• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Cash for Clunkers: The Bus Version

    TIGGER: It’s not just a character from Winnie the Pooh. It also stands for the Department of Transportation’s Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction or in other words: cash for buses. The DOT “has spent nearly half its $100 million grant budget to replace diesel buses with cleaner and more efficient hybrid-electric and fully electric models. Like Cash for Clunkers, these grants are intended to be dual-purposed: stimulate the economy and clean the environment.”

    And like cash for clunkers, it will most likely do neither. Although Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood believes “investing in green transportation not only helps the planet, but creates jobs and strengthens our economy”, one should take a look at how the cash for clunkers program fared. Yes, consumers took advantage of the taxpayer-funded handout to buy a new car while completely destroying their old one, but after the subsidy program ended so too did car sales. Sales in September for Chrysler, Ford and GM plummeted.

    Many questioned the environmental benefits of cash for clunkers when considering new cars and cars with better fuel efficiency are driven more not to mention the environmental costs of destroying the car. The program failed to create jobs and did not increase sales of cars but instead affected the timing of those sales.

    We’re hearing much of the same with the TIGGER program, which is part of the larger stimulus package signed into law in March:

    “Yet job creation isn’t necessarily attributable to the TIGGER program alone. Eight of the participating transit agencies were planning to buy buses of some kind anyway — the grant money just enabled them to upgrade to clean-tech models. Of the agencies that made new orders with the grant money, many of them said they were simply expediting existing multiyear plans to replace older diesel buses with cleaner technology.”

    Cost-effective?

    “”They do improve emissions somewhat,” said Michael Sanders, transit administrator for ConnDOT’s Bureau of Public Transportation. But he suggested that the agency wouldn’t have invested in the pricier hybrids without the federal money. “They’re not dollar-for-dollar cost-effective in hard cash,” he added. “The difference is public relations, emissions reductions.”

    Henry Jacoby, co-director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT, was an outspoken critic of the Clunkers program. He calculated that each ton of carbon reduced cost the government more than $160 — an expensive way to reduce emissions. “Cash for Clunkers was… being sold as a program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but that’s not what it was for,” he added. “It was a program to help the auto industry.” He was similarly skeptical of bus replacement as a cost-effective way to reduce emissions.”

    It’d be much better if TIGGER were just a character on Winnie the Pooh and not a taxpayer handout for bus companies.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Cash for Clunkers: The Bus Version

    1. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      I guess with an unlimited expense account, I could find ways to blow money.

      The liberals really hit the lotto didn't they?

    2. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Is there no end to the waste of taxpayer money? Like those jobs "saved" that cost $500,000 each, it proves that government is not "of, by" nor "for" the People. Jeeze! The private sector could create jobs for one tenth the price and they would be real.

      I am convinced the federal government is purposefully destroying the American way of life. We are going to need lots of busses when the Liberals get their way (only Liberals will have cars to drive). Do you know that in Ft. Collins, Colorado the Progressive/Liberals wouldn't let Wal Mart put in a auto/tire center because they don't like cars? That's the perfect Liberal fascist example, like government should choose people's choice of transportation. That city made it so tough on Business that the jobs evaporated.

      No doubt those "Green" busses were built in a foreign country.

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      they're investing in a hypothesis. they know it didn't work for cars so they extend the stupidity. All in favor of the American collapse. DONE BY GOVERNMENT CHOICE! WHO IS PROTECTING AMERICA??

    4. William Papke, Flori says:

      "Yes, consumers took advantage of the taxpayer-funded handout to buy a new car while completely destroying their old one, but after the subsidy program ended so too did car sales. Sales in September for Chrysler, Ford and GM plummeted."

      Did anyone honestly expect another outcome?

    5. Pingback: Cash for Clunkers: The Bus Version « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    6. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      A majority of U.S. Representatives have failed their constituency under the current congressional leadership and their front-man of a president. It's absolutely shameful to say the least. What the hell good does it do to contact this group of Beltway insider elitists. All folks receive back are crumbs from all the unnecessary and improper spending by these irresponsible and self-serving elected officials. It's time for the individual states to take a hard stand against these federal abusers of power. Our nation depends on HF's voice to send such a message. No longer can these states stand for such an abusive relationship by the federal government. No one is pushing secession, at least not for now. But rather bringing said transgressions before the U.S. Supreme Court. This nationalized bureaucratic take over of America's private sector has got to end. My vote will forever be with those representatives who fully understand and respect limited government. The federal's sole mandated role has never been more than overseeing foreign affairs as it relates to the nation's security. We're quickly reaching a high tide of federal interference into the affairs of independent states and their respective residents.

    7. Pingback: Cash for Clunkers: The Bus Version » The Foundry | MAKE CASH TODAY

    8. Normca says:

      Green buses save money and jobs. Yes they cost less to run down the street and twice as much to maintain. That creates jobs for – mechanics. Next, fares are increased to make up the cost of spark plugs or whatever it is to make a green motor run. The Obama way. Now they are "concerned" about the 2010 elections and are giving out another few billion to senior citizens after telling that group – just go out and take an aspirin. Unchecked power.

    9. Cathy Amelio, New Je says:

      The only thing cash for clunkers did was destroy the secondary car market! Failures? This administration and his czars along with the Congress seem to trip all over themselves to create failure programs! If there is anyone left in Washing with any common sense would save the Seniors citizens on Social Security. Get back all the bailout money, no government owership of private banks, auto companies, etc. (it is unconstitutional anyway) and save the elderly of this country!

      Clean up Social Security – get the illegal alien out, the scammer out, the prisoners out, people who never paid in out, get back overpayments that were made! Gee is this called accountablility? Fix what you have and are destroying!

      People of America are listening now! Be afraid, be very afraid! We will take back what you are taking from us known as the Bill of Rights!

      November 4 will give them all what the U.S citizens will do in 2010. The gravy boat is over!

      Flip the House in 2010!

    10. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I get form letters back agreeing with what I oppose, I wrote all and told them I vote and I talk to others pointing out their lack of reading what I wrote or what they vote on. If they pass this so called health bill I hope one of you readers is a Constituional lawyer and can file suit in all of aour behalves.

    11. Ross writes in Brade says:

      The Disney movie was much better and didn't cost the unwill taxpayers a dime. The government version is too prices, unnecessary, and another political stunt to stroke the 'greenies'. Just another lame-brain program for a government of idiots and imbeciles lacking enough commonsense to fit on the head of a pin…they've got a long track record to prove it too!

    12. Jim Dodge Birmingham says:

      I sincerely do not believe there is any hope for our nation's survival as long as Barack Hussein Obama is in the White House. Our only hope is for everyone who values freedom to pressure their elected representatives to demand that impeachment proceedings be enacted swiftly to rid this nation of that pathological narcissist, King Hussein Obama and his enabler, Princess Pelosi. If you consider this to be obscene or a personal attack, shame on you for being part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

    13. Sandy in CT says:

      I will bet the price of one of those buses could have paid my husband's salary for 3 or 4 years and he could have kept his job.

      What a travesty. More waste. As pointed out, most of the towns were going to buy new buses anyway, the money just allowed them buy the cadillac bus. Are they going to tax the cadillac buses like they do the Health Plans that are considered Cadillac?

      Oh no, that's right, that is only for the little people.

    14. Jill, California says:

      I looked at new trucks this weekend, just to appease my boyfriend who tells me every time my 1985 pickup needs repair that I should get a new car. I was surprised to see that the new pickups get worse gas mileage than my "clunker" does.

      Although the idea of having something new is appealing, I left the car lot unenthusiastically saying, "That's nice." It wasn't, "That's NICE. I want one." Yeah, if someone gave me a new truck with no strings attached, I'd probably take it. But I can't see spending good money on it when I don't have $20K to $30K burning a hole in my pocket, begging to be thrown away.

    15. Jim - Utah says:

      RE: J C Hughes in Tx — I have never seen your view presented better – Bravo. We all need to do our homework and make sure all incumbents are looking for another job come the 2010 & 2012 elections, regardless of party.

    16. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      If it happens, as it did with the cars, there goes more of our own money along with all the jobs connected to keeping those 'clunkers' running, buying and selling those 'clunkers' tires and parts for them.

      Seems just like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Stupid!

      Hozro

    17. Johann, California says:

      Cash for clunkers was an incredible waste of time and taxpayer's money as will be the reduction of smokestack gases. All of this talk about CO2 reduction is just noise. The greening of America should be just that. We should employ means that involve using more CO2. All plants intake CO2 and exhaust O2. We could create hundreds of thousands of jobs growing and planting trees to replace our dwindling forests and rely on natural means to control the 'so called' greenhouse gases, not tax based chicanery. And instead of paying farmers not grow crops, put them to work raising crops for conversion to ethanol and reduce our dependency on oil.

    18. Linda T, las vegas, says:

      I listen to the people in congress and our beloved president, and my brain is boggled. How can they really believe the stuff they are spouting? How can they look themselves in the mirror in the morning and go on spouting it? My goal is to get Harry Reid UN-elected in the fall of 2010! He, along with Pelosi and Obama are making our problems worse, and they all need to GO!!!!

    19. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Linda T, they see faithful Communists when they look in the mirror. The odd part is they do not seem to fear the American People any more. I guess they need all those buses someday to haul us away to concentration camps. Impeach, judge and then actually hang them for treason.

    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.

    ×