I told you so…

And now, even the WaPo opinion section has to admit, that cash for clunkers was beyond imbecilic.

When the Obama administration first proposed its “cash for clunkers” plan in 2009, the reaction was generally favorable. Congress would spend $2.85 billion to encourage drivers to swap their old gas-guzzlers for newer, more fuel-efficient cars.

The program had something for everyone: It would lend a hand to the ailing U.S. auto industry. It would tamp down on oil consumption. And, once launched, the program proved so popular with consumers that it burned through $1 billion in its first five days. Sure, a few critics argued that the program wouldn’t be very cost-effective, but no one was really listening.

But, as it turns out, the critics were on to something. A new analysis from the Brookings Institution’s Ted Gayer and Emily Parker found that the program was fairly inefficient as economic stimulus and mostly pulled forward auto sales that would have happened anyway. It also cut greenhouse-gas emissions a bit — the equivalent of taking up to 5 million cars off the road for a year — but at a steep cost.

Plumer is holding back the punches here and being too nice. First off, the program was made to look like it had something for everyone: those of us that didn’t fall for the propaganda saw that this was a giant bowl of shit with sprinkles on it being passed off as delicious ice cream. It amounted to a government scam to help sell cars, and it was done to pay back the unions for their support in the 2008 election, just like the GM screw job that robbed bond holders to pay off the unions did. And it was horribly misadvertised.

A large number of people that fell hook, line, and sinker for this shit, later took one heck of an ass rape on their taxes. And nobody paid attention that removing so many of these clunkers from the market would adversely affect the costs incurred by first time car buyers, now looking at a depleted market. And, yes the program was going to be horribly cost ineffective. Especially the idiotic claims that it would generate jobs, directly or indirectly, and result in economic growth. Only idiots believe that if you break a window that’s a good thing for the economy, ad Walter Williams, someone far more economics literate than me, has repeatedly pointed out. Government stimulus is an idea that has outlived the stupidity that created it.

Gayer and Parker find that Americans traded in nearly 700,000 old cars (“clunkers”) through the program between July 1 and Aug. 24, 2009. Vehicle sales did rise during that period. But a detailed study suggests that consumers just bought some cars slightly earlier than they otherwise would have. Cumulative purchases over the year were basically unchanged:

Other studies have reported similar numbers. A 2011 analysis from Resources for the Future compared U.S. car sales under the program with those in Canada (which didn’t have a clunker program) during the same time frame. That study found that 45 percent of cash-for-clunker vouchers went to consumers who would have bought new cars anyway.

Well, DUH! Did they really think people that were not planning to buy a vehicle soon would be swayed to get rid of their clunker when it was financially unfeasible? Seriously? I know these morons love to count on the average person’s stupidity and lack of financial acumen, but those of us that understand the way the real world worked, especially right after a financial crisis that all but dried up credit for anyone without a near perfect credit rating, knew their where drinking their own stimulus cool-aid. Like the $ trillion plus we will end up paying for the donkey stimulus campaign to funnel tax payer money to their special interests, lobbyists, friends, and campaign coffers, this idiotic scheme was doomed from the start, because it was stupid.

Gayer and Parker estimate that pulling these vehicle sales forward probably boosted GDP by about $2 billion and created around 2,050 jobs. That means the program cost about $1.4 million per job created

Wow. What a fucking waste. Only progressives – the same ones still telling us the Obamacare website is going to be fixed soonish – would think this was anything other than a criminal misappropriation of tax dollars.

The WaPo piece then goes to put lipstick on this pig by focusing on environmental impacts of the program. I am sure the people that will be paying for this wasted money will be all happy that the cultists can pretend they saved Gaia. Hey, maybe someone should look at pushing the idea that the warming the luddites predicted didn’t happen because of this idiotic tax payer screwing program….

I think they could have created more jobs if they had used this money to just let people go watch strippers and hit bars for a weekend.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    I know 1 (one) person that took advantage of the program. He was already in the market for a new car – of course, his credit rating was as good as mine as he was in my general age bracket and wasn’t trying to flip houses to pay for his retirement, so this was just an extra discount to him.

    Thumb up 0

  2. Hal_10000

    Alex, are you actually linking Klein’s wonkblog?! :) He’s absolutely right about CFC. Of course, every conservative and libertarian said so at the time.

    Thumb up 0

  3. AlexInCT *

    Alex, are you actually linking Klein’s wonkblog?! :)

    Hal, I did it – and note I mentioned it was the opinion section of the paper – because I was trying to make the point that the story came out, even if it had to do so as an opinion piece. The breaking story about John Edwards being a scumbag happened in a tabloid. That was because no one else in the LSM wanted to report the facts (for obvious reasons). These days, you get it where ever you can. It’s more an indictment of our fifth column masquerading as an independant media than anything else.

    Some journalitst could be making themselves one heck of a name right now by investigating some of the easy peazy bullshit the left has been saying. Simple to prove things like this one. Heck, they could be making themselves a bigger name than Woodward & Bernstein if they really did some digging into what Team Blue tells us are “fake scandals”. Of course, they might end up being spied on, or even dead, say like in a car accident.

    The point is that we were, and continue to be, sold some tired and failed Keynesian bullshit. Even when the evidence piles up of how bad the shit is, nobody wants to come clean with it. The whole Obamacare website fiasco, considering how the media always ignores, and when it can’t, underplays things that are unfavorable to this administration, must be an epic disaster to get this much negative coverage.

    Thumb up 1