‘Get your clunkers for nothing,and your cash for free . . .’

In one of those fiendishly stupid examples of liberal logic that will be cited in Econ 201 texts for decades to come — typing is difficult when I’m laughing so hard — “Cash for Clunkers” is broke:

The program . . . was supposed to expire at the end of October. But in the one week since it took effect, it appears to have run dry of the $1 billion allocated to it . . .

Lots more at NTCNews.com, including a post from the Cato Institute’s Chris Moody, reminding us that Cato senior fellow Alan Reynolds figured out six weeks ago how to game the system: Trade clunker for crappy new econobox, collect fed bonus, sell econobox, add that to your bonus — congratulations, you’ve got the purchase price for a classic V-8 ’67 Impala or a second-hand SUV!

I’m reminded of something P.J. O’Rourke once said, in regard to “affordable housing”: Every time the government promises to give you something for nothing, imagine the result if you tried this yourself. You’d quickly find yourself with a severe shortage of something and a whole lot of nothing.

Given that the fundamental flaw in this legislation was so obvious that any clever sixth-grader could spot it, what sort of geniuses dreamed it up?

Sponsors of the [Senate] bill [are] Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) . . . In the House, the same bill was introduced [Jan. 14] by Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kansas) . . .
Writing in the Detroit Free Press [Jan. 6], Brookings Institution economist Jason Bordoff laid out both the economic and environmental advantages of such a program . . .

Ah, yes, the “advantages of such a program”! Clever libertarians now hot-rodding around in their ’65 Mustangs and ’71 Camaros are no doubt very grateful to Bordoff, Congress and the taxpayers who paid the tab.

(Via Memeorandum.)

UPDATE: Jimmie Bise wonders if ObamaCare will work better than “Cash for Clunkers.”

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