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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