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Jason Pawlak

Me and my Internet

Husband, Dad, Navy Officer, Coder, and Tinkerer. I have many interests and am always looking to learn something new. This site is a launching point to the many areas of the Internet that represent me.

Cash for Clunkers

As all of America knows, the government currently has a Cash for Clunkers program ( allowing people to purchase more fuel efficient cars at a discount when they trade in their used very not fuel efficient cars.

Here is what the government website has to say about their program:

The CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS) is a $1 billion government program that helps consumers buy or lease a more environmentally-friendly vehicle from a participating dealer when they trade in a less fuel-efficient car or truck. The program is designed to energize the economy; boost auto sales and put safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles on the nation's roadways.

Recently my Dad took in our older Jeep Cherokee and came home with a Honda Fit Sport.  He is very excited about the purchase of his first ever brand new (not just new to him) car.  The car is very nice and gets 35 mpg which is monumental compared to the Cherokee which was lucky to get near 10 mpg.

This program has been so popular, that it was looking like the fund would run dry by the end of this week.  That is until today when the Senate announced that “it is likely” there will be a $2 billion extension by the end of this week (

On the radio and in the online news recently I have been hearing and reading a lot of debate about the quality of this Cash for Clunkers plan.  There have been arguments saying that maybe we should have a “‘Cash for Cluckers’ program and pay people to eat chicken” (Jeb Hensnarling R-Texas).  There have been debates over whether this plan is actually helping the environment or is building a new car causing more pollution than the old not fuel efficient car (FOX News).

And let me tell you, it just boils my blood.

First off … Mr. Republican from Texas … How does comparing chicken and cars even come close?  Oh wait … is it because clunkers and cluckers sound similar?  Seriously … I don’t think you made it to the House by making stupid immature remarks like that.  Such a completely irrelevant analogy can only be attributed to you being swept away in left / right politics.  If you are going to debate a topic, I suggest you grow up past 2nd grade literary antics.

For all the folks who are wondering if the Cash for Clunkers plan is really helping the environment by causing less pollution … my first response is, who said it would?  In the paragraph quoted above from, never does it say that the goal is to make less pollution, but it does say to get people more fuel efficient cars.  And secondly, the people who are questioning the environmental impact of this plan are only thinking short term.  Please note the following list:

  • People who buy cars with great gas mileage are more likely to buy cars with great gas mileage in the future (speculation)

  • Better gas mileage makes an immediate impact on our reliance on foreign oil

  • Last I checked this is a stimulus plan that has the benefit of putting more environmentally friendly cars on the road, not the other way around

Really what it comes down to is the fact that this stimulus plan is stimulating the economy (at least the car economy).  Ford just posted first monthly increase in sales in two years (NYTimes)!  Finally, there is something that came out of Washington that people can really look at and say: “Wow, that plan really works!”  But of course politics as usual makes a giant fuss.  If it was the Right that implemented this plan, I am sure the Left would argue argue argue against it too.  That is how Washington (annoyingly) seems to work.  It is great that the government was smart enough to put a spin on a car stimulus plan that says you will get the discount if you purchase more fuel-efficient cars and not just any car.  The side effects of this program are and will be monumental.  Really, I challenge anyone to give me a real reason why this program should not be in place and/or extended with the additional $2 billion.  Ready set go …

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