The program got people to go out and buy new cars (good for the economy), took old cars off the road, and put more fuel efficent ones on the road in their place. How is the program a bad thing?
‘Cash for clunkers’ boosts auto sales in July – http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32269548/ns/business-autos
Regardless of how you feel about Cash for Clunkers, the program sure is popular with the American public. The initial $1 billion in funding for the program–which allows individuals to obtain a rebate towards a new, more fuel efficient vehicle if they turn in an older carbon spewing model–was used up in just 5 days. The House of Reps approved an additional $2 billion last week, and Obama’s Secretary of Transportation says he’ll have to kill the program if the Senate doesn’t do the same. Many Republicans, of course, smell an opportunity to attack.
According to the New York Times:
If the Senate did not approve that $2 billion in new financing, “we would have to suspend the program next week,” [Transit Secretary] Mr. LaHood said in an interview on the C-Span program “Newsmakers.” He said that the administration would “continue the program until we see what the Senate does” but that he expected the current $1 billion pool for rebates to run out by the end of this weekend.
Republicans say the problems with the program are another strike against the Obama administration as it pushes for a speedy overhaul of the health care system that would involve a government-run insurance program. They argue that government involvement in any industry is a recipe for disaster.
Anyhow, leading Republicans are somehow using the fact that Americans took to the popular program so readily and swiftly–exhuasting its funding by coming out to dealerships in unexpected droves–to make the point that the program has failed, and thus, by extension, so has Obama. This strikes me as preposterous. John McCain has even said he’ll filibuster in the Senate to prevent additional funding. And Senator DeMint, of South Carolina, has, well, said this:
the “cash for clunkers” program was an example of the “stupidity coming out of Washington right now. The federal government went bankrupt in one week in the used-car business, and now they want to run our health care system,” Mr. DeMint said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is crazy to try to rush this thing through again while they’re trying to rush through health care, and they want to get on to cap-and-trade electricity tax. We’ve got to slow this thing down.”