Good news: Feds pulling workers away from FAA to staff exploding Cash for Clunkers bureaucracy

posted at 6:30 pm on August 22, 2009 by Allahpundit

Move along. No cautionary tales to see here.

Employees of the FAA’s air-traffic-control unit were asked to help, but the Transportation Department stressed Friday that essential safety personnel were not diverted from their duties.

A total of 1,200 workers, including about 300 contractors from Citigroup, the financial services giant, are now working seven days a week to review applications and reimburse auto dealers for rebates advanced to customers, officials said.

The department tripled its program staff to 1,100 last week, and recently added another 100 headquarters employees…

The National Automobile Dealers Association, which had endorsed the move, urged the Obama administration late Friday to extend the deadline because the program’s Web site was crashing.

Percentage of dealer claims that had been reimbursed by the feds as of Thursday: Seven. How bad does a program have to be to goose sales as much as C4C has and still be badmouthed by the industry? This bad, I guess:

Laura Sodano, a sales manager at Curry Chevrolet in Scarsdale, N.Y., said dealers were not told why their applications had not been approved and were having to review the entire form to determine what went wrong.

“I don’t know one dealership that’s gotten paid yet,” Ms. Sodano said. “If they run out, we’re in trouble. It’s bringing us a lot of traffic, but it’s not a very good program.”…

If the funding is exhausted before all reimbursements are made, some dealers — and possibly G.M. — could end up having to write off the unpaid credits.

There’s actually a serious risk here that the feds are going to mismanage a simple car-rebate program into bankruptcy. Oh, and more good news: Confirming earlier suspicions, it’s foreign carmakers that are getting the lion’s share of the sales. Exit question: Which is more frightening as an omen for ObamaCare’s future problems? Yesterday’s $2 trillion upwards budget revision or this wheezing canary in the coal mine?


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Where’s Cranky and the rest of the new Trolls? Has the Hammer struck again?

kingsjester on August 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Probably hiding their new cars from the repo man for when the government fails to pay the dealers.

Dave R. on August 22, 2009 at 8:40 PM

The fact that people out there see all this and still support government running healthcare just proves all those people are morons.

The Notorious G.O.P on August 22, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Monday presser: Fibbs explains Obama’s position re C4C, “The president says, ‘We won.’”
.
Later the same day:
Infamous woman on pre-innauguration video, breathlessly saying, “Now I won’t hafta worry ’bout payin’ ma rent no mo…” says if she’s homeless now and if Obama can’t do free healthcare, can he at least help her get her OJ prize.

NightmareOnKStreet on August 22, 2009 at 8:46 PM

O/T: Giants getting creamed in 2nd quarter by Bears, 10-0 as Bears take a timeout. I’m starting to miss Obama already.

NightmareOnKStreet on August 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM

Btw,with Liberals going for the fuel economy,as their spin,
you can trade in,and move to a working truck,that is over,
8500 lbs!

According to Motor trend Magazine,September issue,which I
have,from the US House of Representatives Commitee on En
ergy and Commerce,as their source,I will quote!
———————————————————
Consumers can trade in an 8500-10,000-pound,pre-2002 work
truck and get a $3,500 voucher for a new truck in the same
or smaller weight class.
There will be a finite number of vouchers,based on the vech
icle class’ market share!!
————————————————————

I was ubder the impression,that the Left were mainly doing
this,for so-called better fuel economy!

Don`t get me wrong,I think,any American,should have the
FREEDOM,to purchase what he/she wants for their transpor
tation!!
———————————————————-

And this is from Cars Allowance Rebate System.
http://www.cars.gov/faq
————————————————————

I have an SUV with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 8500 lbs. I thought this vehicle was a category 1, but the website directed me to a list of category 3 vehicles. Can I still participate in the CARS program?

YES. SUVs with a GVWR over 8500 lbs. are not rated for fuel economy by EPA. Therefore, these vehicles are treated as category 3 trucks and must have a model year of 2001 or older. The new vehicle must come from either category 2 or 3. For more information, please click on the �MPG rating� tab at the home page of http://www.cars.gov.

canopfor on August 22, 2009 at 8:52 PM

This one time program is costing $100 million for administrative costs. Just imagine how cheaply the government can run Obamacare.

txag92 on August 22, 2009 at 8:52 PM

O/T: Giants getting creamed in 2nd quarter by Bears, 10-0 as Bears take a timeout. I’m starting to miss Obama already.

NightmareOnKStreet on August 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM

Lions are losing 20-0 in the second quarter. They are ready for the regular season.

bw222 on August 22, 2009 at 8:59 PM

O/T: Giants getting creamed in 2nd quarter by Bears, 10-0 as Bears take a timeout. I’m starting to miss Obama already.

NightmareOnKStreet on August 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM

NightmareOnKStreet: That reminds of the old SNL skit,

THE BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

canopfor on August 22, 2009 at 9:02 PM

I think A.P. meant to be sarcastic by putting ‘good news’ in the headline, but it is good news. Reducing the staff at the FAA will save lives. When you analyze them closely you will find that most FAA regulations make aviation less safe.

Lost my shape on August 22, 2009 at 9:03 PM

and how is this any different at all from the subprime housing bubble the government created and we still haven’t recovered from?

das411 on August 22, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Coming soon………..

Urgent Gov’t program needed to rescue C4C program! Speaker Pelosi says it must be done before Labor Day.”

BacaDog on August 22, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Dave R. on August 22, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Hasn’t Getalife reincarnated itself a la the last open registration click drive? Wonder what the new handle will be.

ericdijon on August 22, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Exit question: Which is more frightening as an omen for ObamaCare’s future problems? Yesterday’s $2 trillion upwards…revision [of the estimated, ten-year deficit] or this wheezing canary in the coal mine?

It’s probably the former. The Americans’ rulers seem unlikely even to be able to keep giving away Medicare benefits, and less likely to be able to begin giving away any large, new benefits, year after year. Obama and the writers of HR3200 seem to wish to offer the new benefits at the expense of the old benefits by restricting or discouraging some sorts of care to the elderly. It seems stupid and dangerous for these present rulers to involve themselves and their successors in medical triage. Nevertheless, the implied antagonism between giving away future Medicare benefits and giving away any new medical benefits seems to be a tacit, half-acknowledgement of the very thing the fiscal conservatives have been saying for decades: The expense of giving away medical care to the elderly is going to become impossible to bear. But now the Americans seem to have the additional problem that their Congress and Presidents are borrowing and giving away fresh sums of money, nine, ten, or eleven zeroes at a time.

The Americans’ financial future looks to be such that their “federal” government will not be able to arrange to give away or subsidize medical care for the Americans at large. But neither will the “federal” government be able to continue funding Medicare.

Here’s further reading. If we can at all trust the figures presented by the National Center for Policy Analysis, then it seems the “federal” government will not be able to sustain Medicare eligibility at anything like age 65.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba662

Kralizec on August 22, 2009 at 9:26 PM

I haven’t read all the comments so this may have been mentioned but a friend who works for a Ford dealership says that the form for each purchase is thirteen pages (or I guess I should say screens).

Cindy Munford on August 22, 2009 at 9:27 PM

OK $3,000,000,000 divided by $3500 per car makes a MAXIMUM number of applications of 857,142 over the life of the program.

We have had 21 business days of 8 hours each during this program and 367 people working for a total of 61,656 man-hours. Assuming no overtime and no additional help.

They have processed 7% of the applications
.07 X 857,142 = 60,000 applications.

Hours per application = 61,656 / 60,000 = 1.03 hours to approve an application that has been electronically submitted?

Umm, what does this application look like? Clunker car VIN number (this should automatically pull up MPG), insurance documents, statement of the destruction of the clunker, and contract for the sale of the new car (and MPG). Why does it take so long?

4of8 on August 22, 2009 at 9:31 PM

Cindy Munford on August 22, 2009 at 9:27 PM

Sweetie, you know this Administration will never do anything simply and efficiently. This Administration definitely reminds me of a Benny Hill chase scene with Yakety Sax playing in the background.

kingsjester on August 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM

Canaries? No canaries here, sir. Just a Norwegian Blue parrot. But don’t you fear, guv’ner, he’s just resting.

Blacksmith on August 22, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Or a Acorn worker will come by your house to “discuss” end of life issues.

Oh we sure will, won’t be mine though.

gdonovan on August 22, 2009 at 9:34 PM

I guess destroying older cars is more important than making sure older airliners don’t crash and burn with all aboard.

infidel4life on August 22, 2009 at 9:42 PM

Robert Snell and David Shepardson / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said today it will immediately start paying cash advances to dealers who have not been reimbursed for vehicles sold through the federal “cash for clunkers” program.

Yes, we the taxpayers who own GM should be proud. We are footing the bill for a tax credit for a car and a tax credit for a house. When Peggy said last year that Obama would put gas in her car and pay her mortgage, she was not 100% correct, but she was closer than many of us thought, wasn’t she?

JustTruth101 on August 22, 2009 at 9:47 PM

A clear violation of the controller comitatus act. What next for crying out loud. Gheeeeez.

PaCadle on August 22, 2009 at 9:48 PM

According to the Powerline blog some of those government volunteer clerks that are being used to push through the car rebates are GS – 15 executives from other departments. That’s a $60 an hour clerk checking those forms for those of you unfamiliar with the federal government.

Fred 2 on August 22, 2009 at 10:10 PM

The details are utterly unimportant. The inescapable truth is quite simple: The worthless, retarded, socialist government of O’Bozo, Emanuel, Axelrod, Pelosi and Reid has created a bloated, untenable bureaucracy out of their idiotic $3 billion clunker car stimulus.

Now extrapolate that $3 billion into the $8 trillion that they are printing and flusing down the toilet, and simply try to imagine the disaster.

You can’t.

Jaibones on August 22, 2009 at 10:18 PM

..MAXIMUM number of applications of 857,142 over the life of the program.
We have had 21 business days of 8 hours each during this program and 367 people working for a total of 61,656 man-hours. Assuming no overtime and no additional help.

They have processed 7% of the applications
.07 X 857,142 = 60,000 applications.

Hours per application = 61,656 / 60,000 = 1.03 hours to approve an application that has been electronically submitted?

Using your data, there are potentially 790,000 applications which haven’t been processed. At one man-hour per application, and 2080 hours per year available on a 5-day schedule, they’ll have to hire 380 people to get them processed in a year.

Of course, most businesses desire 30 to 60 day payment on receivables so they need to increase staffing x 12 to meet 30 days. (4,560 people)

Let’s see, 1,000 from the FAA, 1,000 from FEMA, 1,000 from the State Department, 1,000 from…………….

BacaDog on August 22, 2009 at 10:23 PM

4of8 on August 22, 2009 at 9:31 PM

Slave driver

Don’t they get smoke breaks?

/s

CWforFreedom on August 22, 2009 at 10:28 PM

I want Jon Stewart to tell me some more about how great this is.

Jim Treacher on August 22, 2009 at 10:38 PM

See this is the problem with utopia. In utopia, where Obama lives, whatever idea he conceives is do-able – he speaks it into existence, and the unicorns will all fall into place by the magic of his words.

Where you and I live, in reality, we do a “test run” or “proof of concept” to make sure everything works, how long it takes, and to look for those pesky little things called unintended consequences.

But that’s because you and I have had those things called jobs, which The One has never had, so he doesn’t know about such things as “test runs” or “proof of concept.”

The freaking WH is being run like the keystone cops. Let’s put them in charge of health care, great idea. Maybe they can fly by the seat of their magic pants on that, too. I wonder how long the cancer patient can wait for them to figure out whether or not they’ll pay for the medication?

JustTruth101 on August 22, 2009 at 10:42 PM

kingsjester on August 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM

And yet they are astounded that anyone is experience any qualms about their “improvement” of our health care industry.

Cindy Munford on August 22, 2009 at 10:42 PM

This is a modern version of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

n0doz on August 22, 2009 at 11:07 PM

Foreign cars occupied eight of the 10 spots on top-selling vehicle list.

The American People have spoken loud and clear they don’t want:
Obamamotors or
ObamaCare!

dhunter on August 22, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Let’s see, 1,000 from the FAA, 1,000 from FEMA, 1,000 from the State Department, 1,000 from…………….

BacaDog on August 22, 2009 at 10:23 PM

1000……. from the A4$$hat crap weasals that voted for this Obamanation.
Let em cough up some of their own time or their staffs’.

dhunter on August 22, 2009 at 11:13 PM

JustTruth101 on August 22, 2009 at 10:42 PM

This insane line of thinking starts well before the “job” phase – this is the “liberal arts” education writ large. In the name of education, universities destroy the minds of otherwise intelligent students who go into fields with “studies” affixed to the end of their titles. They end up spending four years learning how to emote without reason, complain without facts, and publish academic work without any sort of standards.

Jobs? Not that I would complain if modern liberals were to learn how to run a business or make something productive, but I would happily settle for re-vamping their education such that they had to take economics, math, or any class wherein there are demonstrably right and wrong answers that are verified by systematic observation.

Roxeanne de Luca on August 22, 2009 at 11:41 PM

Another 1500 jobs saved by Oh!

chickasaw42 on August 22, 2009 at 11:49 PM

These people can’t manage a simple program and they expect us to turn over a far more complex health care system. How stupid do they think we are?

TheBigOldDog on August 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM

(Voice dripping with sarcasm)
Sooooo, these are the guys who are planning to run our healthcare.

SagebrushPuppet on August 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM

“I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies.”

“Shut up and get to work in that delivery room, postal clerk!”

SagebrushPuppet on August 23, 2009 at 12:20 AM

Effin unbelievable.

Is now my stock answer to all things Obama.

GrannyDee on August 23, 2009 at 12:27 AM

Cash for clunkers?

Are we talking about paychecks for Obama and Biden?

This “administration” is shovel ready.

We will bury you.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2009 at 12:50 AM

We should have use that program to get $4500 for this administration.

SagebrushPuppet on August 23, 2009 at 12:56 AM

SagebrushPuppet on August 23, 2009 at 12:20 AM

So wrong… but still laughing. :)

Roxeanne de Luca on August 23, 2009 at 1:03 AM

Which is more frightening as an omen for ObamaCare’s future problems? Yesterday’s $2 trillion upwards budget revision or this wheezing canary in the coal mine?

What is frightening is that this administration’s ineptness leaves us with such devastating choices of ignorant governance.

Baxter Greene on August 23, 2009 at 1:16 AM

So, if Cash for Clunkers ends on Monday, and I decide after Monday to buy a new car, why wouldn’t I just wait a month until congress decides it needs more Cash for Clunkers $$$ to keep the just put back to work UAW members working.

Jeff from WI on August 23, 2009 at 6:18 AM

Obama’s lack of business experience is putting him at the mercy of work theory in the modern workplace and he has not bothered to actually check and see if it does, indeed, work.

Having been in the government, my Agency suffered a problem in which the guiding theory of upper management was that: ‘any manager can manage any part of the agency’. Thus managers got switched around pretty often and the very FIRST thing such managers would do in an area they had no experience in was to put in new work rules. Anyone who had done the job in a given area for 3 or more years (which was most of the productive staff and line supervisors) then had to filter back: a) these rules hampered efficience, b) they had been tried before as demonstrated in the section’s files, c) some could not apply at all due to the work type and/or security, health and safety regulations.

This infected the upper parts of mid-level management and even went to the top, because as they started to switch positions the Agency would reorganize about every 15-20 months. Thus the short-lasting low to mid level managers got swapped out more often than that and then entire workplaces got shifted around in management boxes. Meanwhile the line productions staff just did their jobs and did their best to ignore management and do the work.

Even worse is that putting more staff on a job is part of the ‘Mythical Man Month’ idea of business, where the amount of labor of one person per month can be halved if you put another person the job. It doesn’t work that way due to project spin-up time, training, etc. And when a project nears a deadline, putting more people on actually makes the project LONGER and causes even worse deadline failures. When a project starts to change scope, definition or expected outputs, then you get a change that must work through the staff and that takes time to do, and each of those changes lengthens the project, makes it less efficient and causes confusion on the end goals.

When all of that is combined projects go on a ‘Death March’ where staff, goals, deadlines and what is actually supposed to be the results changes so often that a project is finally killed before it produces ANYTHING. That is why extending even a known, good project with a definite end schedule can be lethal: it was set-up for an orderly shut-down and when you change the shut-down deadline you then change the infrastructure of the project. Anyone who has been on more than one initiative to improve workplace efficiency (I have been on TQM, Process Re-engineering, Process Improvement, Total Quality Workplace, and Y2K) knows these things and puts forward, at the very top of any set of recommendations: put down hard goals, do not add people save for death or illness, do not change goals, do not change the work environment, and utilize feedback on limited projects to test them out with willing participants before expanding them beyond that small group.

Of course no one in upper management listens to that… they have to show they know what they are doing by changing everything to justify their job. It is a combination of these things that this represents, and anyone who had been in business any time through the mid-1980′s to at least 2004 could tell you that.

Cash for Clunkers is now using the Mythical Man Month to make up for changed goals and funding, which makes that a Death March that will, finally, just get its plug pulled as it becomes a sink for wasted work, wasted money, wasted time and PO’d individuals inside and outside of it.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2009 at 6:26 AM

Laura Sodano, a sales manager at Curry Chevrolet in Scarsdale, N.Y., said dealers were not told why their applications had not been approved and were having to review the entire form to determine what went wrong.

Check the dealers’ voter registrations Ms. Sodano.

Ampleforth on August 23, 2009 at 7:28 AM

“Denver center, this is United two-three-niner heavy..”

“Denver center? Hello? Come in Denver center..”

VoyskaPVO on August 22, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Huh, United two-three-niner… You are cleared for two-three right, and would you like to super-size your fries?

Yoop on August 22, 2009 at 8:07 PM

“This is Denver Center United two three niner heavy”,”we’re busy processing Cash for Clunkers Claims”, Please ascend angels 30 and reverse course to O’Hare”, “I think there’s still Air Traffic Controlers working there.”

Jeff from WI on August 23, 2009 at 9:27 AM

“Denver center, this is United two-three-niner heavy..”

“Denver center? Hello? Come in Denver center..”

VoyskaPVO on August 22, 2009 at 7:19 PM

United two-three-niner = U239 = Plutonium. Nice.

BobMbx on August 23, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Don’t forget folks, in most cases C4C gave $4500 towards financing, not outright purchase.

The other shoe is the number of cars the dealers have to repossess.

Chris_Balsz on August 23, 2009 at 3:07 PM

So, if Cash for Clunkers ends on Monday, and I decide after Monday to buy a new car, why wouldn’t I just wait a month until congress decides it needs more Cash for Clunkers $$$ to keep the just put back to work UAW members working.

Jeff from WI on August 23, 2009 at 6:18 AM

Yes sir as it has been a dazzling success ./sarc

CWforFreedom on August 23, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Don’t forget folks, in most cases C4C gave $4500 towards financing, not outright purchase.

The other shoe is the number of cars the dealers have to repossess.

Chris_Balsz on August 23, 2009 at 3:07 PM

There you go! Stimulating jobs in the repo business already! Soon Americans will ALL be the repoman…

ajacksonian on August 23, 2009 at 9:37 PM

Of the $3 billion appropriated for these rebates, how much is actually going to end up in the hands of car dealers?

hawksruleva on August 24, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Heard on another site that apparently the computers needed for this operation were being taken down for scheduled maintenance. An e-mail has been sent out to all empolyees, at the last minute, telling them to not come in after all.
Wonder how many won’t see the e-mail until after they get to their desks on Saturday?

MarkTheGreat on August 24, 2009 at 9:30 AM

This program just another Obama, Axelrod, Rahm sham.

I would bet that if demographics were run on the sales that the heavily populated areas with a big democratic voting block got the big percentage of the approaved sales. Many dealers where I live did not even participate becasue of the slow processing and approval process. Just a ploy to help them in next election. Propgram no doublt run good where Acorn is strong and pulling for bambi and friends.

bluegrass on August 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Maybe they will soon pull some troops home from Iraq, etc. to help as well. Can’t put a crimp in those “free money” giveaways.

hillbilly on August 24, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Déjà vu… all over again…?

Yogi Berea or Ronald Reagan…?
Take your choice…?

Athletes and or politicians…

My thought would be… they’re all grossly overpaid, over valued and totally without any discernable, redeemable social value…?

But that’s just my sorry, skinny, olde soldiers arse’s opinion…!

“Sayin’ that…!”

“Now gosh dammit”…!

Stay away from me woman…! Stop, hittin’ my hand…!

Stop that bull about…”I’m a geezer who doesn’t…
…know shit…!

Stop it…!

Huh…?

Put down that goddamn gun woman…!
Put that shit DOWN…!

Geezer on August 25, 2009 at 7:51 PM

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