A bill authorizing Cash for New Cars 2–another $2 billion of gifts to the car companies disguised as an environmental improvement plan–sailed through the House. But now the Senate is actually thinking of stuffing it.
And not a moment too soon. James Hamilton at Econobrowser justifiably shreds the whole Cash For Clunkers concept:
One of the more embarrassing features of the New Deal was the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, which paid farmers to slaughter livestock and plow up good crops, as if destroying useful goods could somehow make the nation wealthier. And yet here we are again, with the cash for clunkers program insisting that working vehicles must be junked to qualify for the subsidy. Economist mum laments the tragedy and waste, as only an economist and mother could:
I don’t think I can do it…. I mean, look at all the time and money (and love) I’ve poured into the (already) old beagle I adopted almost two years ago. It just seems very wasteful (and somehow “heartless”, even with a car) to prematurely end a “life” that still could be valuable to someone– doesn’t it?
Anyway, Senate Republicans appear to be rethinking the whole thing–and taking the opportunity to bash the Obama Administration while they’re at it.
Corey Boles, Wall Street Journal: A top Republican senator raised what appears to be a growing scepticism among GOP lawmakers about a $2 billion extension sought by the Obama administration for its popular “cash for clunkers” program.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell questioned the sensibility of rushing another large chunk of money out the door to keep the program going, after the initial $1 billion appears to have been exhausted after just one week…
Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, questioned the administration’s ability to implement sweeping health-care reform based on its handling of the clunkers program last week.
“We were told this program would last for several months,” Mr. McConnell said. “As it turned out, it ran out of money in a week, prompting the House to rush a $2 billion dollar extension before anybody even had time to figure out what happened with the first billion.”
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