I’d give the Obama administration a solid “B” for the cash for clunkers program. It was a government stimulus program that was easy for the public to understand; it probably saved about 39,000 jobs, according to one analyst; and it had an environmental benefit besides. It got older, gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing cars and trucks off the roads and replaced them with more fuel-efficient models.
The program wasn’t perfect. It has taken dealers a very long time to get paid, and that works a hardship on smaller, cash-strapped businesses. The Transportation Department was caught up short by demand for the program and didn’t have enough workers in place to process applications.
But automobile dealers, who tend to be cowboys of capitalism, ought to be pleased.