Is 'Cash for Clunkers' a disaster for the out-lobbied and inflationary?
"The Cash for Clunkers program has received a lot of attention this week on Capitol Hill and across the country. The program offers a voucher of up to $4500 in federal funds to anyone who trades in a working used car for a new one with better fuel economy. Congress was shocked at how quickly people responded to promises of free money and drained the program, while car dealers have been equally shocked at how slow and arduous the government’s website to claim the rebates has been.
It’s not a shock that people respond to incentives. The program has been deemed a resounding success, and Congress has authorized 2 billion more taxpayer dollars for it. But not everyone is happy about this. Low-income earners who would have been in the market for those perfectly serviceable, working cars will have fewer to choose from, and those cars will probably be more expensive than they normally would have been. Automotive repair shops actively lobbied against this program, as it will destroy many of the cars they would have repaired. They were out-lobbied. And of course, Americans as a whole are hurt, because this additional bailout of auto companies comes at our expense through inflation."