Cash for Clunkers — It’s working!

As you may have heard in the news, the Cash for Clunkers program ran out of money after four days of operation. Yes, four days. It was supposed to run for four months. To ensure that clunker-owners don’t fret about not getting free money after trading in their old car, the House of Representatives approved a $2 billion infusion into the program to keep it financed.

First of all, if I were the one responsible for coming up with the funding estimates for such an initiative I would be absolutely embarrassed right now. Financing ran out in 1/30th the time it needed to last. Really? 1/30th? Really.

Second, isn’t it convenient that the House could rush through 2 BILLION dollars in spending because they’ve got vacation to get to? Oh, and who decided they would get five weeks of vacation in August and September alone in the first place anyway? Maybe they were doing such a great job that we, their boss, thought they should have some time off. Not so much. They gave themselves vacation. Here are their votes on giving themselves vacation:

House Vote for Vacation

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe time off is just what they need. Less time working = less time to screw things up. Heck, they could even go part-time and then we’d really be saving money! I’m not the first to think up such an idea however; Citizens for California Reform is already petitioning the Californian government to do just that!

Third, and what makes me want to rip my hair out the most, is the typical politician response to so many people jumping at the free cash the program offers. Representative Sander Levin (D) of Michigan explains, “The rush to use this program shows its need.”

Ah-hah! I get it! Offer people free money. Lots of people take the free money. We’ve found a runaway success! May I have another? Oh, it gets better. Rep. Levin continues, “What else do we need to see? This program is working.”

I see. “Working” is no longer of measurement of effectiveness, but popularity. Well why don’t we just make a bunch of programs that give people “free” money then? Then we’ll feel important and useful! Welcome to socialism.