I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a story on the Cash for Clunkers program being pushed by the Obama administration as a green initiative.
Here are important details from that story that don’t seem to have made it into the public narrative. Pay special attention to the table midway down the page on minimum required gas mileage. I can buy a “large light-duty truck” that gets as little as 15 MPG and if it does at least 2 MPG better than my current “clunker” I get a $4,500 rebate!
That is quite a deal for me and the car dealers, though I fail to see what polar bears or the American people get out of the transaction.
The only way this idea could possibly deliver on its stated goals is if they mandated that we buy a particular type of car with a minimum MPG rating, like a Focus Hybrid or a Prius or even a modern diesel. Since that sort of mandate is unlikely and probably unConstitutional to boot, the true motivation for this fairly expensive piece of corporate-friendly fraud, waste and abuse remains murky though far from unclear.
This is a boondoggle, pure and simple. Spending four billion dollars on this is unlikely to make a bit of difference for anyone but the auto manufacturers and the few million people who will use the program. It has less common sense attached to its structure than just about any public initiative I have heard of in a long time.
Just who the hell is running this program anyhow? OK. That makes more sense now.
The Obama White House seal of approval doesn’t make a program automatically progressive or effective or even smart. This program is a stinker by just about any objective measure. We need to stay on top of this sort of stuff or it could be used to torpedo legitimate environmental efforts in the future.
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