By on July 31, 2009

Automotive News [sub] reports that the House of Representatives has passed a measure to inject another $2 billion into the CARS program, extending it to September 2010. The bill passed 316-109, and now moves to the Senate. There it could face a challenge from Senators led by Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, who argue that an extension must include measures to improve the environmental impacts of the bill. Feinstein has requested a full accounting of the measure’s alleged success from the Department of Transportation. Politico reports that Senator Claire McCaskgill has already ruled out support for any transfer of stimulus money to the CARS program. “It will be tough sledding in the Senate, but this would give it considerable momentum,” admits one auto industry source. “It’s not new money, so [it] should be more possible to get GOP support.”

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16 Comments on “House Approves $2 Billion Clunker Extension...”


  • avatar
    johnthacker

    “It’s no new money, so [it] should be more possible to get GOP support.”

    This meaning that, yes, the House bill takes the money from the Dept. of Energy loan program.

    Of course, Sen. Bingaman (D-NM), chair of the Senate Energy Committee, doesn’t want the money to come out of DoE funds.

    It’s still hard to say how effectively this money is being used. How many were sales that would’ve happened anyway, and how many were simply brought forward from a year or two later, or even pushed back from six months ago? How many were actually new sales that would not have otherwise happened? On the one hand, extremely rapid uptake of the money, more than expected, could be a sign of efficiency, or at least of lots of stimulated sales.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If these bottomless pit thinkers approached public spending the same way they approach spending in their own households, ridiculous programs like this would never see the light of day.

    Instead, we have over 300 of our elected representatives voting for poor public policy.

    Please vote to unelect your representatives… unless your representative happens to be this guy:

    http://flake.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Bailout%20Speech%2009-29-08.wmv

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Don’t let things like this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waj2KrKYTZo

    Happen in your country, or you’ll go broke, too.

  • avatar
    BDB

    If you approve of the goal of economic stimulus through government policy, even if this means shifting demand forward, this is an incredible success.

    If you hate the very concept of taxation or public money to begin with, or rooting for economic collapse and a race to the bottom to prove some kind of perverse ideological point*, it makes you boil with rage.

    I think most people are somewhere between.

    *Ironically this makes you a kind of Bolshevik.

  • avatar
    joycejohnson

    so the ones who had SUVs before were the ones with the money…and now they get to trade in their gas guzzlers for a new car while the rest of us suffer! Is that fair??

  • avatar
    BDB

    so the ones who had SUVs before were the ones with the money…and now they get to trade in their gas guzzlers for a new car while the rest of us suffer! Is that fair??

    I’m not going to be gleeful and wish for economic collapse just so someone who bought an Explorer in 1997 instead of a Taurus wagon can suffer. That’s kind of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Just like, yes, tax money will have to bail out AIG even though they caused this mess in the first place. Because not bailing them out would get us a barter economy and breadlines.

    Is it fair? No. Life isn’t fair, wear a helmet.

    That said, getting gas-guzzling 1990s SUVs off the road and their owners into cars is good for you and me, it will make driving easier and safer. Even getting them into minivans and CUVs will do that. We may just yet avoid the nightmare scenario of having 16 year olds fresh from the driving test buying used 1997 Expeditions that was predicted in High and Mighty.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Does this mean I get more than $200 for my ’92 Volvo? Of course not…it doesn’t eat gas.

    Damn.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Does this mean I get more than $200 for my ‘92 Volvo? Of course not…it doesn’t eat gas.

    It probably would’ve been better if they used a graduated program instead of the BS hard cutoffs. That would’ve also meant less $ on average per new car sale for for efficient stimulus.

    These are actual valid points of criticism. No brownies for anyone to guess whether wingers take and run with them.

  • avatar
    mach1

    At least this is wasting taxpayer money in a semi-productive way. If this helps Ford and the Obama 1.6 make a profit, the government may get some tax money out of it.

    BTW – Does any one know which company is redeeming the most Clunkers?

  • avatar
    BDB

    BTW – Does any one know which company is redeeming the most Clunkers?

    No, but I’m betting Hyundai comes out the biggest winner.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Hyundai jumped on it first, but remains a relatively small player in the US market. It will be very interesting to see the data on what got traded for what, assuming such data becomes available.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    this program for the most part is not pulling ahead pent up demand, the vast majority of buyers trading in vehicles that qualify are not traditional new vehicle buyers, they are used car buyers

    ask any dealer what normal percentage of their trade ins are basically junk and you will find it’s a very low number

    traditional new car buyers overwhelmingly trade in late model vehicles

    it’s a tiny fraction of the amount spent on economic stimulus programs that is producing immediate verifiable positive results

    take into consideration the actual employment created by the vehicle sales from the dealerships to the manufacturers to the suppliers

    it may even trigger some traditional new vehicle buyers to re-enter the market

    there’s no valid argument that the money was wasted, when you increase sales in any industry right now it is good for the economy and may be a godsend for the automotive industry as they are as battered as any industry in this country

    whether you agree with the basic philosophy or not is a moot point, it exists

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I’m writing my Senators, right now. This is so wasteful.

  • avatar
    50merc

    So the program is to be extended to September 2010? That’s more than a year from now. And if the law still demands you own your clunker for one year….

    I’m pretty sure I can find a $200 car that is drivable. I mean, drivable enough to get to a dealership.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I’m pretty sure I can find a $200 car that is drivable. I mean, drivable enough to get to a dealership.

    Good point. One of the provisions of this handout was you had to have insurance and registration for the past year on the car or truck. This gotcha clause was inserted to prevent capitalism (how ironic is that?) and somehow legitimize this attempt to clean the air, save the polar bears and starve the arabs.

    Friend of mine just picked up a truck for 3500 dollars, next year he can trade it in for 4500 after using it for a year. He’s laughing already. He can spend 1000 dollars in gas, upkeep and insurance and still break even.

    Anybody need another lesson on socialism?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I would love to see those who advocate a do-nothing government also call for scaling back the US’ military adventures abroad. At least Ron Paul is consistent in this regard.

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