Cash for Clunkers, Far From a Slam Dunker

posted in: Online Around the Net | 1

The House, in their shotgun approach to stimulating our country, has given us another marriage that may be doomed for divorce with their children left to piece together their lives. The children in this case are the dealers. Hold on, I’m not actually calling dealers children. This is a metaphor used for story telling purposes. What I’m saying is that when decisions are rushed, someone suffers, like our children.

From a Friday Washington AP we learn “…some lawmakers complained that many dealers were left to contend with a chaotic government-run program.

‘The federal government can’t process a simple rebate. I’ve got dealers who have submitted the paperwork three times and have gotten three rejections,’ said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich. ‘What is a dealer supposed to do?’

…It was unclear how many cars had been sold under the program.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said about 40,000 vehicle sales had been completed through the program but dealers estimated they were trying to complete transactions on another 200,000 vehicles, putting the amount of remaining funding in doubt.

John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, said many dealers have been confused about whether the program will be extended and for how long. Many had stopped offering the deals Thursday after word came out that the funds available for the refunds had been exhausted.”

A floor vote last Friday went underway to refuel the car-purchase program and it passed 316-109. An additional $2 billion (on top of the original $1 billion) has flown out of our wallets to consumers who have spoken with theirs. It may be that we are witnessing a mad-like-dash to Niagara Falls nuptials before the trade ins run dry. People always rush out early to a sale, just ask Mervyn’s. Who knows if their are enough consumers to actually use the remaining money. My survey of one says there are still a few people out there still planning to grab some cash.

But aren’t those people and maybe 3/4 of the others in the market for a new car anyway? I mean, did we just blow $3 billion to move a few sales forward that would have happened soon enough? What about the effects on other sectors of the economy that didn’t get another bailout? What kind of hit is retail going to take? How much business do neighborhood mechanics now lose? How much money is actually going to US automakers vs. being shipped overseas? Look, I’m all for growth and the consumer assistance, heck, we almost rushed out to buy a car. However, that would be irresponsible of us to take on more debt. I’m just sayin’ the gov’ment needs to pull up before shooting these three-pointers. Someone needs to be underneath for the rebounds.

  1. scott84

    Groosh you nailed it on the head with your last question. I just saw a news clip and out of the top five cars bought during this scheme, only the Ford Focus was American. If they really wanted to help the American cars companies they would have stipulated American cars only.

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