Fill ‘er up, please!
That was the cry of the auto industry as the billion-dollar coffers that funded the popular Cash for Clunkers program dried up within a week and a half.
Luckily for car dealers, the U.S. government came through for them again, as President Obama signed a bill sending another $2 billion into the program designed to bring shoppers back into showrooms.
We’ve lamented the program here before, so there’s really no need to tear into it again.
But I like to, so I’m gonna.
I’ve heard too many stories like this one from reader Greg Smith, who left a comment on this story. Greg says,
Cash for clunkers is a slap in the face to anyone attempting to save the environment before it was the flavor of the day. I have done my best for conserve resources my entire adult life (49yrs old). I have always purchased vehicles with the smallest engine possible to accomplish the task needed which makes none of them qualify for this program. Of the 3 vehicle I own, the newest one is 11 years old and has 165,000 miles but they originally all got better mileage than the program requirements. So instead of being rewarded for our responsibility, we get nothing but the dissatisfaction of paying for everyone else’s irresponsibility.
He’s absolutely right. The people who tried to do the right thing and conserve years ago are being punished today by being banned from benefiting from the Cash for Clunkers program.
Environmental scientists say there will be no measurable impact on carbon emissions from the program. So why not expand the program so people like Greg can be included? Why not allow cars made prior to 1984 qualify, so those 1972 Ford trucks get taken off the road too?
Cash for Clunkers is merely a tiny baby step in reducing the cars that pollute most from our highways. While we could have taken a giant leap by expanding the program, I guess at the very least I should be happy we took a step in the right direction for once.
I just wish people like Greg hadn’t gotten left behind.
Do you think Cash for Clunkers should have been given a $2 billion fill-up?