Clunker Brainstorm Bombs

Handouts = debt = our childen owe

By Chuck Muth
OK, so the problem was America’s Big Three domestic automakers were going under, weighted down by Big Labor unionization.  Something had to be done!
So Barack Obama bailed out Chrysler (again) and exercised a government take-over of General Motors before handing off managerial control to organized labor.  Ford, to its credit, declined the government’s “help.”
Then Congress took money the country doesn’t have and gave $4,500 checks to people who were already planning to buy new cars later this year so that they’d trade in their “clunkers” and buy them in August instead.
Naturally, the media is declaring this program a HUGE success.  People LOVE the cash-for-clunkers program, don’t ya know!
Wow, people love getting “free” money they didn’t earn?  Who’d a thunk it?
Of course, those folks didn’t read the fine print.  Seems they’re now going to have to declare their $4,500 of “free” money as income and pay taxes on it.  Oops.
In any event, word out of Detroit now is that the cash-for-clunkers program didn’t really help the folks it was supposed to help.  Instead of bolstering sales for failing Chrysler and GM, the government checks were used to buy Fords, Toyotas, Hyundais and Hondas. Go figure.
Indeed, the Associated Press reports that Chrysler and GM “endured yet another month of falling sales,” which means, in light of the “free” money, these two dinosaur car makers couldn’t even give their products away.
If Barack Obama and Harry Reid can do this for America’s auto industry, just imagine what they’re gonna do for our health care system.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization.  The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach.  He may be reached at

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