The House has voted to put another $2 billion of borrowed money into the deal. I’d love to read an economist’s take on this program. On the one hand, I resent having $4,500 taken from me so someone else can buy a new car, but if they’re going to take it anyway -and this new money is being shifted from the already-enacted “stimulus” bill – it’s probably money better spent this way than on useless job training programs or porn film festivals in San Francisco – oh wait, they’ve already funded those. Well still, maybe it will help.
But how difficult would it be to simply offer every American or, to be fair to everyone, everyone in America, citizen or not, $4,500 as a trade in for a new car, damn the mileage, damn the cost? I’ve read that the current program has an application 138 pages long and takes five hours to complete. Face it, any car that’s worth only $4,500 is probably old enough that any replacement will give better mileage and emit less pollution. Just write the damn check.
Another funny thing about this program: dealers have been offering rebates at least this large for months, to no effect. Offer a government bounty and everyone flocks to use it. Why? My theory is that a rebate is just the return of your own money while this plan gives you someone else’s: mine, in this case.