Cash for clunkers vs Cash for CEOs

The GOP is showing its true colors by rebelling against the “Cash for Clunkers” deal- they only back initiatives that can roll kickbacks their way. The program has proven to be the fastest stimulus to the economy so far, propelling Ford stock up to over $8 a share (It was at $1.58 less than 6 months ago) and generating sales for dealers, confidence by consumers and rebooting an industry that the public now owns two of the three American players. Not only that, we’re eliminating old gas guzzlers from the roads- decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.

I’ve yet to see one construction/infra-structure project have as much impact on the general public in as short a time.

Sure, we’re giving tax dollars back to people who may not need it- but how is this any different than George Bush’s tiny $250 refund checks? What kind of impact did that generate? Since Congress is terrified to tell the banks to cut credit card rates, cap fees or restructure mortgages with one fell swoop- this is the first thing that has actually restarted assembly lines and saved jobs. Michigan and Ohio, two states that have been hammered by the automotive industry woes are rejoicing as dealers start to restock their lots.

So, why does the GOP hate this program so much? Unlike the bonuses still handed out on Wall Street for bailed out firms, no one who is getting $4,500 off a new car is going to turn around and write a check for  $2,200 to their congressman. The people’s lobby isn’t what counts anymore. Voters are just pawns in the big game of campaign finance- they don’t count – except at the ballot box.

Of all the stimulus plans so far, this is the one worth keeping. It might not hurt to include motorcycles and scooters in the deal too- trade in a heap that gets less than 18mpg and get $1000 to the purchase of anything that gets over 40 mpg. In the end, anything we can do to cut our dependence on foreign oil will have much longer and more beneficial impact on the economy.

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54 Responses

  1. David Lauri August 12, 2009 / 2:18 pm
    Now I understand.  When you said, “Nope, I’m not advocating any of that,” you didn’t mean that.

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  2. Bruce Kettelle August 12, 2009 / 3:59 pm
    “Robert, if you don’t have time to read Shaw’s work there is decent desciption on wikipedia under his name. You might find it interesting how much of his philosophy is similar with yours.”

    I meant Adam Smith not Shaw, that’s what I get for multitasking!!

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  3. Teri August 12, 2009 / 5:30 pm
    Hi David L-
     
    Hmm.  We can give this another go.
    Taxes are coercive.
    I don’t advocate breaking laws, so yes, I am a participant in a coercive system- the best system of coercion known to man, btw- but I don’t advocate for the system, which is what you asked me.
    I do advocate changing the system to a non-coercive one.
    I see nothing contradictory here…?
     
     
     
     

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  4. David Lauri August 12, 2009 / 9:43 pm
    Teri, I can see now that you might have gotten from my question that I wondered if you advocated people breaking the law, which really wasn’t what I had in mind — I just wondered if you wanted all taxes abolished (through legal means), which I now understand (I think correctly) that you do.

    And you’re right that someone else (I forget his name — the American living in China) and I had this discussion on another thread. You’re wrong though if you think he clearly explained how such a society would work — or at least he never explained it in a way that I could understand. Apparently people who believe that a society with no taxes could work understand it clearly. And frankly you needn’t try to explain it to me, because I don’t think it’ll ever come to pass.

    Of course if you and that guy whose name I’m too lazy to look up and others like you want such a society to come to pass, you all will have to do some lobbying, especially if you don’t believe in coercing others into adopting such a society, which is yet another reason, beyond sheer unworkability, that I think such a society won’t happen in my lifetime.

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