Congress may think it comes up with great ideas, but sometimes it just takes a guy named Norm to really hit one out of the park.
The U.S. Congress’ idea is the “Cash for Clunkers” plan, which would give cash incentives of up to $4,500 to owners of gas guzzlers who want to trade up to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
It’s a solid idea and has worked well in other countries. While the idea is simple, the plan behind it has unfortunately become quite complicated. (I swear, Congress must have a rule that they can’t pass legislation that requires fewer than 500 pages to spell out.) You can read a great Q&A article about the plan here.
Enter Norm Davis, a reader of our blog who sent us this response to the Cash for Clunkers plan:
That’s a good start – it’s the “carrot.” But they left out the stick: Charge the owners of these gas guzzlers every time they re-register their vehicles. I’m thinking along the lines of $20 per mile under the national EPA average 22 MPG, per year. So if you drive a car that gets 16 MPG, you will pay an extra $160 each year. The extra registration fees collected will help pay for the cash-for-clunker program, so it won’t have to be totally funded out of the taxpayers’ pockets. I think that’s fair. What do you think?
Norm, you need to run for Congress. Your idea is brilliant. Not only does it provide funding for the Cash for Clunkers program, it provides a stronger incentive for owners of gas guzzlers to get rid of them.
The only addition I would make is an escape clause for small-business owners who need an 8.1-liter V8 for business purposes. Everyone else, pony up and pay!
What do you think of Norm’s idea to charge extra registration fees to owners of vehicles that get less than 22 miles per gallon?