Monday, October 5, 2009

From the Dept. of Inevitability..

…under the direct supervision of the Czar of “We told you so” but also indirectly supported by the Bureau of “Go figure” with some funding assistance via “Hit upside the head with a 2x4”, comes this news:

After the shopping binge inspired by the government's "Cash for Clunkers" incentive program ended, U.S. auto sales plunged in September and the industry sunk back to the depths from which it started, figures released Thursday showed.

The reports of monthly sales numbers confirmed predictions that some of the spectacular gains of August had merely been achieved by moving up sales that would have happened in September.

The results raised doubts from some economists about the effectiveness of the $3 billion federal program as a stimulus.

General Motors' sales fell 45 percent compared with a year ago, and Chrysler's dropped 42 percent. Sales at Ford did comparatively better, declining just 5 percent. Compared with August, however, Ford's sales in September plummeted 37 percent, slightly more than the other two.

And further proof that an Ivy League affiliation should not be confused with any actual intelligence:

Alan Blinder, a Princeton professor who was among the first to push an auto sales incentive program in the United States, doubted it provided much stimulus, in large part because it was in effect for only a month.

"Most of the idea of any stimulus is to pull spending up from the future, but it doesn't make any sense to design a program that only pulls up spending by one month," said Blinder, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration. "Why in the world would you make it a one-month program? The Germans didn't do that. The British do that. When I designed a mock version of this I was thinking of it as a one-year or two-year program."

Big Al, why stop at just one or two years in that case? Seriously, why not just make Cash for Clunkers a permanent program so we can turn in our “clunker” every 6 months or so, have that destroyed and purchase another new car with $4500 help from the government? Auto workers stay employed, perfectly fine automobiles get destroyed, you run up more personal debt and the government continues to pile up more public debt… everybody wins!

We're having trouble coming up with a government program that from top to bottom was as ill-conceived, poorly executed and as counter-productive as Cash for Clunkers. We welcome opinions to the contrary

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