Monday, August 03, 2009

New 'Cash for Clunkers' bill is a lemon

Finally, some members of Congress are speaking out against a no-questions-asked extension of the Cash for Clunkers bill. Now it's up to the U.S. Senate to slow things down and pass a better measure than the U.S. House approved last week. The House decided to pour $2 billion into the program with the same overly attractive -- and taxpayer-costly -- $4,500 reward to motorists trading in an older, low-mileage vehicle. The better decision would be to keep the clunkers program rolling, with less of a benefit -- around $2,000 a vehicle.Of course, some Republicans say they want to kill the whole thing right now, that the original $1 billion invested in the plan was enough money. Yes, it was a large sum. And spending another $2 billion would be yet another expense our grandkids will have to pay off. However, that cost could be be worthwhile -- if Congress changes the rules and puts a more restrictive deal in front of vehicle owners. Many will still come forward to pay for a new car, that will get more mileage and pollute less. Both are good things. But the next stage of "Cash for Clunkers" definitely should not offer excessive amounts of taxpayer dollars to woo people to take those new vehicles off the showroom floors.

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