If you waited much longer than just a few days to pull the trigger on a Cash for Clunkers deal down at the local car lot you are probably out of luck, at least for the time being. It appears as if the CARS welfare program designed to help Kia, Isuzu, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota get back on their feet after decades of mismanagement and adversarial labor relations, has already rifled through the $1 billion it was allotted. This is akin to HHS running out of food stamps before the sugar and carbonated beverage food groups have even been addressed.
Said a clearly excited Candice Miller:
"The thing has exploded. It has exceeded everyone's expectations. Throughout our history, it has been auto sales that have pulled us out of recession. People are more likely to buy cars than houses. Not to be too Pollyannaish, but we're getting our mojo back."She probably means those recessions that occurred after the automobile was actually invented, but it isn't kind to be that picky. It is true that more people are likely to buy cars than houses. It is also true that there will be more shoes sold than there will be automobiles. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that there are going to be more boxes of pasta sold today than shoes.
Dumping a billion dollars into an entire industry hoping that a percentage of the money will trickle down to the dysfunctional American portion will do nothing to make Chrysler and GM operate more efficiently and profitably than they have the last decade or so.
The great news is that, even though the program is essentially broke already, the bureaucrats in DC are already looking under the sofa cushions to find a little spare change to keep the program alive. Let us not forget that a government willing to keep disasters like HUD and the DOE alive for decades will find it personally difficult to shut down any government program, regardless of how misguided, in only a week's time.
A Honda sold under this program will have its unit profit hit the bottom line. A GM vehicle sold under this program will have its unit margin go to cover legacy costs. One company gets richer while the next gasps for another ventilator assisted raspy breath. In either case the taxpayers just bought themselves part of a brand spankin' new car with better gas mileage. Maybe I can hitch a ride.
h/t Michelle Malkin