While watching basic cable commercials over the weekend, the usual suspects were all present; the late Billy Mays advertising a cleaning solution that can get even the toughest stains out, Appliance Direct shouting at me to run out RIGHT NOW and buy a new refrigerator and our favorite local car dealerships advertising sales with the headline; “Come in today and see if you qualify for cash for your old car.”
Cash for my car? That’s new. Then I remembered where exactly this “cash” was coming from and what the program is doing to our once free-market economy.
Today starts the second week for the government run, taxpayer-funded, “Cash for Clunkers” automobile program. This government run program advertises vouchers, ranging from $3,500- 4,500, to the owners of inefficient (ie: junk) cars. The program encourages car owners to trade their cars in, receive a government thank you in the form of a voucher, and turn around to purchase a new, shiny and fuel efficient automobile.
Congress provided the large sum of $1 billion for the program, which was suppose to last through October. But surprise, surprise. The money is gone.
After only the first week the federal funding has run out and the Program is back asking for more. And it only gets better; on Friday the U.S. House approved (by a vote of 316-109) an emergency measure to the tune of $2 billion to help meet the demand of Cash for Clunkers.
The President, furthermore, approves of this wasteful spending and direct government subsidy by praising the program as a success. President Obama has ensured consumers that the White House will continue to work with Congress to guarantee a long future for the program.
Today, the program is running on empty and out of funds. However, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is still encouraging consumers to go out and purchase a new car under the program.
Basic principles for spending… apparently there are none.