Dispatches from a Small Business
Mark Perry links a story on the "cash for clunkers" program, including a small taste of the 136-pages of rules, regulations, and procedures dealers must follow to qualify for the payment.
Nice to see the government has caught up with what a big evil oil company was doing 20 years ago.
"California. 5 In 1990, the Union Oil Company of California (Unocal) worked with the state's South Coast Air Quality Management District in the Los Angeles metropolitan area to implement the first AVR program, the South Coast Recycled Auto Project (SCRAP). Vehicles older than the 1971 model year and that had been registered for use in the Los Angeles area for at least 6 months were eligible. Unocal purchased each eligible vehicle for $700 from the owner and then crushed the vehicles to recycle the metal. The program scrapped 8,376 vehicles and estimated that it reduced 12.8 million pounds of pollutants (including hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide). 6"
For a quick look at how well "Cash for Clunkers" is working in Vermont, check out this blog post: http://www.vermonttiger.com/content/2009/07/a-while-back-congress-came-up-with-a-great-idea-for-simultaneously-giving-the-economy-a-jolt-helping-out-those-car-companie.html
Amusingly, I heard a member of the texas association of new car dealers, or whatever they're called, on the radio earlier this week, explaining that the $1B in cash for clunkers could have a multiplier effect to the tune of 1% of GDP. The host, who's not a math whiz, estimated that to be $400B. IIRC GDP's about $12T, so he was at least in the same general ballpark. However, normally it takes a Hillary Clinton to get a 100-fold ROI.
"MP: If there are 136 pages of mind-numbing government regulations for a $4,500 car rebate, can you imagine how many pages of regulations will be required for a government-managed health care system?"
How many pages are there already for Medicaid and Medicare? When you throw insurance forms into the mix, it gets even worse. My Doctor's office has three people just to handle this paperwork. Our local hospital has a seperate building to house the people who take care of this paperwork. How much does this add to the costs of healthcare?
This is a horrible program, I admit, even though I purchased a new car under it a few days ago (in my case, I was going to buy anyway and my old car was already on life support). It wouldn't be nearly so bad if the old cars were not destroyed:
Bastiat is turning in his grave.
Government as window-breaker?