The AZ Republic is at it again, cheer-leading any program that spends more taxpayer money, even to the extent of blatant editorializing in a news article. From an article on cash for clunkers (emphasis added):
The program leveraged $3 billion in clunker rebates into $20 billion-plus in new-car sales. That far exceeded the initial goals for what is arguably the most successful of the government's recent economic-stimulus programs.
Here are the sum total of the sources quoted to reach this conclusion:
- Scott Gruwell, general-sales manager of Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
- Bobbi Sparrow, president of the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association
- Arizona MVD spokesman
So lets see -- the article quoted three groups that receive money from the program plus the administrator of the program. Can't get more balanced than that. I am not really good with the pithy 200-word letter to the editor, but I sent this in today:
Max Jarman and Betty Beard wrote that the cash for clunkers program "is arguably the most successful of the government's recent economic-stimulus programs." Admittedly this is a low bar, but what evidence do they have of "success?"
Car buyers, they argue, really like the program. Edmunds.com estimates that the government has been paying $3500 to $4500 for vehicles that have a blue book value averaging just under $1500 each. Of course participants are happy "“ the government is effectively buying dollar bills for three dollars each! But is this really a reasonable way to spend taxpayer money?
Car dealers also seem to be ecstatic about the program. I would be too if the government gave my customers $3 billion of other people's money to buy products from my business. But why are auto dealers more worthy of such largess than appliance dealers, or home builders, or even massage therapists?
Not mentioned in the article are the other 99% of car owners and business that did not participate in the program. Unseen and unspoken for are the businesses and individuals who are $3 billion poorer because the government has chosen to divert this money to a more politically-favored industry.