The cash-for-clunkers program has been hailed by many as one of the most successful and popular government programs in a while. It was "a wildly successful program that sold nearly 250,000 cars in its first four days alone" says Bill Adams, spokesman for the DOT. Auto sales added about 1.7% to the GDP number that was out today, accounting for about half of the GDP rise we saw in the 3rd quarter. A total of 690,000 cars were sold under the program.
Edmunds.com, an online car site, compared normal sale trends before and after the program and typical trends compared to vehicles that were not part of the program (trucks, luxury, etc.) and estimated that without the program 565,000 cars would have been sold. So cash-for-clunkers added about 125,000 cars. The government spent $3 Billion dollars ($3,000,000,000) on the program. That means it spent $24,000 per "stimulated" car sale!
If Ford or Honda tried this they would soon be bankrupt! But when the government does this it is called wildly successful! Not to mention that we arrived at the point where taxpayers are footing the bill for the downpayment of people's new cars... which is really mind blowing to me.
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