"In apparent violation of the new cash-for-clunkers law, the Department of Transportation [DOT] is more than 10 days late in paying rebates of at least hundreds of thousands of dollars on dealer claims," reports Automotive News....
The clunkers law signed by President Obama requires that dealers be reimbursed by the government within ten days for the $3,500 to $4,500 credits they've paid to customers. The DOT says it's working through computer problems.
"Very few dealers are getting very little money," said Bob Israel, president of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association. "It's not working smoothly at all."
David Wilson, a Toyota dealer in Orange County, Calif., has been paid for only three of 92 claims he submitted before Aug. 2, leaving him in the lurch for $374,000.
North Carolina's Brad Wood has12 unpaid claims since Aug. 1. He's received just $26,000 of the $319,000 in rebates he is owed. "I've never experienced anxiety like this in business before," he says. "If I don't get paid, I will have been working almost free for several months."...
Many deals are also are getting rejections for procedural minutiae that they can't straighten out because the 200 employees DOT has allocated program aren't enough. Employees are inaccessible by phone or e-mail, NADA's Wood says. The problem? Unlike the IRS, for example, which doesn't audit every tax form, all clunkers applications must be reviewed. That's 315,000 forms so far (for a staff of 200). Washington is scrambling to boost the number of employees to 1,000, but that will cost more money in a program already tight for cash.
Read the whole thing. He goes on to describe the way in which the Feds are setting up dealers as the fall guy for the Fed's failures.
Update: From Carpe Diem, on health care in Britain
1. TELEGRAPH -- A quarter of a million people are waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment on the NHS, new figures show. The figures, published by the Lib Dems, show that 236,316 people are currently waiting more than 18 weeks for a range of treatments including oral surgery, rheumatology and geriatric medicine. This means that nearly 10% of patients are not being treated within the government's waiting list target.
2. TELEGRAPH -- Civitas, the think tank, blames the monolithic nature of the National Health Service for "putting the patient last". It argues that the "customer" of the NHS business model introduced by Tony Blair and continued by Gordon Brown is the health secretary rather than the patient.
By the way, if you are intrested in free markets and economics, you really should be reading Carpe Diem. I could link almost every one of Mark Perry's posts if I had the time.