fine nice Audi driving next to you might go for it! And here, I have seen real clunkers driving around! Saw a nice VW custom-made van gray, matte paintjob, and 1930-1940′s classics-are they making a statement?

It sucks that the money comes from us, and then dealerships have to tax it as income. My husband understands and agrees with that but I don’t. I consider it a double-tax. Am I right or not?

ProudPalinFan on August 3, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Heinlein on the clunker program :)

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/obama_channels_robert_a_heinle.html

JiangxiDad on August 3, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Even that post stated that the scrap had to sent back to Pittsburgh for the metal and steel. That was my point the other day-that, and donations, I am amazed they did not go to ACORN!

ProudPalinFan on August 3, 2009 at 4:33 PM

This is just getting out of hand.

There was some idiot on Cavuto a little while ago who was actually arguing that since we (taxpayers) bailed out the automakers with our tax money, we have an obligation to stimulate demand for their cars by spending more of our tax money.

So, essentially, taxpayers have to subsidize demand because we are also subsidizing supply. I think my head is going to explode.

The same idiot kept saying that this program is wildly popular. Of course. Free money is always wildly popular.

So, manufacturers get my money to make their cars. My fellow citizens get my money to buy the cars. The only thing I get is the bill. Awesome program.

Cavuto last week also brought up the point that Chrysler, with our money, was matching the $4500 C4C money. Ford, who didn’t take any of our money can’t afford a $4500 match. So, Big Gov gives Chrysler an unfair advantage with our money. I will never buy a Chrysler or GM. Period.

JohnInCA on August 3, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Step 1: Destroy a Perfectly Usable Car (cost: 1 good car, wages for government or auto dealership employees to destroy it)

Step 2: Give federal money to an individual (increase the size of this year’s deficit, and the national debt).

Step 3: A person who previously had a perfectly usable, paid-off car now buys a new car, on credit, and goes deeper into debt.

Net effect: Destroy wealth, create make-work jobs, put the nation deeper into debt, and put individual Americans deeper into debt.

Only a highly-educated liberal could come up with such a stupid plan.

Oh, yeah, and every dollar we have to pay down from the national debt, we have to pay interest on as well, which means every dollar will cost us about $2. All said and done, every car destroyed by “Clunkers” will cost our country about $10,000 ($5000 of interest on national debt and a $5000 asset destroyed).

This program has a -2x multiplier–every dollar spent will cost the country about 2 dollars.

But don’t worry–Congress just voted to TRIPLE the size of the program. Congress put in another 2BN, for a total of 3BN.

With the -2x multiplier, that means Congress is doing $6BN worth of damage to our economy. Good job Nancy Pelosi! Good job Harry Reid! Good job Barack Obama!

daryl_herbert on August 3, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Why, this program is such a massive success, why don’t we give people vouchers to just outright get a free car (GM or Chrysler only). You also get a free bag of beer with your car. We call the program “40 Ounces and a Mule.”

Mr. Pickles on August 3, 2009 at 4:43 PM

I’ve been wondering – how many of the trade-ins for CfC are actually worth more than $3,500 or $4,500?

hawksruleva on August 3, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Only about 23,000 cars have qualified for the CFC program. If they ALL got the max of $4,500 – then only $103,500,000 dollars have been spent.

1,000,000,000 – 103,500,000 = -896,500,000.

Tell me how they have run out of money….

Thieving ass maggots…

skree on August 3, 2009 at 4:45 PM

No one pressuerd me, I showed up with my old truck and had to apply a fair amount of thought leadership to the sales people to get them to confirm the mileage differential to get the $4,500.

For one year prior, it had to have been in my name,been inspected, been regestered and been insured. The registration sticker was not enough, I had to spend $2.00 atm the DMV to get a copy of the registration receipt for last year. (I was ready)

I had paid $12,000 for that truck new in 1989. First me, then all my kids drove it over 20 years and 279,000 miles. Then Obama gave me $4,500 for it. Now thats resale value!

saiga on August 3, 2009 at 4:45 PM

The “success” of the program proves how many times Congress must re-fund the coffers with our raised taxes to cover the program’s costs within a week already 3 times as expensive as projected.

RE$ET=OVERCHARGE

Stop growing debt. Stop the lunacy.

Hell, at least give another government a chance to trade and transport the clunkers for their poverty stricken population to refurbish if they have the petroleum for fuel. Don’t destroy functioning vehicles. This madness replays the Great Depression dairymen dumping all the milk while masses of people starved to death when the cost to produce vs. price @ market left farming dairymen in the hole. FDR “fixed” that with inflation so the starving citizens had no way to afford milk in their wildest dreams. Cinderella Man fought for milk.

maverick muse on August 3, 2009 at 4:46 PM

My clunker was destined for the junk yard until congress revived it. It’s a 99 Chevy van that only runs on 7 cylinders do to a bent push-rod.. I’ve never taken advantage of a gov’t run program in my life. I’m still reluctant to go do this.

roux on August 3, 2009 at 4:47 PM

1,000,000,000 – 103,500,000 = -896,500,000.

Tell me how they have run out of money….

Thieving ass maggots…

skree on August 3, 2009 at 4:45 PM

1 billion will do about 220,000 cars, or about 12 per US dealership. That’s why I acted last Monday. If obama is going to hand out free money, I feel compelled to take it.

saiga on August 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM

My clunker was destined for the junk yard until congress revived it. It’s a 99 Chevy van that only runs on 7 cylinders do to a bent push-rod.. I’ve never taken advantage of a gov’t run program in my life. I’m still reluctant to go do this.

roux on August 3, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Mine had a broken transmission line I had rigged with a hose clamp. It leaked all the way to the dealership. The rubber seals on the windows were rotted, and the starter was flakey. The seats were shreaded and the tires were bald. Most of the body parts were there though. &4,500 seemed like a good deal to me.

saiga on August 3, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Damn, Lied to again!

BigMike252 on August 3, 2009 at 4:53 PM

I just wish they would have let me trade it in on a new motorcycle. I’ll probably trade my new one for the bike, as soon as my tags come in.

saiga on August 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM

This is so stupid. I can’t trade in my 11 year old 156K minivan that the gooberment claims gets 20mpg for a new car that gets better than 30mpg, but some other likely non-taxpayer can trade in his 18mpg vehicle for one that gets only 22mpg…

bspoogeferd on August 3, 2009 at 5:10 PM

1 billion will do about 220,000 cars, or about 12 per US dealership. That’s why I acted last Monday. If obama is going to hand out free money, I feel compelled to take it.

I understand your point and your math is spot on. Congress has claimed that the money is gone now…after 23,000 cars.

skree on August 3, 2009 at 5:19 PM

“‘Cash For Clunkers’ describes the Obama Administrations economic programs; Our cash for their clunkers…”

Laura Ingraham this morning

SDPlissken on August 3, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Watching a perfectly good vehicle being destroyed like this makes me as sick as watching an animal being killed.

How many American families would love to have a decent vehicle, and instead they are destroying them. Pure insanity and arrogance.

Hening on August 3, 2009 at 5:41 PM

I just wish they would have let me trade it in on a new motorcycle. I’ll probably trade my new one for the bike, as soon as my tags come in.

saiga on August 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM

That makes too much sense. I ride a bike as long as the weather holds out, and can do all the travel I need for work on about $8 a week. It will eventually come down to everyone riding in a clunker or bike.

Hening on August 3, 2009 at 5:44 PM

How the hell is that Volvo classified a C4C clunker? If I make it right, it’s an S-40 series and it should get well into the 20s mpg. Why the hell is that perfectly good car being euthanized? All the man hours and materials used to produce it are trashed long before its useful lifespan is ended. The dealer who took it in on a C4C deal should be severely beaten about the head and shoulders. Any carnut/motorhead like me is punching-holes-in-walls mad at seeing such waste of a good car. The dealer who took the deal must be brain dead. Hell, no, I couldn’t watch the video posted about it yesterday. Yeah, I’m pi$$ed.

Roger Brown on August 3, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Watching a perfectly good vehicle being destroyed like this makes me as sick as watching an animal being killed.

How many American families would love to have a decent vehicle, and instead they are destroying them. Pure insanity and arrogance.

Hening on August 3, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Exactly. I’m having a hard time trying to think how this is all environmentally friendly and benefiting Gaia. All we’re doing is consuming more natural resources in subsidizing the purchase of these new vehicles…that and encouraging people to go into debt using tax payer money as an enticement. It blows my mind to think the Guvm’t is giving people money it doesn’t really have so people will spend money they don’t really have on a car that depreciates in value faster than the eventual payment plan the consumer secures for it. Only a liberal would think that this is a success.

Wyznowski on August 3, 2009 at 5:56 PM

…assign the brainwashed schoolchildren trapped in its rotting educational system to fashion bits of metal from the destroyed clunkers into decorative keepsakes, and mail one to everyone who paid taxes last year.

When I read this sentance,, I remembered this story:

As a gesture of solidarity, the Vietnamese who Dohrn met in Budapest presented her with a ring made from an American aircraft shot down over North Vietnam. Bill Ayers would receive a similar ring while meeting with Vietnamese communists in Toronto. He later recalled being so moved by the gesture that he “left the room to cry.” He said, “I realized…America was an evil… and that I was… living inside the belly of the beast….”

http://patdollard.com/2008/09/ayers-proudly-wears-ring-made-from-downed-us-jet-fighter-but-that-aint-all/

So,, it might be more fitting to make a couple rings from the crushed carcass of a V-8 and send one to Al Gore and the other to Obama. Al Gore said long ago the combustion engine was the biggest threat to man, so, makes sense to me. He’d certainly deserve the first ring and I am sure he’d wear it proudly.
Obama, well, cause he’s Obama and a ring from a perfectly good running American made automobile traded in with a promise of a government handout, then taken to the back lot to have poison poured down it’s throat before it is shipped off to be crushed and chopped into little pieces just because he desired it,, well, that would be quite a trophy, as too.

JellyToast on August 3, 2009 at 6:35 PM

…well, that would be quite a trophy, as too.

I have got to stop talking on the cell as I am posting! ;(

JellyToast on August 3, 2009 at 6:39 PM

i called my dealership (Chrysler). they laughed when i asked when they thought they would get paid. they laughed. they kept saying “really, kelley, its the government, when do you think we’ll get paid?”

they are not fans of the program.

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Besides transferring three billion dollars of our wealth to people who used to drive beat-up old cars,

FOFLMAO A $4,500.00 car is far far from a clunker! Can have a hundred thousand miles left in it.

by killing all of this quality used cars the Obama team has succeeded in puting the cost of automobile owner ship farther from the hands of the people who need them and voted Obama. No car much harder to get a job.

allrsn on August 3, 2009 at 8:18 PM

this clown is destroying something of value in the hopes of creating wealth in this country? can’t you obama dummies see what a farce this clown is??? RUNNING, VIABLE CARS DESTROYED FOR WHAT????

ndanielson on August 3, 2009 at 8:49 PM

actually they are being destroyed in the name of religion – the religion of global warming. you people so suck. every thing you clowns touch turns to crap!

ndanielson on August 3, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Why would anyone take only 4500 trade-in for this car, and since a dealer could sell it for much more than that, why run it through the program at all?

Why not just take it as a normal trade and resell it?

Typhoon on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

That’s because the cars that are eligible to get the subsidy aren’t actually worth the $3500 or $4500 the government is putting into the trade. Most of the cars on the eligibility list are worth under $1000 in trade and the dealers wouldn’t be able to sell them for much more than that.

mrflibbleisvryx on August 3, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Um if you have a “clunker”, it’s probably paid for. Do you have the option to buy $8,000 basic transportation getting 35 mpg?

Nope. Now you have a “New $20K Car”, and “new” monthly payment, and less than 20mpg. Can you afford it, even at 25% off.

What about the dealers, on the hook for that $4000, when they struggle make $100 per car already. Get ready for Armageddon when they don’t get paid (by the government).

Agrippa2k on August 3, 2009 at 9:52 PM

They ought to call this program Cash From The Clueless

(The Clueless being our elected officials in Washington (in case you are a Democrat and need to have all your thinking done for you.)

bigjacket on August 3, 2009 at 10:43 PM

A related satircal piece entitled “Billions of Dollars to Be Burned Under New ‘Cash for Cash’ Program”: http://www.optoons.blogspot.com/ (August 4 entry)

Mervis Winter on August 4, 2009 at 12:05 AM

(posted at the other C4C thread)

Ok I went to my Honda dealership, still mulling w/my husband about this program. Best-dealer-A+ smart ppl there.

1-If they see that the trade-in value of the vehicle, they will not do C4C and go for the trade-in (at least from what we got from the salesman).

2-Hehe, he saw my car and his face was like “Hell no way that is a C4C (loaded to the max like that Volvo). Don’t think he was gonna allow that to happen (Honda ppl know usually we get Hondas again). Loved the wood-trim on my vehicle, my long trips and of course we get 23-24 mpg on it. Regardless, we own a huge dog that takes a whole seat, we haul wood and last trip was loaded w/8 ppl mostly teenagers playing DS while watching DVD.

3-He said they do take 1+ hrs to process each C4C, system problems and they have not been refunded squat on that program. That aside from loads of ppwk they have to submit. Did not seem to get a good idea of when they will be reimbursed.

4-Not many C4C’s in back (we sneaked on two different dealers, one Chrysler and the Honda)-Honda had less in back. I laughed at one pickup truck, same brand and model as my FIL’s. He’s a lib so I will make sure to let him know about this! There was one Caddy, looks like it was redone, bodywork, paint, nice white top, metal blue color, late 70s which I love. Guess 8 cylinder. But it seems they put in more than $1K on it. Dunno about engine of course. Clean and shiny as it was just out of the detailers. I know this b/c for my first car, about same year, top was redone, bodywork, went to junker to get couple of new parts, 2-tone vynil/fabric seats, the works. Men went nuts over it, and I got a flyer from a car dealership to pls trade it in. :D

5-I believe that my Honda dealership is doing things right, that if they see value is more than C4C they will push for regular trade-in.

6-Cool to see a clunker held its trunk inback by elastic hooks usually for luggage; WITH AN O BUMPER STICKER!! I so wanted to holler at him to trade in his clunker, would have sent him nuclear w/my Sarah! bumper sticker. I saw another car today, brave of course, with a “Hillary for President” from the past primary. Had to explain to my husband why I said that that was a brave PUMA in front of us.

ProudPalinFan on August 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM

At first my husband thought that Volvo was gonna be broken for parts. Then he saw vid of squashed cars. That he did not expect; when we dated he had a loaned black Volvo.

He fired at me many q’s, about why dude that claimed Volvo was in excellent condition did not film the back of it, around, inside of it, just the front being fried and oil spittin’ at the bottom while they were putting the fire out.If there’s another sad clunker that does not look like it please make sure film everything then put that seizure crap on it. Because it leads to believe that the car was lemon-type and engine sucked.

ProudPalinFan on August 4, 2009 at 12:07 AM

ProudPalinFan on August 4, 2009 at 12:09 AM

roux,

That bent pushrod isn’t difficult or expensive to fix unless there is some other internal engine damage. If you have some mechanical skills and PATIENCE you could fix it yourself and tell OSAMA OBAMA HUSSEIN BIN LADIN to go to a very hot place. I drive a 71 F-100 Ford truck with about 600,000 miles on it. I would restore it to better than new condition if I had the money. Right now I keep up the maintenance and repairs and sure it costs me a lot more money in gas than a new truck but I don’t have a car payment and refuse to go into debt.

hamradio on August 4, 2009 at 12:50 AM

How about cash for congressmen/congresswomen or pennies for politicians or cents for senators? Don’t care about the money, just get rid of them as quickly as possible.

elifino on August 4, 2009 at 4:37 AM

Why would anyone take only 4500 trade-in for this car, and since a dealer could sell it for much more than that, why run it through the program at all?

Why not just take it as a normal trade and resell it?

Typhoon on August 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

That would have common sense written all over it. This Congress and Administration avoids common sense like the plague.

jimmy2shoes on August 4, 2009 at 6:57 AM

I cannot agree more with a comment above by behiker. It would make no sense for me to use this program to turn in a paid for 98 Ford Explorer (which runs perfectly well and gets decent gas mileage still)to purchase a new car and indebt myself for the next 4 years with another car payment in a time of economic strain. It will be interesting to see how many reposessions we start to see in the next 5 or so months. This is an issue I haven’t heard discussed at all on any of the news shows.
Also, my 87 Volvo doesn’t qualify at all..strange.

serpentineshel on August 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM