Sunday, January 18, 2009

Misguided 'environmental' idea and the next round of stimulus welfare

Our friends in Congress are again trying to use the economy problems that they created to push their environmentalist agenda. While I support helping the environment, dumping my tax dollars into a poorly thought out, ripe for fraud plan is unacceptable.

I'm talking about the 'cash for clunkers' plan that the Senate Democrats are trying to stick into the next round of welfare, I mean stimulus plan.

Basically, if you turn in a junker car, which doesn't necessarily have to be running, Congress will give you thousands towards a new car. California tried this in the 90s and it failed, so why does Congress think it will work now?

If you agree that there are better ways of stimulating the economy, without the fraud found when California tried this, please write your Senator and Speaker Pelosi.

From SEMA, some points on what to say in your message.

Dear Speaker Pelosi

I am writing to urge lawmakers not to include a "Cash for Clunkers" provision in the economic stimulus bill. Owners who turn in vehicles for crushing would receive a "minimal" payment to purchase a new car. This is a misguided attempt to spur car sales and claim that the country's air quality or fleet fuel mileage is being improved.

* "Cash for Clunkers" programs threaten enthusiasts nationwide with the loss of valuable parts and parts-cars for repair, restoration, and customization projects. The programs also risk destroying classic, historic and special-interest vehicles, our American heritage.

* Cars turned in for scrappage often barely run, or are rarely-driven second or third vehicles that have a minimal impact on overall fuel economy or emissions.

* "Cash for Clunkers" programs will reduce the availability of affordable transportation and repair parts used by low-income drivers. It will also compete with the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities that rely on vehicle donations to raise money.

* "Cash for Clunkers" ignores better policy options. If Congress wants to act, support for repair and upgrade is a better choice and a win-win for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and repair shops. Significant emissions and fuel economy improvements can be achieved in older vehicles through relatively simple and inexpensive means: repaired/replaced exhaust systems, tune-ups, etc.

* I hope I can count on you to reject "Cash for Clunkers." Thank you for your consideration on this very important matter.


ryssee said...

Interesting post. Haven't heard about this. Totally get it as a boost for the auto industry. Where can I read about the California fraud stuff?
I'd worry about theft of old cars, come to think about it. Though, I don't see people wanting to turn in the '68 Mustang convertible with the red paint and white interior that I see as a future purchasing option (more money in a sale than a turn-in). I'd like to read more about how this failed in CA.

Chris Curtin said...

Okay, maybe failure was too strong a word. It hasn't had anywhere near the impact they hoped. For one main reason: Even $4000 isn't enough for a low income person to buy a new $25,000 car. (Most of the bills have an income cap on them)

I looked around this morning for some examples, but most of the stories via Google are about the current stuff.

2 to look at:

Newsweek on the ‘games’ of credits:

NYTimes on some of the ‘games’ this causes:

As for fraud, when they tried to bring this to GA here are some things I read about:

- bringing a non-running car to the dealer. The dealer gets the $4000 and sells a car, who cares if it is running? No emissions impact

- taking the running cars and selling them to states where there are no title requirements. Like GA. So I can tell the government the car is gone, then sell it in GA. Since I don't need a title to register it in GA.

- sell the cars in Mexico.

ryssee said...

Cool, I'll check those links out.
So, it's only on brand new cars?

We saw lots of USA rejects when traveling in South America - not cars, but buses. Probably the ones we bounced around in when we were little kids.