Friday, July 31, 2009

This Administration Giveth, And This Administration Taketh Away

(hat tip to Yid With Lid)

According to the LA Times, Cash for Clunkers, apparently a stimulus that really worked, may be suspended.

Well, the Cash for Clunkers stimulus worked for me, and that fact may help to explain my recent cutting back on blogging.
White House reviewing 'cash for clunkers' program

WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday it was reviewing the government's popular "cash for clunkers" program amid concerns the $1 billion budget for rebates for new auto purchases may have been exhausted in only a week.

Transportation Department officials called lawmakers' offices earlier Thursday to alert them of plans to suspend the program as early as Friday....

The White House said auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that transactions under the program that already have taken place would be honored.

The program, called the Car Allowance Rebate System, known as CARS, offers owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Congress last month approved the program to boost auto sales and remove some inefficient cars and trucks from the roads. The program kicked off last Friday and was heavily publicized by car companies and auto dealers.

Through late Wednesday, 22,782 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million had been spent. But dealers raised concerns about large backlogs in the processing of the deals in the government system, prompting the suspension....
But, hey, I got my new car last week, when Cash for Clunkers first began, traded in an old truck for $4500, and got this 2009 Hyundai Elantra:

Sticker price = $17,725

I paid $10,412.80, which includes upcoming protective treatment for the seats and the exterior -- some kind of armor, I think.

My first brand new car! Probably my last, but whatever.

As part of the Cash for Clunkers deal, I traded in my nearly-25-year-old Dodge Ram pickup truck, given to me outright well over a decade ago by my dad. The truck had low mileage on the odometer, but was suffering from wiring problems and not enough power to get out of its own way (slant 6 engine). No AC. Real gas mileage about 10 to the gallon. Some lights didn't work, and the carburetor was screwed up beyond repair. In fact, that truck was a lemon from the git go, but Dad put up with all the towing bills as it was his one and only red truck.

You should have seen the looks on the faces of the dealership's personnel when I drove that truck up to the door: bird droppings all over the vehicle, dessicated and staining wild black cherries from bumper to bumper, body parts rattling, valves rattling, exhaust smoking, rust — the whole nine yards.

The truck had been parked in the back yard for so long that an ant colony was living in the truck bed.

I'm not exaggerating!

We did manage to save the hood ornament as a memento.

No, I'm not giving thanks to the BHO administration for my new car. Call me "Ingrate!" and I don't care.

This article in the Washington Post covers the down side of Cash for Clunkers — for the car dealers:
Tammy Darvish, another major auto dealer in the Washington area, said her more than two dozen dealerships have had lots of interest in the program but its success has left dealers strapped for money as they wait for payments from the government.

Under the program, dealers credit the amount of the voucher to customers who buy new cars. They then get reimbursed by the government.

"There's a whole lot of money out there that dealers haven't collected on," said Darvish, who noted that she's taken in about 200 clunkers. "We've sold the cars and we've processed the paperwork, but we haven't been reimbursed. I'm out about $1 million. The government is supposed to reimburse me for that."
Of course, car dealers will not be reimbursed for all the costly advertisements which have been running ever since Cash for Clunkers officially launched last week. The ads are still running today. Kaching, Kaching.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 7/31/2009 08:18:00 AM