This week will see the Cash For Clunkers program refueled with another two billion dollars, bringing the total spent to three billion dollars.
What are the results so far?
This program was first billed as an environmental program. But that game is over now. Let's face it, a program that qualifies a Hummer as a subsidized purchase is not going to help the environment. By the way, the two billion dollars to refund the program is being pulled from other energy efficient plans. So I think it can be argued that not only is the program a failure environmentally, but it is actually robbing from other more worthwhile programs.
Ford reported a sales increase of 2.3% for July thanks to the Cash for Clunkers program. Toyota reports a "less than expected" loss. Hardly stellar numbers for a three billion dollar program. Also, you have to consider how many new car buyers would have purchased anyway in the next year and just chose this program to get them a better deal. We won't be able to really judge its effectiveness for at least another year. Even then we'll need to consider whether this program re invigorated the automotive industry or just bumped their sales for a short time.
None of this will stop the Democrats from claiming a big victory with this program. They are desperate for some good news thanks to the shellacking they've received over health care reform.
The Nightside Project