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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

'Clunkers' program a clunker itself

Posted Friday, August 7, 2009, at 7:39 AM

I'm sure the Cash for Clunkers program has its advantages, but it should be noted that the "clunkers" must have their drivetrains destroyed -- not even used for parts -- before demolition. Other parts can be reused.

Makes me wonder if, at some point in the future, there's going to be an intentionally-caused parts shortage in order to get still more so-called "gas hogs" off the road.

But will any difference really be made? The typical new car dealer is loaded with huge trucks and SUVs which get, oh, maybe, 12-15 mpg city. Not exactly gas-sippers.

Seems to me that this is actually just an intentional program in which tax dollars are spent to support new car dealers. And it seems like Congress and President Obama are spending ridiculous amounts of money on everything these days.

I'm also concerned about the government's seeming focus on forcing more gas-efficient vehicles on the public. Example: According to figures in Motor Trend magazine, the Chevrolet Cruze, which replaces the Cobalt soon, costs more but will be slower from 0-to-60 mph.

That's an improvement? Hardly.

I well remember the 1970s and early 1980s when intrusive government regulations turned once-quick American cars into slugs. Hopefully we're not in for more of the same.

And let's hope Government Motors (today's GM) isn't destroyed by lawmakers' pressure and unrealistic expectations for, as an example, citizen acceptance of electric and alternative vehicles.

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

They interviewed one scrap yard and they said they are not making much money off the cars because the one part that they use to resell that made them the most money was the engine and they aren't allowed to resell it now.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 8:47 AM

I have not checked this out yet, but understand that one of the brand new cars that is on the list is a Hummer. I also do not see the advantage of someone going into debt if they have a paid for car in the drive.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 10:19 AM

According to the rules of this "cash for clunkers" you have to have the car for a year under the same owner with proof of insurance and you have to purchase a new car worth no more than $45,000. There are other rules too.

This is a link to the article I was reading about it:


If we are in a recession, and people are getting laid off, losing jobs, houses, etc. How are we supposed to go in debt for a new car? Put the money somewhere else. Asking the people to go into more debt is really not the answer.

-- Posted by brown eyed girl on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 11:51 AM

Who cares about 0-60mph in 2.3 sec or whatever nonsense? Such unnecessary and idiotic notions are why the government feels the need to push more fuel efficient vehicles. Too many people are unwilling to make the switch themselves.

-- Posted by gottago on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 11:54 AM

For those interested here is a web site with a list of eligible cars, and yes the Hummer, plus other trucks are included. The reasoning is that they are cleaner running cars. The web site is: http://www.edmunds.com/cash-for-clunkers.... Good luck with the new cars, I'll stick with my paid for clunker.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 11:54 AM

Good points gottago. Isn't it strange for years we've built cars for quick speed when the majority of our roads can't handle those speeds/

-- Posted by bomelson on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 3:18 PM

Just looked at the list Sharon22 linked to. Looks like almost everything on the market's eligible, incliding three-quarter-ton pickups with large eight-cylinder engines.

For the record, I contend that underpowered vehicles are dangerous.

-- Posted by David Melson on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 4:02 PM


Based on what?

As I am sure you can see, there are more cars on the road than at any other time in history. NO ONE needs rapid acceleration on busy streets and larger than average vehicles, while safer for their own inhabitants, obstruct the vision of other drivers.

Other nations are light years ahead of us in their use of more fuel efficient vehicles. It just stinks that the government must intervene before our own population makes sensible choices.

Only an adult still stuck in the 8-10 year old boy mentality even thinks in terms of power and speed. (Industrial needs, of course, are excepted from this statement.)

-- Posted by gottago on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 4:14 PM

I'm not sure what David exactly means by underpowered cars, but I once owned a 4-speed that had no get up and go what so ever. If I were going up an incline it would just slow down. I only had that car for a couple years due to that and several other issues I had with it. I am all for using more fuel efficient cars, but they do need a little get up and go, my current mid-size SUV has more power to than my little 4-speed did.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 4:28 PM

I drive a '94 Nissan with over 300,000 miles on it and it runs like a clock. VERY few times have I had it in the shop for any repairs, all minor.

Not exactly what I call a clunker, especially that it runs like it does and PAID FOR!!! Outdated, Yes. But one thing's for sure: It will continue to outdrive, outclass, and- most definitely- OUTLAST these "environ- MENTAL- ly friendly" pieces of crap the goverment insists that we should drive. Besides, aren't we taxed enough for cleaner fuel so that we don't have emissions that produce smog like L.A.'s known for?

-- Posted by 1ukolsir on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 7:49 PM

Underpowered cars = a vehicle that is too slow to merge into interstate traffic. Sharon22's comment also describes underpowed vehicles well. A vehicle that strains more than moves when acclerating (and I'm not talking about drag racing out of stop lights).

Example: I once owned a 1989 Toyota MR2 (a two-seater so-called sports car). It looked good but was so high-revving it didn't get moving well until it was almost at the speed limit.

Today's typical mid-sized family car with 6-cylinder motor is powerful enough for most needs.

Comparing cars to animals: The typical driver doesn't need a race horse. But we don't need turtles, either.

-- Posted by David Melson on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 10:52 PM

My little 4-speed was worse at going up hill, sometimes to the point I thought I would end up going downhills before I reached the top of the hill. David I love your last statement, most of us don't need race horses, but we do need something quicker than a turtle.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 11:36 PM

Too bad our vehicle test drives can't include a run up Emily Drive, north of Bell Buckle, from the east side. If your vehicle can get up that hill without straining then it's good to go.

-- Posted by David Melson on Sat, Aug 8, 2009, at 2:25 PM

I can't see how its of anyones concern what someone buys except the person buying it. Who are we to tell someone what the "need" to drive. If someone is willing to buy a "muscle" car or a "sports" car than by all means they should, it is there money.

I don't "need" a big screen tv or xbox360 but I sure do enjoy the fruits of my labor. I work hard for my money and should be able to spend it how I see fit.

BTW, I do not own a sports car or a muscle car, I just thought this was america and we were still free to choose.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Sat, Aug 8, 2009, at 4:27 PM

Greasemonkey is right! Mind your own business and keep your little car out of my way!

-- Posted by shrtckt2003 on Sun, Aug 9, 2009, at 10:23 AM

Looking back over my post I realize it sounds very harsh and that was not my intent. I just wanted to make the point that as long as the consumer wants a particular car or truck regardless of our opinions of it the manufacturer will and should produce it in order to remain profitable. cars now have more horsepower and are tons more fuel efficient and less harmful to the environment than their late sixties counterparts. So I don't see the problem with them.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Sun, Aug 9, 2009, at 3:21 PM

Well, we did elect a President who's only qualification was that he spoke good. What else can you expect but even more of this type nonsense from such an inexperienced baffoon.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Aug 9, 2009, at 5:24 PM

What was Bush's qualifications? Was it because he spoke well? What about listening to his people? or obeying the law? Or upholding the Constitution? or... you know, I just don't have the time.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 8:58 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.