Is 'cash for clunkers' really helping?

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How is "cash for clunkers" benefitting our economy?

Sure, people are spending money on new cars and getting their old gas-guzzlers off the road. This move certainly can help make our country become slightly less dependent on foreign energy imports. In addition, automakers are selling their products, and that can't be a bad thing, right?

Wrong. People are buying new cars only because the government is paying them to do so. Once the money first ran out, people stopped buying new cars. So, what did Congress do? They appropriated more money to keep it going. What will they do once this latest $2 billion runs out?

Moreover, what cars are people buying? The program provides the greatest rewards for buying the most fuel-efficient cars. That's great, but what carmakers produce the most fuel-efficient cars? I'll give you a hint: It's not Detroit. U.S. automakers build just four of the top 10 most purchased car models under this program, and two of those are Fords.

Yes, the cash for clunkers program is causing Americans to buy cars, but it's causing them to buy the wrong cars. American automakers aren't benefiting from this program; Japanese automakers are. The program is creating an artificial bubble of prosperity in the auto industry similar to the artificial bubble in the home mortgage market that caused the current economic downturn. When the government money runs out, the American new car market will collapse faster than it surged, and we'll be right back where we were at the end of 2008.

If Congress throws more money down this potentially bottomless pit, real recovery could be delayed even longer. If they don't keep pouring money into the program, the U.S. auto industry recovery will take too long, and American taxpayers will have to foot the bill again to keep Detroit going. First, though, American automakers need to once again take a lesson from their Japanese counterparts and start making fuel-efficient cars that people want to buy.

Daniel Moore, Grovetown

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KSL
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KSL 08/17/09 - 01:53 am
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It's all artificial. When the

It's all artificial. When the program goes away, so will the increased sales. It's all about making Obam look good while his stimulus package does nil to bring us out of the downturn which we will and are naturally coming out of.

KSL
129479
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KSL 08/17/09 - 02:02 am
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And the clunkers may have

And the clunkers may have used a little more gas (my car didn't qualify even if I wanted to exchange it for a golf cart). But think about the landfill space. Think about taking vehicles off the road rather than recycling them. Make more cars to replace these rather than resell them. Can't y'all see that Obam and his cohorts think the American people are, thank you Niko, IDIOTS.

wildman
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wildman 08/17/09 - 04:31 am
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The unions will benefit from

The unions will benefit from this clunker of a program. I see dealers pulling out of the program because of not knowing when they will get the money.

oldenuff2nobetter
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oldenuff2nobetter 08/17/09 - 05:24 am
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Mr. Moore, I agree with you

Mr. Moore, I agree with you on the part that the foreign automakers are benefiting from the "Cash for Clunkers" program more than the Detroit auto. It seems a little foolish to bail out two of the three Detroit automakers with huge loans and then turn around and aid their foreign competitors with the "Cash for Clunkers" program. True enough, it has sparked the sale of new cars, but it is only a "quick fix".

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 08/17/09 - 05:36 am
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It is just a way the

It is just a way the government can control what kinds of cars the government thinks people should buy. Hmmmm, seems like there is no "equal protection under the law" here since in order for the government to help pay for my new car I have to buy one on "the list". Where is my $4500 if I wanna buy a Hummer?

GACopperhead
6
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GACopperhead 08/17/09 - 06:10 am
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Only an idiot like you would

Only an idiot like you would buy a Hummer, overburdened.

Nativeson1
2
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Nativeson1 08/17/09 - 06:23 am
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YES it's working...Just ask a

YES it's working...Just ask a car salesman if it's working...btw, for those who don't understand, foreign cars aren't necessarily all foreign, many parts are assembled right here, and some cars that are considered foreign are completely produced here, KIA is soon to be a good example of that..Just drive South on I-85 past LaGrange, going towards West Point and you will see. KIA's North American Production Plant is almost complete, and the local population is very excited about it...If you take the drive hitch your boat and grab you reels, West Point has some great fishing.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 08/17/09 - 06:49 am
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My washer and dryer need
Unpublished

My washer and dryer need replacing. I'm sure there are more energy efficient models out now. Is Uncle Sam going to give me a nice trade in for them? Call it the Home Energy Efficiency Program. And if we're trying to stimulate American car makers, why didn't they restrict this to American brands? UAW comes to mind. I could use a new roof. Call it the Top Of The Day Program. Hey, it's no more stupid that this Cash For Clunkers program. Where does this BS end? Stupid politicians, shame on you. And shame on us for putting you in power!

Lumbarsupport
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Lumbarsupport 08/17/09 - 06:58 am
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Working, Hell yes to O. B. A.

Working, Hell yes to O. B. A. M. A. its working. Now we've trained people, even people with money, that the government is going to front them a few thousand to buy a car. Look at what happened when rebates were started by the manufacturing divisions of the U.A.W. They found that after a while buyers expected the rebate and it was hard to sell cars without one. If you rushed out to buy a car, much less drove to another state to do so, YOU accepted what was taken from someone else to buy YOURSELF a new car. Thanks Government, you'e corrupted more of the population.

justus4
101
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justus4 08/17/09 - 06:58 am
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More ignorance on display.
Unpublished

More ignorance on display. The letter writer states a positive for the program, then bends over backwards to find fault. The U.S. government, in order to expand, gave land grants to, U know who, to settle the western states. The Native Americans already living there had a good case to find fault with the U.S. government, but this car program is a success to many, but if some people are not getting something out the deal, they find fault. This letter demonstrates that idea.

TechLover
15
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TechLover 08/17/09 - 07:02 am
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Yeah, Ga gave Kia $410

Yeah, Ga gave Kia $410 millionn in tax breaks to get Kia to build the plant in the state, plus spent $100 milloon to redo the ramps on the interstate at the site and plans to spend more to add lanes on Hwy 29 at the site. How dare the governmet get involved in private industry. Those d*amn Democr... oops wait Ga is controlled by the Republicans

TechLover
15
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TechLover 08/17/09 - 07:18 am
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southern:You CAN get a tax

southern:You CAN get a tax credit for a new roof, windows, water heater, insulation, HVAC, etc. Jump on it.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 08/17/09 - 07:30 am
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Dang GACop, there goes that

Dang GACop, there goes that wealth envy again.

confederate american
0
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confederate american 08/17/09 - 07:35 am
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its not government money,its

its not government money,its hard working tax payers money.and i pay out enough now to people who don't want to work.

confederate american
0
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confederate american 08/17/09 - 07:38 am
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i see that old smack

i see that old smack daddy,long legs is changing the name of his health plan again.you can change the color of lipstick on a pig but its still a pig

concernednative
28
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concernednative 08/17/09 - 07:46 am
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People do you know what year

People do you know what year it is. Pretty much every foreign auto company makes vehicles here in the good old US. So they buy from US dealer and the cars and many parts are manufactured here. So the benefit is US jobs and less foreign oil dependency. But the letter writer knows that as Justus said he had to bend over backwards to find something negative and much of it wasn't true.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 08/17/09 - 07:51 am
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now the auto mechanics are

now the auto mechanics are complaining that business is slowing because of the cash for clunkers program. this is the silliest way possible to breathe life into the American auto industry and "save the environment"

pah4r
0
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pah4r 08/17/09 - 08:13 am
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This Cash for Clunkers fiasco

This Cash for Clunkers fiasco is just another way for the oxygen stealers, bottom feeders; dregs of society to get something else that they are too lazy to earn. Once Uncle Sugar (Odumba and crew) bails they will be crying just as those who bought homes above their means. You owe me; line up you shiftless, mindless rot and Uncle Sugar will provide for you until the sane say enough and stop the madness.

opiner
2
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opiner 08/17/09 - 08:26 am
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Just got back from Florida.

Just got back from Florida. Every large city I passed through had radio commercials about getting rid of the "pea shooter" the cash for clunkers stuck you with and trading it for a real car. The new owner wins, the dealer wins and the taxpayer loses. How Obama! Do you feel stimulated?

TechLover
15
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TechLover 08/17/09 - 08:51 am
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pah: So those too lazy to

pah: So those too lazy to earn are out buying new cars? In this credit market they somehow must have decent credit scores.

thoga
0
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thoga 08/17/09 - 08:56 am
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I find it interesting that

I find it interesting that many of the dealers are not destorying the clunkers until they get the money from the government and some are even selling some of the better ones. Yes it has increased car sales but they are still millions and millions off from the prior year(s).

jack234
721
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jack234 08/17/09 - 09:11 am
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I'll bet you the dealerships

I'll bet you the dealerships that are owned by republicans are not complaining about "cash for clunkers" Its like someone has already said, "as long as I benefit, I don't complain". Evidently, Daniel Moore doesn't have a clunker, but his neighbor does. HELLO! HELLO!

Pistol
0
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Pistol 08/17/09 - 09:26 am
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I used the CfC to buy a new

I used the CfC to buy a new car that I would not have bought. The program is far superior to just giving the money to the automakes. If a similar program was used with the banking industry we would not have seen millions go to pay bonuses and "get aways." At least with this program the money gets distributed within the public sector through sales people, dealers, etc. Will it make a large impact, no, but it's better than just giving it to the CEOs.

disssman
6
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disssman 08/17/09 - 09:45 am
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KSL you are a great one for

KSL you are a great one for referencing someone as an IDIOT. Do you actually think cars are sent to "landfills"? Oh well, I was glas to see you tried to take advantage of the program you detest so mush. Now that is being a true CONservative. Bad mouth a program and try to make a buck off it anyway.

SusieQ
1
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SusieQ 08/17/09 - 09:46 am
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In three months the

In three months the repossessions will start. Can't make payments so they will be picking them back up. Will "OBAMA the GREAT" start a program to help them make their payments.

gnumbgnuts
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gnumbgnuts 08/17/09 - 09:47 am
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The automakers should have

The automakers should have started discounting cars for customers that will agree to return the car for recycling when ready for a new one years ago. It would hurt the used car market, but it's every man for himself. Cash for clunkers is definitely a short term fix.

Roeschen
1
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Roeschen 08/17/09 - 09:53 am
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Tech - Why would they have to

Tech - Why would they have to have decent credit scores. They didn't jave to have a decent credit score to buy a house they could not afford. Remember Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - government programs implemented by the --- you guessed it.

jack234
721
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jack234 08/17/09 - 09:57 am
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All is needed is a stop gap

All is needed is a stop gap measure until the economy recovers. President Obama is right on target with this. If you gave SusieQ a million bucks, she'd find some fault in that. Some people are never pleased, no matter what. Lets get the Health plan passed and move on to other things have been neglected for 8 years. Bye for now and HELLO! HELLO!

jack234
721
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jack234 08/17/09 - 09:58 am
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Looks like ksl has been

Looks like ksl has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth and the back of his neck. HELLO! HELLO! Bye for now for real. HELLO! HELLO!

jack234
721
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jack234 08/17/09 - 10:00 am
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I am so glad that President

I am so glad that President Obama is in full charge to make sure all government ran programs are handled properly. What a welcome relief. HELLO! HELLO! Bye now for real, for real. HELLO! HELLO!

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