I've been railing against Cash For Clunkers for quite some time, and it's been starting to feel lonely. Friends tell me that I "just don't get it" and angry blog comments accuse me of elitism and arrogance.
But at least Ron Paul is on my side. In a scathing blog post, Congressman Paul explains everything that is wrong with Cash For Clunkers -- all in just 524 words. Paul writes:
Low-income earners who would have been in the market for those perfectly serviceable, working cars will have fewer to choose from, and those cars will probably be more expensive than they normally would have been. Automotive repair shops actively lobbied against this program, as it will destroy many of the cars they would have repaired. They were out-lobbied. And of course, Americans as a whole are hurt, because this additional bailout of auto companies comes at our expense through inflation.
And then this brilliant point:
Requiring cars to be destroyed and new ones made to replace them might help the auto industry in the short run, but any improved fuel economy will not make up for the environmental impact of junking one car and making a new one. So this is not a program that should really make environmentalists happy.
Lastly, Paul points out that this "artificial boom" in car sales may be followed by an "extended drop" because all the people buying new cars now won't be buying one a year later when they might have anyway.
To sum it up: We're using taxpayer money to provide a temporary boost for the auto industry while hurting the mechanic's business -- and doing little if anything to help the environment in the process.
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