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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Cash for Clunkers

Posted Friday, July 31, 2009, at 2:00 PM

What are your thoughts on the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program that is apparently already out of funds?

Like many such programs it is explained to us as helping the environment and saving fuel. And, of course, it helps the auto industry we are already bailing out with our tax dollars.

Do you buy that explanation?

Has your government ever helped you buy a better car. Do you think that will ever happen for you?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I think it is funny that the same administration that tells us they can provide universal health care for a reasonable price had to suspend this program in just a week because they greatly underestimated the funds that would be necessary.

-- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 2:33 PM

I guess if we want cheap cars for restorations or to retrofit for alternative energy,we can look to Uncle Sam-or will they have all been turned into scrap?

Getting moribund cars off the road and out of people's yards is good.

(Especially,if folks are still paying on them.)

But,I hope this strategy is coupled with public transportation,creating walkable communities and providing more safe,practical vehicles rather than upgraded toys.

Why would the average person need a "muscle car" or one that could compete in stock car races?

Why not focus on NEV's and their ilk and make a ride for the student,the retired person and the person who tootles around home?

Make them large enough to carry passengers and groceries but light enough to be fuel efficient.

(Think bumper cars.

They weigh about 600 lbs. but,by definition,they take high impact.

Proper reinforcement,batteries on the bottom of the car and four point restraints could help a street legal car handle nearly any accident it was not too nimble to avoid.

A bank of solar cells and a plug-in to any household current could let these vehicles go from school or work or erranda plus go as long as four hours without recharging.

(Wouldn't the humans inside need a respite to "recharge" their batteries after that long?)

Some of these conveyances have amazing speeds but most of us would do just fine going 45 mph or less.

Our cars don't need to be scary or sexy.

They need to be safe,comfortable and efficient.

That can still be attractive.

Taking "clunkers" off the road is a good start but removing those that are a financial impediment or exist to feed egos should come next.

We can make a far more positive impression if our lifestyles make sense.

We can afford to invest in removing the substandard and replacing it with the user-friendly and efficient.

The question is: WILL that be done and can we afford not to?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 4:30 PM

Nice observation quitemike. . they left out the last part of the title. . .clunkers for CAR PAYMENTS for the next few years with the economy on a severe downturn, jobs being eliminated and on it goes. . .

I'm all for greenin' up, but c'mon, where are our priorities? You're right quantum, as usual, greening them up as opposed to putting them in landfills is a great idea. Why can't we find a way to RE-USE them. . .

Our economy is still CREDIT based. . . the government keeps borrowing and we follow suit. How many of these people PAID for their new cars out of their pocket/savings? Maybe they paid for them with the mortgage money they got when they refinanced. I'm sure the banks haven't had any objections to this, another laughable "solution". . . to what was it again? Oh yeah, the environment and the economy and the national debt and the health care sysytem and the terrorists and the homeless and the hungry and the sick and the tired and oh yeah, the Chinese buying up . . .and the Saudi's buying up . . . And then there's the BANKS. . . oh yeah, the BANKS!!!!. . .'Scuze me, Bo. . I just got a case of the vapors. . .

-- Posted by ridgeroamer on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 5:12 PM

It seems the car lots are loving this...at least the ones that are still in business anyway

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 5:49 PM

Okay, I've got a couple of issues with the government's lack of insight in this program.

1) Okay, the auto industry does employee a lot of people and it trickles down to other companies other than just the big 3. All the part suppliers are part of this opportunity too. However, what's next??? Next time the washer/dryer industry starts to fail, we are going to not only bail them out but everyone gets $500 if they buy a new washer, $800 if they buy a combo washer/dryer? When will it end? Not only did we give them billions (GM/Chrysler), we are now giving them $3 more billion? Did you know you are paying for this $3500 to $4500 per vehicle with you tax dollars? Did you get your share?

2) We are going to crush clunkers just because? How about all the poor people who do not have transportation because they can't afford it. How about giving them a clunker on loan so they can go get jobs too? Let's see, maybe this is a dumb thought, but if we give unemployed people cars to go find work, let them, once they have a job, pay for the car or turn it in after they either buy another car or don't want that one anymore. Then they would be off unemployment, off welfare, off food stamps and then we (the tax payers) would save money!!! I know it's easier said then done... but hey, what a concept!

-- Posted by dsm810 on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 7:59 PM

I wonder how many people bought cars they really could not afford just to get 4500.00 for their old paid for car.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 9:42 PM

Hey, everyone should take advantage of this because we are eventually paying for the rebate with our tax dollars and we will more and likely see our taxes increase! After promising middle class Americans that he wouldn't raise taxes on us, it seems he has now changed his mind. Obama's administration said this weekend that they may have to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for their massive spending and to help offset the cost of their health care plan.


Wasn't Obama the one who promised Americans during his campaign over and over again that "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime?"

Hmmmm . . . I definitely can see the change we can all believe in (aka change of mind that is). It seems he has a history of changing of mind even on healthcare. It wasn't too long ago he was advocating a single payer insurance plan and wanted to see the demise of private insurance.


dsm810 . . . I love your idea about giving the old cars to those individuals who aren't able to afford one and could use it to find jobs and to take care of their family. They might not be fuel efficient or new but they would give people a chance to better their situation.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Aug 3, 2009, at 7:26 AM

I wish they had this program in Feb. when I baught my car. It would have been a nice chunk off the price, maybe enough for me to think about buying 2 cars!

-- Posted by tamerajesch on Mon, Aug 3, 2009, at 12:41 PM

Now the government has a paper trail with which they can prove you received about $4,500.00 in very taxable income. But of course you didn't think about paying taxes on this rebate did ya?

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Mon, Aug 3, 2009, at 11:52 PM

I'll have to keep my old clunker . I can't afford the other 12,000 dollars to go with the $4500.

-- Posted by toad on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 6:38 AM

Now the government has a paper trail with which they can prove you received about $4,500.00 in very taxable income. But of course you didn't think about paying taxes on this rebate did ya?

-- Posted by Tattoos & Scars on Mon, Aug 3, 2009, at 11:52 PM

It is taxable income for the dealers, not the individuals who purchase the cars.

-- Posted by Richard on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 12:43 AM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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