We need no further proof of governmental wasteful insanity than the Cash-For-Clunkers program.
The Volvo got it. Now it’s the Corvette.
Jim Lindgren at Volokh posts The Death Throes of a Corvette:
“Cash for Clunkers” appears to be a bizarre combination of the “broken windows fallacy,” the desire to change the climate of the planet, and staggering administrative incompetence. In other words, “Cash for Clunkers” hits the trifecta: bad economics, bad science, and bad government.
As Tim Blair said,
And now for a rant:
Look, while I appreciate the good things in life, such as a nice car, I’m not a big car aficionada, but this really chafes.
These beautiful cars are junked for a reason or reasons that I simply can not comprehend.
Energy savings? Not so; as Tim Blair’s commenter Hanoi figured out,
So very roughly speaking, it would take the fuel savings (over 50K miles estimated remaining life in each) of recycling four or five (!) clunkers to account for the lifecycle energetics of only one new vehicle.
Monetarily, the $4,500 towards a car loan doesn’t justify borrowing the money towards the expense of a comparable new car, if your old car is fully paid and functional.
As for pollution, if you can stand watching the whole video, take a look at the amount of smoke and particulate coming out of that one engine. Multiply that times thousands of clunkers. Carbon footprint for that procedure? Oh yeah, baby! And while you’re at it, it’s a good idea that the government was incompetent enough to have run out of money now, or – had the Cash-For-Clunkers program run for several years – down the line we would be paying trillions of dollars’ worth of settlements for lung damage (as we do now with mesothelioma and the people who were involved in asbestos removal decades ago).
The idiot that turned in the Corvette should have looked into how much the car was worth, even if it needed to be rebuilt and restored. I would add a fourth item to Lindgren’s trifecta:
“Cash for Clunkers” hits the trifecta: bad economics, bad science, and bad government.
Add a stupid public to the trifecta.
The Washington Times reports this morning that this simple, basic Big Gummint program has spun totally out of control: it was clearly not thought through (even a little), it was under-budgeted by 2 or 3 hundred percent (and counting), and it was woefully under-resourced — such that staff have to be hired from the outside or pulled away from other government functions (like running air-traffic control) in order to clear the back-log. Clearing the back-log, by the way, is a 24/7 operation that’s also requiring additonal budgeting for overtime pay and a training program.
Go read the Washington Times article; McCarthy asks,
All this from the people who, Mark Steyn reminds us this morning, tell you that the way to control healthcare costs is to set up a huge new entitlement program (even as the ones they’ve already set up sink deeper into a multi-trillion dollar sea of unfunded liabilities). Why do we trust them to do anything other than the very few things for which you actually need a government? How ’bout a deal where we leave healthcare and the auto biz to private industry but ask the government to see if it can at least keep convicted mass-murderers in jail?