Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stuck in a Clunk

By Pilar Oberwetter

I like it when a government social spending program is so wildly popular that it exhausts its budget and needs a new infusion of cash. It shows that analysts were correct to identify the clear need and the federal government was right to implement it.

I do not like it so much when a spending program, specifically Cash for Clunkers, supports the purchase of a car.

Other than very short-termed outcomes that accompany the improved gas efficiency of the new vehicle, including slightly fewer levels of greenhouse gases and slightly more dollars in the pocket of the owner, I am not sure what other accomplishments this program can claim at the end of the day. It certainly does nothing to encourage my fellow Americans to figure out alternative methods of getting around, which is really the only permanent solution.

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