Cash for Clunkers is the economic equivalent of eating sugar when you’re tired.
Sure, the car sales numbers for July and August will be great, but then what happens when the program is canceled on Monday? That’s the problem with government stimulus – it’s a temporary measure. What happens in September, October, November, and December, when all the people who wanted cars this year bought them with the Cash for Clunkers program and there’s no one left to buy cars?
Coming down off the sugar high…
The country needs the economic equivalent of a long-lasting energy bar.
Another point – there are numerous charities that take used cars from you and sell/give them to needy people. You get a tax deduction, and someone who needs a car gets a car. Won’t the charities be hurting for donations this year? I bet they have to restructure their operations because of the reduction in old cars.
Not only will the charities be hurting, but the needy people – the ones who can’t afford a new car – have just witnessed their transportation options being taken away. There were thousands of cars that were perfectly fine and could have helped families with getting to school or jobs, but the government just took all those cars and destroyed them for no good reason.
Okay, there were two reasons the government was doing this Cash for Clunkers thing: stimulate the economy by getting people to buy cars and improve the average gas mileage of the cars in America.
The first point worked, although the lasting effects have yet to be determined.
The second point is why the cars were destroyed. Okay, actually it was just the engines, but effectively that takes out the whole car. That was to prevent cars with low gas mileage from being driven, and that is supposed to combat global warming (and that is another topic for another blog post). Given how little effect that cars have in the global climate, and the fact that gas-fueled cars were just replaced with gas-fueled cars, how much effect will this really have on the environment?
My main question: is that really worth destroying the cars and making life more difficult for poor families? Would it really have hurt that much to distribute the cars to the needy? If you’re a politician who is not convinced of my point, just think of the photo-op and good press that would have got you: here is Senator So-And-So, seen giving a car to a father whose car was repossessed and he needs a car to drive to work so he can afford to feed his children.
Of course, maybe it’s just my innate sense of not being able to throw away things, especially things that are still working. Note to wife: socks with holes in the toe are still considered “working”. Maybe destroy the cars with the worst gas mileage and give away the clunkers with decent gas mileage. Surely some sort of compromise could have been effected.
Last note about Cash for Clunkers – I heard a radio news item that referred to the program as being popular. The evidence they gave for the popularity was that it ran out of money quickly. However, they way they said it put a different image in my mind.
I thought that the money could have disappeared quickly due to embezzlement, political favors, or any number of items not related to the purpose of the program. Just because the government spent the money quickly does not mean that it all went to the right people.
For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor;He has seized a house which he has not built.