Cash for Clunkers May Cost Up to $45,354 Per Vehicle

The “Cash for Clunkers” program has been a “great success” according to the Obama government.

According to Edmunds, about 200,000 old low mileage cars would normally be traded in, every 3 months, in exchange for more efficient higher mileage cars, without this program.

The highest rebate is $4,500, and the lowest is $3,500. If everyone qualified for $4,500 per vehicle, about 222,000 vehicles would have just taken advantage of the government’s money. At $3,500, 286,000 vehicles will have been sold.

If all buyers qualified for the higher $4,500 rebate, the “cash for clunkers” program will mean a marginal increase in car sales of 22,000 this quarter. $1 billion divided by 22,000 means a net cost to the government of $45,354 per car.

If all buyers only qualify for the $3,500 rebate, it means a marginal increase in sales of about 86,000, or a net cost to the taxpayers of $11,628 per vehicle.

In all likelihood, however, there will probably be a mix of vehicles qualifying for various rebates between $3,500 and $4,500. Based upon that assumption, Edmunds.com estimates that the average cost to the taxpayer will be about $20,000 per vehicle.

Most of the marginally extra sales really represent people who were going to buy a new car eventually anyway. They are just buying a bit sooner than they expected. Old clunkers don’t last forever, and they are almost all eventually replaced. Obama is shifting tomorrow’s demand to today, stealing from tomorrow to pay for today, but at great cost to the taxpayer.

The “cash for clunkers” program is yet another liberal blunder – an expensive waste of precious taxpayer dollars. Government spending should be reined in, in light of the multi-trillion dollar unsustainable deficits that this nation now faces.

The Obama government is, unfortunately, a reflection of the current state of economic immaturity that prevails in America. The vast majority of people, including most Democrats in Congress, do not understand the forces that drive the real economy, and see only the short term view. That is how they get manipulated into allowing the Federal Reserve to behave like a slush fund for big banks, passing programs like TARP into law, and enacting programs like “cash for clunkers” which all abuse the taxpayers.

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