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August 3, 2009

Conservative Hating On Cash For Clunkers

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

Government can work, and the “Cash for Clunkers” program proved it. So, naturally, conservatives have to hate on it.

The “Cash for Clunkers” turned out to be one of the most successful government programs in some time. It was so successful that a program that was meant to take until November achieved its goals in something like a week or two! Thousands of cars were sold, helping dealerships and car companies to move toward recovery. Thousands of gas guzzlers were scrapped, helping the country move toward improved energy efficiency.

Dealers reported that their showrooms were full and their sales way up. Ford reports that the program is helping them have a strong July.

Ford Motor Co has seen a sharp increase in sales over the past week since its dealers began accepting trade-ins under the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" incentive program, the automaker's U.S. sales chief said on Thursday.

The only problem with the program was that so many people are taking advantage of it that the computer system got slowed down!

Yes, the program achieved its goals in record time. So the House has approved an additional $2 billion and the Senate should take it up this week. This means even more help to dealerships and manufacturers and even more fuel economy for the country!

What could be wrong with that?

Well if you are a conservative, plenty is wrong with that. First of all it makes government look good -- and conservatives just hate government. Government is those people who get in the way and tell companies they can't pour toxins into our rivers. Government is those people who show up and ask big companies to share what they make -- after building the roads and courts and schools that enabled them to do so well. That goes against everything conservatives stand for: dirty rivers, big corporations doing and taking anything they want for free, etc.

Mostly, though, a big success like this comes at exactly the wrong time for conservatives. Right now conservatives are fighting tooth and nail to keep We, the People from passing health care reform in a way that chooses better care and lower costs for the people over higher profits and CEO pay for insurance companies. So right now it is vitally important to discredit the idea that government can do things right.

So just as it starts to become clear that the government has a winner on its hands, we start to see reports in the conservative media -- Drudge Report, right-wing blogs, talk radio, FOX News, etc. -- that call the program a failure. In fact, many of these stories coincidentally seem to use almost the same wording! The lesson they all teach is this failure shows what will happen if we pass health care reform.

So draw your own lessons. Was a program that wildly overachieved its goals, stimulated the economy, improved the country's fuel efficiency and brought a great price for a new car to tens of thousands of Americas a success or not? I say it was, and I say it shows why we want a public option choice in the health care reform!

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 3, 2009 1:25 PM


Comments

What A great ripe off, taking even more of what people have paid into taxes and allowing anyone with an older car-high mileage to take my money for their personal use. A great pay-off to the environmentalists, car mfgs, unions, and dealers! A great budget estimate! I’ll bet the administration is using the same technique for health care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also a rich person who drives an old car, like the founder of Wal-mart did, could qualify to buy a new car under $45,000 because of no earnings cap, just price cap!

Posted by: Jerry Singer [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2009 3:40 PM

Here here, Jerry! Interesting how a situation can be spun to benefit a person's view. I have to admit, the spin from the the White House is creative.

The government is subsidizing itself. Hmmm.
"Look! Look what we did! We gave away free money! It was a success!"

Shocker!

Too bad they severely under-estimated how much this was going to cost. (This billion was supposed to last till November, it ran out in a week...) Too bad they are only stimulating the part of the economy they own. Too bad the new 2 billion will be taken from a program that actually needs funding, (this money will NOT be coming from the trillin-dollar stimulus that hasn't been spent yet) Too bad the American people have had enough of these pathetic attempts at making this administration look better. Too, too bad.

Exactly like the Obama administration taking credit for helping the recession. Only 10 percent of the stimulus has been spent. That 10 percent has not been spent on things like JOBS, oh no. That money has been spent on supporting PORN that some idiots call "Art." The economy is fixing itself. The Obama administration had nothing to do with it, and rising oil prices and more jobs down the drain will soon send our economy back down. Please.

This is a joke. People are going to take free money. DUH. Why not just give $4,500 to each person in the US and see how THAT stimulates the economy.

Posted by: willickers [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2009 4:40 PM

One part of the way you see it is right, there are more cheap, more economical cars on the road now. What a victory. Whoo.

Posted by: willickers [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2009 4:44 PM

In conclusion, let's review: You say that because of the "success" of the Cash 4 Clunkers program, you want a public option. So you want a public option whose budget will be vastly under-estimated and will run out of money in record time, forcing us to give TRIPLE what the original budget was to such program, therefore plunging us into depth so deep America will drown in record time because this program is such a "success."

Baby, you should be workin' for the White House.

Posted by: willickers [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2009 4:55 PM

We get it that you don't like government.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2009 5:02 PM

Those are great points Wilickers. A bit long-winded, but great, and true.
This is not a program for stimulating the economy. It is purely a political attempt to make it seem that the administration is doing something. Anything. It is also a way to make the environmental lobbyists happy. Meanwhile, perfectly good vehicles are being destroyed when they could be put to better use by giving the vehicles to a mother with 3 kids and 2 jobs who has a hard time with transportation because she cannot afford a car. The only people this program help are the government, the dealers, and people who have the money and credit to purchase a vehicle. It does nothing for those in poverty and low-income situations that need real help. It is a waste.

Posted by: MathewS [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 5, 2009 2:53 PM

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