Good news in the ‘clunker’ giveaway

Let’s see how this works:  The federal government  switches on the printing press to crank out $1 billion which is then given to individuals to buy cars preferred by the government from companies owned by the government, obligating those too young to drive, as well as the unborn, to pay off the printing press dollars. 

it’s a very popular program and, of course, politicians in power wish to continue it, doubling it to $2 billion by shifting printing-press dollars from a “renewable energy” loan program. While a number of Republicans oppose the Cash for Clunkers giveaway, Democrats can pass it at will.  If they come up a little shy on the vote count, Maine’s two Republicans, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, are always ready to cross the aisle.

The encouraging news in the clunkers deal, as far as I’m concerned, is that the leading replacement vehicle, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is the Ford Focus, a vehicle produced by a private-sector automobile company.  Ford reports that  its July sales were up 2.4 percent over the same month in 2008, the first year-over-year sales increase in 19 months. 

Even though it is a $3,500-to-$4,500 per car taxpayer subsidy and it does amount to corporate welfare and it does come at the expense of the quality of life of chilldren unborn, the kernel of good news is that all of the money is not going into the coffers of government car companies.  Ford’s free-enterprise engineers and designers have brought forth a car that people want, just as they all used to do — well, maybe not American Motors — before government took over the industry.

It is printing-press money and the deficit this year will be at least $1.8 trillion and it is stealing from the future for current consumption, but all that said, it’s better to spend the billions on clunker deals than to throw it away on pork projects as much of the $787 billion “stimulus” does.

171 comments Add your comment


August 4th, 2009
4:49 am

This is a program that is truly stimulating the economy. You complain? Get a life.

My grandfather, who was an immigrant, use to tell me, “No one owes you a living. No one owes you anything. However, there will always be those less fortunate than yourself. Don’t forget them”.

This program does help those in more need than some and it helps the economy grow. You should get a bit of growth in your thinking.

Curious Observer

August 4th, 2009
7:31 am

We must get rid of the clunker program immediately. It’s the only stimulus program that has worked, and we simply can’t have that.


August 4th, 2009
7:54 am

Again..Jim…ever had an opinion Sean Hannity didn’t give you? One of your posterboys, Lindsey Graham supports it.


August 4th, 2009
7:57 am

p.s.: What’s the difference between this and the tax credit on buying a home? In both, the consumer gets money to buy something in the private sector. You were all for that one. Oh yeah, a Republican proposed that give-a-way.

El Jefe

August 4th, 2009
8:49 am

Let me see now. I can trade my ‘89 land boat, that all the kids can get in and trade it for a micro-mini car. The land boat is big and heavy and offers some protection from the Atlanta drivers from ITP.

So, I should trade my paid for 14 MPG car for a 35mpg car plus the car note.

I see, the UAW gets to work and I get the bill.

According to, about 200,000 old low mileage cars would normally be traded in, every 3 months, in exchange for more efficient higher mileage cars, without this program.

The highest rebate is $4,500, and the lowest is $3,500. If everyone qualified for $4,500 per vehicle, about 222,000 vehicles would have just taken advantage of the government’s money. At $3,500, 286,000 vehicles will have been sold.(source:

According to the article, if all qualified for the $4,500 rebate, it would cost about $45,354 per car – for each car over and above the expected trade-ins. I like their accounting at the Fedral level.

So far, the score is 0 government stimulus plans working, and we all will pay the bill.

El Jefe

August 4th, 2009
8:52 am


A car is a 5 – 7 year investment and looses value the second you drive it off the lot, a house is 15-30 years and usually appreciates in value.


August 4th, 2009
8:54 am



August 4th, 2009
8:55 am

The point Jim is trying to make here is that the best-selling car under this program comes from the company that actually had the guts to stick it out in the marketplace without running to big brother for billions. Ford should be applauded for going at it on their own.
Yes this is a part of the “economic stimulus” (and is a lot more useful than an airport to nowhere in Murtha’s district or hundreds of millions to “erotic artists” out in California), but it is part of this new wave of overspending that will have the next three generations repaying it. The best solution is to let the program end (after all, it ran out of money after a week because of government mismanagement) as well as others under the “stimulus”.

Get Real

August 4th, 2009
9:00 am

Poor Wooten, out of his mind and out of touch. Did you not read yesterday in the USA Today that the ’stimulus’ money has “offset the huge loss sales and property tax revenue.” The flood of federal money lifted total revenues by 7.5%, overcoming an 8% drop in tax collections. Again I ask, what would a tax cut do for people with no job or income? Republicans had their way at it and gave tax cuts to the rich in 2001 and 2003, where is the job creation that should’ve come from this? Where was your concern about the little ones when Bush spent all that unfunded money on two wars, tax cuts, and Medicare Part D? Were those paid for in any of the many budgets Bush proposed? You’re showing your hypocrisy.

As far as the cash for clunkers, its selling cars and helping bring revenue to local economies through tax revenue. If it is enough to entice buyers to get loans and begin repaying them so banks can issue more loans, I’m all for it. Just one way to get the economy back on track and the money being spent will be repaid over in interest to banks.


August 4th, 2009
9:07 am

“No one owes you a living. No one owes you anything.”

We should all take this advice when it comes to Obamacare. Health care isn’t a right.

Do the Math

August 4th, 2009
9:08 am

Its really too bad the Focus is made in Mexico.

El Jefe

August 4th, 2009
9:15 am

Let me help out those in mid town – the Federal Government produces no product to generate money. It has nothing to sell.

The only form of income for the government is taxes, fees, duties and other liens against products or income.

If 10% of the work force is out of work, then there is a drop in taxes paid to the Feds.
If there is no incentive for businesses to hire, there will be no new jobs.
If there is an extra tax or fee assessed on business (health care for example) then no new jobs can be added and some many be eliminated.
The sole provider of non-government jobs is private business, yes, the big greedy corporate fat cats that run the local auto repair shop or that trendy art gallery in mid town. Small business generates the majority of new jobs.

So lets make it real hard for the mom and pop stores to stay in business. Lets raise their taxes, force them to provide health care or pay the extra tax for not providing it.
Lets make sure we can squeeze all their profits so they can’t expand or add new workers to their payroll.

Speaking of Health Care, it would be cheaper to just pay the premiums for those on welfare and up to 200% of poverty level, than establish a vast new governement department to manage healthcare for everyone.


August 4th, 2009
9:24 am

For me this is an issue of the Gov being good stewards of our tax dollars. What they are doing with this program is basically they are buying used cars, that are typically worth between $500 and $4000. Then they are having their agents (the dealers) destroy the engines and have the cars shredded or crushed.

Why not just write the dealers checks or simply cut out all middle men and put the cash in the shredder?


August 4th, 2009
9:25 am

The bad news is that my Taurus doesn’t qualify and the good news is that I don’t care for the Focus.I tried one and it didn’t do much for me.I am glad to see Ford getting some of the business.They should get it all.Government Motors shouldn’t be in the ruunning.Maybe Susan and Olympia will do their part to bolster Ford sales.

Here’s a little perspective for you all.One million seconds is equal to 12 days.One billion seconds is equal to about 31 years.One trillion seconds is equal to 31,000 years.The deficit is 58,500 years.How you like them apples?

Jim and I would like to help pay it off but we’re too old to count.And we’re not working.As part of my retirement funds come from the government,maybe I should use some of that government money to finance a new Ford.Seems fitting to me.


August 4th, 2009
9:28 am

Unfortunantly Ford IS taking alot of tax-payer money.
With this type of Goverment influence, it won’t be long until they too are nothing more than a tax-payer sponge.

The AP reports, “A congressional official says the Energy Department is lending $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Co. and providing about $2.1 billion in loans to Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. from a $25 billion fund to develop fuel-efficient vehicles.”


August 4th, 2009
9:29 am

Those that do not believe the economic stimulus is working, fail to acknowledge the economy has stopped its free-fall.

There are overwhelming signs the economy is getting much better and the stimulus dollars put into the economy has even saved many states from having to declare bankruptcy, i.e., Georgia.

Many of the critics are making an argument similar to that of throwing a rock, breaking the window and loudly proclaiming, “I didn’t do that.”

yeah right

August 4th, 2009
9:30 am

And the kenyan marxist socialist slides our democracy closer to extinction.

El Jefe

August 4th, 2009
9:34 am

yeah right,

Isn’t Marxist socialist redundant? Or is it to separate him from the Stalinist socialist. I always thought he would have liked Uncle Joe (as FDR called him)

Get Real

August 4th, 2009
9:35 am

People like Clyde rail against the deficit while happily drawing social security. Since I’m currently paying for you and Wooten’s retirement, how about you either return it back to the government or be quiet, as I probably won’t be able to receive SSI benefits upon my leaving the workforce. You are literally part of the problem, and at the same time talking about how bad it is. Do you part and just give the money back.


August 4th, 2009
9:44 am

Y’all listen to Jackie. It appears to be an economist and really knows what its talking about. Afterall, the signs are “overwhelming”. They’re just all over the place. FDR must be jacking off in his grave. And Cheney said deficits don’t matter and he should know – just like Jackie does. Everything will be hunky dory now. The government saved us from Communism and Muslims, they’ll save us from this. That’s what there here for – to save us from ourselves because they know and we don’t. Now forfeit your earnings and go die in a war somewhere and save us some more.

yeah right

August 4th, 2009
10:00 am

Aren’t you late for work, get real? You do not have the intelligence to know what to do with your money. Our great and glorious leader obama will spend your money for you. Now be quiet and get back to work.


August 4th, 2009
10:23 am

Get Real,
I can’t speak for Jim, but I’m going to draw ’til I die,then my bride of lesser moons will draw part of it ,along with her’s,so we need you to continue to slog off to the salt mines and contribute to our daliances.See,that’s what we did.My father is trundling along rather strongly,still, and getting government funds every month.He,like I, worked all his life too.Unfortunately,as you say,it may all come to an end before you get a chance at your’s.I’d like to get at least twenty years out of it if I could.Father’s going on his 25th year as of 3 July.

Jim and I and Father will continue to rale against the deficit though,to help you out.

Churchill's MOM

August 4th, 2009
10:30 am

Jim did you pick this Wingfield to take your place? If so you probably picked the only writer who could make you look like a Conservative not a Republican. That boy is a RINO for sure, He is even a coward like Saxby because he won’t take comments, only the AJC would allow this loser in their liberal paper.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 4th, 2009
10:32 am

The people buying cars are the people who could already afford new cars. Those who couldn’t afford a new car still can”t afford one under this program. It is helping car sales and keeping some people working but it’s not going to help any poor person buy a car. The fact that cars traded in have to be rendered inoperable also reduces the pool of used cars and drives up their price.


August 4th, 2009
10:36 am

Republican newspaper writers and radio/tv entertainers are a hoot!

They preach “trickle down” economics and now comes along one of the few economic policies that is not only stimulating the economy, its benefits go far beyond the automobile industry. For example, the purchase of cars stimulated by turning in “clunkers” is providing a significant economic shot in the arm to businesses that dispose of these clunkers. People who are purchasing these more cost effective new cars are adding to their discretionary income that will hopefully result in spending elsewhere.

And the republicans? They are so afraid of supporting anything that may be seen as helping President Obama, they are more than willing to economically hurt the little man.


August 4th, 2009
10:37 am

You know both side can whine all they want, but the facts are that our country was setup at the time by some of the most intelligent men this world has ever seen. And if any of them were alive today, they would cringe. America was setup to be a Republic, with a small Federal government that would not infringe on the rights of its citizens. People you need to wake up. This money just doesn’t appear. It’s not free, and we will all have to pay for it in the end. Most of you commenting on this probably don’t even remember the Carter years, and what it took to overcome that disaster.

It is not the Federal government’s job to bail out companies. If they fail they fail. It will create a hole in the market and some intelligent man or woman will come in and fill that void. You can’t prevent companies from failing; it is the natural order of things.

Please educate yourself and read the Federalist papers by our founding fathers. America needs to go back to these principles. If not, the writing is on the wall, India and China will become the new world powers and America will be a footnote in history.


August 4th, 2009
10:46 am

The definition of an investment is:
“investing: the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit”
“money that is invested with an expectation of profit”

Given the above, transportation vehicles are not investments, rather they are purchases of a asset that will appreciate significantly.


August 4th, 2009
10:52 am

I’d rather my tax money go to buy more F-22’s than a freebie giveaway for clunker stimulation. Use your EIT “refund” to replace your clunker !

Vampire Bill

August 4th, 2009
10:56 am

Why crush the old cars?

If the government really wanted the program to be successful why not send these cars to federal offices or job sites? Since Uncle Sam already paid up to $4500 per car why wouldn’t we use them?

If the government doesn’t want these cars why not auction them? How about a “low cost” alternative for people struggling in this economy?

Dumb program. Dumb Congress. Dumb Sheeple.

Excuse me while I get back to work.

Paul A

August 4th, 2009
10:59 am

The blogs are so dull this week.

Anybody wanna yell and scream about Mike Vick?

The comment about this Wingfield wingnut is right on. I think he’s chicken.


August 4th, 2009
11:07 am

Jim,was it printing money in Bush’s 2003 stimulus program when qualified purchasers of SUV’s and trucks were given up to $25,000 in tax credits. It was suppose to be a program for farmers, but the people I knew who used that tax credit were not farmers. I know one person who got 2 new SUV’s free with that program.

Mike "Hussein" Smith

August 4th, 2009
11:11 am

Was it a “pork” project when the stimulus program cut my taxes? I’m not a fat-cat Republican, just a retiree on a fixed income who greatly appreciates the extra bucks.


August 4th, 2009
11:27 am

I thought this guy was retiring… please…


August 4th, 2009
11:33 am

This is a true wealth destruction mechanism. Let’s assume that each of those cars destroyed was worth, say, 1k. Some are worth less, some will be worth more. Here we have a tangible asset, with real value that can be used by someone to drive to work, or in the least case, for parts. The government takes that real, tangible item, and destroys it. That value is now evaporated, replaced by an IOU to the Chinese plus interest. In a normal transaction, that tangible asset would remain in circulation. This waste disgusts me.


August 4th, 2009
11:40 am

Let’s cut government spending and balance the budget in the middle of a recession, it worked great for Hoover and that 25% unemployment that resulted by 1932 was just one of the hardships that resulted from Republicans nonsense.

El Jefe, you may think you are the boss but you don’t know squat about business. I ran a small business for 20 years and some years I made less than 100,000 and some years I broke 1 million. I never hired or fired anyone based on my income but on how many people it took to handle our business. Rich people don’t create jobs, customers do. If rich people created jobs, 1000’s of people would be working for right now instead of none. Demand creates jobs.

And on the health care reform, according to the Lewin Group study, you could save $2500 per employee per year if congress lets you switch your insurance from a private carrier to one of the public options. They won’t let you though because they have to protect the insurance companies and their generous donations to politicians. Only individual contractors, the unemployed and people not covered by their employer are eligible to buy the public plan.

F22 Guy

August 4th, 2009
11:58 am


August 4th, 2009
10:52 am

Right on, we need to support our local union. Saxby sure put it to the working man by mis handling the F22.


August 4th, 2009
12:02 pm

Hillbilly, your 10:32 is spot on! That money did not help anyone that really needed help.


August 4th, 2009
12:10 pm

Hey Wooten, This cash for clunkers program is working on clearing out old inventory for the local car dealers, allowing tehm to purchase the new models that are going to be heading for the showrooms. Only someone who is so heavily tainted by a partisan ideology, such as yourself, can find fault in this program that is benefiting the economy.


August 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

How long ago was it when folks on this blog were demanding a bailout of their own so they could buy a new car or some such comsumer goog as that?
Now that Congress and Obama provided an avenue for y’all to get “your own bailout” all y’all are doing is crying about the national debt. They last guy who held the office ran up a tab of nearly $11 trillion on a whole waft of things that had no real effect on me, other than to present a tax bill that my great grand children are gong to have to deal with.

When the so-called Marxist runs the national debt up to the $20 trillion range then we all can start crying. Until then try to hold your tounges!

George American

August 4th, 2009
12:31 pm

Enter your comments here

George American

August 4th, 2009
12:34 pm

and it does come at the expense of the quality of life of chilldren unborn

what does this issue have to do with abortion?

Brad Steel

August 4th, 2009
12:36 pm

one billion dollars? wow!

too bad we can’t bet back the billions upon billions wasted on the f-22 or the war in iraq.

Mother Faulkner

August 4th, 2009
12:56 pm

Hi everyone! What did I miss?

A Storm's A Brewin'

August 4th, 2009
12:58 pm

“I thought this guy was retiring… please…”

So who’s forcing you to come on here and read Wooten, ATL? Moron.

So anyway, you mean to tell me that the federal government has a problem running something as simpleton like a used car trade in plan? And what kind of idiots out there want the federal government to take over health care again? Oh yeah, mindless Obamabot libtards. Yep, the same ones now bedwetting and crying “hate” and “racism” over a Heath Ledger Joker imitation of The Teleprompter In Chief; the same ones who cheered when the same thing was done to Bush.

And speaking of TOTUS, it appears the White House is having a little issue with Drudge right now over what was said about a single payer health care system (for you mindless Obamabot libtards, that means socialized government-run health care):

Sayeth the White House in response:

‘The White House on Tuesday posted a three-minute video punching back at an old clip of President Barack Obama that was featured on the Drudge Report with the headline “Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Insurance.” The White House response features Linda Douglass, formerly an ABC News correspondent and now a White House official, showing Drudge’s homepage on the screen of her office computer. Dan Pfeiffer, the White House deputy communications director, said: “We intend to use a lot of the grassroots viral Internet techniques from the campaign to beat back the campaign of misstatements and outright falsehoods about the president’s efforts to reform health insurance.”

Funny how these people don’t like facts and history much when it doesn’t serve their current agenda. They know that the majority of Americans REJECT any government takeover of health care, and now the TOTUS administration is attempting to backpedal and do the typical “that’s not what I meant” retort. Sorry, no $ale. But you have to remember, this is the same administration that feels the need to go run around the nation in so-called town hall meetings and bash Bush instead of address reality for Americans – like why these fascists are going to RAISE TAXES on most people who pay them – rich OR middle class – of course the top 1% of income earners paying nearly 40% of all income taxes is DEFINITELY still not enough. You sure won’t be seeing the Democrat Media like CNN be reporting about that. They’d rather just bash Fox News for their mindless minion sheeplecrat bobbleheaded Demonrat followers.

These are also the same group of mindless mouth breathers who want to pass that Cap & Trade BS and who honestly believe raising taxes on companies will keep jobs here, let alone create them. Sometimes you just have to really wonder what kind of brain it takes to be a liberal Demonrat.

“US companies are increasingly turning to offshoring their functions to achieve cost savings, and few plan to bring those jobs back to the United States, the Conference Board said Monday. The number of US companies with a corporate offshoring strategy in place more than doubled in the past three years, according to the fifth annual report on offshoring trends, published by Duke University in collaboration with the Conference Board. Of the companies surveyed, 53 percent had a corporate offshoring strategy in place, up from 22 percent in 2005, said the Conference Board, a nonprofit business research organization. “Sixty percent of companies that had already offshored say they have aggressive plans to expand existing activities, and very few plan to relocate activities back to the United States,” it said.

Send them all overseas for all I care. The morons on the left hate greedy capitalist corporate America anyway and love government run everything. Let them bedwet when there are NO jobs to be found.


August 4th, 2009
1:00 pm

In 1994 I bought a Honda that still gets 27 mpg and now has 180,000 miles on it. Yet, I’m told it is NOT a cluncker. I did the “right” thing for the enviroment in 1994. Others did the “wrong” thing by buying 15 mpg vehicles, yet they get rewarded $4500. What am I missing here?

A Storm's A Brewin'

August 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

More blog stupidity:

“Right on, we need to support our local union. Saxby sure put it to the working man by mis handling the F22.” —F22 man

So the fact that the White House killed any immediate future production of the F-22, and the fact that Sec. Of Defense Robert Gates made that recommendation is Saxby’s fault. Oh sure THAT makes sense, knuckle dragger. I’ll bet you are of the same ilk that blamed Bush on New Orleans not being evacuated.


August 4th, 2009
1:04 pm

…..In 1994 I bought a Honda that still gets 27 mpg and now has 180,000 miles on it. Yet, I’m told it is NOT a cluncker. I did the “right” thing for the enviroment in 1994. Others did the “wrong” thing by buying 15 mpg vehicles, yet they get rewarded $4500. What am I missing here?…..

If you had done your research, you’d have figured out what EPA averages mean to the program.

Get Real

August 4th, 2009
1:11 pm

Someone named yeah right (part of which isn’t even a word except in the real America) telling me I’m not intelligent. Enough said.

ha ha

August 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

Wonder you are missing about 4500$

Get Real

August 4th, 2009
1:19 pm

A storm is brewin, obviously the plan is working since the funds allocated for it are depleted. People such as yourself with long-term memory loss seem to forget how much money was borrowed and spent during the last administration. Now you so-called Patriots are worrying about spending. Could’ve used you in 2003, moron.