Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The "Cash for Clunkers" Deal

I'm going to write about my trip soon but I just had to write on the cash-for-clunkers deal of the Obama administration.

My husband has worked for an auto company and auto related companies for many years.  I am happy there is an incentive for people to buy new cars.  It is great for Detroit.  (At least in the short term.)

But it does bug me that when you turn in a "clunker," that being a high mileage car, you do get a nice rebate from the government(which we all pay for), but the catch is that the dealership must have the "clunker" crushed.  The evil gas-guzzling car MUST BE DESTROYED!!!

I think this is a waste.  There are many people who will never be able to buy a new car and all of these used vehicles could be helping someone who needs a low budget car.   I know. I know.   It helps the environment, or so they say.  But what about the poor (and even not-so-poor) who can't afford a new car.  These cars could be GIVEN to them, rather than crushed.

Why not require that they be given away?  Because those who have made the environment their idol care more about emissions than they do about the poor who need cheap transportation.  Am I being too harsh?  

That's how it looks to me.  (OK.  Next post I'll talk about something nice-- my vacation :-)


Sarah - Kala said...

I see your point. But, many choosing to cash in on this program can buy a new car w/out the extra help from our wallets. They could very well donate their cars.
I just can't wrap my head around how I'm helping many people who can afford to buy a new car buy a new car! It makes me madder than Hades!

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Sarah, that's probably true in many cases. But there are also people for whom $4500. makes the difference in being able to buy a new car and not being able to. They can't do it without that extra help-- or they think it unwise to do it without the rebate. Was it right to offer these rebates? I don't know. It does help the auto companies in the short run-- maybe not in the long run. And what helps the auto companies helps Michigan, because so much of our economy is related to them. We do have (I think still) the highest unemployment rate in the country. But destroying the cars really irks me. Just seems like worship at the altar of environmentalism at the expense of the common man.

Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff said...

We have three cars I'd love to trade in, but all three run fairly well. One is 20 years old, one is 12, and the other 11. Yes, they're high emission vehicles (particularly the oldest one), but they run well! We simply do not have the disposable income to trash these cars, even with the Cash for Clunkers incentive. And I agree that these cars would serve people better if they were donated to people who can't afford a car at all.

Kate said...

AFAIK, the carbon load associated with building a new car (even a low-emissions car ;-)) is huge enough that you would do better for the environment to drive your clunker for another 10 years! The 'Cash for Clunkers' thing seems to be a pretty conscious attempt to placate otherwise opposing Democratic lobbies - 1)unions, 2)enviro-capitalists, 3)economic incentivists.

Vicki said...

I agree with you 100% I HATE the idea of all those perfectly good cars being crushed. I drive a clunker myself, and I'm very fond of it - it has served my family well. I just hate to be so wasteful. Plus that, there are so many folks who can only afford to buy a clunker, and their price has gone up I'm sure.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Ruthann, yup, some old clunkers are like money in the bank, you know?
Kate, very interesting part. I think you're right about what they're doing.
Vicki, yup, I agree.

Barb, sfo said...

Also, there are plenty of people who will put themselves in debt that they cannot afford (just like with the housing thing) to ca$h in on the ca$h for clunkers deal. It's like a balloon mortgage for cars. Give it 6 months--the repo man is going to be busy.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Good point, Barb.