Cash for clunkers

cash for clunkersI hate to sound unsympathetic to the auto industry but honestly, I just don’t get this whole “cash for clunkers” deal. I mean I get how it was “supposed” to work but it didn’t work that way did it? Here is a quote I found today to put it in the right words.

 “The program, which gives consumers who trade in old gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient models as much as $4,500 each, is likely to end by the weekend unless the Senate approves additional funding.

Senate Republican leaders railed against it Monday, calling the program a model of government inefficiency and out-of-control spending. The program originally got $1 billion, but all but exhausted that funding last week, its first. The House of Representatives approved another $2 billion on Friday, but the Senate’s balking.

We were told this program would last for several months. As it turned out, it ran out of money in a week, prompting the House to rush a $2 billion dollar extension before anybody even had time to figure out what happened with the first billion,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

President Barack Obama plans to meet with Senate Democrats Tuesday at the White House to discuss several issues, including keeping “cash for clunkers” alive.”

Paul tried explaining this to me the other night and while he said it had really good intentions, it just wasn’t well thought out enough first. While I can see the goal in this, I mostly have two issues with it. One is the timing of it and the lack of knowledge that anyone had about it. If it got $1 BILLION dollars and that was supposed to help, how did they not look into this more before just going ahead with it if this money was obviously not nearly enough? Or, if you did cash in your car, lucky you. You snooze you lose and first come first served but I have a problem with all this $1 BILLION here and $1 BILLION there like that’s not much money. They gave the bailout and now it’s gone so no more cash for clunkers.

My second problem is why is the auto industry getting all this bailout money? Is it the only important industry in this country? What about construction and new home building or all the mom and pop stores and small business’s all over this country that are closing up shop? What about all those people? I guess I feel this should all be more fair to all of us that live here. 

I guess I kind of feel that you either sink or swim. I don’t mean that to sound harsh but I know so many people personally who’ve been laid off or had to take cuts in hours and or pay and I’ll tell you that NONE of them are running out to buy a new car when they can hardly afford to pay the bills they already have. I was talking to someone this morning who I feel is very informed on these kinds of issues and that’s the first thing she said too. Her husband’s hours have been way cut back and nobody she knows either will be getting the $3,500-$4,500 “rebate” to buy a new vehicle right now when they are still going to have a big car payment that they can’t afford right now. Maybe in a year but not right now.

One more thing. Does anyone not care where this “bailout” money is going to come from? We can’t keep spending money like this. 

Do you think this whole thing was/is a good idea?

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20 Responses to Cash for clunkers

  1. SKL says:

    OK, first of all, why $4,500 (or $3,500) for people who can afford to buy a new car, who already have a running car, when there are unemployed people who can’t even afford to buy basics? (And yeah, you know we borrowed from China to pay for this progam – and whoever’s lucky enough to still have a job will be paying it back with interest.)

    Second, your car had to be running in order to get the trade-in, AND the dealership was required to make it unable to run after you traded it in. These are working cars that are now not available for anyone. What about people who would have bought those used cars for a reasonable market price (be it $500) because they can’t afford more? What about the charitable donations that a lot of people used to do so that folks who really need help could have something to drive to a job? They are doing this to “improve the environment.” BS! There is no worse environment than that in an impoverished area, which the US is becoming more and more.

    Third, I heard that 6 out of 10 new cars bought with this money were Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai! This was supposed to benefit whom?? (Nothing against the foreign-based automakers, but this can’t have been what the government intended – idiots.) I agree with Joy that we shouldn’t be “stimulating” one industry alone (particularly the one the US government and unions now own) but even if I did agree with that, they blew it.

    So this is an indication of the brilliance of the folks who will be running our health [s]care in the future? Oh, yeah! We all know what they’re going to do with the “clunker” people – Soylent Green!! Beware if they start offering you money to come in and see your doctor . . . .

    How’s that hope and change working for you?

  2. sean says:

    they did the same type of thing in England…and trust me the only winner is the dealer…..they up the intrest rates to defuse the price of your trade in.the dealer couldnt give a flying **** what your trading in…..just as long as you sign on the dotted line for finance,,,,

    • Joy says:

      I’ve heard about some of the dishonesty of this too Sean. I didn’t want to bring it up in the post though. It’s now coming to light that there are people who have taken “junk” cars that weren’t drivable which isn’t supposed to happen. It was also on the news tonight that the state loses out on a lot of the taxes this way and actually is a big loser to this.

      I just don’t like the spending on this one. If you can’t afford to buy a car, you can’t afford to buy a car.

      I also agree with SKL on the trade in cars that a lot of other people who can’t afford a big new car payment and all those cars are being destroyed. It just makes no sense to me.

      Thanks for commenting Sean 😉 Saw some cute photo’s of you today on Facebook.

  3. pammy wammy says:

    That makes no sense to me.It seems like a waste if they are destroying the old clunkers.They should turn around and sell the used cars to those who cant afford a new one.I am looking for a clunker,I have had quite a few in my life.Gets me to were I need too and no car payments.

  4. joz1234 says:

    The other thing is that many people cannot afford the upkeep of a new car, yet I bet they still loaned those people money. Call it creative financing==wait a minute…didn’t they do that with new homes? What about the immense pile of metal clutter this is going to cause? Sure, cars can probably be recycled, but it costs to do that.

    Coincidentally, I wrote about Cash for clunkers yesterday too! I wrote mine as an example of poor government planning and how I don’t want anyone who cannot manage the budget of this small program to touch healthcare with a 10 foot pole until they have planned better and know what they are doing.

    check it out!

  5. I don’t really understand how this program was supposed to work, but I do agree that this doesn’t seem to be the most important issue at the moment. I know that pollution and global warming are the “in” issues at the moment, but personally I’d rather see three million dollars going towards a public health system =/.

  6. javajunkee says:

    OMG thank you…this was one of the most dumbass unthought out moves this government has made yet. Just a sample showing of how idiotic these 4 years are going to be. Screw that gas guzzling shit. My clunker van is paid for. Even with a rebate like everyone has said..with my husbands job iffy the LAST thing we are going to do is go get a nice big huge ass car payment.
    This kind of thinking is just bullshit. Why not send everybody another stimulus check..that’s what I need right now.

  7. javajunkee says:

    I agree SKL I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said… “I’ll keep my money and guns” you can keep the change!

    wonder how many people right now that were on the Obama Band Wagon would change their vote right now if given a chance.

  8. Laura says:

    Oh, complete GRRR…. trying again, hopefully the THIRD time’s a charm.

    (tried posting TWICE before and the site won’t let me. Apparently it’s mad at me for going on vacation…)


    Oh, for Pete’s sake… my post STILL isn’t showing up. So I apologize if this turns out to be my THIRD post, and essentially repeats what I said before…


    Here’s one of the many things that’s bothering me about this stupid CFC program. (I refuse to call it “stimulus”)

    This is a link to a page on, which is a very reliable site about all things automobile.

    This particular link takes you to the “H” portion of the “Eligible for Purchase” list in the CFC program. Scroll down to just below the Hondas, right after the 2009 Honda Ridgeline. There, see it?

    2009 HUMMER H3T 3.7L 5cyl 5M 4WD Category 2 Truck

    Yep. You read that right. A HUMMER!!! So tell me. If we’re trying to get these horrible, ghastly, fuel-burning “clunkers” off of the road, and replace them with shiny new fuel-efficient models, WHY would you put a HUMMER on the list. This particular vehicle averages 15 mpg. That’s efficient?

    I have a friend who drives an early 1990 Toyota Pickup Truck. It has over 200K miles on it, and would qualify as a “clunker” in most anyone’s book. It’s old, has worked hard, and shows it. Sometimes she jokes that the only thing holding it together is the glue from the myriad bumper stickers on it. And the exhaust system is long since dead. But you know what? That little truck isn’t on the Clunker list. Why? It’s mileage rating, to this day, is still too high. She gets around 17 mpg.

    I’m sorry, but this whole CFC program is just so much steaming crap. Just one more piece of junk legislation pushed through by an administration who can get nothing passed unless they manufacture a “crisis” and act like our very lives are on the line.

    One day soon, the populace had better start getting “crisis fatigue”, and wake up and see the nonsense. Once that starts happening, the house of cards that Obama built will come crashing down.

    I just hope it’s not too late when it does.

  9. Just a Mom says:

    This program in my opinion was not thought out at all! If you want to get the clunkers off the raod then give people jobs that way they can afford a car payment.
    If only they had put in as much thought and effort as they did the great Beer Summit of ’09 it might be of some worth! 🙂

  10. nikki says:

    The only ones getting bails out are the ones that will in turn make a lot of money. The ma & pa shops won’t get money because there is nothing it for them. The little ones get shit on. Money needs to go to jobs, first and foremost! People have jobs, they buy more, economy goes up. Pretty damn simple! It’s not just gas that’s hurting us, wages are being cut, hours are being cut because companies just can’t afford it. Companies are failing out there and they are handing people thousands of dollars for a new “fuel efficient” car! Ok it’s going to be easy to get to work now but that’s to say they have a job to go to! This country was in trouble before..the Obama administration is making it far worse. How has this happened to our country? We are drowning, even the “well off” are being affected. I feel for our next president…who the hell would want that job anyway? Look at what he’s done!

  11. SKL says:

    Just cut taxes – everyone will spend more – businesses will hire more people – and it won’t be the government telling us what to buy. When Reagan cut tax rates, the taxes they collected almost doubled. With Obama’s policies promising an endless list of higher taxes, tax revenues have decreased signficantly – because companies are scaling back. Duh. They know what to do if they really care about people. This mess is on purpose.

  12. Tony says:

    Doesn’t sound that great an idea to me & as usual the taxpayers are left holding the bill

  13. mssc54 says:

    1. Payback for the Union’s support.
    2. Payback for the environmentlist’s support.

    Seel more cars make more cars. More fuel efficient cars means “Mother Earth” will not be so hot. (choke-choke)

  14. Sue says:

    Where do I begin??!!! What I found most interesting is that this program didn’t become known until AFTER the Obama administration bailed out the auto industry. We all know that you don’t want to own a company that isn’t profitable so low and behold, they come up with a way to make money for their industry. Where was this idea when the automakers were struggling BEFORE HAND??? Why wasn’t this implemented then??? If they really wanted to get clunkers off the road for the environment’s sake, they would have already done it. They would have done it when they passed out the stimulus checks so people would have something meaningful to spend that money on. This is such a joke!

    No one is bailing out the small town businesses. No one is bailing out the citizen who didn’t overspend, didn’t buy a house too expensive, didn’t buy boats and other toys they couldn’t afford but all of a sudden lost their job because of everyone else who did. Where’s the help for the people who did things RIGHT and still can’t make it??? Where’s the help for the businesses that did things RIGHT but have to lay off workers anyway??? Oh wait, our government doesn’t care about those people. They don’t care about the hardworking people that make this country run. It seems like doing the right thing gets you NO WHERE these days. Sitting on your ass and collecting a check is more profitable than having a real job and contributing to society. I’m not saying people shouldn’t receive help, it’s the abusers of the system that reap the benefits.

    If lawmakers want to do something right and really try and fix things, they need to look at themselves. Have they taken a pay cut??? Have they had their pay frozen for years on end to help meet the budget? Have they had their pensions ripped out from under them? Heaven forbid that ever happen! What makes them off limits to all the things that have happened to us? Why are we letting them off the hook?

    You guys are lucky it’s time for supper! I could go on and on!!!!

  15. DM says:

    the money is being charged to your and my grand children’s accounts….take a good look @ your children and grand children faces before you accept any of the “stimulus” I mean stolen money. I won’t take any..even if every other person in my community lines up @ the trough. It’s the principle of the whole thing. if you’re unemployed or in a financial mess due to things outside of your control, then that’s a different story.

  16. joanharvest says:

    I don’t own a car anymore. I gave mine to my wasband when I moved to the island. We have one car here which I have all day. It’s my daughter’s Suburu Outback and I love it. If anything goes wrong with it I just tell her and she gets it fixed. Her husband bicycles 2 miles to work and I drive Sarah.

    I am so happy not to have to worry about a car anymore. I hadn’t even heard about it because I pay no attention to anything having to do with cars but it sounds like a bad idea to me. Sue is right on all counts. I am glad I closed my business in 2006. I doubt I would have made it through this economy. I’m sure the government wouldn’t have bail me out. Thank goodness, my daughter did.

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