Here's an idea for a great Libertarian political ad for October.
The text is from The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby, on the Cash For Clunkers travesty.
IN THE market for a used car? Good luck finding a bargain: The price of “pre-owned’’ vehicles has climbed considerably over the past year. According to Edmunds.com, a website for car buyers, a three-year-old automobile today will set you back, on average, close to $20,000 — a spike of more than 10 percent since last summer. For some popular models, the increase has been much steeper. In July, a used Cadillac Escalade was going for around $35,000, or nearly 36 percent over last July’s price.
Hit the video. Seriously. Hit the video of these guys pumping Sodium Silicate into the engine of a Volvo, under orders from our President. You don't have to watch, just listen while you read the rest.
Now, back to our commentary from Mr. Jacoby.
....Part of the answer is that the supply of used cars is artificially low, because your Uncle Sam decided last year to destroy hundreds of thousands of perfectly good automobiles as part of its hare-brained Car Allowance Rebate System — or, as most of us called it, Cash for Clunkers. That was the program under which the government paid consumers up to $4,500 when they traded in an old car and bought a new one with better gas mileage. The traded-in cars — which had to be in drivable condition to qualify for the rebate — were then demolished: Dealers were required to chemically wreck each car’s engine, and send the car to be crushed or shredded.
Crank up the volume on the video. Hear the whine? Does it sound like vandals destroying a car? Destroying the economy? Destroying employment? DO YOU HEAR THE NOISE OF BARACKAGANDAN LUNACY?????
Congress and the Obama administration trumpeted Cash for Clunkers as a triumph — the president pronounced it “successful beyond anybody’s imagination.’’ Which it was, if you define success as getting people to take “free’’ money to make a purchase most of them are going to make anyway, while simultaneously wiping out productive assets that could provide value to many other consumers for years to come. By any rational standard, however, this program was sheer folly.
Briefly cut away to a clip of some obviously low-income people wandering through a used car lot. Then go back to the shrieking Volvo.
Of the 700,000 cars purchased during the clunkers frenzy, the estimated net increase in sales was only 125,000. Each incremental sale thus ended up costing the taxpayers a profligate $24,000.
Show a Cash For Clunkers-era clip of some Yuppies driving a new Prius out of a parking lot. Be sure they've transferred their Obama bumpersticker from the Clunker to the Prius. Then go back to the whining Volvo.
Even on environmental grounds, Cash for Clunkers was an exorbitant dud. Researchers at the University of California-Davis calculated that the reduction of carbon dioxide attributable to the program cost no less than $237 per ton. In contrast, carbon emissions credits cost about $20 per ton in international markets.
The whole carbon credits scam is environmentalist bullshit, but some people believe in it. Kinda like Catholics used to believe in purchasing Indulgences. Let it stay in the ad.
Using Department of Transportation figures, the Associated Press calculated that replacing inefficient clunkers with new cars getting higher mileage would reduce CO2 emissions by around 700,000 tons a year — less than Americans emit in a single hour. Likewise, the projected reduction in gasoline use amounted to about as much as Americans go through in 4 hours. (And that’s only if you assume — contrary to historical experience — that fuel consumption decreases when fuel efficiency rises.)
When all is said and done, Cash for Clunkers was a deplorable exercise in budgetary wastefulness, asset destruction, environmental irrelevance, and economic idiocy. Other than that, it was a screaming success.
Cut to the 3:55 mark on the video. Watch the guy with the fire extinguisher. Listen to the vandals giggle. Cut to a graph of declining employment. Cut to a quick graph of declining home sales. Cut to a quick graph of increased automobile prices. Then go to one more voiceover.
Do you really want to send the people who did this back to Washington?
My name is The Whited Sepulchre, and I approved this message.