President Obama has, once again, put our tax dollars to a severely inefficient use. The Car Allowance Rebate System (aka “Cash for Clunkers”), enacted in early July, was meant to take gas-guzzling, polluting vehicles off the road in exchange for a rebate toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle. By doing this, the policymakers who enacted this legislation hoped to protect the environment as well as jump-start the dwindling auto industry. Killing two birds with one stone, right? Not exactly.
Cash for Clunkers has been an extremely counterproductive program. Initially, Congress appropriated $1 billion for these rebates. This money was scheduled to last until the beginning of November; it lasted until the end of July. So, what does Congress do now? They appropriate another $2 billion toward these rebates. These funds were scheduled to last until early September; this extra $2 billion was depleted by Monday, August 24. Now, how exactly did this expensive rebate program help the environment? It didn’t. While it did, indeed, take a large number of gas-guzzling cars off the road, it also added to the problem of destroying the traded-in “clunkers.”
In the article “When the Clunker is Greener,” from washingtonpost.com, Gwen Ottinger states:
Disposing of old products, a step required by most incentive and rebate programs, also has environmental costs: It takes additional energy to shred and recycle metals; plastic components often cannot be recycled and end up as landfill cover; and the engine fluids, refrigerants and other chemicals essential to operating products end up as hazardous wastes.
Essentially, Cash for Clunkers does not help the environment as was stated by the policymakers that created this ludicrous program; in fact, it’s rather harmful to the environment. All in all, the typical left-wing “Enviro-Nazi” hypocrisy.
Now, at least Cash for Clunkers helped unionized American automakers as was predicted, right? Wrong, again. The number one-selling vehicle sold through the Cash for Clunkers program was from Toyota. In fact, less than half of the vehicles purchased with the rebate were from one of the Big Three automakers. Just one more unfulfilled promise by Obama and Congress.
Your tax dollars at work, America.