“Cash-for-Clunkers” Already Running Out of Cash?

The latest federal government effort to control consumer behavior, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in June but which didn’t go into effect until last Monday, July 27th, reportedly is already foundering.  According to the so-called “Cash-for-Clunkers” program (official name, “Cash Allowance Rebate System”), anyone who trades in an older model car, SUV or pickup truck for a new vehicle that gets better mileage, receives a taxpayer-funded rebate of $3500 $4500. 

The Brainiacs who conceived this program planned for it to boost US auto sales and help lift Ford, GM and Chrysler out of their doldrums.  Strange things are happening on the way to the pot of gold at the end of this government rainbow.  One conern is that while many of the vehicles being turned in are American-made vehicles, many of those being purchased with the rebates will be foreign, higher-mileage units.  Dealers are having difficulty deciphering the 136-page “instruction” manual; and they are not happy that they are required to remove the engines and transmissions from the vehicles traded in and to then transport them to junkyards.  The government’s website for the program apparently has already crashed.  Most important, however, government officials already are worried that the $1 billion in taxpayer monies appropriated for the “clunkers” program may be depleted so quickly that the program will have to be suspended long before its November 1st expiration date.

The stupidity of government programs designed to control markets and individual behavior, such as the “clunker”program, never ceases to amaze.  If it weren’t our own money being frittered away by such programs, it would be humorous.

80 comments Add your comment

clyde

July 31st, 2009
7:37 am

According to my calculator one billion divided by an average of a $4000 rebate comes out to 250,000 vehicles.Not very many,is it?My 95 Taurus would probably qualify if I wanted to buy some little cracker box,but I guess I’ll keep the Taurus.

scooter

July 31st, 2009
7:42 am

Seriously Bob — Could you complain any more? Obviously this program was wildly popular, hence the website crashing and the money running out. Also, many ‘American’ cars are made in Mexico and many ‘Foreign’ cars are manufactured in the US. While I realize this program could not help you (because you probably have more money than you know what to do with), I suspect it helped a lot of working class people in America. And I for one, do not mind spending the money.

derick

July 31st, 2009
8:00 am

Thank You, Scooter, complaining for the sake of complaining. A program that worked to well. They still find something to complain about. The car dealers get sales, then complain about doing the work to disable the engine. Be glad for something that worked instantly. There will never be a perfect program. Even if Mr. Barr himself put a program out there it will not satisfy everyone. No program is perfect Mr. Barr.

AJC Fan

July 31st, 2009
8:15 am

Hey Scooter and Derick, where do you think this magical $1 billion is coming from? Hint: you! And me and Bob Barr and all the rest of us taxpayers. So the government is confiscating our money through taxation, taking their cut off the top and then giving it back to us, or a few of us, in the form of this cash for clunkers. And that’s supposed to be a good thing? Here’s a novel idea. How about just letting us keep our earnings in the first place. This is a classic case for Bastiet’s “broken window fallacy.” Too bad so few people even bothered to take econ 101 in school.

scooterdouche

July 31st, 2009
8:17 am

Hey Scoots, good thinking. You know that money just falls out of the sky… it’s not like you or I have to fund it with our taxes or anything. Are you really this ignorant???

jconservative

July 31st, 2009
8:21 am

Another piece of evidence that government cannot run anything.

Scooter/derick are lovers

July 31st, 2009
8:30 am

Both of you obviously need an education on most everything. Govt giveaway money isnt a freebie. Its the taxpayers money that the govt has decided to re-distribute…GET IT…REDISTRIBUTE. While the overall numbers have yet to be released I would guess fraud will have run rampant and most of the money gone to waste.

Once again these chowderheads running this Country should everyone be tossed strait into the toilet, with Obama, Pelosi, Reid, included in the first wave, and then said toilet given a big ole FLUSH.

Obama is ruining this Country. He is a great speaker but all flash and no substance doesnt a Great President make.

Mtn, Man

July 31st, 2009
8:39 am

The buy-here pay-here Clunker car lots are doing a BEEG business,as are the junkyards! Econ. 101…….. buy it for $300.00,coast it downhill into a Gov.t supported car dealership,get a loooooong note,with no interest,and everyone wins……except the taxpaying working stiffs……but,hey!,they voted the wrong way! That,ll LEARN-EM! Mtn Man

bratt

July 31st, 2009
8:54 am

Hey derrick it’s too , and by the way , this successful program that is going to sell 250,000 cars makes up about 2 % of the output the american car market put out at it’s peak per year . Got math ?

AJC Fan

July 31st, 2009
8:58 am

Google “Broken Window Fallacy” and read up on why the increased business that car dealers and junkyards are doing is not helping the overall economy. It’s simply taking from the right hand and giving to the left hand.

Frederick

July 31st, 2009
9:04 am

“The latest federal government effort to control consumer behavior” has been wildly successful, given that 250,000 or so people bought cars in the space of four days. But don’t let facts get in the way of your ideology, Bob.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

July 31st, 2009
9:06 am

I’m sure there are a whole lotta dumba**es going out and buying junkers and clunkers to try and trade-in for the 4 grand, but, numbskulls, you have to have titled, registered, and paid insurance on the vehicle for the last 12 months. So, you mountain morons are gonna get stuck with another junk car to put in front of your double-wide.

Christy

July 31st, 2009
9:06 am

You can’t just buy a car at a junk lot, then turn it in at the dealership – one of the rules of the program is that you have to have owned, and insured, that vehicle for at least a year before turning it in for the program.

Sellers

July 31st, 2009
9:15 am

I believe this morning they determined it was Dealers who were affraid not the government. Don’t records show that only 50k people have taken advantage of this so far. While a great number, I think that is why the dealers are freaking – because it’s more people then they have seen in years. (speculation). Are Chrysler and GM the leaders of this FUD because they have a limited pipeline while they retool?

Turd Ferguson

July 31st, 2009
9:48 am

Yet another ultimately STUPID program offered up by the comedy team of Obama & Co.

derick

July 31st, 2009
9:49 am

Hey Scooter, I know how you feel. I am very lonely in this economy too. What is your email address? Maybe we can get to know each other and become “friends”. OK pal?

megapotamus

July 31st, 2009
9:50 am

Of course only those who pay the taxes object to the spending. If the money for the stimuli, the bailouts, healthcare and phony “green” jobs came from a Powerball winner somewhere in Indiana I would also, not object to the spending. Oh well. The inflation Barry has signed us up for is, at least, a tax that reaches all… students, welfare cases and mooches as well as those who work for a living. That is the only silver lining here.

SeasonedBelle

July 31st, 2009
10:38 am

When Detroit or anyone else makes a car as dependable and economical as my American-made 1993 Saturn SL1, which STILL gets 36+ MPG, I’ll buy it. Until then, I’ll be making my car payments in scheduled maintenance for my Baby.

derick

July 31st, 2009
10:39 am

hello Scooter, be careful, the real derick , did not submit the reply at 949am. Why would someone want to take my identity? Lot of hate going on.
Amazing what people will go thru to spill their complaining.

cep

July 31st, 2009
10:43 am

I believe that this program actually hurts the lower income groups. They are the ones more likely to be driving a “clunker”. What this program does is remove from the market 250,000 low cost cars (and parts) and destroys them. That makes all of the other used cars and parts, go up in price (less inventory.) Not to mention, if they couldn’t afford to have a car payment (+interest, insurance, etc.) without this program, does it really help these people to push them into more debt with this carrot?

Shayneman

July 31st, 2009
11:03 am

Hey Bob you might want to actually read the rules before you write an article about it. Dealers don’t have to “remove the engines and transmissions”. They have to put a solution in the engine that will seize it up.Another person in the media putting out false info not surprising.

GS

July 31st, 2009
11:11 am

Typical Bob Barr idiocy. The primary goal of the program was to get gas-guzzling junkers off the road and replace them with fuel-efficient automobiles, stimulating auto sales and helping reduce oil consumption (and people’s gas bills) along the way. It is uncertain how that translates, in the damaged mind of Bob Barr, into a mission to “control consumer behavior” and benefit Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Maybe Mr. Barr has forgotten that Toyota and Honda and other so-called foreign cars are built in America by American workers, using parts built by American companies employing American workers. And maybe he forgets that the cars of GM, Ford and Chrysler are built largely with parts built in Mexico and other foreign countries and in many cases manufactured in factories in other countries.

The sad fact is, the Toyota and Honda and other “foreign” companies build more reliable and more fuel efficient autos than Ford, GM and Chrysler. The program is actually the *opposite* of what Barr claims. It offers consumers freedom to choose any automobile that meets the fuel-efficiency criteria. Seems that a so-called conservative would be rejoicing at the success of this program. I’m sure all of the folks who have taken advantage of the program agree — Bob Barr is (once again) way out on the edges of reality, completely out of touch and still daffy as ever
.

clyde

July 31st, 2009
11:24 am

GS,
Something to do with the size of the car the government wants you to buy with this cash for clunkers deal?As I said,I drive a 95 Taurus.It’s not fuel efficient,but it’s not economically feasible for me to trade it in on a smaller ,more efficient car.

joe matarotz

July 31st, 2009
11:26 am

I have copied below the engine disabling procedure from cars.gov, the official website of the CARS (Cash for Clunkers) program. The dealer is not required to remove the engine and transmission. They are only required to perform a disabling procedure and file appropriate documentation.

I have been a Republican for 36 years and I’m embarrased by you, Bob. If you print something that is patently false, and anyone with a brain can verify that the information is wrong, you look like and idiot or a liar. I can’t blame a Democrap for thinking badly of you or the party you represent.

Appendix B to Part 599 – Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS

Note: The below procedures are for information only as a required process, you do not need to submit the document as part of the transaction process. Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT TO BE USED BY THE VEHICLE OWNER Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.

1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
3. Install the oil drain plug.
4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.
5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases. CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.
6. Replace the oil fill cap.
7. Start the engine.
8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)
9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.
10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully charged battery, attempt to start the engine.
11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.
12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no longer idle.
13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following: This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil.
14. File this document in the file for the new vehicle purchase.

clyde

July 31st, 2009
11:42 am

And they are now trying to infuse 2 billion more tax dollars into this sinkhole.What’s that going to cover,another week and a half?Does anyone ever think anymore?

Spankin time

July 31st, 2009
11:52 am

Here is a funny one. I just found out this a.m. that two friends at work traded in their American made pieces of crap clunkers. One bought a new Honda Accord and the other an Acura RL.

Bobs words ring true once again.

derick

July 31st, 2009
11:53 am

Hey Scooter-Pie…wanna get together tonite for some champagne coolys and adult fun? Im hosting tonite!!!

Do the Math

July 31st, 2009
12:03 pm

clyde

I don’t think your car qualifies, sorry, you get to keep it.

Do the Math

July 31st, 2009
12:06 pm

Honda Accords are made in the United States.

Isn’t it painfully obvious that we need to make decent cars again like in the 60’s?

GaNative

July 31st, 2009
12:13 pm

I think the American People have done enough to help the auto industry by bailing them out with our tax dollars. When the economy was great the Auto Industry sold CLUNKERS to those who were less fortunate with bad credit or just plain stupid about used car salesmen. Now they want people to trade in CLUNKERS and take on more debt. SCREW THAT!!!!

Bud Wiser

July 31st, 2009
12:21 pm

And inside this envelope is the question for the following answer: Cash for Clunkers

“C a s h f o r C l u n k e r s”

[rip, tear, phttttt.....]

“What is the payroll for Congress and the White House?”

jconservative

July 31st, 2009
12:24 pm

Do the Math

The US did not make decent cars in the 60″s. Ford, GM & Chry started making planned obsolescence cars in 1959. They haven’t made anything but junk since.

WBK

July 31st, 2009
12:27 pm

I think those of you in Atlanta should start buying handguns and get a license to carry. You might get victimized while trying to unload that clunker.

Steve

July 31st, 2009
1:52 pm

I laugh when I opened this article because I saw the picture of Bob Barr at the top and right above him the bald guy from the Six Flags commercial “More Flags, More Fun!”

Bob Bar, would you please yell “More Cars, More Fun!” for us?

They ued to call me crazy joe now they call me the batman!

July 31st, 2009
1:55 pm

Anybody eve heard of a “Bob” “Barr” before? Where can you get one from? WBK everyone in atlanta already HAVE handguns, that’s part of the problem.

Professor

July 31st, 2009
2:05 pm

Bob, GET A CLUE!!!

The government is trying infuse the economy to get us out of the REPUBLICAN-INITIATED RECESSION OF GEORGE BUSH. Money has to be infused.

With this, the car companies get an infusion, the car dealers, the car salesmen – even with foreign cars, the dealers and salesmen get assistance. Also, the overall fuel mileage is increased.

You say it failed because the $1 billion is out? That shows it’s successful!! If the Republicans hadn’t fought it, the original $4 billion budget would be continuing on.

Bob, you obviously have no clue and are anti-USA, LEAVE!!!

Chris Broe

July 31st, 2009
2:13 pm

Lay off Bob Barr. Today’s title is “Cash for Clunkers”, not “Bash the Plunker”.

bwa.

clyde

July 31st, 2009
2:36 pm

There doesn’t seem to be a problem in Atlanta regarding guns.For the most part the bad guys are shooting each other.These bad guy deaths are on the positive side of the ledger and should be encouraged.

crazy joe

July 31st, 2009
2:55 pm

Ooops!!!! Congress just passed more money for the Cash For Clunkers program!!! DANG!!! There goes Bob’s whole column!!! Couldn’t congress have at least waited until SEPTEMBER to pass this bill? Now Bob looks really stupid for putting this blog subject out……. :oops:

Do the Math

July 31st, 2009
3:01 pm

jconservative:
I don’t know about 50’s cars but I would bet a 60’s Dodge Dart /6 would outlast a Honda Accord and my ‘67 IH Scout 600 was a beast! No planned obsolesence there.

Maybe the principle started in ‘59 but GM perfected it in the 80’s. Now they’ll go the way of the dodo

david wayne osedach

July 31st, 2009
3:02 pm

I think the cash for clunkers program debacle is a harbinger of Obama’s National Health Care (debacle.)

the evil rich

July 31st, 2009
3:03 pm

Just one more WASTE of tax-payer money….who votes for these idiots?

They used to call me crazy joe now they call me the batman!

July 31st, 2009
3:17 pm

It’s Friday!!! In keeping with today’s subject, this one’s for you!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jURRsAMGuZk

JLL

July 31st, 2009
4:12 pm

NOT ME!!!!!!

JLL

July 31st, 2009
4:16 pm

Yeah, another 2 bil added to cash for clunker’s program…. boy are we going to get wacked on our taxes!!! Someone please stop the stupidness in Washington!!!! I work for a car dealer and we are not doing any of the cash for clunker deals!! The owner said no way we dont need to be left holding the bag on getting money from the govt.

Got Rid Of My Clunker

July 31st, 2009
4:18 pm

I just purchased a car and I used the CARS program. I bought a brand new Mazda. I took out a loan at my local credit union, which helps the credit union to keep the interest rates low on loans and high on deposit accounts. I now have a car that gets 27 MPG opposed to the 17 MPG pile o’junk I had before. This helps the environment. The dealership got paid. The car will be recycled. I am, overall, a lot happier. I’ll probably be a lot easier to live with, so my husband will be happier.

Remind me again how this is a bad thing?

James Davis

July 31st, 2009
4:25 pm

I see the principle about the higher up you go in the world the less you really know about what’s going on holds true for Bob Barr. The problem that the CARS program is experiencing is due to its un-anticipated popularity not consumer dis-interest. The objective of the program was to stimulate activity in the car industry which apparently is working. A back log of paper-work from unexpected popularity of the program does not qualify as a failure. I suppose Bob and the cry baby tax haters who are complaining would be happier if no one participated in the program and no activity was occurring. As for the poor dealers who have to remove the engines and transmissions from the clunkers, I’m sure that the cash that they receive from junk yards who buy the cars in bulk will help ease their pain. Hey Bob! Why don’t you ask the auto dealers if they would happier paying taxes and insurance on unsold inventories, cutting their staff, or facing the risk of having their dealerships close?

David S

July 31st, 2009
4:30 pm

Hey “Got Rid of my clunker” idiot.

The money was either stolen from the rest of us or will devalue all the money in circulation as the quantity is increased. That’s how its a bad thing – unless you think THEFT is a good thing.

You wouldn’t have the courage to come to my house and attempt to steal or otherwise take 3-4 thousand from me, why do you think its ok to have the government steal it instead???

David S

July 31st, 2009
4:32 pm

Oh, and lets not forget the corruption that is implicit in the vote-buying from all the folks you just listed.

Got Rid Of My Clunker

July 31st, 2009
4:32 pm

David, you’re bitter. Cheer up. Play with a kitten. Take a hot bath. The democrats won. I quietly accepted the defeat for eight years. You can, too.