Friday, July 31, 2009

Because when these cars are gone, we'll, um, buy some more cars! 

I'm surprised the Senate isn't rushing back to session to make sure they are on the weekend news programs, after the House has replenished the CARS program.
he House voted Friday to transfer $2 billion in emergency funding from the economic stimulus plan to the "cash for clunkers" program, but the extension faces a tougher path in the Senate.

The House moved rapidly to pass the measure after learning Thursday that the initial $1 billion allocated to the clunkers program may have been close to exhausted after just one week. The new legislation would shift $2 billion from the $787 billion stimulus plan to the program.
Everyone seems to be in a hurry to reload the government cheese tray even though so far the government has only processed about a fourth of the $1 billion initially allocated. The dealers are screaming about not getting paid and government blinked and rolled out some more "clunkfare", as James Taranto called it. The government that couldn't stimulate fast enough, he observes, suddenly is spending money too fast. And they seem to like it.

Henry Payne observes that only nine of twenty models made by Chrysler will qualify for CARS. By quickly acting to triple the size of this program, the government assures that many cars that would have been useful to young people who need good, cheap transportation will not have cars available to them. Immigrant families that would like a larger car for their children to ride with them will not be able to get them. In their haste to get people to spend at a time when many are feeling the need to save, they've only dragged demand for cars forward, as Mike Shedlock notes today. It delays the day of reckoning. How many more ways can government reinflate the bubble?

That's why, Ed, we're in a hurry to spend this money. It was explosively popular because it was first-come, first-served: It was practically creating a bank-run style stampede on dealerships. "Act now, because when they're gone..." And just like anyone making that promise, it's just too easy to come back and try to reap more money ... and more unfavored larger cars ... and remove more affordable cars from the market that poor people can buy from.