Friday, August 14, 2009

"Cash for Clunkers", A Trojan Horse of a Different Color?

The President's Cash for Clunkers program has, by most reports, been a tremendous success. Big enough that Congress has 'gone back to the well' for more cash to back it. Where are they getting that cash? Oh, that's right, from the very tax payers who are asked to buy the cars. So in essence, we're being asked to pay taxes to support our tax credit. Anyone dizzy from this circular reasoning yet?

It is not the logic, though, that has me miffed. What has steam coming out of my ears is our Government bribing Americans to get into debt. As already mentioned, it is disguised as a tax credit. But it is a tax credit paid for by tax payer money. It is marketed as a call to 'save the environment, but is in reality an attempt to bail out the newly Government owned Automobile companies. It is billed as a way to save money at the pump, but is in reality a way to get Americans into debt. It may very well turn out to be the automobile version of the 'subprime mortgage'.

Oh, and because the 'clunkers' are all being destroyed, the inventory of cheap used cars is being dramatically reduced, forcing low end used car buyers to pay more. And, finally, the program is pushing up the prices of new cars, which were falling.

Debt is bad. But when it's debt on a depreciating item (I can't bring myself to use the words, depreciating asset, because that sounds like an oxymoron when debt is attached to it), it's doubly bad. If you have not fallen into this trap yet, I urge you to look away. Don't inhale that new car smell. Don't let the 'fever' weaken your resistance. Stay on your winning plan of recession proof living.

On the happy front, I found an article that says the 'Cash for Clunkers' program may be losing some momentum. We can only hope. Read it HERE.


Snobound said...

I completely agree with this post, and to add to it if I may, not only is this burden being passed on to the tax payers, but it being passed on to the tax payers who refuse to get involved in the program - people like you and I. So not only do I not agree with this bribery, I'm still going to be forced to pay for the new car the dummy down the street just bought. Doesn't matter that he didn't NEED the new car or that I'm still driving around in my junker...the point is that the money I would have been able to save in order for me to buy my own newer car just went in the pocket of the debtor and the govt. As far as I'm concerned that's plain ol' robbery!!! I'm really beginning to worry now.........