Some Misc Thoughts based on t he program so far:
It's clear that “stimulus” is more stimulating when the government cuts out the special interest middlemen, and provides incentives to citizens instead of campaign supporters.
I was too pessimistic about the program – turns out that the proposed rebate is about 2 times the expected trade on most of these vehicles. Given the balance of the restrictions on the program regarding qualifying vehicles, etc., it just seemed like the difference was too marginal to be a real motivator.
It's still too skewed against the poor who need cheap starter vehicles, or parts for their existing vehicles. It's also biased against families that need more space than a compact car can offer. The scrappage requirement should be scrapped. The increased volume of used cars would push down used car prices, used parts prices, and help to generate profits for dealers and junkyards. Environmental benefits would still follow, as people buying the used so called “clunkers” would likely be replacing cars that are even older and worse on the environment.
The computer crashes and general unpreparedness of the Feds, combined with the hour of paperwork required per deal, do not bode well for America under ObamaCare. If you can't size a network to handle a simple, straight forward program like this, you can't manage healthcare. Once the government starts putting doctors through this hell, we'll have a lot fewer doctors.
The program's estimated results of an additional 115,000 units are only about 40-50% of the billion dollars allotted. (at between $3,500 – 4,000 per vehicle), so why is it out of cash already? Simply too many unapproved deals in the pipeline? Otherwise, we'd have a 50 – 60% waste factor, probably better than the government's average.
This is a program on the verge of becoming permanent. Given the Democrat's hatred of automobiles, it's kind of ironic.
Imagine what a stimulus that allowed you to keep more of your earnings in your own pocket would have done.