I was getting my morning news when I came across an article about the Senate and the “Cash for Clunkers” program funding. I didn’t like what I read, so I wrote the following email to both of my Senators here in Ohio. I expect at most a form letter in return, but maybe it will nudge them in the right direction.
I am reading the news online and see that the Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate are going to oppose more funding for the “Cash for Clunkers” program. I hope you are not one of the people that will be doing so.
Senator DeMint seems to think that the program is just helping car dealers and ignoring other small business owners. If you interpret the program as narrowly as possible, then he is right. If you look at the practical effects, it is much more than that.
Those dealerships are continuing to employ people, who will have money to spend at other businesses locally. The cars are made by factories all over, which will be able to employ people, who will also remain employed and have money to spend where they live. And of course, all of the money gets taxed on each change of hands, helping maintain the tax base of each school district, city, county, and state that those people live in. And of course, all of those people that remain employed, and the people they help keep on employment by spending their earnings, are not on the unemployment rolls, yet another money savings to states.
The people buying the cars are saving money, both on the sale and by using less gas. Which means less pollution, which leads to less healthcare costs.
Frankly, the only people that I can figure would not be happy about the entire program are the oil companies, since they will sell less oil. But since, for example, Shell Oil’s profits for last quarter were $2.3 billion dollars, I find it hard to believe cries of hardship from them.
So there are a lot of reasons and benefits to continuing the program. Yes it does mean increased spending, but frankly, $2 billion dollars is a drop in the buck when dealing with Federal spending. Better to spend the money on a proven and successful program, with huge secondary and tertiary benefits then using it to do something like start a foreign war.