Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, pulls back the curtain that the 'Wizards' in Washington are hiding behind.
To listen to the Obama Administration, the “Cash for Clunkers” program is the most successful government stimulus effort in history. In fact, it was so “successful” that the government had to suspend the program late last week. Evidently the $1 billion of your tax money appropriated for the program had run out in a matter of days. The House of Representatives immediately swung into action and approved an additional $2 billion Friday afternoon.
I know some folks may think this is a good idea. But the program is a mess, and it offers a clear warning about the proposed government takeover of our healthcare system. Here are a few observations:
- The program has a huge cost overrun. Cash for Clunkers was supposed to cost just one billion dollars of your money to help folks buy new cars. It was scheduled to end in November. But within days it was bankrupt, and the politicians have now tripled the funding to $3 billion. If the government so terribly underestimated the costs of this program, can you image the potential cost overruns of Obama’s socialized healthcare plan? Once again, Democrats have demonstrated a fundamental lesson of economics. If you subsidize something, you will get more of it.
- The program is bureaucratic and inefficient. I know that may come as a complete surprise, but the program has turned into a nightmare for many dealerships. There are reports of dealers attempting multiple times to process simple online transactions only to have them rejected over and over again. If the government has this much difficulty with a simple rebate program, do you really want it running your healthcare?
- The poor will get hit by this program. Who buys clunkers? Who spends money on parts and repairs to avoid making big payments on a new car loan? But under this plan, the clunkers that are turned in must be destroyed. That will affect the supply of parts and drive up their costs.
And while it may help a lot of desperate dealers move excess inventory, consider the irony here. We’ve just bailed out the auto industry with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and now we’re having to give consumers billions more to cajole them into buying the products.