Now how do we get rid of Clunkers in the Senate?

From The Greenville News:

While the suddenly cash-strapped cash-for-clunkers program has been a big hit with car dealers and car buyers, it’s not popular with U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.

“I just think this is a great example of the stupidity that’s coming out of Washington right now,” DeMint said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Original DVD cover

The money approved for the program to trade in old cars for more fuel-efficient new ones is about used up. The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to add an additional $2 billion.

DeMint, who has been one of President Barack Obama’s more vocal critics, said Sunday he will try to defeat cash-for-clunkers funding when the measure reaches the Senate this week.


Obama said that going through the original funding so quickly shows that the program has “succeeded well beyond our expectations,” according to the Associated Press.

DeMint has a different view.

“The federal government went broke in one week in the used car business,” he said, “and now they want to run our health-care system.”

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) — The future of the U.S. “cash for clunkers” program depends on the Senate backing a $2 billion infusion this week, with at least one Republican saying he was going to try to block the effort.

“We’ve got to slow this thing down,” Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The House voted 316-109 on July 31 for an emergency measure adding $2 billion to the program aimed at reviving U.S. auto sales, after a burst of demand exhausted most of the initial $1 billion in less than a week.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a C-SPAN interview Sunday he expects the current $1 billion in funding to be gone by the end of the weekend.


DeMint said he opposes the program because “we’re helping auto dealers while there are thousands of other small businesses that aren’t getting help.”


“We’re definitely going to debate it,” he said. “I heard that John McCain is going to stand up and try to stop it, and I’m going to work with him every way I can,” he said.

Senator McCain of Arizona is among Republicans who indicated they will vote against the measure. McCain has been “opposed to cash for clunkers from the beginning” because of the cost to taxpayers, Brooke Buchanan, his spokeswoman, said Friday.


“Any extension of the ‘cash for clunkers’ program must go further in advancing the goals of better fuel efficiency and greater emissions reductions,” Senators Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said in a joint statement. “We will not support any bill that does not meet these goals.”

Named the Car Allowance Rebate System, the program provides credits of as much as $4,500 for the purchase of a new car when turning in an older vehicle to be scrapped.


Demand kindled by the clunkers program may push U.S. auto sales to a 2009 high in July, possibly signaling a bottom in the market’s worst slump since at least 1976. Sales have run at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of fewer than 10 million units since December. That pace trails last year’s total of 13.2 million and the 16.8 million average from 2000 through 2007.


Cash-for-clunkers — officially the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) [is] credited with turning around business at dealerships across the country and resulted in Ford Motor’s first monthly sales increase since November 2007.

“Without cash-for-clunkers, we would not have had a year-over-year increase” in July sales, Ford Vice President Ken Czubay said Sunday.


CARS provides government discounts of $3,500 or $4,500 to people who trade in older vehicles with poor fuel economy for new ones that do better. The amount depends on how much better the new one is.

It’s “the stimulus program that has worked better than any other stimulus program,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on CBS’ The Early Show Saturday Edition.


The program’s success “seems to confirm a very large degree of pent-up demand” for new vehicles, Himanshu Patel, a JPMorgan auto-industry analyst, told clients in a note Friday in reaction to news that the program was fast running out of money.

He forecasts that automakers will sweeten their own discounts if the government doesn’t continue CARS.

That would be good for buyers and cash-strapped auto component suppliers but bad for automakers’ profits.

Senate opposition to giving CARS more money started to build over the weekend, setting the stage for a battle this week.


“It’s a successful government program … and it’s not broke, so why fix it?” says Bailey Wood, legislative director for the National Automobile Dealers Association, the dealers’ main trade group.

It supports dealers and automakers, and “the driving public (is) getting new cars, and this is a win-win for America. It’s a win-win for our economy,” LaHood said in an interview on C-Span’s Newsmakers program on Sunday.

LaHood said that an additional $2 billion “gets us through the month of August” and added, “I believe the Senate will pass this.”


Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said CARS “probably would have been a dud” six months ago. But its dramatic success “is a very important indicator that the state of confidence in the economy is beginning to pick up,” Greenspan said on ABC’s This Week Sunday.

In one short week, CARS has:

•Boosted showroom traffic 50% to 200%, dealers report, and some of that can be converted into sales. The program is “definitely a booster shot,” says George Martell, COO at Woburn Foreign Motors Group in Boston.

•Retired close to 250,000 fuel guzzlers and replaced them with vehicles that use less.

Hyundai, for instance, says that clunkers traded to its dealers have averaged 16 mpg in combined city-highway use, according to the government numbers used for CARS. New cars that customers bought averaged 24.5 mpg, a 53% increase.

Volkswagen spokesman Tom Wegehaupt says VW dealers have handled 2,050 clunker transactions. Three-fourths were for VW diesels. Those are some of the highest-mileage vehicles available in the U.S., scoring in the mid-30s in city-highway use.

“It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” says George Pipas, a sales analyst at Ford Motor. “We estimate fuel savings at about 3 million barrels of crude (oil) annually, forever. It might not sound like much, but it was accomplished in a week. This could be the biggest shot in the arm for energy conservation ever to come from inside the Beltway.”

•Put millions of dollars into city and state treasuries in taxes and fees for every new vehicle sold.

It’s a winner in the minds of many car buyers.

“I think it’s fantastic,” says Samuel Jenesky, 58, a computer specialist in Pittsburgh. “It’s helping to get this economy flowing.”


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24 responses to “Now how do we get rid of Clunkers in the Senate?

  1. Ggggggghhhhhh, Jim DeMint. I keep hammering him on Twitter about his lies and GOP bullshit. I think he’s a real dickhole.

    Don’t ya just love my wonkish use of polished, apt poli-sci terminology? lol

  2. I’m beginning to get some mixed up feelings on all this money being spent. I certainly didn’t like hearing there could now be some tax increases for us middle income earners, after all the promises that were made. I hope that doesn’t end up happening.

    • there won’t be tax increases for middle class families. this is the best stimulus the economy has gotten. that’s why the rethugs feel that they have to bash it.

  3. There are no tax increases.. That was a twist of words.. I didn’t take it that way anyhow..

    There is NO NEW money to be spent on the C4C.. it is coming out of the Recovery money… they are just transferring it.. so it’s not like it is new money they have to find… it has already been allocated.. I think it is great, it has so many benefits and I can’t really think of one down side.. Besides, the wing nuts heads are exploding .. it has to be good…lol

  4. jeb

    Of course they hate it because it’s working.

    Boost auto sales, check.

    Remove guzzlers for more fuel efficient cars, check.

    Give consumers a few more options, check.

    I’m sure for all of their carping about this “waste” they’d gladly turn the money being spent into tax cuts because that always works.

    • You forgot “help Detroit.” DeMint was one of the senators who said, “Drop dead” when the Bush Administration tried to bail out the auto companies. Those guys would rather see the UAW hurt than do anything to help the economy.

    • from wiki:

      In 2009, DeMint introduced an amendment to a multi-billion dollar economic stimulus bill that would have prohibited lawmakers from using any percentage of transportation funds on bicycle, walking, or wilderness trails.

      ( 😆 wilderness trails! wonder if that was before or after sanford went hiking!) i guess demint doesn’t want anyone to be able to get from one place to another unless the mode of transportation uses as much gas and oil as possible.

  5. Funny McCain is opposed– I remember read he & the Beer Baron/Stepford wifey have a fleet of 13 vehicles!

    • he didn’t even know how many houses they owned, let alone vehicles.

      i despise him more and more every day. he has no empathy whatsoever for anyone, even though, if not for his daddy’s and grandfather’s pull, he would have been kicked out of the naval academy, and if not for cindy lou’s gangster father’s money, neither one of them would have anything today.

  6. It’s stunning how people who nodded along as W. blew 10 million a month on a war designed to make oil people richer at the expense of our military have suddenly found the panic button when tax dollars appear to have a chance at jumpstarting our economy. As Ed Schultz said yesterday they’ve all found Jesus when it comes to spending now but didn’t want to hear it from 2000 until lately. DeMint is a turd’s turd.

    • but, rastamick, dont’cha know we’re not supposed to look backwards, so all that money thrown down the shitter during chimpy’s reign doesn’t matter. in fact, it never happened! 😀

  7. “Fucker.”
    That says it all for me.
    Another brilliant remake, nonnie; I’m glad I met you when you were just infamous. :mrgreen:

  8. Pingback: Sarah Palin to Guest Host PCW/Obama’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ « Political Championship Wrestling

  9. I like Obama, but at times like these I wish Lyndon Johnson could be president again.
    Trust this Texan, if LBJ was in office he’d go after every shady Republican, in or out of office.
    We need less Kumbaya and more ass kicking from our Democratic president.
    Starting with Bush and Dick and their crooked Justice Department, and finishing with douchbags like Jim Dement(ed), LBJ would have stuffed the prisons full with these scumbag criminals.

    • i was just telling someone yesterday that we need someone like lbj to kick some blue dog ass. he wouldn’t have put up with any shit from his own party. he would lay down the law–this is what i want in this health care bill, get it done. if you have any problems with that, keep it behind closed doors.

  10. A study of hypocracy. Our beloved Lone Star State got a great idea back in 05. We have a big problem in major metro areas with air pollution from way too many cars, many older models because half the state are poor people like me. So to meet EPA standards the legislature made money available to start buying up older cars with a $3,000 rebate to the dealers. Worked quite well. Dealers selling cars. Working class types upgrading their wheels. The state used up all the dough and pronounced it as a success! Jump ahead 5 years and what are our repub masters telling us? That the Obama sponsered byback is just the most awful thing to ever come along!!!