Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If this is “success” how do you define “failure?”

I have to confess that I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind can trumpet that the “Cash for Clunkers” program is a success. I do have a friend who was able to take advantage of it. His mother had just driven her 20 year old, low mileage car into a ditch. He was barely able to coax the car into the dealer and got $4500 of our money to trade in that piece of crap on a brand new car for his mom. Good for him – bad for the rest of us.
I guess that the program is successful in the same way that the free cheese program is successful. The government didn’t have any idea how it would work (like many of their programs) so “Cash for Clunkers” ran out of money twice – in record time. We have to replenish the free cheese program to give away free cheese too – does that make that program a success? Hardly.
The figures vary, but it looks like We the people bought over 450,000 clunkers – and destroyed them. While a good portion of these cars might have been like the one my buddy turned in, we removed a large number of perfectly good used cars that could have been a boon to someone who didn’t have a car. My first three cars were used cars. I bought a new car for my wife when we out grew the car she brought into the marriage, then I bought myself three more used trucks before I finally bought the first new car for my use – I was 42 years old. I saved thousands of dollars that way and in one unthinking moment our government removed that possibility from hundreds of thousands of citizens. I drove through a "cash for clunkers" lot on Sunday - the vast majority of those cars looked better than many of the used ones that I purchased.
I have given two cars to Purple Heart in the last few years. I wonder how they feel about not getting a shot at hundreds of thousands of vehicles that they might have been able to clean up and give to one of our wounded warriors. There are several other area charities that support themselves with vehicle donations. What would be their definition of “success” for this ridiculous program?
This is one of the best examples of how government destroys the free market economy. We probably won’t know for sure, but the government just sucked up pent up buyers. My buddy is a good example; he had to get his mother a car. He didn’t have any alternative. He might have bought a dependable used car, but the government was buying them up and destroying them. He was just lucky to need a car when the government was foolishly giving away our money.
Of course if all that wasn’t bad enough – the government isn’t paying the dealers as promised. This isn’t that unusual. My family was covered by the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). It was a disaster. My wife was burdened with mountains of paperwork and doctors began to require us to pay up front as the government couldn’t manage to pay the providers within an acceptable time period. We had to seek additional insurance coverage. All that was put on the backs of military families. When the government didn’t pay the car dealers – we weren’t surprised.
One other thing perplexes me – who in the government processed the claims? What organization was authorized to create the forms? The websites? Who cut the checks? What will that organization do after that program is over? Will those people get laid off? Will they be moved to some other program? Our government is too big.
The only people who are probably happy about this are the Green-Nazis. Taking higher mileage cars off the roads solves the non-existent problem that they keep whining about. If we have more successes like this, our economy will probably be on par with Costa Rica’s. Obamanation here we come.
Conservative Resistance – Day 295

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