Cash for Clunkers Goes “Clunk”
What’s the fastest way to spend taxpayer money? Offer it to car hungry consumers who cannot wait to put the debt hooks back in their mouths.
In some ways, I empathize with those who sought a cash for clunker deal. Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and I own three vehicles, all of which would qualify for the program (although two are worth way more than $4500). I seriously thought about surrendering that third clunker – a ginormous, high-mileage SUV that we use occasionally for towing trailers and hauling the dogs around. But that would have started a chain reaction of vehicle swapping and buying that would have ended up costing us thousands in depreciation. That realization stopped me cold.
Our government is not competent at much but it sure knows how to chum the waters to attract the borrow-and-spend types. Unfortunately, there may not be enough chum to go around for every eager borrower. But the money shortage may not last long.
How many “successful” government programs like this ever really go away? As long as $4500 will buy votes, Congress will keep the money flowing. I’m betting that the phones at congressional field offices all around the country are ringing off the hook, courtesy of buyers and car salesman trying to close a clunker deal and get a loan approved.