In my opinion, the Cash for Clunkers program wasn't a thought-through plan. Not just a "well thought through plan" but a "thought-through" plan. That's evident by the fact that the allotted $1 billion was depleted within four days. It wasn't thought through - again - when the additional $2 billion was added to the program and then had to be ended early because the funds once again ran out. And this was a good program?
In my opinion, I don't believe it was a good plan to get people to participate in "debt spending" to help the economy. And I don't believe that people really took advantage of this program because they wanted more fuel-efficient cars. I really think the draw was that people could some "something for nothing" from the government - if you can call taking some else's tax dollars and putting them in your pocket "something for nothing" - it's tax money, yours and mine, paying for this so it sounds like a form of theft to me. In some cases, they bought their cars 6 months earlier than they usually would for that rebate - good for them, I suppose. And in many cases, people who had no car payment, now have one. So how was this a good idea?
I don't have anything against anyone spending money they have or they can afford, but during this type of economy, is it really wise for any of us to take on more debt? Before long, they'll see their taxes raised, their paychecks getting cut back or completely removed as more companies shorten the work week and more people lose their jobs. So, why was this program such a good idea?
I watched a car dealer tell a reporter that she had sold 1290+ cars under this program to the tune of $5.5 million dollars in rebates. To date, she has been reimbursed for 8 cars. EIGHT! And that's just ONE dealership. Multiply that by the thousands and thousands of dealers across the country. Additionally she said that the trade-ins primarily were US-made automobiles and what they traded for were imports. Hmmm. That doesn't sound good for our US automakers, does it? Tell me again why this was such a good program?
Now, those who were in the market for a car either now or down the road a few months have purchased their cars all in a requisite short time frame. So, when the 2010 models from the US makers hit the lots, where will the buyers be? They'll be making payments on their "Cash for Clunker Cars" imported cars. Once again, tell me why this was such a good program?
When your taxes are increased to pay for this "successful" program, remember your tax dollars have just put new automobiles in your neighbor's driveways. Your tax dollars contributed to their indebtedness. Your tax dollars which could help people who have lost their jobs, had the money been put in unemployment benefits increases, were spent on imported cars which are now running up and down the roads burning fuel produced by unfriendly countries. Please, someone, tell me why was this such a good program?