Cash For Clunkers Car List? There May Be No Program!

People want more than government can deliver

(Photo: autos.blackvoices.com)

(Photo: autos.blackvoices.com)

Were you able to take advantage of Cash For Clunkers when it breezed through town? That’s what it seemed like: a breeze that came to call for but a moment. Once that moment was gone, the government put the entire thing on hold. Things like that happen when you burn through $1 billion in less than two weeks – particularly when the plan was for that money to last four to five months. Now the president feels the auto industry needs the cash advances and short term loans Cash For Clunkers provides to keep them going.

Want to know what’s on the Cash For Clunkers car list?

At the moment, it really doesn’t matter, does it? There’s a great deal of question as to whether the program will be approved by the Senate for another $2 billion, even though opponents of Obama’s original plan like Sen. Dianne Feinstein are now in support of the $2 billion expansion. The president is going to attempt to rally senate support this week, but there is a strong possibility that another $2 billion in taxpayer dollars going toward putting more cars on the road (instead of improving mass transportation) won’t fly.

No guarantees after this Friday

In a recent Los Angeles Times story at http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-hy-auto-sales4-2009aug04,0,4883093.story, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was quoted as saying that Cash For Clunkers would be guaranteed through the weekend of August 8-9, but only a positive vote in the Senate would extend the program beyond that.

“If the Senate hasn’t acted by this Friday, I would not give people the same assurances of going into a dealership this weekend,” Gibbs said.

Yet there are those who are positive that the Senate will pass the additional funding. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said to MSNBC, “We’re encouraging senators to listen to their car dealers and the people they represent. If they do that, it will pass the Senate.”

Oh really? Listen to the people?

And what is it you think they’re going to ask for? Why, indefinite extension of the program – that’s what. People love free money, yet the catch here is that it’s taxpayer money. So it isn’t free money, is it? Let’s go crazy, folks! That’ll save this economy – fiscal irresponsibility.

And Chrysler was doubling the discounts

Chris Woodyard writes in his “Drive On” column for the USA Today that while Chrysler had been matching the government’s $4,500 Cash For Clunkers car list incentive, that program is headed for the station. It was simply too effective.

Yet it differed from the Cash For Clunkers car list program in that you didn’t even need to trade in a car to get Chrysler’s $4,500 incentive. “It cut through the clutter,” said spokeswoman Kathy Graham. And it caused Chrysler vehicles to fly off the lots, including the PT Cruiser, whose sales beat last years at this time by more than 24 percent.

Here’s Chrysler’s new deal

The double incentive will remain in effect for the PT Cruiser and bigger SUVs and trucks. However, the matching will no longer apply to “some of the bigger clunker incentive replacements,” says Graham.

In those cases, Chrysler will provide  $3,500 for a Dodge Avenger or Chrysler Sebring sedan. It will put up $3,000 for Dodge Nitro SUVs and Jeep Liberty. The Dodge Caliber will net $2,500 in incentive discounts. Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Sprinter, Dodge Challenger and SRT vehicles were never part of Chrysler’s incentive program.

Cash For Clunkers? That money should be going to healthcare!

That’s right. One shot was enough. If more taxpayer money is going to be thrown around, it should be thrown at universal healthcare. People cannot be trusted to escape from their own greed; let’s not make it an official mandate by making the Cash For Clunkers car list program a perpetual monument to our love of debt. If short term loans or cash advances can help now and again with a down payment, that’s fine. Apply here!

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