What is the purpose of the CforC program?

An especially hilarious set of sentences concerning the successful "Cash for Clunkers" program, courtesy of the NY Times:

...dealers must destroy the old engines of cars being turned in before the government will reimburse them for the $3,500 or $4,500 discount...

The Times’s Katharine Q. Seelye has captured the “laborious and potentially dangerous” car-crushing process on video.

Furthermore, some critics have noted that the requirement to demolish old engines could reduce their availability at junkyards, which could prevent people who cannot afford any kind of new car, rebate or not, from fixing up old vehicles. That has bolstered criticism from the right that the program was intended for “limousine liberals.” [emphases added]

Sigh! Okay, what is the purpose of the program?!?!? Clearly, one purpose of the program is to act as an economic stimulus, encouraging people to go out and buy new autos. Cool! Wonderful! That's exactly the sort of thing that America needs right now. But the other purpose is to get polluting old cars off the road. It's to exchange the old polluting cars for cleaner-burning ones that don't pollute as much.

Obviously, if old engines are simply re-sold, that would defeat the secondary purpose of the program. Dunno why the authors of the piece didn't make this clear as opposed to just regurgitating Republican propaganda on the program.

Commenters in the Inky on the program bring up a good point, that the CforC program rewards past bad behavior.

Posted by Bobphxville 02:21 PM, 08/01/2009
I agree with rbpeeple. I have two old cars that I am limping by with - a Cavalier and a Prism. Both with over 100k miles. Because I made smart choices years ago, and by purchasing cars with decent gas mileage (which lessened the negative impact on the environment over the past 10 years) - I can get NOTHING by this program. This program benefits those that made stupid choices, bought gas guzzlers, and hurt the environment during the past 10 years. I am waiting for one of these government programs to help me - while I am trying to pay $5000 a month for 10 months to a college (Bucknell) that decides that I make too much money to get a penny of finacial aid.

I can't disagree with this, Bobphxville makes a valid point. Ya just can't please everyone. To allow responsible citizens to get the same deal that those who made foolish choices did would again, defeat the purpose of the program.

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