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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's about gas guzzlers, not clunkers

Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009, at 1:45 PM

Always read the fine print.

When the news first started appearing online, along with emails from Ellsworth, with screaming headlines about the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program, I thought this fall would be a good time to get a new car.

Ever seen my car? Yeah. Well, I just assumed it would qualify as a "clunker." Wrong.

According to the U.S. government, I do not drive a "clunker."

The reason is because my car gets over 18 mpg.

According to the American Heritage dictionary, a "clunker" is a decrepit machine, especially an old car, a rattletrap.

The real name of the government program is C.A.R.S. which stands for Car Allowance Rebate System. But from the beginning, it was known as the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

Leave it to Congress to use words in ways that are not recognized by dictionaries.

Why in the heck did they start calling it "Cash for Clunkers" when it wasn't about "clunkers" at all?

By their definition, a Hummer is a "clunker." So is a Toyota Land Cruiser. And a Lincoln Continental.

Once the program went into effect and I took the time to read the rules, and figured out I'm not a "clunker" driver, I haven't bothered to read much more about it.

But later on, I did notice some more headlines about how the program ran into some kind of glitch (no, surely not) and had been suspended.

Beats me what happened. I don't watch much news these days - just not in the mood for the expert opinions of Gloria Borger and Candy Crowley, etc.

Cable news and newspapers have all moved off the "clunker" topic anyway.

Now they're talking about health care.

Hmm.... If Congress can't put together something like a car rebate program and make it work, what makes people think they could put together a health care deal that works?

Time to read the fine print again.

Anna Rochelle is a staff writer at the Greene County Daily World and can be reached by calling 812-847-4487 or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I'm with you, Anna. I drive a 10 year old car, but it's not considered a "clunker". It doesn't matter what your actual mpg is, they go by what the government rates your car at. Then I got the idea of using my husband's 20 yr. old pickup truck, and yes it barely qualified, but by that time they cancelled the program.

-- Posted by DoubleL on Thu, Aug 6, 2009, at 5:04 PM

Tommy, that's great if your vehicles work for you. The purpose of the program is to nudge consumers whose main priority is cost to purchase fuel efficient vehicles. It's all part of the plan that new vehicles will get a minimum of 35mpg by 2016. If consumers are buying more fuel efficient vehicles, the auto companies will produce more of them, and so on.

And really, who cares what the program is called. It isn't even called "Cash For Clunkers" anymore.

-- Posted by RedBlueGreen on Thu, Aug 6, 2009, at 5:10 PM

"Hmm.... If Congress can't put together something like a car rebate program and make it work, what makes people think they could put together a health care deal that works?"

This is THE QUESTION all Americans should ask. If our government can't run the CARS program without exhausting funds what makes us think they can run health care?

-- Posted by Mr. F on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 7:22 AM

Mr. F: A few points:

a) They're not trying to run health care.

b) The CARS program wasn't intended to last forever, so why are you and the author acting like it was? The health care plan is meant to be sustainable. They're totally different programs, you can't even compare the two.

-- Posted by RedBlueGreen on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 9:16 AM

Sure you can...I just did. Would you like apples or oranges?

-- Posted by Mr. F on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 5:37 PM

I guess I should have tacked on "intelligently" to the end of that last sentence.

-- Posted by RedBlueGreen on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 5:46 PM

RedBlueGreen is right. The Cash for Clunkers program was provided with a certain amount of money, and the program was so successful that it has already used up all the funding. It was never meant to last forever.

For Ms. Rochelle to say she doesn't watch much news after making the observation that she "heard" there was a glitch in the CARS program is worrisome. If she writes a column that allows her to spread her views via this newspaper, shouldn't she at least be informed enough to know the facts?

Our government is at least as trustworthy as the insurance companies who now hold our lives in their hands (if we're lucky enough to have insurance). As the greedy insurance executives take ever larger multi-million dollar salaries, rates will continue to rise and we will find ourselves (or our employers) less and less able to afford coverage.

Our military, our veterans, and our senior citizens all have government run medical coverage. If that's so bad, why are so many eager to sign up for it? Nothing is perfect, but we cannot afford to continue down the path we're on.

-- Posted by Ellie on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 6:44 PM

Social Security was supposed to be temporary too...

-- Posted by The Raven on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 7:59 PM

True Raven.. as was federal income tax...yet another fine program by the "progressives".

-- Posted by Mr. F on Sat, Aug 8, 2009, at 11:17 AM

I wonder are people with potential credit/payment issues being put in these new vehicles? Will this be like the housing issue - all being repo'd soon.

-- Posted by gary g on Mon, Aug 10, 2009, at 6:40 PM

I agree with you notgreenenative:

Not only are the veterans being abused by our government but so are the disabled! My husband has been in a wheelchair for 33 years.( a parapelegic) They find all kinds of ways to deny him. From getting a wheelchair when his is falling apart, telling him he doesnt need new tires when his is showing the innertube to medical supplys. Im like you I have not seen anything in Obamas plan either. These people who think he is gonna make things better is just fooling themselves.

-- Posted by Scorpio1969 on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 9:08 PM


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