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Cash for clunkers

2965 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  langweishan
Ok, everyone has heard of this right? I don't know the specifics on all this but I think if you bring in an old car, not more than 25 years old and you buy a car with better fuel economy, you can earn up to 4,500.

This is why it pisses me off.....

What about all the people in this country who DO NOT OWN A CAR! What about the people who have been taking public transportation all their life OR people who sell their car for whatever reason and now just use public transport?

So sell your environment killing car for a less environmental killing car, uncle sam will pay you. BUT never pollute...or decide to pollute even less, you get jack squat, besides higher rider fares.

Anyone else with me on this??
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An op/ed that I read a few weeks back that I thought made some good points.,0,6709103.story

What a clunker
July 6, 2009

There is a way to get Americans out of gas-guzzling cars: $4-a-gallon gasoline. When pump prices soared last summer, people parked their SUVs, cut back on their driving and shopped for cars with better gas mileage.

This did not require a government subsidy. It did not require an act of Congress. It was painful for pocketbooks, but it did change our driving habits for the better.

But gas prices settled back down. And now Congress, rather than do something neat and clean such as raise gasoline taxes, has given birth to "cash for clunkers," an impossibly complicated $1 billion plan to reward some buyers of new cars and trucks with government subsidies of up to $4,500.

The sponsors say they want to get Americans out of gas-guzzling vehicles, to help the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But this is really about boosting new car sales.

Cash for clunkers was tucked into a war-funding bill President Barack Obama signed recently, so it's now the law of the land.

Here's how it works:

The owner of a car that gets less than 18 miles per gallon can get a $3,500 government credit toward a new car that gets at least 22 miles per gallon. He can get $4,500 if the new car gets 28 miles per gallon.

The owner of an SUV that gets less than 18 miles per gallon can get $3,500 if he buys a new SUV that gets 20 miles per gallon, and $4,500 if it gets 23 miles per gallon.

The trade-ins must be drivable, built no earlier than the 1984 model year, and have been insured and registered to the same owner for at least the last year. Dealers must destroy the old cars. They can't be resold.

Got all that? A fuel-efficiency increase of as little as 2 miles per gallon could net you several thousands dollars courtesy of your fellow taxpayers because, of course, this subsidy has to come from somewhere. No wonder some call this "handouts for Hummers."

It's not hard to see all the flaws in this. Some drivers will trade in older vehicles for new, fuel-efficient rides -- but they might have done so anyway. People who trade in an older vehicle for a more fuel-efficient used car -- because that's all they can afford -- will get nothing from the government. And as older cars are destroyed before the end of their useful life, there will be fewer choices for people who simply can't afford to buy anything else.

The government is not usually very good at picking winners and losers, and it won't be in this case.

The best that can be said of this program is that it could have been much worse, meaning it could have cost taxpayers $4 billion, as originally proposed, instead of $1 billion. Cash for clunkers is due to expire in November. But experience shows that subsidies, once started, become addictive. Germany has extended its program once and the French are under pressure to do the same. Unfortunately, this clunker may be around awhile.
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