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Five Reasons “Cash for Clunkers” is a Joke



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Old 06-26-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Five Reasons “Cash for Clunkers” is a Joke

With news that Congress has passed its ballyhooed $1 billion “Cash for Clunkers” bill, we feel compelled to voice our skepticism about the program. Here’s the bill in a nutshell: Buyers of new vehicles between July 1 and November 1 will be given a voucher for $3500 if they forfeit a post-1984 car or truck that has been registered for at least one year and has a combined fuel economy rating at least 4 mpg lower than their new vehicle. The voucher grows to $4500 if the increase in fuel economy is 10 mpg or higher. The old car or truck is then crushed and recycled.

Here are five reasons we don’t think this program is worth the time it took to draft it, let alone a billion dollars:

1. The voucher replaces the trade-in deal you might otherwise get from the dealership; it’s not in addition to the car’s private sale or trade-in value. In other words, if you’re trading in a car that’s worth $3000, your net gain is only $500. Although if your car is worth $100, CFC couldn’t come at a better time.

2. We’re not sure how many folks driving cars worth $3500 or less are in the market for a new car in the first place. Sure, there’s the occasional fresh-out-of-college new-hire (we’re not sure who’s hiring right now, but we’ll play make-believe) that might still be ready to move from a Dodge Omni to a shiny new Honda Insight, but people driving cheap old beaters are probably doing so because they can’t afford a new car. And $3500 doesn’t go far when the average transaction price of new cars hovers around $24K. The vouchers don’t apply toward the purchase of used cars, for which the majority of old beaters are traded in.

3. People driving large, gas-gulping old cars and trucks often do so because they need the utility those vehicles provide. Old station wagons, for example, have few modern counterparts that are as versatile while achieving better fuel economy. Ditto pickups, which have gotten bigger and more capable but not much more fuel-efficient. And if the government thinks that someone is going to step out of a 1994 Dodge Ram into a Honda Fit, they need to get out of D.C. a little more often.

4. Naturally, we have some reservations about any bill designed to facilitate wiping out—we’re sorry, recycling—any automotive species. And let’s face it, while there are a lot of bona fide clunkers out there, we’re afraid that a bunch of future classics will get caught in this roundup. We propose, then, that a certified auto enthusiast (paid, of course) be placed at all certified CFC dealerships to screen the cars that are brought in, returning the cool cars—including anything with T-tops—to the streets.

5. Besides cleansing the U.S. of gas-guzzling pigs, the other supposed benefit of the CFC program is to provide a short-term boost to the starving auto business. However, we hope these legislators don’t expect it to meaningfully help the domestic automakers. Many of the automobiles with fuel-economy ratings high enough to qualify for the vouchers come from Japan and Korea.

On the bright side, the cost to taxpayers will be minimal when no one actually participates.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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I will never buy new again. so, this is a waste of time.
16K on my truck and after the fat lady sings I ended up paying 23K (7K in interest,5 year plan). It's OK. I like driving old school anyway.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
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I have an 87 K5 that you can buy for 2,000 and trade-in for $4,500!
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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I will never buy new again. so, this is a waste of time.
16K on my truck and after the fat lady sings I ended up paying 23K (7K in interest,5 year plan). It's OK. I like driving old school anyway.
Mike
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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My question is when is America going to stand up to the 435 House and 100 Senators and take this country back? I wouldn't even use that bill for a pee pee pad for my pups. Their asses are better than that!


Hey, I got an idea!

Clunkers for Senators and Representatives

1 Clunker = 1 Senator.
2 Clunkers = 1 Senator and 1 Representative.

At least we can recycle the clunkers for scrap.

Better yet, melt down your clunkers for shot, and everyone ask for a copy of this bill for musket wadding, and lets get it on!
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:56 AM   #6
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I have an 87 K5 that you can buy for 2,000 and trade-in for $4,500!
yup... that is the best way I could see to exploit this bill. Buy something cheap that someone else had registered and on the road and trade that bad-boy in.

I am kinda glad it is only a credit for post-84 cars and that the cars had to be registered... I would've hated to see another reason to scrap old iron.
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