How To Rewrite Cash For Clunkers Legislation

Posted by: David Kiley on July 29, 2009

clunker.jpg

Now that the “Cash for Clunkers” bill is ramped up and driving car-buyers into the showroom, let’s start writing the next one, or Phase 2 of the Clunkers bill.

Just to review: The Cash for Clunkers bill, technically known as Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS), went into effect this week. Congress budgeted $1 billion in Phase 1 to give vehicle-buyers either $3,500 or $4,500 to trade in an old car to buy a new one.

As we have been reporting, the bill as written has some serious shortcomings. To qualify, the vehicle has to get less than 18 mpg.

If the new passenger car being purchased has a combined fuel economy that is at least 4, but less than 10, miles per gallon higher than the traded-in vehicle, the credit is $3,500. If the new vehicle has a combined fuel economy value that is at least 10 miles per gallon higher than the traded-in vehicle, the credit is $4,500.

When it comes to trucks and SUVs: If the new vehicle has a combined fuel economy value that is at least 2, but less than 5, miles per gallon higher than the traded-in vehicle, the credit is $3,500. If the new truck has a combined fuel economy value that is at least 5 miles per gallon higher than the traded-in vehicle, the credit is $4,500.

Despite the fact that automakers and analysts tell me that the bill is going to juice July and August sales for the automakers, let’s look at what is wrong with the bill. It is tipped way too much in the favor of selling pickups and SUVs and not nearly enough toward making an improvement in the fuel efficiency of the U.S. car park.

The bill was funded with just $1 billion. Congress is expected to take up the issue again in the Fall and consider a Phase 2 Clunkers bill that might be funded with an additional $2 billion or $3 billion.

Let me offer a suggestion on how the bill for Phase 2 should be written to simplify it for consumers, drive sales and make a better environmental impact.

$2,500 if you trade in an old vehicle no more than 20 years old, and buy a new vehicle or used vehicle that gets at least 8 mpg more than the old one.

$3,500 if you trade in an old vehicle no more than 20 years old, and buy a new vehicle or used vehicle that gets at least 12 mpg more than the old one.

$4,500 if you trade in an old vehicle no ore than 20 years old, and buy a new or used vehicle that gets at least 15 mpg more than the old one.

I have included used vehicles here to put the rebates within better reach of lower income consumers. Buying up used cars that qualify not only helps dealers, but also the residual values of higher fuel economy vehicles.

The bill does get old, more polluting vehicles off the road as the trade-in value of the cars has to be less than the incentives offered by government and the car companies in order to work for the buyer. Because the vehicles get scrapped, there is no “trade-in” value of the vehicle. So, that rusty 1989 Jeep Cherokee that still runs would have to be worth much less than the $4,500 you’d have coming if you were trading up to a Honda Fit or Ford Fusion Hybrid.

This bill, as I wrote it, also rewards everyone for making a substantial step-up in fuel economy, whether the current car is a high-mileage 2000 Ford Crown Victoria or a 1998 Subaru Outback, and the consumer wants to buy, say, a Ford Escape Hybrid or Fusion Hybrid. In these two examples, there is no “clunker benefit” to the consumer for either the Crown Vic or the Subaru despite the fact the trade-in would result in a far greater fuel economy boost for the owner than, say, trading one old rusty, high-mileage pickup truck in for a new pickup truck.

Also, if the consumer is going to buy a hybrid or diesel that qualifies for another government credit, the buyer should be able to avail themselves of both credits.

The United Auto Workers and Alliance for Automotive Manufacturers needlessly made Phase 1 of the Clunkers bill overly complicated, and also tilted, by way of their influence in Washington, the bill toward boosting sales of pickups and SUVs.

My bill is vehicle agnostic, and simply incents people to buy much more fuel efficient vehicles. The entire Phase 2 bill could fit on one page if they followed my idea.

Reader Comments

Jason

July 29, 2009 4:53 PM

Your bill ignores half the purpose of the current bill; to drive new car sales. You've crafted a great bill to help lower our average MPG but your version does nothing to help the auto industry, which was the whole point of this stimulus.

Cliff

July 29, 2009 4:56 PM

Lets see I have a 1978 chevy truck that gets 12mpg and it runs well. Now I don't qualify because my truck is too old ( as in old clunker ) Hmmm what's wrong with this picture.

Tomas

July 29, 2009 4:58 PM

Your bill sucks, it's worse then then the bill out now.

You're basicaly forcing people to downsize from an SUV to either a hybrid or one of the 'mini' cars - honda fit, etc to qualify for the $4,500 credit

If you want to encourage that kind of behavior you should introduce a larger subsidy for that kind of a trade in $6,000 or $8,000 that'll get the cars off the road.

Jeff Kaminski

July 29, 2009 5:01 PM

I like the way you think. I have a 1999 buick regal that does not qualify for the CARS rebate because the combined MPG is 21 but the new car I want has a combined MPG of 32. If the phase 2 was set up the way you suggest I would surely trade in my clunker for a new car but the way it stands now I will probably not

Charlie

July 29, 2009 5:07 PM

The clunkers bill will not affect car sales dramatically since many older cars already get over 18 MPG which makes them ineligible for the rebate. This bill is just another environmental junket for the liberals and won't really help the US automakers. The people who can afford to buy a new car won't be eligible while the ones who need one, won't be able to afford one. This bill is keeping the car prices up not letting the market control pricing.

Spike D Punch

July 29, 2009 5:09 PM

I agree--Phase 2 should be simpler and all-encompassing. And no talk about excluding "foreign" cars. Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans are manufactured in US factories, and cars from elsewhere are sold and serviced by American workers. Let's focus on increasing overall US fleet mileage.

wayne fitzgerald

July 29, 2009 5:10 PM

using combined mpg is stupid most cars pollute most in the city.. use city mpg to qualify as clunker not combined since most people drive more in the city i have owned my car for the last 4 years and only been on the highway once a year and then only for 150 mile round trip and my car in the city gets 13 to 16 in the city but according to epa combined mpg my car gets 20 combined mpg which does not qualify at present so my city gas guzzler isn't being taken off the road and still polluting. this combined mpg. is stupid only city mpg should be in the cash for clunkers bill. if they are really serious about taking gas guzzlers off the road

papszi

July 29, 2009 5:13 PM

David,

I think you forgot that your proposed bill would favor foreign made cars over American ones because they are simply more fuel-efficient on average. So if they make a phase two that will probably mean that they add more funding nothing more...

Dave

July 29, 2009 5:17 PM

The whole point all of this misses is that it is more harmful to the enviroment to buy new cars instead of running all of the old cars to the ground before replacing. This is going to create a huge problem for the waste along with all of the effects on the enviroment of building the new cars.

Justin Rossow

July 29, 2009 5:19 PM

And change the law to allow law abiding citizens from Wisconsin to participate. Currently the law requires one year of insurance on the vehicle, but Wisconsin does not require insurance. Insurance companies must have had the government by the balls on this one!

Justin Rossow

July 29, 2009 5:19 PM

And change the law to allow law abiding citizens from Wisconsin to participate. Currently the law requires one year of insurance on the vehicle, but Wisconsin does not require insurance. Insurance companies must have had the governement by the balls on this one!

Justin Rossow

July 29, 2009 5:19 PM

And change the law to allow law abiding citizens from Wisconsin to participate. Currently the law requires one year of insurance on the vehicle, but Wisconsin does not require insurance. Insurance companies must have had the government by the balls on this one!

Ron Stops

July 29, 2009 5:22 PM

I would like to know why there is a requirement to have owned the vehicle for 1 year previously. It would seem that limits some consumers from getting rid of a gas guzzler.

Mitch

July 29, 2009 5:23 PM

Sounds good in theory right up to the point where the Contractor,Plumber, Carpenter,Painter,Landscaper, etc. has to make three trips in his hybrid to get the tools and supplies to your home for the repair or I guess he could really stimulate the economy buy buying two or three hybrids and hiring extra employees to get the same amount of materials and tools to the job that the one "old rusty pickup truck" brought in one trip. What I really do not understand is the age limit on the vehicles. I have to 1977 GM vans I would love to replace but seems that even though they run drive and are insured they do not count and are worth nothing.

Rainer

July 29, 2009 5:26 PM

The amount of tax credit should not be based on your previous car's mpg, as this rewards people who bought low mpg cars in the past. Just base it on the mpg of the new car. You could add an option that if the old car gets more than 30+mpg it does not have to be crushed and the money for re-selling the car would flow back into the program. Right now the bill is like thank you for ruining the environment for the last 10+ years, as a prize you get $4500.

Scott Bartell

July 29, 2009 5:27 PM

This sounds like a good idea until you do the math. Consider an upgrade from a 22 mpg Subaru Outback to a 32 mpg Ford Escape Hybrid; the fuel savings are 142 gallons per 10,000 miles driven. In contrast, an upgrade from 15 mpg to 20 mpg results in a greater fuel savings of 167 gallons per 10,000 miles. Some of the ideas in the article may have merit, but treating an 8 mpg increase the same way regardless of the older vehicle's fuel efficiency doesn't make much sense. Removing the most inefficient vehicles leads to the biggest bang for the buck.

Allan

July 29, 2009 5:29 PM

the MPG improvement requirement should be % based, as the environmental benefits are.

Erik

July 29, 2009 5:30 PM

Why no more than 20 years old?

Jeremy Scott

July 29, 2009 5:31 PM

Why 20 years instead of the 25 that Phase 1 is currently set at?

Bob Stevens

July 29, 2009 5:32 PM

Your article, like others I have seen, states that the CARS legislation applies to trade-ins that get less than 18 MPG.

The Gov't website, however, says that it applies to cars getting 18 MPG or less.
This may sound petty, but the 18 MPG would allow me to trade in my 1997 Mercury Cougar (V-8) and get the allowance as it gets exactly 18 MPG. This would help me, as well as many others whose cars are "on the cusp".

Good suggestions for improvements.

Bob Stevens

Bob Stevens

July 29, 2009 5:32 PM

Your article, like others I have seen, states that the CARS legislation applies to trade-ins that get less than 18 MPG.

The Gov't website, however, says that it applies to cars getting 18 MPG or less.
This may sound petty, but the 18 MPG would allow me to trade in my 1997 Mercury Cougar (V-8) and get the allowance as it gets exactly 18 MPG. This would help me, as well as many others whose cars are "on the cusp".

Good suggestions for improvements.

Bob Stevens

Justin

July 29, 2009 5:32 PM

it would be much better if it were based on gallons per 1000 miles instead of miles per gallon. An increase in mpg from 10 to 20 saves 50 gallons of gas per 1000 miles; while an increase in mpg from 20 to 30 only saves 17.6 gallons per 1000 miles. So it would be much better to base it on 1000 miles per gallon or percentage increase in mpg (which would be essentially the same thing)

brian

July 29, 2009 5:35 PM

hi,
thanks for including the exchange of used for used in your scenario instead of the feds' used for new in the present legislation. however i disagree with your 20 yr age limit. stick with the feds' 25 yr age limit. under your scenario, "that rusty 1989 Jeep Cherokee" would not qualify. that car is already 21 or 22 years old, since the age is dated from manufacture, not the model year. plus, under your scenario, i wouldn't be able to turn in my 19

Steve

July 29, 2009 5:36 PM

Why limit it to 20 years? Why an age limit at all? The bill's other requirements already sets the ground rules: fuel mileage of XX, registered for a year, insured for a year, road worthy.

Steve

July 29, 2009 5:37 PM

Why limit it to 20 years? Why an age limit at all? The bill's other requirements already sets the ground rules: fuel mileage of XX, registered for a year, insured for a year, road worthy.

Owen

July 29, 2009 5:38 PM

How about we use our public funds to fund public transportation projects instead of yet another subsidy for private automobile drivers?

JP

July 29, 2009 5:38 PM

Answer me this: If the FED can dole out $4,500 for clunkers, why can't they set up $4,500 pre-tax health savings plan and do a Health Care Stimulus? If they simply gave us $4,500 pre-tax every year and let the balance rollover year-to-year there's not an American that wouldn't be without health care financing to shop around for the best policy for them. Simple, effective, and money from the taxes we already pay.

Chela Huss

July 29, 2009 5:38 PM

I agree with what you say. Is it true that there is going to be a phase II?

Frank

July 29, 2009 5:41 PM

I just went to a dealer today with my 2000 lincoln LS 8cyl. from what the dealer told me this has more red tape than Frankenstein. I am sure there are people looking to seize an opportunity to screw the government, but from what I saw at the dealership they seem very reluctant to make deals, not knowing when and if there getting the money from uncle Sam. AND I DON'T BLAME THEM. I don't trust them either.

John, TX

July 29, 2009 5:43 PM

Why have a 20 year limit on the vehicle being traded in? I have a 1978 truck that I am still happy to drive 38 miles a day for about $8/day rather than make a $200/month payment, plus fuel, plus additional insurance required by the lender.

What I do like about CARS is that my local salvage yard will have lots of parts available for keeping my '78 running another 30 years, albeit at 12mpg.

Nanoman

July 29, 2009 5:44 PM

I am just an observer to this program again but in 2008 automakers sold around 1.1 million cars per month according to other Business Week reporting. The one billion allocated to the program allows for about 250,000 CARS deals. From this I would estimate this program ends in weeks from normal sales alone- not months. I would classify this as a bone to Michigan and labor unions more than anything. I hope one bone is enough. My kids will have enough of their own bills to pay.

Mike J

July 29, 2009 5:45 PM

That age thing is stupid too. I have an 83 Ford that gets 11-12 mpg. But because it is one year too old for the current bill, the government would rather have me drive that old inefficient car longer than trade it for something that gets 25 mpg. Vehicles older than 25 are the ones that get the worst mileage and have little or no smog controls. So why leave them out?

CB_In_Ga

July 29, 2009 5:47 PM

What is the reason for limiting the age to 20 years? Why not make it a vehicle that has a current tag and is insured? Were vehicles 21 years ago better on emissions and fuel economy than a 20 year old vehicle? Instead of a maximum age there should be a minimum age.

Bill

July 29, 2009 5:48 PM

I have always purchased fuel efficient vehicles, both foreign and domestic. They are now ready for replacement, but nothing in this program for me. Just spending my tax dollars buying someone else a new car

Jack

July 29, 2009 5:49 PM

don't forget to exclude the cars that could be collector's items some day. ...say that the plan does not apply to cars built prior to 1980. (there aren't that many on the road to make a difference. The "enemy seems to be the 10 to 15 year old car and light rucks anyway?!?)

You do need to include
operational
Insured for the past _____ months
etc.


...Jack

Chris

July 29, 2009 5:55 PM


While I agree that the current clunker bill is very flawed in the areas you point out and is less ambitous particularly in the areas of SUV/Pick-ups, there are some additions I would add to your list.

-While mileage is certainly a primary concern, technology of the car should also be considered. There is no age limit in your list. Having a 1999 or 2007 subaru that gets 25 mpg off the road should be a lower priority than an 1985 dodge. Engine technology burns gas better today than it did in 85. Its a shame to crush a 25MPG 2005 subaru with older less efficient cars out there.

-There's not ownership/usage requirement. We don't want people dragging cars out of their garage they don't use or buying junkyard cars to dealers. Having a owned for >1 or 2 years with 10,000 or greater miles would reduce fraud.

-Some used vehicle may cost less than $4,500. Limiting used car purchases to autos made within the last 7 years would provide the access to lower income buyers without erroding the value of the program.

-As an aside US emmissions regulations for older cars is too lax. Tightening annual inspection regulations for autos would help reduce emmissions with lower tax payer expense.

-Preventing Light SUV from falling into the "Truck" CAFE standards would be helpful as well.

Tom

July 29, 2009 5:57 PM

Why the limit set at 20 years. I have a 25 year old Mercedes Benz clunker that gets about 14 mpg that I would trade in if it qualified. This is blatant vehicular age discrimination. Toss the age limit in the re-write.

Travis

July 29, 2009 5:59 PM

Here's a thought, STOP GIVING MY MONEY TO OTHER PEOPLE SO THEY CAN GET A NEW CAR!

Duane Waldman

July 29, 2009 6:00 PM

Not much reason to expand it when it is probably already out of cash as it is.

Looking around for a new car this weekend I saw the huge success of this thing. I think they did a good job on the current bill.

I think the implementation of it leaves very much to be desired. Dealers at this point just seem scared to use it until all the kinks get worked out. I think the are only doing it at this point because of the amount of business it is drumming up.

Joe

July 29, 2009 6:02 PM

Some interesting ideas, but keep in mind:

It's not just about fuel economy--older cars tend to pollute more. A 2005 Civic gets great mileage, but its pollution scores are worse than a 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. The carbon footprint, however, is as expected.

You can't (yet) assume someone will trade in one vehicle type to buy the same, only newer type of vehicle. I'll be very interested in seeing the statistics that come out of this program.

Finally, it makes more sense to get more of the least efficient vehicles off the road, because as economy increases, the impact of increased mileage decreases.

Also...sure, those SUV drivers who some may assume made poor choices benefit from this, but this bill gives people a chance to correct that.

I don't think most government programs cover every person, all the time.

kent

July 29, 2009 6:20 PM

I have a 1969 Chevy pickup (40 years old that gets 11 mpg, why doesn't it qualify?

Tony

July 29, 2009 6:23 PM

You should have done more homework before stating that the bill is more for trucks and SUV. The hottest products out are Ford and the only truck is a 4 cyl and NO large SUV's are even on the list to get the credit. What is selling are manual transmission Focus and 4 cyl front wheel drive or 4WD Escape that get a combined 25 to 28 MPG. We can find dealers that even have them and let's not even talk about finding a Hybrid!!!

Fred

July 29, 2009 6:24 PM

I have an 89 Volvo (automatic wagon with EGR qualifies) with a check engine light that has been on for 18 months that I was going to throw away in December, now I can get $4,500 to buy a Fit from Japan? How does this help the US economy?

I would propose a $3-5 per gallon federal energy tax to get transportation, energy and land use in order. This would certainly simplify it for consumers, drive sales and make a better environmental impact.

Ron

July 29, 2009 6:28 PM

I own a 1986 Toyota Celica with under 200K miles and yes it is by definition a "clunker" worth about $600.00. and does better than the Official EPA of 22 city & 28 highway (cars.gov). There appears to be no government incentive to buy a newer technology hybrid car (Prius 2010).

It appears I made the best financial decision back in 1986 when very few cars received better than 18 mpg.

It is time for a more active and progressive thinking. America is falling under the global bar of progress. Let us use the "public bail-out program for the automakers" to recycle all vehicles throughout America.

Aren't we smarter than the German Government?

Buddy

July 29, 2009 6:36 PM

When the dealers turn in the traded-in "clunkers" to be crushed or otherwise destroyed, are they permitted to strip off any parts? If so, what? If not, what safeguards prevent it? Many older cars are far more valuable if "parted-out" than as an intact vehicle. In fact, many stolen cars meet exactly the same fate.

This result in an unintended windfall to dealers who do this.

Colorado homeowner

July 29, 2009 6:40 PM

We used the cash-for-clunkers with our 1988 Ford F-250 (10 mpg at best) for a new compact car (34 mpg). When we need to buy hay for the animals, we'll rent a U-Haul. Hey, that'll further stimulate the economy! And the insurance company wins: we'll have comprehensive coverage on the *new* car. Therefore, Mr. Kiley, I think the CARS bill *can* be used as intended.

connie

July 29, 2009 6:40 PM

I agree. I own a 95 toyota that had city miles of 18 and hwy 22 for a combined 19 miles per gallon. The car smokes because of the sludge problem these cars have but I don't qualify for the cash for clunker. So I will continue to drive this car until it dies. I also discovered that the cash for clunker rewards those who got the tax benefit a fews years back for buying 100,000 pound car or truck--- which of course encourage rich people to buy the big lexis suv and lincoln navigator and range rover--- all of which get approximately 12 mpg "combined". just not fair....

betty

July 29, 2009 6:41 PM

A new bill should also require that the trade-in be owned or insured continuously for one year. Many lower income people that could use this credit may not be insuring their registered vehicle, or people may have good running and insured vehicles that cannot be registered for various reasons. This would help push them back to the system and benefit us all.

Simply or, instead of and.

Wes

July 29, 2009 6:43 PM

The government is again rewarding irresponsible behavior. Those who purchased SUVs in late 90s that are now largely worthless get a nice credit towards buying another guzzler. I'd like to limit it to $0 credit unless the car gets 10 MPG better than the one that is being traded.

BSR

July 29, 2009 6:43 PM

Why that artificial 20 year age limit? The government should systematically pay $2500 to anyone who brings any drivable (registered, insured) vehicle of 18 MPG or less for crushing. The pollution value itself is worth it, not to talk of fuel savings.

Sherry

July 29, 2009 6:47 PM

Another suggestion -- take out the requirement that the vehicle must have been insured for a full year by the same owner before trade in. I have a clunker I would love to trade in. It has been parked in the driveway for the past 6 months, so I let the insurance expire. It's paid off and runs well, but I don't qualify for the program due to the insurance catch. I'm sure there are a lot of other consumers out there who are in the same situation.

Dan

July 29, 2009 6:47 PM

Why not write a bill that actually gets polluting clunkers off the road. I've got a 1990 Toyota Tercel hatchback that's barely running on 2 1/2 cylinders and passed its last smog test by just one lousy point. Yet it doesn't qualify for CARS!

Dave

July 29, 2009 6:47 PM

Still does nothing for me with my 30-40year old truck that hauls water and hay. 7-10 mpg and the world would like me to replace it. But its paid for and it works, why should I go into debt!

Wayne Bastien

July 29, 2009 6:54 PM

Why only vehicles that are 20 years old? I am driving a v-8 1979 Pontiac Phoenix that gets 13.89 combined mpg. I understand that the car was not officially rated at the time it was manufacturered but anyone with half a brain knows the kind of milage this type of vehicle is capable of. If my car, and others like it don't qualify as a gas guzzling clunker, I do not know what vehicle would. The vehicle that I would have purchased would have been rated as much as 7/8 combined mpg better than my Pontiac. I do like your idea about late model used vehicles qualifying...Regards..wpb

Bill C

July 29, 2009 7:07 PM

The government would get a lot more mileage (pun intended) out of this program if I could take my clunker down to the dealership and let a third party use it for the purchase of a car and pay me some part of the value the third party realized from the government. Otherwise, the clunker isn't any good except to those persons who own a clunker and need a car.

Don McCallum

July 29, 2009 7:08 PM

Actually the cash for clunkers bill is not about retiring rusty old clunkers but only in spurring sales of new vehicles to further bail out the automakers. If you simply wanted to retire old clunkers you could do as California has done for years and simply offer to buy them and then junk them. I got rid of a rusty old Toyota Corolla that way. Actually it wasn't very rusty, but it wouldn't pass smog anymore.

Chris in Detroit

July 29, 2009 7:16 PM

I agree with problems 1 & 2 - that this is an absurdly expensive way to stimulate economic growth* or reduce fuel use.

Answer to your question: While the UAW may have influenced the favortism of Trucks/SUVs, Let's not forget that the US taxpayers now own a hefty portion of GM and so it follows that the CARS "investment" by taxpayers should benefit taxpayers by helping GM sell their fine trucks and SUVs. It is an ironic conflict of interest that the bill authors had to compromise between bouying their truck business and incentivizing their beloved compacts and HEVs. In the end neither goal is met and our national debt is increased.

And new question:
Why is no one considering that scrapping the old one and manufacturing a new one might actually be worse for the environment than using the "clunker" for a few more years? It takes a lot of energy to make a vehicle!

*Note Edmunds 7/27 "inconvenient truth" article which clearly shows why the taxpayer's cost per added vehicle is actually $20k, not $4k.

Seth Johnson

July 29, 2009 7:21 PM

While we're talking about the most effective impact on vehicle trade-ins, why not add a rebate for purchasing a motorcycle or scooter? The more 4-wheeled vehicles we can replace with 2-wheeled vehicles, the less congestion there will be on the roads, less carbon in the sky, and less oil shipped from across the ocean.

Seth

mopargirl

July 29, 2009 7:21 PM

So, by your rules, I can keep on polluting with my 1987 Jeep Wrangler, now with 201,000 miles and a newly rebuilt engine which I hope to get at least another 75,000 out of. No big deal, the incentive isn't enough to convince me to have car payments again anyway.

Steve Watson

July 29, 2009 7:22 PM

I agree that Phase 2 needs a tweak. I'm dying to get rid of my 1997 Acura 3.5 RL, which gets 19 miles to the gallon, and replace it with something in the 30-40 mpg range. Problem is my vehicle's 19 mpg is only ONE mpg OVER the 18mpg limit to qualify for the current "Cash for Clunkers" program. Your suggested tweak would fix that problem, and have me headed to a car showroom within minutes.

RRLance

July 29, 2009 7:23 PM

Example. I have a 94 Jeep Cherokee. It has around 120K and is in average condition. It runs, it is ins. and I have owned it since 95. This veh. has a value of minimum $1500 to $2000. As a trade in on a new car I would get either an increased value of this car or a discount on the new veh. The car would be auctioned off for some return to the dealer.

Under any of these plans, yours included the dealer is not going to be willing to further discount the new veh. to you or obviously give you any additional for your Clunker.

I would venture to say I could do as well trading in my Jeep or better yet, selling it outright as a used car before I went to the dealer and then negotiated the deal on the new car..

Only person I see getting a head of the game on this one (current or your new one) is the dealers.

RR Lance

Steven Ribeiro

July 29, 2009 7:25 PM

I have an affordable 300 MPG (equivalent) American electric car on order that is capable of 90 MPH. It has airbags, AC and goes over 100 miles on a charge. The name of the car is Aptera. The problem is that due to it's three wheel design, the Feds say it is not a "car" and therefore does not qualify. I have a '94 Lincoln to retire. Nice move environmentally and for the American economy, but no dice under this program. Sad.

Alan

July 29, 2009 7:29 PM

I agree the mpg requirements should be higher. I also heard Congress originally proposed higher limits, but the bill was watered down at the behest of the USA automakers who were concerned they did not make enough models that would qualify under the higher limits, and therefore the higher limits would result in the bulk of the benefits going to Japanese and other foreign manufacturers who make more fuel efficient cars.

WC

July 29, 2009 7:33 PM

I like your suggestion, but if you do the math you will find that replacing a car at 25mpg with a car at 35mpg will save much less gas than replacing a truck at 10mpg with a truck at 14mpg given the same miles driven.

If the point is to reduce gas consumption the existing rules will do far more. If the goal is to encourage people to buy new cars we shouldn't restrict the program at all.

Al

July 29, 2009 7:37 PM

Politicians don't write laws, lobbyists do.

Robert Wrobel

July 29, 2009 7:37 PM

I have a problem with this current "cash for clunkers" rebate program!
I want my son to purchase a vehicle and build up his credit. I do not have good credit and cannot sign with him.
I wanted to give my 1997 Town and Country to him so he could use it as a clunker rebate towards a new and more fuel efficient 2009 Jetta 2.5 but I learned that he could not get the rebate because he is not on the title!!
So I'm still stuck with a gas hog and my son cannot use my vehicle as a credit towards a new car!!! So because of this glitch in the rules, my son is stuck driving a gas hog instead of spurring the economy and being able to have a chance on purchasing a better vehicle!!!
I'm not the only one in this situation.
I've heard many other people in our same shoes wanting to give their children their old cars so they could get a better more fuel efficient model!!
WHAT GIVES??? DO YOU WANT TO SELL MORE CARS AND GIVE A BOOST TO THE ECONOMY OR NOT????
Please change the rules so parents can donate their clunker to their kids without any financial obligation on their part!! This would get more teens into more fuel efficient and we on the other hand would be over joyed to get rid of our clunkers so they wouldn't be driving them anymore!!!!

Thank you
Robert Wrobel

pthayward

July 29, 2009 7:37 PM

Allowing used cars is the best idea I've heard. I looked into the current "deal" for my 88 Van, it makes no sense at all. To get $4500 and "save" a thousand bucks in gas a year, I'd have to spend about 15 grand- that's $500. a month payments for 4 years. I'll pay for the gas instead and save 10 months payments, not to mention depreciation and loan interest.

A. L. Stewart

July 29, 2009 7:43 PM

Sounds good. Push it!

Jamie

July 29, 2009 7:49 PM

Why not include vehicles older than 20 years?

grasspress

July 29, 2009 7:49 PM

right on, david, i agree with you. i was keenly interested in the 'cash for clunkers' legislation because i'm ready to trade in my 2000 chevy metro for a new auto. but the chevy metro is rated way to high (gas mileage) to qualify, so i'll just keep on truckin'.

i was hoping the legislation would replicate what's happening in european markets: simply an age and mileage criteria. i would be interested in replacing the metro with an even better rated new auto but now i'll hang on and see if there are any changes in the legislation for future implementations of the 'cash for clunkers' deal.

Matt S

July 29, 2009 8:18 PM

excellent suggestions...

PERRYM

July 29, 2009 8:29 PM

ONCE AGAIN LETS DO SOMETHING FOR THE STUPID PEOPLE WHO MAKE POOR CHOICES. WHY NOT DO SOMETHING FOR THE SMARTER PEOPLE WHO MADE GOOD CHOICES BACK 7 TO 10 YEARS AGO. IF I HAD PURCHASED A 2002 CAMRY I WOULD NOT QUAILFY FOR ANY REBATE. JUST HELP THE STUPID PEOPLE, THE WAY IT ALWAYS GOES.

rpahk

July 29, 2009 9:01 PM

This says it all and is the reason why your common sense (and better) alternative will never make it into law. Corporate America controls ALL the levers in government.

"The United Auto Workers and Alliance for Automotive Manufacturers needlessly made Phase 1 of the Clunkers bill overly complicated, and also tilted, by way of their influence in Washington, the bill toward boosting sales of pickups and SUVs."

Again

July 29, 2009 9:05 PM

Why not just take a cue from Germany and have a simple plan that has boosted auto sales there dramatically?
Something like, let government give a credit for ANY car 10 years old or older? There are lots of environmentally conscious people out there who have been driving small cars to help the environment who may like to trader their older cars in but are locked out of the program for taking an environmental view...before it was popular. The way the program works now, it is the gas guzzlers that are getting bailed out here just like those who were irresposnible or unfortunate with their mortgages got bailed out earlier by the government. The message seems to be "Be irresponsible and get rewarded! Be Responsible and pay for those who aren't"

Erich Riesenberg

July 29, 2009 9:10 PM

Who are you to criticize the UAW for being self serving? Your proposal may be open to more people but is still self serving from the perspective of anyone who would not qualify. People need to stop proposing bubble economics and get back to real life.

Dean DuPont

July 29, 2009 11:01 PM

I wanted to add about this clunker rebate. Since the Government used the tax payers money to bail out american automakers. The bill should be used only for the american automakers that way the revenue stays in US dollars. By letting foreign automakers make a buck and turn it into their currency. This is not fixing our situation at home. Why not try to help fix several areas at one time!

Jim

July 29, 2009 11:10 PM

Sorry, but this is a dumb plan. The example scenario of trading it a 1989 Jeep Cherokee clunker for a Ford Fusion Hybrid is stupid on so many levels. What is it with leftists and their need to "force" everyone into ugly little cars? Have you ever considered that many families NEED larger vehicles such as SUVs or vans, whether it is because of the size of their families, or certain members of their families may have special needs, e.g. wheelchairs?

Louise

July 29, 2009 11:30 PM

I agree with your proposal. My car gets 27 mpg. It's 11 years old, and I would like to buy a Prius. I was very disappointed that I didn't qualify for the program. I feel penalized for choosing a car that was environmentally-friendly at the time of purchase in 1998.

chris

July 29, 2009 11:30 PM

Why lower the age limit and not increase it to 30 years? It would spur more people into getting rid of truly old clunkers off the road.

CAHATL

July 29, 2009 11:38 PM

This is just another pork program where we taxpayers must foot the bill to support the unions. The unions were a major (not the only) influence in wrecking the American auto makers. They got benefits, even when layed off, that no other American is allowed to get. Now they own a big chunk of the companies, and still we now we are expected to support them with more of our tax dollars. Our lawmakers have gone insane. I will NEVER buy a GM or Chrysler car.

jimwhenry

July 30, 2009 12:00 AM

The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.

Henry
Blogger
www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
http://www.cashforclunkersfacts..info

who,what,where,when,why,how

July 30, 2009 12:29 AM

Here's something else to consider for a possible Phase 2: Since all the qualifying trade-in vehicles will be shredded/destroyed then why is it important that cars be 'drivable' as stated in the current rules? In other words, should the owner of a clunker be forced to make an expensive repair only to drive to the sales lot and see the new part and repaired car be sent off to the reclamation yard? What is the logic to that? Let's get ALL old, unsafe,poluting vehicles, off the roads now, no matter what condition or state of repair.

Jason in Iweega

July 30, 2009 1:35 AM

That's all well and good. But what about the more controversial aspect of the current clunkers program which is to stimulate new vehicle sales?

steve

July 30, 2009 1:37 AM

all this is at tax payers expense. tax payers have already paid to bail out some of the auto industry. just buy ford. they didn't take any money. their still making money. thats good business.
give americans a tax break. we can use the extra money to buy a car, or washing machine when the old one dies. that helps everyone, not just the ones wanting a new car.

jimhenry

July 30, 2009 5:36 AM

That is correct, Only purchase or lease of new vehicles qualify

Jimhenry
Blogger
www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
http://www.cashforclunkersfacts.info

C N

July 30, 2009 7:19 AM

Agree. Your "Cash for clunker" bill is much more simple and effective than the government's cash for clunker bill.

Tom.Halldorson

July 30, 2009 8:47 AM

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2009/db2009071_633114_page_2.htm

""Those numbers were hashed out specifically to benefit Detroit's pickup business, so they could trade in an old pickup for a new one," says the industry official, who asked not to be named."

Mike from NYC

July 30, 2009 9:52 AM

The program is basically a joke and still allows Americans to buy cars and trucks that still get poor mileage. I say the funds should only be used for cars and trucks that exceed the current mileage standards and not as a % of the car you are trading in.

Duane Stralow

July 30, 2009 9:57 AM

Here is my beef! I own a 96 Dodge Inrepid that I purchased new. Currently it has 263,000 miles and it ready to be laid to rest. However it doesn't qualify for the cash for clunckers because it has an avg. milage of 20 mpg. I could card less what it averaged in 96. They need to deal with the current condition of the car! Give me some help!
Thanks, Duane

GM Daughter

July 30, 2009 10:41 AM

How about we raise the fines for cap-and-trade violators, enforce emissions laws aggressivley, and earmark the fines to pay for for CARS II. This time we'd buy any car or truck less than 25 years old in running condition that got less than 18 mpg from the used car dealers. That would significantly reduce carbon emissions, letting the rest of the world know that we're serious about the environment and that they should be too.

Mohammad

July 30, 2009 11:37 AM

I agree.

sb

July 30, 2009 12:02 PM

Your plan has my vote! The first version of this bill only travels part-way to the destination. Your proposal is both more fair and far more effective in helping consumers, dealers and the environment.

joey bagofdonuts

July 30, 2009 12:12 PM

Both current rules and your rules punish those drivers who drive older economy cars since it reduces or excludes them all together from cash-for-clunker benefits. What's to keep me from buying a big new thirsty V8 SUV today since I am now fairly confident Obama will offer me big bucks for it 8 years from now in yet another cash-for- clunkers program? I think we need a program that rewards economy car drivers past present and future: Buy a new 35+ mpg car, get $4000 from Uncle Sam. Period.

ana baena

July 30, 2009 3:55 PM

I agree and i disagree.

Yes - Congress definately needs to approve the other $3 billion that Obama wanted when he recommended $4billion to start. This legislation helps the economy, consumers and the environment at the same time. The Key to the bills success is that it achieves all three objectives to help the environment, economy and customers without hurting the other any of the three.

Adding pre-owned vehicles helps all 3 because it helps consumers that can’t afford new, helps the environment because of the improvement in fuel efficiency and it will help the economy because car dealers will increase sales and spend more money on advertising, inventory, personnel and other supplies that will directly impact the local and federal government. At the same time these sales are a primary source of state tax revenue which is needed during times when states have to raise taxes to stay in business.

However, increasing the mpg required for vehicles to qualify for the max rebate will not help consumers or the economy. Currently the program is working by achieving its goal of improving the avg mpg by 9mpg. According to www.CashForClunkersInformation.org's Statistics from their 'Clunker Report' , 79% of clunkers traded in are SUVs, Trucks and Vans and 84% are being replaced with new passenger vehicles that have an average of A 69% mpg improvement. The bill is getting unsafe inneficient big vehicles off the road and there is no need to make it harder for new vehicles to qualify.
Based on a 69% mpg improvement, they estimate that personal fuel consumption could decrease by approximately 300 gallons per year, reducing personal fuel costs by almost $750 annually at average gas prices. If these numbers continue for the term of the program it will "save consumers more than $187 million dollars in gas expenses and the US annual fuel consumption could decrease by approximately 75 million gallons, reducing spending by a total of nearly $185 million on gasoline(1), and cutting CO2 emissions by more than 655,000 metric tons."(2)

Currently, only approximately 10% of the market qualifies under the current rules. If you add additional mpg limitations you will:
1. Limit the amount of consumers who can participate and benefit
2. Limit the amount of new vehicles that qualify
3. Less dealers will spend money on inventory, personnel and advertising, which is a key part of the economic stimulus the bill intends to effect
4. It is another change of the rules in an already difficult to implement program in the middle of the program.

I do agree that pre-owned vehicles should be included as long as they have a warranty so consumers don’t get stuck in another vehicle that could cripple their budget if the car needs any major repairs. This will help the environment, economy and consumers.

Increasing mpg requirements for new cars will complicate the program and hurt consumers and the economy.

Here are the references for the data provided above:
(1) Estimates based on average driving of 12,000 mile per year, average regular-grade fuel cost of $2.463 per gallon (as of July 20 from Energy Information Administration), and an estimated 250,000 vehicles sold under the CARS program which is based on $1 billion dollars divided by an average of $4,000.
(2) gallon of gas saved = .00881 metric tons of CO2 reduced according to the EPA

kurtis brown

July 30, 2009 5:24 PM

I have a 2000 cirrus sebring lxi... its mpg is 20... I would love to get a new car but since this bill don't help what should I do... y'all can email me at killakurt504@yahoo.com please

ana baena

July 30, 2009 6:11 PM

The congress needs to approve the other $3 billion that Obama wanted when he recommended $4billion to start. This legislation helps the economy, consumers and the environment at the same time. The value of this bill is that it helps all of three; the environment, economy and customers . To be successful it must help all three of these without hurting the other.

Adding pre-owned vehicles helps all 3 because it helps consumers that can’t afford new, helps the environment because of the improvement in fuel efficiency and it will help the economy because car dealers will increase sales and spend more money on advertising, inventory, personnel and other supplies that will directly impact the local and federal government. At the same time these sales are a primary source of state tax revenue which is needed during times when states have to raise taxes to stay in business.

However, increasing the mpg required for vehicles to qualify for the max rebate will not help consumers or the economy. Currently the program is working by achieving its goal of improving the avg mpg by 9mpg. According to www.CashForClunkersInformation.org's Statistics from their 'Clunker Report' , 79% of clunkers traded In are SUVs, Trucks and Vans and 84% are being replaced with new passenger vehicles that have an average of A 69% mpg improvement. This is a huge improvement and there is no need to make it harder for new vehicles to qualify.
Based on a 69% mpg improvement, they estimate that personal fuel consumption could decrease by approximately 300 gallons per year, reducing personal fuel costs by almost $750 annually at average gas prices. If these numbers continue it will save consumers more than $187 million dollars in gas expenses and the US annual fuel consumption could decrease by approximately 75 million gallons, reducing spending by a total of nearly $185 million on gasoline(1), and cutting CO2 emissions by more than 655,000 metric tons.(2)
Currently, only approximately 10% of the market qualifies under the current rules. If you add these additional limitations you will:
1. Limit the amount of consumers who can participate and benefit
2. Limit the amount of new vehicles that qualify
3. Less dealers will spend money on inventory, personnel and advertising, which is a key part of the economic stimulus the bill intends to effect
4. It is another change of the rules in an already difficult to implement program in the middle of the program
I do agree that pre-owned vehicles should be included as long as they have a warranty so consumers don’t get stuck in another vehicle that could cripple their budget if the car needs any major repairs. This will help the environment, economy and consumers. Increasing mpg requirements for new cars will complicate the program and hurt consumers and the economy.
(1) Estimates based on average driving of 12,000 mile per year, average regular-grade fuel cost of $2.463 per gallon (as of July 20 from Energy Information Administration), and an estimated 250,000 vehicles sold under the CARS program which is based on $1 billion dollars divided by an average of $4,000.
(2) gallon of gas saved = .00881 metric tons of CO2 reduced according to the EPA

FCFC

July 30, 2009 6:43 PM

We liked the program. We traded in one clunker for a new car. We have another clunker that we wanted to also trade in for another new car. However, the way the program is written, no one can tell use if we can do this. We have heard 5 different stories from 5 different people. We called the cars.gov number and the girl told us we could, but wasn't exactly sure. One car dealer told us absolutely no, another said yes. We still don't know, so we still have a gas guzzling unsafe clunker. Can anyone help?

Briab DR1665

July 30, 2009 8:21 PM

Outstanding! They suspended this flawed attempt at political money laundering today because they're about to run out of money. That's beyond awesome.

If they're going to spin Cash for Clunkers as reducing emissions, than they should be basing eligibility on actual emissions, not miles per gallon.

If they're going to spin Cash for Clunkers as reducing dependence on foreign oil, then they need to step up their mileage requirements as posted here. None of this $4500 so some schmoe with an old Suburban can get a new Tahoe.

If they're going to spin Cash for Clunkers as anything other than a veiled attempt to funnel more cash into an industry that's been too self-righteous and blind to see the writing on the wall or otherwise diversify their offerings, then they need to take steps to live up to those claims.

Otherwise, this is nothing more than a massive demonstration of how we, as Americans, have become even more greedy and irresponsible. To think we've got legislation designed to falsely spur demand when there is none, trying to cheat the most basic of supply and demand so that business can go on as usual just a little while longer is just sad.

I say double your MPGs or the trade ins are 100% parted out (no engine destruction) and the credit can be used towards repairs at a dealership service department. Cash for Clunkers is horrible legislation and if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

bob

July 30, 2009 10:20 PM

No need for a phase 2, since phase 1 didn't last longer than one week due to the $1B funding limit. Sounds like the gov formula wasn't strict enough.

Patrick

July 30, 2009 10:44 PM

No matter how this law is written or rewritten, there's always going to be some people who just barely miss out on qualifying (unless, that is, the bill gives $4500 to ANYone who trades in a car). Those people who miss out will, whether fairly or unfairly, feel cheated.

Adam Dread, Esq.

July 31, 2009 1:33 AM

Here Here! I was prepared to turn in my 1993 Lincoln Town Car (which I love) that has over 227,000 miles and buy a brand new hybrid (which I would give my daughter when she turns 16.) That was until I was told the '93 Town Car didn't qualify for the program, as the EPA says it gets 19 mpg. Sure. It can get 19 mpg...going downhill with the engine off. Otherwise it gets 12 mpg. Oh well. So much for me helping the environment and the economy through this "stimulus." I tried. I wish they set up an "appeal process" and took the mileage into consideration.

AL

July 31, 2009 5:36 AM

WELL-MY 2000 12 MPG PRE-OWNED LINCOLN NAVIGATOR I BOUGHT 3 YEARS AGO, INSURED, REGISTERED AND WAS PERFECTLY QUALIFIED FOR THE CARS PROGRAM DIDN'T GET ME OUT THE DOOR OF THE DEALERSHIP WITH A NEW CAR AFTER 3 HOURS BECAUSE I DIDN'T OWN THE TITLE OR CAR OUTRIGHT YET. THERE ARE A LOT OF LOOPHOLES IN THIS PROGRAM AND FINE PRINT TO READ-I AM HOPING PHASE 2 WILL INCLUDE TRADE INS EVEN IF YOU DON'T OWN THE CAR OUTRIGHT SO I CAN GET THIS THING OF THE ROAD AND HAVE A CHANCE AT REDEMPTION ON THE ROAD.

tjm

July 31, 2009 9:06 AM

No one seems concerned that we are taking TAXPAYER money to fund a socialist program- why should I pay for you to get a new car? Get a job, buy your own - leave my money to me and my family- I worked for it. If you are still intent on this socialist program, why not insist the car you buy must be from an independent American car company , since the money stolen for this program comes from Americans. That would leave Ford as the company to buy from- not Gov't. Motors, or Nardelli's disaster Chrysler. They already got my taxpayer money

Judy

July 31, 2009 11:20 AM

Read this article: The Real Reason for the "Cash for Clunkers" Suspension. The ex car salesman blog shares exactly why they stopped the program. Even reports that some sales managers are calling asking for the money back because they were denied the rebate when the final paperwork was submitted but their car was already ruined by dumping a solution in the engine. They now have no car. Scary. See: http://tinyurl.com/ml9sdo

R. Larrick

July 31, 2009 9:47 PM

Here is another tiered proposal based on "gallons per 100 miles":
http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2009/05/29/larricked_0529.html

http://www.mpgillusion.com/2009/05/tiered-cash-for-clunkers-system-using_10.html

If you are thinking about trading in your car, know your gas savings from different mpg improvements; the gas savings can be as large as the voucher:
http://www.mpgillusion.com/2009/07/car-dealers-car-buyers-and-cash-for.html

Motorlessflight

July 31, 2009 11:53 PM

Turbo diesels that are widely available in Europe get 40-50 mpg AND have lower emissions than modern gasoline engines. Unfortunately, the laws set the standards so high for diesels that they are effectively banned from entering this country. Yet, CARS gives rebates for buying cars with less fuel efficiency and more pollution compared to diesels. Can anyone explain this apparent contradiction?

John

August 1, 2009 4:59 AM

They have RE-INSTATED this silly program
that only benifits a small amount of
people. Problem is, I can't get a new
car because of age, 34 year old chevy
too old! They put another 2 billion
into this program, And NO changes were
made as far as the rules! Most of the
cars I've seen are not clunckers! 5 years
old is not a clunker to me! Thanks for screwing the little guy one more time, OBAMA!!

H

August 1, 2009 5:36 PM

THANK GOD I DIDN'T SIGN FOR A NEW CAR THEN THAT MEANS I WONT HAVE MY OLD CAR BACK BECAUSE THEY ALREADY PUT THAT SOLUTION IN THE ENGINE ...SO THAT MEANS THE CARS THAT HAD THAT STUFF PUT IT THERE SO THE CAR WONT WORK NO MORE MEANS THEY HAVE TO GIVE THE NEW CAR BACK BECAUSE CLUNKERS WHERE CANCLE IS THAT WHAT THEY DO BECAUSE IF THATS THE CASE THEN THERES NO POINT OF GETTING A NEW CAR BECAUSE THEY WILL TAKE THE NEW ONE BACK???? WOULD SOMEONE ANSWER THAT FOR ME

Aaron

August 2, 2009 8:53 PM

This is the biggest joke its actually killing the economy people dont have the money to buy the new cars or they already would have. But it is going to help the repo man out and stimulate his business I promise you that. I agree with the used cars being put into this but I dont agree with scrapping all of the vehicles I think they ought to be parted out and sold as pieces. until they are recycled in the USA and the steel used in the United States.

Dhsreallybugsme

August 4, 2009 5:35 PM

HA! A lot of good your cars are going to do in the near future. Keep believing the lies. It's your fault if you do.

recycle no more

August 4, 2009 8:04 PM

This is really bad legislation...

Some thoughts.
1. Instead of crushing and destroying the engine of the traded vehicle, a better approach would be to strike the VIN number from DMV records and allow the junk yards to efficiently recycle the parts. The current method is destructive and is by far NOT environmentally friendly.

2. Increase the MPG from +4 to +7MPG

3. $4500 for 'trade-in' on a GM, Ford or Chrysler vehicle. $2,250 on a foreign vehicle. Another interesting method might be to graduate the amount based on the MPG delta. Say a car with 17MPG average is traded in on a 32MPG vehicle, that a delta of 15MPG. With a $300/mpg trade-in allowance for Domestic and $150/mpg for foreign, it would make people maximize the improvement for their vehicle. This could be a variable cap each year like +15MPG or +20MPG based plan participation.

Steph

August 4, 2009 9:58 PM

I hav a 1992 Toyota Tercel wit 150 miles on it, do I qualify?? Is it considered a clunker??

mary squitieri

August 14, 2009 5:19 PM

Hi, I don't really expect to hear from you on this matter because it's a complaint. How do you evaluate a clunker, weel I have a 95 jette vw not a glx model which does quaiafy for the clunker program. But mine, which gets about 13 miles to the gallon and is 14 yrs. old does not! tell what,s wrong with this picture?

mary squitieri

August 15, 2009 3:14 PM

Hi, I am completely dissappointed in this program because I have a 95 vw jetta and the gov. program only allows the rebate for th gxl model. Even though my car gets 13-15 m.p.g. and is 14 yrs. old. It doesn't make sense to me at all. I was all ready and excited thinking I was getting a new car when this qaulifying list of cars just blow it right out of the water. Will someone please explain what silly person or persons wrote this bill. They obviously never had a 14 yr. old clunker or if they did it was when they were very young. Well, I'm not young and actually am quite older and would like a new car before I leave this world.

thanks
U.S.Citizen

Barb

August 16, 2009 4:29 PM

This cash for clunkers program is half-baked at best. First, who drives the true clunkers? For the most part, people who can't afford or qualify for a loan for a new car. So why can't the poor trade-in their true clunkers (that 1986 Reliant K I saw yesterday that was spewing blue exhaust) for one of the alleged "clunkers" being traded in now at no cost? It would save a better vehicle from being destroyed than one still on the road because the driver can't qualify for a loan. I am fairly certain the 2001 Buick LeSabre or 2002 Dodge Intrepid marked as clunkers on our local lot gets infinitely better gas mileage than that Reliant K or a 1988 Taurus Station Wagon (both driving yesterday). Sounds like the administration didn't think this one all the way through, either!!

Joe

August 20, 2009 11:20 PM

One more suggestion: Rather than scrap the trade-ins, why not donate some of them (the ones, say, that pass a safety and/or emissions test) to a registered car-donation charity? Many of the REAL polluters/death traps owned by the poor are not being traded in--those people cannot afford a new car, $4500 rebate or not. The ones that are being traded, for the most part, don't look all that bad to me. Perhaps with a donation alternative, we can get the people driving the real polluters out of them and into something better, and get the real trashmobiles off the road--and give the working poor transportation to boot.

hiatttn

August 23, 2009 5:36 AM

This is for Jason. This has absolutely nothing to do with driving new car sales and everything to do with driving the green movemen (the new red) or so our green jobs czar says. Lets see you nationalize the banks, then the auto industry, then you embrace this green religion and mix them together and what do you get??? Well???? What do you get boys and girls. lmfao. Hard times are come children very hard times.

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