Friday, January 29, 2010

Better Recalculate The MPG

Last year we had a government plan, "Cash for Clunkers". If you had an older vehicle that got poor mileage you could get federal bucks to trade it in for a new car. This was proposed to reduce the gas guzzlers on the road and stimulate car sales. The big three US automakers were in trouble. This could help keep them in business. It would help (voters)citizens buy a new car. It was a green decision that would save the world.
Buyers got $4800 for turned in gas guzzlers. Actually cost to taxpayers per transaction was closer to $28,000. I'm no CPA, but I calculate a $24,000 difference. The cost was for administration of the program. Pause, while you scratch your head.
Is that efficient use of resources? Keep in mind the government wants to work its magic reengineering the healthcare system so it can reduce costs. Why are so many people skeptical it could manage that?

Maybe we could have outsourced the transaction bookwork to computer guys in India or Indonesia as a cost effective measure. I know it wouldn't be nice to lose that domestic income. I would agree, except there were no restrictions on which new car people purchased. Toyota Corolla came in 1st. Eight of the top ten cars sold was from an Asian car company.
We had a federal program which helped foreign car manufacturers more than American automakers. It only gets stranger when you consider we, the taxpayers, own one of the US automakers.
Well, the Cash for Clunkers program is over. It spent three billion bucks. Can we feel better that at least we have more fuel efficient cars on the road? All those fuel efficient Toyotas that are now on our roads might be worth the 3 billion spent. I wonder how much fossil fuel we are actually saving with a fleet of Toyotas with gas peddles stuck on accelerate?

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