By on August 6, 2009

Automotive News [sub] reports that the Senate has passed a $2 billion extension to the Cash for Clunkers program, extending the deal through Labor Day. President Obama has already said he would sign the bill. But will it help the taxpayer-owned auto firms that desperately need a boost? Will sales levels continue at their current surging rates? Will fraud stories start popping up as they have in Germany? Who cares. America loves a deal.

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18 Comments on “Cash for Clunker Extension Passes...”


  • avatar
    rivercat30

    America loves a deal.

    This raises a question I have. Perhaps its been addressed here before, but I was wondering how good of a deal this really is. I mean, if a dealer’s already offering incentives of 4500, can you trade in a ‘clunker’ and get a total of 9K in discounts, or is it one or the other?

  • avatar

    both

  • avatar

    “America loves a deal.”

    America loves when other people pick up the tab. I wonder if the alleged provision concerning something along the lines of ‘those who earn more than $50K per year will be exempt from the new round of C4C’ made it into the extension language?

    I’m efforting a link. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) mentioned as much on Dan Barreiro’s radio show (AM1130) this evening.

  • avatar
    JonnyZX

    “America loves a deal”

    America loves debt, especially when they know someone else, namely – their kids – will have to pay it back later with interest.

    This sort of thing will quite literally end us.

  • avatar

    I’m gonna start telling every assclown I see driving a rig with a red tag, “you’re welcome”.

    When is this insanity going to stop?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    There were no changes between the House version of the $2B expansion and the Senate version. Thus I don’t see any way a special provision limiting the maximum income of people taking the deal could have happened.

    A $50k family income cap would be highly counter productive. $50k per year in the urban areas of California, New York, Virginia and other large states is not enough to be anything you would call a middle class income. A two bedroom apartment in San Jose, California or most other big cities is a $25k-$35k per year cost just for rent. Utilities, food, insurance, auto expenses, medical and the rest add up fast. Also, $50k gross income doesn’t mean $50k net income.

  • avatar

    Understood. I listened to the Klobuchar podcast again and I must have heard it in a different conversation earlier in the day. Ah, I found the reference that applied:

    “August 6, 2009 — Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) is offering an amendment to cap income eligibility at $50,000 adjusted gross income for individuals and $75,000 for couples. By limiting it to moderate- and low-income people, the government could increase the incentive to $6,500 or $7,500 per vehicle.”

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    While I highly doubt there will be an income cut-off attached to C4C (the government is already swamped by the amount of paperwork they require to approve the vouchers, can you imagine the storm they would bring upon themselves if they started requiring tax records and the ensuing documents for deductions, donations, self-employed, etc ?), $50K per year is pretty solidly middle-class for an individual. Now, if you spin that to family income, yeah, it drops a good bit, considering most husband/wife pairs (about the bare minimum you have to have to be considered a family I’d say) both work, suddenly you are talking 25K each, which I’d say is more akin to living on the poverty line than middle class.

    $50K a year might not buy you much inside a major city, but no one is forcing anyone to live inside of a major city either. You can buy a 3 bedroom 2 bath house built in the last five years for around $70K in a nice neighborhood here right now.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    ” … but no one is forcing anyone to live inside of a major city either. ”

    Well, there is the fact that over 80% of the jobs in the US are in major metropolitan areas.

  • avatar
    carsRneat

    There was no income limitation added to the Cash for Clunkers bill that passed the Senate tonight. The Senate version must be identical to the House version that was passed last week. Any amendments would mean a Senate-House conference to work out the differences – but this couldn’t happen until after the August recess (the House went on recess last week). So the Senate had to pass the identical bill to the House for the legislation to be forward to the White House for final signature before the money ran out.

  • avatar
    sutski

    “This sort of thing will quite literally end us.”

    Yup, I have to agree…and the longer the world’s govts stay in denial, the harder the fall is going to be.

    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/49798

    P.s If they stipulated that to qualify for C4C you must bring cash to buy your new car (or perhaps 50% in cash), fair enough, that would be a fair stimulus to boost consumer spending, but to promote people going further into debt to boost the economy is just more irresponsible govt promoted madness.

  • avatar
    shaker

    This will boost the economy, probably just when its needed. The ripple effect (recently cited for its negative aspects) actually works both ways

    It’s far from perfect, but much human endeavor is. Their heart is in the right place…

  • avatar
    ruckover

    I save about 2,000 dollars a year on my federal taxes because of the tax credit on interest paid for my home. I am guessing here, but I would imagine that many others who post here get the same break. This is, pure and simple, governmental intrusion into a free market; the feds feel that home ownership creates better communities and better citizens, so they subsidize home purchases with tax breaks. And not just one time give a ways, but thirty year give a ways.

    Now, this tax break covers first and second homes, and far more of us get to use the break than will use C4C, so why isn’t this the program that “will quite literally end us”? Why is there no nashing of teeth or ripping of hair about this boondoggle? Why don’t we ever admit that we are sucking at the governmental teat when we accept these tax give a ways? Could it be that we see this program as a right, that the government owes us this? Are renters, who do not get this credit, going to start coming to our neighborhoods demanding thanks from us for their supplementing our housing?

    I do not think the program is perfect, great, or even good, but neither do I see it as the final nail in the coffin of our once great nation.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Nullmodo>

    Where do you live?

    I moved 40 miles outside of Chicago to have a 4br 2.5bth for just over $250k.

    Smaller places around me are $150-$200’ish.

    Makes me wish I bought a car rated > 16/22.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    re:NulloModo:

    “You can buy a 3 bedroom 2 bath house built in the last five years for around $70K in a nice neighborhood here right now.”

    Seriously, where is that. I’m willing to live in the southwest, but not the deep south, Florida or southeast Michigan.

    The only area that actually has good jobs where I can imagine a house that cheap is Texas.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    “It’s far from perfect, but much human endeavor is. Their heart is in the right place…”

    Shaker: There is absolutely no connection between good intentions and good results. There is a reason for the saying “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

  • avatar
    loverofcars1969

    You worry to much comrade. How is your Mandarin BTW?

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    I wonder if the alleged provision concerning something along the lines of ‘those who earn more than $50K per year will be exempt from the new round of C4C’ made it into the extension language?

    No, it didn’t. Sen. Harkin (D-IA) offered the amendment, the Republicans pledged to support it, so then the Democratic leadership whipped their members to vote against it so as not to hold up the bill with ping-pong with the House.

    Assuming that the bill is identical to the House version, which it must be to pass so quickly, the money is being taken out of the DoE energy subsidy program instead of new appropriations. Given that that’s the case, my opposition to it is much muted.

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