• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Will Fail

    If you watch television you’ve seen the ads: “So bring in that old jalopy and get up to $4,500 towards the purchase of a new or select used vehicle. That’s right, get up to $4,500 for that old piece of junk, plus you keep the rebates. You have to hurry! Since funds are limited for this program it’s first come, first served!” Well, we’re about to find out just how limited those funds were. The Obama administration’s cash-for-clunkers program has been such a “success” that in just the first week of full implementation, the $1 billion originally allocated for the program is about to be exhausted already. Does this mean the program is over? We don’t know. Nobody does. And that is just the beginning of why this program is a perfect illustration of why Obamanomics will fail.

    Does Nothing for Environment: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are open to allocating more money for the program, but only if the rules are changed so that the program might actually do something for environment; because right now it is not. Edmunds.com auto analyst Jessica Caldwell explains why: “What you buy has to have an increase in fuel economy from what you traded in. But in some cases, that increase can be minimal. Owners of large pickup trucks like a Ford F150 only have to buy a replacement that increases efficiency by one mile per gallon. And they still get a $3,500 rebate. The environmental impact is negligible and the impact on national fuel demand and consumption is very small. The only real benefit in a like-for-like swap can be improved emissions standards on newer vehicles. Rather than discourage those people, they included them in this program.” Caldwell didn’t even mention the pollution costs of actually building a new car and the disposal of the old car, rather than just the pollution caused by driving the vehicle.

    Hurts Working Americans: The federal government’s push to help auto makers has unintended consequences which will hut many lower-income Americans. Economist, Freakonomics author and New York Times blogger Steven Levitt writes: “People who drive clunkers are generally not in the market for new cars. Presumably their replacement car will be a used car. The increased demand for used cars will lead to higher prices for used cars.” Driving up the cost of older cars may be an intended consequence for policymakers to encourage people to buy new, but it’s a bad deal for consumers.

    Hurts Charities: Speaking of ads, you probably have heard a ton on the radio from charities asking you to donate your old car in exchange for a tax deduction. Do a Google search of “Donating Cars for Charity,” and you will see a list of charities that cash-for-clunkers is taking money from.

    Further Entangles Government in Market: The program has already spent $150 million and has another $800 million to $850 million in obligations. What that means is that the nation’s auto dealers have already paid car buyers almost a billion dollars but are still waiting for their cash from the federal government. The USA Today reports: “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,” said 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. “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.”

    Only Adds to Debt: Just this week, President Barack Obama told Business Week: “We’re not going to be able to drive the next big stretch of economic growth through debt.” But the first $1 billion was also deficit spending, and the extra $3 to $4 billion needed to fully fund the program will also have to be borrowed.  And much like most government programs, Congress was incapable of actually estimating how much it would cost.  They are now facing the prospect of tripling down on a program only a week after it began.

    When President Obama bailed out General Motors he told the nation his administration “[would] not interfere with or exert control over day-to-day company operations.” But despite what he may believe, his cash-for-clunkers program does exactly that: it significantly interferes with the day-to-day operations of millions of companies nation wide. In that same Business Week interview mentioned above, Obama says: “What you haven’t seen from our Administration is a suggestion of a bunch of command-and-control, top-down, heavy-handed bureaucratic regulations that would bog businesses down.” But that is exactly what the cash-for-clunkers is. The fact that Obama doesn’t understand this basic economic fact should truly frighten all Americans as he plots more non-”command-and-control, top-down, heavy-handed bureaucratic regulations” for the health care, energy, and financial sectors. As one auto dealer told CBS News: “If they can’t administer a program like this, I’d be a little concerned about my health insurance.”

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    93 Responses to Morning Bell: Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Will Fail

    1. Grace, Florida says:

      This program was due to fail. There was allot of paperwork to fill our and the dealers were not happy with it. This is what we have to look forward to – another government program going broke. Welcome to the Obamanation!

    2. michael cleveland, says:

      wasn't this program originally for the purchase of an american car?

    3. George Buttner says:

      I didn't vote for him, but I didn't vote for McCain either. And I have little confidence that things would have been all *that* much better under McCain. It's little surprise that we have Obama now– look at what ran against him! Well, 3 1/2 more years, maybe…

    4. jim smith says:

      If "Cash for Clunkers" exists as a matter of passing legislation through our vaunted Congress, then all surprises, failures and unintended consequences resulting are academic and useless.

      Why? No one, including the writers of the legislation, know what's in it, so we're all bamboozled by their collective incompetence and laziness. This is also Nobamanomics at its finest.

    5. John, NY says:

      Umm, so the party of no continues to find problems with everything. Dealers I know are jumping for joy- they are selling cars like crazy!

      Can't we all (including the heritage foundation) find a way to work together? I'm a Repub. and am sick of the way you all are acting.

    6. Ron, South Carolina says:

      How does Workmans Comp differ from ObamaCare? Does any one know, how good does Workmans Comp work for those injured on the job?

    7. Snake, Arlington, VA says:

      Does anyone remember the digital tv converter box program? I applied for and recieved my $40 coupons, when I purchased my units, it took about 10-12 minutes to execute the transaction because of all of the government "overhead." (special procedures, software, computer etc) Normally such a purchase would take all of 30 seconds in any big-box retailer and probably have tighter internal controls and a more robust audit trail. The guy who rung me up said his store despised the program.

      We are like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football….we never seeem to learn that we ultimately get screwed when the government "helps" the economy.

    8. Alison M Robinson says:

      Not to mention how it hurts used car business.

      They are not making more used cars.

      The whole idea with this program is to /destroy/

      used cars that your government does not

      see as 'green' enough.

    9. Dana Barfield, Dalla says:

      …and furthermore, you can see that many are going out, buying a used clunker at the junk yard for $500, and then trading that in a new car to pocket the $4,000 difference. What an absolutely stupid policy!

    10. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      No one seams to understand what this Cash for Clunkers is all about. Any "clunker" that is traded in for a new car CANNOT BE RE-SOLD NOR ANY

      DRIVE TRAIN PART RE-USED OR SOLD. It is mandated to be DESTROYED. No charity give aways. No re-use of possibly a perfectly good vehicle. No used parts to "fix" an older vehicle. This is a repeat of the housing crises. A person will be forced to buy a new vehicle, they cannot efford nor want, because there will be no "USED" vehicles to buy, plus he cannot fix what he has unless he spends unreal prices for new parts (if NEW parts can be found) because their will be no USED parts to buy. Why was this not mentioned by ANY news source. Cash for Clunkers sounds like a good deal. But like anything Obama is trying

      to "sneek" past all of us the real objective is hidden The really sad part is no one is looking past the diversion.

    11. Randy G says:

      Now people will postpone buying a car untill the government funds more money to the program, if they do.

      I hope the Japanese kick in to this program since Japanese car makers will be the biggest winner from this program.

    12. K. Hamburger, OK says:

      What a waste!! Those destroyed cars could have been donated or discounted for low income people who need transportation to get to work. Additionally, car parts for older, working vehicles will now be more costly, harder to find. Mr. Obama, what are you thinkin'?

    13. Alphabet Soup, Seatt says:

      An APNews story (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090731/D99PE5280.html) suggests that the program was only supposed to last "…through Nov. 1 or until the money ran out". I am seeking clarification to that statement. Most news stories suggest the firmer October/November deadline.

      I would love to know if they really intended this thing to run out of steam this quickly (when the marketing hasn't even had a chance to catch up).

    14. Helmetfoot Boston, says:

      When the dust is settled here are some answers I'd like.

      1. What percentage of "clunkers" turned in were foreign? US Made?

      2. What manufacturers names?

      3. What brand of new car was purchased? Foreign? US?

      That will show you where the American consumer goes to buy auto's.

      How many "old" US made cars do you see on the roadways. They don't seem to last as long before they become 'clunkers."

    15. Marty, NY says:

      John of Ny writes: "I’m a Repub"

      Suuuuuure you are, John. And I'm the King of England.

    16. Dale, Cincinnati says:

      OK. The government just clearly illustrated that they can't plan and manage a used car lot operation. So, how can we expect better results from a major restructuring of our health care system. They have once more proven that the best and the brightest are not in DC.

    17. K. Kaiser, WA says:

      I agree with Lloyd in New Orleans. This program has several unanticpated consequences. The first is for car collectors and street rodders. The data suggests that when you have established yourself and start to look for a car to restore you tend to look at those that were popular when you were ten to twelve. These are the cars that are being crushed. While it is true that you could build a Model A or some of the earlier Fords from after market parts these parts are not original and are sometimes more expensive. Crushing cars is taking away all of the original parts.

      Secondly, the street rodders tend to put on events which educate,entertain and raise money for charity. We were not street rodders but had so many different cars (Kaisers, Fords and Chevy's) that it was cheaper to join a street club. That club consisting of up to twelve people would put on events that raised 3000 to 5000 per year for local or national charities (e.g. camps for severely burned children, Diabetes Foundation, etc.) We were not alone every year these clubs quietly donate significant funds to charity. Arbitrarily crushing cars without regard to organizations such as these and future car enthusiasts will have significant long term effects.

    18. Richard Vettraino.Ph says:

      "Cash for Clunkers"What awaste of money we already do not have.I heard that the program ran out of money after being implemented one week ago.This is a fine example of Obamanomics.This guy has a hidden agenda and I believe its starting to come apart,from his own spoken words minus his pre-written teleprompter!

    19. Becky, Bay City Mich says:

      Isn't Cash for Clunkers a lot like what Roosevelt did by having food destroyed during the Great Depression? Destroying good product with a longer life span seems wasteful and hurtful to those who need those items. Push, pulls and trades that dealers used to do didn't put stipulations on the car to be turned in.

      After the pickups are gone and destroyed, will government mandate stiffer fuel standards that will prohibit production? Doesn't this program have the effect of hurting the used pick up market, which is always decent. Working men need them. Mancession gets worse.

    20. Ken, S.B. says:

      An amazing twist to a proven concept. I like old cars, just not "clunkers". I like what our state has done to get polluting cars off the road. I don't like what the Texans above say they are doing. I admire their ingenuity and but despise their deception, but question why Obama is to blame for human nature and the intention is overshadowed by the need and in some instances the greed.

      How often is there fiscal (sometimes tied to ethical) abuse in the gifting to charities? Since when are parts for old cars supposed to be infinite or better yet even remotely tied to this program. Old cars worth their parts aren't called clunkers.

      The needy are being given an opportunity just as the not so needy are being given the ability to do something good for themselves and the environment vis-a-vis esteem safety or necessity. The they you speak of…don't deserve to own up-grade or purchase a new car??? Instead we choose to blame the program for the few who know how to abuse a good thing.

      I can sometimes become upset that I feel the need to read and try to absorb the thought process from what I thought was once a true collective of conservative points of view.

    21. Dave, Laguna Niguel, says:

      Typical of idiotic demorat programs! The taxpayers like me get to PAY for this nonsense and then my 2 year old 30mpg car just lost $4500 in trade value! What a deal!? When are these crooks going to start implementing programs to HELP the American people rather than just trying to garner the most votes? I personally do not know how much more of this crap I can stand, and I am almost ready to retire…God help me, please?!

    22. Roy Reed, Las Vegas says:

      Obama is nothing but a Communist!! He is going to bankrupt the USA! Someone needs to to overlooking the government to keep us from all going in the POOR HOUSE!!! We the citizens are going to suffer terribly, all in the name of Obama……….CONTROL IS HIS ADGENDA and he does not give a wit who he steps on. Everytime he opens up his mouth he LIES !!!!! We will not vote for Polosi, Reid or any other government person who can't figure out anything!! They are all so STUPID PLUS THEY DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO US!!!

    23. Pingback: Cash for Clunkers is a great example… « Right At Home

    24. SOOTHSAYER ONE says:


      In the depths of a federal bureaucracy is there any distinction between an eight year old clunker and an eighty year old clunker?

    25. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Workman's comp insurance is paid for by the employeer. Obama has not mentioned once what will happen to this program.

      Our local Chrysler dealer sold eleven cars last Saturday and the lot is empty of new cars.

      My question: what is to prevent a person from spending a few hundred dollars for a "clunker" and turning it in for a "new car?" With Chryslers promotion of matching $4500 a person could get another car pretty cheap. Sort of defeats the purpose of the legislation but why not "use the sysem" much like Obamacare will be "used."

    26. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      Every time something like this program, Cash for Clunkers, pops up on the horizon and I watch it in action I can not get

      Through the Looking Glass

      The Keystone Kops

      The Wizard of OZ (and ID)

      AliBaba and The Forty Thieves (The Popeye version)

      Gulliver's Travels

      out of my mind.

      If this all were not so terribly serious it would be a Three Ring Circus of Freaks.

      PC is Thought Control


    27. Jeff, Lawrenceville, says:

      Am I doing the math correctly? If we have gone through 1 billion dollars already at (the most) $4500 each, we've only removed 222,223 cars from the road at most. According to the Department of Transportation for 2007, there were 136 million cars, 110 million trucks, about 1 million buses for a total of 247 million registered vehicles. If we take just the cars (the only ones eligible for this program), this is less than 0.2% of all cars registered. Agreed, not all of the are "clunkers" but I'm not convinced that the purpose of the program was to remove "clunkers" from the road, just look at the math.

      Also, this program is designed to FORCE consumers to go into debt, no choice. The program requires the "clunker" and it's subsidy be used for a NEW car.

      I thought over-extended debt is what began this economic crisis (housing).

      What about the socialogy of this type of program? How many people that drive a "clunker" can afford or have the credit to aquire a new car? I'm sure some can, but of the 222,223 possible transactions, how many do you think were of moderate to low means?

      Would it have not been better to give the $3500 to $4500 to an individual that could go to his local new OR USED car dealer and trade in his/her "clunker" for what he/she could afford in the long term? This would stimulate the economy locally, put money DIRECTLY into the economy, and not cause the consumer to have to go into debt to take advantage of the free government program.

      I am going into business as a repo company, if the housing market is any indication, there will be a glut of used vehicles soon, less than 2 years old, that will need to be repossessed. Then, the market for NEW cars will really fall because of the glut of used cars on the market that are close to being new.

      Any way you slice it, this program is bad for our economy.

    28. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Sorry K. Kaiser. You're mistaken. This atrosity

      is not "unanticpated consequences". This is a deliberate plan by Obama and/or his ilk to force

      everyone into more dept by buying a new, "lawn-mower powered" piece of crap that will not last 3 years and kill everyone in it when an accident occures. We all must understand Team Obama knows exactly what the "consequences" are.

    29. LadyandtheStamp, Hop says:

      Ken, S.B. writes "The needy are being given an opportunity just as the not so needy are being given the ability to do something good for themselves and the environment vis-a-vis esteem safety or necessity."

      So it's good to make a needy person go into debt and get rid of a perfectly decent vehicle to help the environment? If they are needy they can't afford a new car anyway. So it's good for the environment to destroy old cars and make new ones? What happened to the green mantra: "Recycle and Reuse?

      And…the needy, not-so-needy nor the rich "deserve" a new car!

    30. Judith of The Great says:

      To Dana B. of Dallas;

      One of the rules of this brilliant program is that the "clunker" has to have been continuously insured and registered to the same owner for the full year preceding trade-in.

      I know, I know…it's hard to imagine Congress actually thinking of something correctly for a change, but apparently they did on this possibility. But, I bet some industrious person will still find a way around this rule.

    31. Eric, Watertown,NY says:

      How is this a failure? Here's $1 billion total for people to take advantage of towards the purchase a new vehicle. This program was established for a limited time offer, either the money is used or on November 1st it ends.

      My vehicle qualifies as a clunker and the $4500 is more than my 2003 Jeep is worth according to Kelly Blue Book. How is that bad? How will giving people more of a down payment hurt the economy? Oh it does nothing for the environment right?

      Taking older vehicles off the road does nothing. Got it. We can't start somewhere we just have to go all out and win it all. Tell that to the Detroit Lions. We didn't win any games last year but this year we will win the Super Bowl. It's all or nothing, can't have a learning curve. Can't use the U.S. Army axiom of crawl, walk, run when we train.

      That Diet Coke with your burger doesn't help your health but at least it's a step in the right direction. Pollution costs of building a new car in this case are very small as they are already built and sitting on the lot causing more trouble for the dealers.

      The cash is running out according to this article so not many 2010 vehicles will be purchased. The vehicles being sold are already made sitting on the lot.

      Steven Levitt presumes too much. How does he know what people want to buy if they have a better option? Kind of a snobbish statement if you ask me. They have a clunker and will purchase another clunker.

      What charity is being hurt by this? Talk about reaching! If someone is going to donate it to charity they would. Oh I got a raise at work better not donate to church this week! That's the same thinking. I've got more money and now I won't help.

      Cash for Clunkers is a heavy handed program? How is getting people into the door of dealerships and out with a new vehicle hurting the auto industry? This wasn't explained thoroughly. Last I heard they weren't doing to well in this regard. Since this is exactly like the $2000 tax credit Pres. Bush gave us for purchasing a hybrid car in November 2007 I fail to see the point of this argument. This was also a limited time offer, when there were a certain amount of hybrids sold the program ended. Just like cash for clunkers. Where was the outcry then?

      Stimulus not working? Oh yeah it only takes a few months in Republican land to fix the economy, pardon me Ronald Reagan but I don't believe you.

      Why not regulate those salaries? After all that financial mess last year and these guys still got a huge salary and a bonus because it was in their contract. I'm sure many people here have a regulated pay and will not exceed a certain amount and yet we all do a great job, work hard, and try to improve things so why not these guys?

      Bunch of jokers here, this limited time only program is going to destroy all of your favorite model cars or drive up the prices on those parts? Really? How sad for you. You must be doing pretty good to worry about something like that instead of oh I don't know helping out a homeless family, donating to a good cause. I think that's called a charity and was one of the points. Maybe you should rethink your priorities before you ask the government to do what you are unwilling to do yourself.

      • Conn Carroll Conn Carroll says:

        Eric of Watertown writes:
        "Since this is exactly like the $2000 tax credit Pres. Bush gave us for purchasing a hybrid car in November 2007 I fail to see the point of this argument. This was also a limited time offer, when there were a certain amount of hybrids sold the program ended. Just like cash for clunkers. Where was the outcry then?"

        The Morning Bell was not around in 2007, so we couldn't object then. But Heritage existed. And we did not like that 2007 energy bill at all:

        The Compromise Energy Bill: Harmful Regulation, Not Affordable Energy http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnviron

    32. Jim Dogg says:

      I would love to say that Obama acted "stupidly" with this clunker deal, but truth is that this incompetant probably never read the bill,didnt understand it if he did read it, and didn't care because he was told by his handlers that this would help Democrats get re-elected. We have a ship of fools in Congress led by one of the biggest fools of all. Sadly, I have to agree with Bill Maher (well not quite) that this is a stupid country. How else to explain the election of such an inexperienced South Side hustler with all that well known leftist baggage? In any case, a lot of people are unhappy with this program because they are being left out. To wit, how about giving me 4500 for a new car?

    33. Pingback: Another “Jimmy Carter” moment for Barack Obama « NObama Blog

    34. Mark, Atlanta, GA says:

      Complex government marketing confuses the simple issues:

      Q1: What would you call someone who bought a used car for $4500, only to have it crushed?

      A1: Foolish

      Q2: What would you call a business that bought 100 cars for $450,000 and crushed them?

      A2: Bankrupt

      Q3: What would you call an initiative that bought 250,000 cars for a billion dollars, then crushed them?

      A3: the Federal CARS program

      It's only a matter of time before we have the "Cash for Shacks" program – this will be the one where the government buys a person's old house for triple the market value and demolishes it if the seller buys a new home….

    35. Chris, Western Wi. says:

      Nitwitted Obamama inexperience on full display; from top to bottom. Doesn't the Obamama believers see the foolishness with this phoney presidents decisions??

      Perhaps they need to see the health care industry totally destroyed before they say "maybe he doesn't know what he's doing".

      Or maybe not!

    36. Frank, Pa says:

      I would love to see stats on where the money went by type of auto maker. I used my local ford to get my clunker traded in. 2002 escape for a 2009 escape, 3500 bucks plus 3100 from ford. The dealership was hopping the sales people couldnt keep up. I dont think it will help turn the economy around. At least I got some of my tax dollars back.

    37. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 07/31/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    38. Carolyn, Illinois says:

      Just heard about how there is a big 'distance' between the car company taking in the clunkers and the supposed destruction of the drive train. Pretty soon we will be seeing these cars in other countries. Someone will be making money off these cars in some way and it sure won't be us because we have just purchased our brand spankin new more than 18 miles per gallon very crushable car.

    39. sylvia, in the land says:

      what do the folks get who DON'T have these clunkers and have good cars with good fuel economy?

    40. sylvia, in the land says:

      GO MARTY !

    41. George Diogenes, Sac says:

      Never did trust the Alinsky driven Obamanation.

      Glad to see his numbers diving.

    42. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      You all need to listen to Rush. Reading this, I get the impression that you all do not understand Obama's motives. Please pay a little closer attention, take your blinders of, and realize he is TRYING to destroy the economy, so everybody will be poor, ignorant, and dependant on him and his ilk forever. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT SARA PALIN is the only politician I will vore FOR I vote AGAINST all incumbents

    43. Pingback: AntiObamaBlog.com » Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Is Failing

    44. Pingback: Lotsa harm by doing good: Obama’s clunkers - Orange Punch - OCRegister.com

    45. Don, Columbus IN. says:

      I have called my Sen. and House Rep. to make them aware of my disapproval of everything the President and his administration is trying to pass and the changes they are trying to get done on the Health Care Plan. It will destroy our freedom's as we know them. This new Health Care is not right! If the American people disapprove of what this administration is doing then they should call their Senators and Representatives.

      Thank You

    46. Andy, CO says:

      Maybe you guys can shed some light on this for me. One billion dollars was allocated for "cash for clunkers", if a car purchaser was to recieve the max $4500 dollar incentive, that would mean over 222,000 cars would have been purchased to exhaust the 1 billion. That is a large amount for only a 6 day program. Unless the program took hundreds of millions of dollars to start, where is the rest of the money?

    47. Pingback: Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Will Fail (And I Add, Why Obama’s Socialism Will Fail) | Democrat = Socialist

    48. The Forgotten Patrio says:

      What's the so called 'carbon footprint' of Destroying perfectly running cars for no real reason?

      The cars from the 80's and 90's had engines with 100,000 mile warranties and were the highest efficiency of any in the 20th century. I had an 80's chevy caviler wagon with a 5 speed that got over 32 MPG on the highway at interstate speeds. The roof was worn out over the windshield. I had an 80's caviler 4 door sedan with an automatic that got 28 MPG on the highway, it was used with banged in doors and tar on the roof over the windshield in that same bad spot. I would put tool boxes in the trunk and back seat and go on wiring jobs and it was better than a small pickup truck. I bought it for 50 bucks, used it for more than 8 years, and gave it away to an impoverished old guy who lived nearby when I stopped using it.

      THESE are called clunkers since they are old and look bad, but they ran as good as new. They never die. They all had nearly 200,000 miles on the engines, and did not burn oil or anything. The bodies got old.

      People keep old cars to use for work and hauling tools, getting supplies and things like that. They keep them mechanically in great condition.

      WHY should we have the right to have these working vehicles stripped from us ?

      JUST TO MAKE PEOPLE HAVE TO BUY NEW CARS which are made of plastic and not metal like the old ones.

      What's the amount of billions of tons metal and plastic – which is refined from OIL and the energy that it takes to produce a replacement for something that works fine right now ? Where's the logic.


      IF ALL the "stimulus" money that obamanomics issued so far was just given to the people directly, it would be enough to buy a new car for every man woman and child in the country, with enough left to buy gas for 3 years, food and invest in the stock market..

      Dumb Dumb Dumb – This government does more damage to the American population and economy than any external attack on the USA system can do.

    49. Pingback: Hot Air » Blog Archive » Glenn Beck: Cash For Clunkers may be a government scheme to take over your computer

    50. Dan, Alaska says:

      John, NY writes: Can’t we all (including the heritage foundation) find a way to work together?

      John just doesn't get it, does he? Methinks John doesn't want to either.

    51. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      If there were a sack of money sitting in his living room, Obama couldn't pick it up, without fouling it up!


    52. v.m. santa maria,ca says:

      How much of this control over the American people are we going to take ? Are we such fools that we do not see what is happening to us and to our country. What are we going to do to stop this take over before it's too late or is it already ?

    53. Pingback: I just don't understand Obamanomics | The Lonely Conservative

    54. Mike, Detroit says:

      The auto manufacturers (especially the Big 3) learned that years of rebates and discount financing simply trained people to wait until the next rebate program comes along.

      Long before cash for clunkers, the Big 3 were offering hefty rebates or zero percent financing, which in many cases were equal to or greater than $3,500.00. Zero percent financing on a $25,000 auto loan over 48 months is a pretty hefty rebate!

      I'm afraid people will come to expect zero percent financing and/or a manufacturer rebate PLUS a cash for clunkers rebate.

      Does anyone buy house paint at Sears unless it's on sale?

    55. svs, USA @ Ken, S.B. says:

      Ken, S.B. writes:

      "I admire their ingenuity and but despise their deception, but question why Obama is to blame for human nature and the intention is overshadowed by the need and in some instances the greed."

      He is to blame, as are all liberals, precisely for failing to take reality into account, and wishing to be credited entirely for good intentions. Good intentions, as most of us know, are that with which to road to hell is famously paved.

      Our Constitution is based on the assumption that humans are corruptible, and not to be trusted with massive unchecked power. With every new dollar of government spending, the federal government is seizing more massive unchecked power. Obama supporters believe that "the right people" can be trusted with dictatorial powers. Conservatives believe that there are no "right people." We're all fallible, corruptible and only fit to be trusted in a system of stringent checks and balances in which the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

      "Cash for Clunkers" reminds me of the movie "Robots," where they do away with replacement parts and force bots to either buy expensive upgrades or be recycled. "Why be you, when you can be NEW?"

    56. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      HF LOGIC – Headline = "Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Will Fail"

      Story = "The Obama administration’s cash-for-clunkers program has been such a “success” that in just the first week of full implementation,"

      How HOW does THAT make any sense at all?

    57. Matt. Pacifico says:

      Haven't read all the comment so I apologize. This program good or bad is one that seems to be working.

      1. Taking bad (in their eyes) vehicles off the


      2. Increasing car sales. ++++++ of higher mileage

      cars and trucks.

      3. Surely this is stimulating the economy all


      Could come up with other +'s for the program but……

      Why take a program that seems to be working and eliminating it.

      Still waiting for the shovel ready projects that seem to be in the politically correct Obama supporting states.

    58. Derek, Las Vegas Nev says:

      Its time to march on Washington!!

      Obama,s "ELDERLY CLEANSING" program is a DIRECT ASSAULT on "We the People"

    59. Jody Perkins says:

      I don't believe anything that the so called president has done to this point has made any improvements and just pushing the United States deeper in debt. I think he needs to be booted out so he can go back to Organizing Communities. He couldn't organize anything. He has to be the dumbest president we have ever had. The economy has not made any improvements, Oil prices have went down for a short period of time, but on its way back up. You cannot fix a problem this big by throwing money that we don't have at it. Get him and the rest of the administration out of there before it is a total disaster. We as Americans have seen nothing yet. It is going to get a lot worse so hold on for dear life; we are all in for a bumpy ride. It will take years to straighten out The Obama Bin Laden administrations mess. This is my opinion; others may agree with what he is doing, but to this point everything He and his cronies have done; has done nothing but spend money that this country does not have and getting us closer to another 9-11.

    60. Mike says:

      This new breed of morons in the WH and congress is dangerous for America. Pray very hard that we don't get screwed by them.

    61. vigilocanis Florida says:

      You, the U.S. taxpayer, just spent a billion dollars to buy junk cars courtesy of the "Cash for Clunkers" plan that helps new car buyers afford new vehicles by paying up to $4,500 for their junker trade ins .

      In effect, the government plan takes money($450) from your pocket and the pockets of each of your nine friends and gives it($4,500) to your neighbor across the street so that your neighbor can trade in his old car, that has a market value of $500, but because of yours and your neighbors' contributions to the Clunker program, the clunker has a value to its owner of $4,500, that your neighbor can use to help pay for the new car.

      This new car was built by the government owned General Motors with the help of the union workers with the government guaranteed pension plans, financed by the government bailed out banks, driven over the turtle tunnel built by government eco-dollars, fueled by govenment subsidized ethanol, and parked in a garage in a house with a government mandated sub prime mortgage.

      And now they want to spend 2 billion more dollars on this "successful" stimulus effort.

      ……… and Obama said the Cambridge police acted "stupidly' and that he would provide us with a teachable moment.



      Our objection is barely audible as we forget to vote, don't actively campaign for worthy candidate, and are silent as the Democratic mercinary Acorn tergiversators do their deeds.

      Just work harder and pay more taxes. Your neighbor wants a new car.

      If we do not rise up to stop these malevolent government takeover, then we are but complicit enablers.

      This government program is another ignoble, statist act of a socialist leaning government that doesn't give a whit that there is no money in the treasury to fund this ridiculous act of favoritism to car dealers.

      If special interests were smart, environmentalists should demand money for old bikes, for old Volvos, for old windmills, and rednecks could demand money for old coon dogs, or for old satellite dishes.

      Don't we get it? WE'RE BROKKKKKKKKKKKE!

      All this money spent for junk cars and turtle tunnels, and yes I'll will say it, money for wars with countries that have not attacked us, is borrowed money.

      According to the US Treasury , on 09/30/2008 we owed $10,024,724,896,912.49. This does not count the empty Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid trust funds that were robbed and the money spent, while millions or retirees are depending on its support.

      As Ross Perot so eloquently explained, " Larry, we're bankrupt and just don't know it."

      Al Gore said one true thing……that we need a lock box to protect the trust funds.

      Vou are, how du vou sez, vis out no monee.

      Cash for Clunkers, money for GM, turtle tunnels in Tallahassee, Obama care, and Cap and Trade will double the total debt on 7 yr.s to over 20 trillion dollars………..while we squabble over the insignificant details

    62. Fredy Lowe says:

      Cash for Clunkers is Socialism

      Why does everyone standing in the cash for clunkers line seem to miss this: the cash for clunkers program is socialism.

      “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the treasury”, said Professor Alexander Tyler in 1787. He then went on to say, “From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits (cash for clunkers) from the public treasury with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy” – like controlling the auto industry with cash for clunkers…

    63. John, Pottstown, PA says:

      I would love to trade my 1985 clunker in for a new car, if I had a job and could afford payments. But then again, I have a brain and can fix my own car so I probably would not. But they don't want you to be able to the greenest thing there is and keep a car running instead of all the resources it takes and pollution it makes to replace a good running car. Most cars today do not have that much better gas milage then mine. All these programs are a money and power grab by those that have it from those that don't. No job and losing my house. So can I trade my clunker in for a place to live when I am living in it?

    64. Jonathan, Oklahoma C says:

      This program can become a great example of politics winning over economics (and common sense).

      If they continue to fund the program and destroy working cars, the used car market will have a government induced supply drop. (not to mention the trickle down into other sectors of the economy. People who fixed older cars, etc) Give that a few years and suddenly people who cannot afford new cars will not be able to afford used cars because the supply will be less, causing increased price.

      The sad thing is most people will not see the cause and effect of this program. In a few years we might even see another government program to provide "affordable cars" to the poor. Along with the rhetoric of "greedy, evil capitalist" who rape the poor with prices.

    65. Brett, Ft.Davis says:

      "I strip away the old debris that hides a shining car

      a brilliant red Barchetta from a better vanished time"

      Rock group Rush lyrics. These guys must have been big Ayn Rand fans. Its trying to come true.

    66. MCS, Syracuse NY says:

      No one has commented on the very recent, mysterious increase in MSRPs for new automobiles!!!!

      I have been tracking car prices for the last couple of months. For example the MSRP on a Toyota RAV4 in January 09 was just under $22,500 BUT within the past week 7/20/09 it's risen to $24,149!!!Dealers are outsmarting the system! They stand to make huge profits by padding the prices of cars while also receiving the Cash for Clunkers incentives!!!

    67. Ken Roberts: Ohio ,L says:

      I can't wait to get to the store and purchase a bulls eye to place on my t-shirt as it will make it easier for the government to tag me for a early death when the health care passes , I am not worried about the clunkers program near as much as the kill the old folks program they are arguing over now . What evil lurks in the hearts of men?,I think the Shadow is not the only one that knows.

    68. Robert C says:

      First, the most reliable engine in the world according to data is an american engine. I have consulted with all the automakers over the past several years and they all have made vast improvements in their products. Past experiences with American vehicles are a not a good baseline in current products. Many of the components are made in the same plants. Japanese, German and American parts are sometimes made on ajacent lines where employees are trained to work on all products.

      Second, my work vehicle has over 223,000 miles and still runs great! It IS an American car. That is not to say I have or will always purchase only American vehicles, but I always test drive them when shopping.

      Third, has anyone considered who is buying these vehicles? I am certain it is NOT those who are currently out of work and might actually need a great deal to purchase a new vehicle. Instead, those who still have their jobs and can afford to purchase new vehicles will be the only ones able to capitalize on this limited offer. The used vehicles normally purchased by those who cannot afford new cars will not be available in the same numbers as an open market provides. I am certain those who find new jobs will relish the deals exclaimed by their coworkers who were able to partake in the Obama plan. It will make the trip to the parking lot even more enjoyable as they return to their older cars while passing the shiny new ones their coworkers were able to purchase. Yeah!

    69. Jack, Nebraska says:

      Fixing up my 1989 (20 years old, yes) Very Low Mileage…just turned over 100,000. Needs a new muffler system. Guess how much one costs this summer? The mechanic who is very reasonable, scratched his head at the $500 price tag he was quoted on used parts for my vehicle. So my car is parked this summer, while I wait, and the mechanic shops more reasonable deals.

    70. Pingback: News for 08/03/09 | RagingElephants.org

    71. Jim Dogg says:

      I wrote this for a local newspaper shortly after the program was announced. I would only like to add that the letter on the elevated MSRP was correct. The sticker on a Jeep commander was 46000 while one dealer was offering a similar new 4×4 Commander for 23000. Now with 9000 off with rebate and Fed money brings the sticker only down to 35000! Anyway its moot since jeeps are not on the acceptable list(neither are other popular pickups and SUVs). Also, again, whose making money off of the crushed cars? Or are salvage yards doing this pro bono and paying the Feds for the scrap? Ask your congressperson, I'm sure that they have allthe answers (Hah!).

      Cash for Clunkers

      When I first heard of the cash for clunkers federal program I immediately ran down to the local Dodge/Chrysler and Chevy dealers. I asked if I could trade in a used drivable RV vehicle that I can’t use any more. It’s worth about 8000 retail but in this market, buyers are hard to find. My request blew their minds. I said that it is a vehicle and gets poor gas mileage. They had no idea if it qualified. Two problems tho, the dealers are in Northeast Ohio where I am spending the summer and the RV is in Arkansas. They said, in any case, no. One must drive it in and have the certificate of ownership in hand (my wife told me we had the paper but it too was back in Arkansas). The dealership guys looked frazzled. One sales manager said that a mistake could cost them a 15000 fine. Another salesman showed me a print out of the latest line on vehicle qualifications. The government had moved the goal line and he had to call a young couple to tell them that the deal was off. I could find very little about the program on the internet except that you could trade for a vehicle that got at least 10 mpg more. Not so fast. Only for those cars that were approved and it wasn’t clear even to the dealers as to what or what was not qualified. Dealers were even asking customers to sign a waiver to return the car if the Feds changed the rules again. There’s more but to you who have paid attention it’s now old hat. One salesman cynically said that this program was merely intended to save the administration. This apparent bungling became a concern to me because if the Feds can’t run a one billion dollar program then what will they do with one that will cost one trillion? I tend to ask questions others don’t such as: Where do the clunkers go and who eventually owns them? Many folks that have clunkers could be those who are unemployed or are about to be unemployed, especially up here in Northern Ohio. How are these buyers going to get credit? Are the banks going to go into another sub prime-type loan program that could result in the Feds holding a lot of new car loans. I think that those legislators who voted for this bill didn’t read it or if they did they didn’t have enough smarts to understand its ramifications (so what’s new?). Well, the program did give us a teachable moment: More money directly into the tax payers’ pocket means more economic growth and increased taxes equals economic depression. How about giving me 4500 for a new car? I’ll even throw in an RV.

    72. Rick, Peoria Illinoi says:

      This program looks like a quick-fix from the Dems to move cars. Supposed to make everyone happy… we're not supposed to think so hard about it or try to discover any other alternative motives I guess.

      Bull! I think it just perpetuates the chaos that has now become the new norm, and what we should expect from the B.O. administration. The road to socialism is obviously bumpy, and I guess we just better get used to it in a new car? Well, it may be futile to resist right now, but there will be repercussions, and there will be a revolt from the people of this country that still value what their country means to them.. especially those that have worked hard to improve the lives of their families, communities, and country and do NOT want to give it all away to those that will make everyone subservient to federal control.

    73. Pingback: The Cloakroom » Cash for Clowns

    74. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 08/03/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    75. John Cambio Coventry says:

      So now I'll let the gov't steal more of my food (taxes), from my fridge and then let them tell me they can give me some milk back (clunker value). Yeah, that makes my economic situation better.

    76. chris, new york says:

      MCS in syrcuse wrote: "For example the MSRP on a Toyota RAV4 in January 09 was just under $22,500 BUT within the past week 7/20/09 it’s risen to $24,149!!!Dealers are outsmarting the system!"

      Dealers are not outsmarting the system. They are simply outsmarting the American Sheep who refuse to open their eyes and see the truth that this program has nothing to do with energy efficiency or the environment.

      What happens to all the plastics in these cars? how much energy is used in making new cars? how many more MPG must a car get to offset the energy used in creating it as opposed to a person driving their older (inefficient) car?

      It's a cold night and we've just hit the iceberg. The band is playing and the ship is going down fast. Only difference in this story is that there are no life boats and the "people in charge" are trying to blast additional holes in the bottom of the boat to sink us faster. But don't dispair, there's a big asteroid named "health care reform" and it's headed this way. It will all be over soon.

    77. theodore frederick says:

      Thank you for a chance to let my voice be heard. I would like to have the president or any congressman tell me how that they think we are stupid enough to accept any bill that they have not read and will not publish to the public.I really pray that not reading the bills that are made into law is a new process. This is the most ignorant thing that I have ever heard.

    78. Pingback: Five Good Reasons Cash for Clunkers is a Clunker

    79. Dr. T. macon, mo says:

      what about Glenn Becks claim about if you do this the government can access your computer, phone, medical records any personal information from your computer. [basically giving up ALL your RIGHTS] Snopes.com said it was FALSE, but other site, which are as liberal as Snopes says it is true. Where do we find the TRUE FACTS with NO BULL! Thank you, Dr. T.

    80. Ray, Fort Washington says:

      Has anyone one seen what the overhead cost of this program is going to be how much money is actually being used for the purchase of automobiles and how much is going to be paid for Bureaucracy????

    81. Pingback: Global Climate Scam » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Will Fail

    82. eronne says:

      Only $1billon out of $4billon is set aside for the project and now the program, along with car dealers, suffer a lot. And there are so much trouble for the car dealers to be refunded, this cash flow problem may slow them down in implementing the program.

      Any further discussion is welcomed

    83. Glenn Atias, Salton says:

      Question for less than 1% of the population: "So how's that new Ciera working out for you?"

      If you saw the movie Fargo, you'll get the reference. Also, if you saw the movie Fargo, you're in a much larger group than those that qualify for the government "Cash for Clunkers" taxpayer-dollar-giveaway to the select few. And if you saw the movie Fargo, very likely your neighbor isn't even remotely mad at you for it. But not so for the person who used his neighbor's hard-earned tax dollars to pay for his new car. Perhaps the not-so-lucky neighbor also had a clunker, but lost out because his clunker does better than the 18 mpg cutoff. So the responsible one's tax dollars gets transferred over to his gas-guzzling neighbor, I guess to reward him for making a poor vehicle choice to begin with.

      I don't think in my lifetime there has been a bigger disconnect between the political and media elite and the folks on the ground than there is with this "Clunker" fiasco. Simply because a lot of people immediately took advantage of a handout, the media fell all over themselves pronouncing this charade a "great success." But isn't that about the same as pronouncing welfare a "great success?"

      This program will push up public and private debt, at exactly the wrong time, all to gin up auto sales so the media can scream "green shoots!" And it amounts to nothing more than getting out a giant air hose and trying to inflate the same bubble that burst the first time. Gimmickry is all we're getting out of government – right down to the phony baloney Fed-driven stock market run-up, which is almost entirely fueled by TARP funds being pushed on Bernake-greased-tracks into the market through the back door.

      So I guess we have to fast-forward 13 years since Fargo was made, and ask the poignant question of the day, "So, how's that new Corolla working out for you?" And then throw in, "I hope good, because I'm paying for it."

    84. Bmac - Boston, MA says:

      we live in a dangerous time when so many people write and act like they hate the president on this page – I'm not shocked but saddened – that so many are misguided by what they hear on right wing mentored talk radio and fox news – the liberal media is the free press people – the liberal media is managed by educated, perhaps ivy league or similarly educated people – rebuplicans and democrats alike – who will not let their opinions enter thier news stories – I have worked in media for 30 years (TV) and I have never had a boss who is a democrat – it is truly sad that people don't know that – they think the liberal media (free press by definition) are all democrats – they blame the media and the present administration for their hatred towards current american economic policies – it will take truth and time to see if these policies work – people only think they know how all this will turn out because they listen to opinions on talk radio and fox news – anyone remember walter cronkite – no opionion in news – ever – unless noted as op-ed. Sad times really today, these negative americans writing in this blog need to read and be educated by more than their right wing agendas – by the way – I too am a conservative minded american – I'm sure the preident has no hidden agenda – those statements are preposterous – he's doing what he thinks is best for the nation – I wish the majority of this blog would consider the same option.

    85. Jim Dogg says:

      In case some of you didn't get it, BMac's commentary probaby was parody. Otherwise what he said has very little ,if any, basis in fact. Nonsense actually. It has been pointed out that approximately 90%, of major media journalists are liberal. Surely living in Boston he must met at least one. Or he must have a skewed definition of liberal and conservative(Arlen Spector, for example). Your President, who you so greatly admire, has called for an enemies list, called out goons for Town Hall Meetings, and his party has indulged in some of the worst slandering of American citizens ever. He is saddling our country with the largest debt in history that is pork disguised as "stimulus". Add to ths the stupid clunkers program that is so badly managed that Government Motors (AKA Chryler) did not have enough cars in its inventory to meet demand. I know of no real conservatives who think that this President is doing a good job. Also you implied that we should not be critical of his policies. I can't believe that a person who claims to be conservative could write such a post. Furthermore,if B liked Cronkite (who became a Democrat hack) then he must really like Dan Rather. Like I said it's gotta be parody.

    86. Alan Dallas TX says:

      Compared to the GW Bush $3600 tax credit to buy HUMMERs and some of the WORST vehicles on the road… C4C program is at least headed in the right direction. The program is not PERFECT, but makes more sense that sitting on your hands, listening to Rush, and hoping the economy will get better.

    87. Pingback: Morning Bell: Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics … – Heritage.org | new-used-autoparts.com

    88. Pingback: Cash for Clunkers, A Case Study in Why Obamanomics Will Fail « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    89. peter prevenas syca says:

      it is my sincere hope that your group or something similar will finaly blow the whistle on the cfr & obamas tight ties to this group of the new world order. not to mention the fact that his administration is infested with its members & thier intent to completly socialize this country & its citizens. a reply will be greatly appreciated. regards, peter prevenas

    90. Pingback: Ahhh yes… Cash for Clunkers… How’d that work out, by the way? - Patricia_C’s blog - RedState

    91. Unsosymopenom says:

      Bookmarked this. Show one's gratitude you after sharing. Positively worth my time.

    92. CobiaHahfaf says:

      This is a superior article as they all are. I have been wondering wide this looking for some measure now. Its notable to note down this info. You are fete and balanced.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.