6 August 2009: Extra funding for Cash for Clunkers expected to be approved by the Senate today

Thursday, August 06, 2009

So, the vote in the Senate is today before the August break. The most interesting number in the article can be seen at the end - the average increase in fuel economy for new cars through this program is an outstanding 61%, which comes from the fact that people are ending up buying much more fuel-efficient cars than expected. I would have expected this myself actually, since if you're that excited at the idea of saving $4500 on a new car it only makes sense to choose one of the most fuel-efficient models on top of that, which leaves you coming out feeling as if you've almost gotten away with a free car. Spending less on gas after the purchase is like a second high.

Assuming the extra funding goes through, I suppose the only issue will be whether $2 billion is even enough, since the first $1 billion was spent in the first four days. The extra funding will probably be used somewhat slower than the first, but considering the huge media coverage it has also gotten it might get spent within perhaps two weeks or so, before Congress even returns from summer break.

An op-ed in the New York Times here also gives a robust defense of the program against those that would call it a waste. Republicans should (many won't, but ideally) simply think of this in terms of national security - less gas used = less reliance on the most unstable parts of the world.


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