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Cash for Clunkers: With Successes Like These, Who Needs Failures?

Posted on August 20 2009 1:00 pm
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The Cash for Clunkers program has been, if you believe the hype, the most successful stimulus program in recent memory. It is unquestionably popular. Who wouldn’t want “free” money for a new car? But recently, the program seems to be running as rough as the cars it tried to get off the road.


A potential trade in, or an apt analogy?

Dealers give consumers discounts, expecting the government to keep its word and reimburse them later. But in many cases the checks from the government are late or denied altogether, leaving dealerships on the hook for deals they made in good faith. And dealerships are bailing – last night on CNN, President Mark Schienberg of Greater New York Auto Dealers, had this to say about over half his dealerships pulling out of the program:

“This has been a program that’s actually probably the best incentive funds, stimulus funds, that the federal government can come up, which generated tremendous amounts of floor traffic. The problems is in the details. And the details of this program is an administration and a program that’s just too hard to sort of control.”

This program is too hard to control, but the government can control the health care system just fine. Trust them. Campbell Brown, who seemingly can’t wait for the government to take over health care, had this to say about dealers pulling out of the program:

But here’s my question. The program has only been around for a matter of weeks. The federal government is pretty inefficient about everything it does. Weren’t they being a little naive if they thought they were going to get their cash like right away? I mean, did they not get in over their heads, and now they are, you know, starting to panic because they, you know, expected more than, I think, you have a right to expect from the government?

So, we can’t expect the government to handle a $3 billion dollar program where the costs per transaction are fixed and known, and where the time scope is limited. But the government taking over 16% of the entire economy and running our health care system for the foreseeable future would go off just fine? We’re going to channel Barney Frank here for a minute – something we promise to never, ever do again, since Frank is a hypocrite who can only manage this type of outrage in relation to those opposed to his Dear Leader – and ask: on what planet do you spend most of your time?

A big leftist talking point for health-care reform says insurance companies wrongly deny claims, and when the government runs your health care that won’t happen. But some of these dealers are seeing their Cash for Clunkers claims – claims they say are fully within the guidelines – rejected with absolutely no reason given. Do you honestly think this won’t happen, time and time again, when it’s your health at risk instead of a car?

Now, the administration says it will pay all Cash for Clunkers claims, eventually, but that it may have to hire up to 11,000 more workers to do so. If the government needs to hire 11,000 workers for a program like this, we can only imagine the ballooning of federal payrolls that will occur when the government gets into the health care business. This is how costs get out of control. This is how countries go bankrupt.

I'm Paul Begala, and you can probably already guess what I'm going to say.

I'm Paul Begala, and you can probably already guess what I'm going to say.

As if sensing that yet another nail was about to be hammered into the coffin of government-run or government-sponsored health care, last night on Anderson Cooper 360, Paul Begala went on the attack. Begala was his usual moderate, temperate self when he declared, in response to the lack of Republican support for a government health care takeover, that:

“Barack Obama ran for president believing in the myth of the reasonable, rational Republican. It’s a lovely myth. And it’s like, you know, the unicorn or — or the Tooth Fairy, or a humble pundit…You know, it’s this thing you will never find. You will look all your life. And there aren’t any left in Washington.”

Sorry, Paul, but it’s not Republicans who are being irrational. It seems to us that the irrational ones are those who, despite all evidence, despite a clear history of failure and ineptitude, somehow think that government run-health care will be all rainbows and puppy dogs and no problems forever into the sunset. Not that we expected anything better from Begala, who is nothing if not laughably predictable. We just must once again point out that in Leftistan, “rational” does not mean making decisions based on evidence, it means “agreeing with leftists.”

And by that definition, we are proud and happy to be irrational opponents of ObamaCare, and opponents of all government take-overs. We wish that there were more irrational distrusters of government in Congress. They might just save us from the monstrosity of government-run health care.

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