Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Cash for Clunkers" Program Suspended

Apparently, the quickest way to spend $1 billion is to dribble it out to car buyers at $4500 a pop. Less than a week after the scheme to give people $4500 vouchers to turn in their old "gas guzzling" cars and buy new ones half of them can't afford began, the program is out of money:

Washington -- The Transportation Department is preparing to suspend the $1 billion "Cash for Clunkers" program at midnight, industry officials and congressional aides said Thursday.

Bailey Wood, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said the group believes the program would be suspended at the end of Thursday.

"This is the responsible thing to do," said Wood, who believed that all deals consummated by the end of today would be honored by the program.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called key members of Congress to notify them that the government's program to stimulate car and truck sales was being tapped out -- less than one week after it kicked off. Officials were holding meetings looking for ways to continue the program, but that was unlikely.

Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, who called on congressional leaders Wednesday to boost funding, called for emergency action.

"There can be no doubt that the Cash for Clunkers program is a complete success given the fact that the entire $1 billion allocated to the program was expended in less than a week. This is simply the most stimulative $1 billion the federal government has spent during the entire economic downturn. The federal government must come up with more money, immediately, to keep this program going," Miller said.

Forget the fact that it's not the federal government's job to rebate Americans on their purchase of a new vehicle, the government's got to come up with more money to keep doing it. By Obama's third year in office (will this country even be able to survive two and a half more years of this?) we'll have another auto "stimulus" -- this one to bail out the people who are defaulting on their now-old cars because they can't afford them.

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