Tags: japan | clunkers | ford | gm

Cash-for-Clunkers Great — for Japan

Monday, 10 Aug 2009 04:56 PM


The only part of the stimulus program that is working, the “cash for clunkers” program is, in reality, a subsidy to foreign car companies, proving that Barack Obama is the best president Japan ever had.

The Department of Transportation reports that the 10 leading trade-ins are all American branded cars while six of the top 10 new cars purchased — and four of the top five — are foreign. So the Senate is about to pass additional funds to subsidize the trade-in of American cars and the purchase of foreign cars.

DOT reports that the following are the 10 top trade-ins, all American:

1. Ford Explorer

2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4 WD

4. Jeep Cherokee 4 WD

5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan

6. Chevrolet Blazer 4 WD

7. Ford Explorer 2 WD

8. Ford F150 Pickup 4 WD

9. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2 WD

10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

And the top 10 new car purchases, subsidized by the American taxpayer, are mainly foreign vehicles:

1. Toyota Corolla

2. Ford Focus FWD

3. Honda Civic

4. Toyota Prius

5. Toyota Camry

6. Ford Escape FWD

7. Hyndai Elantra

8. Dodge Caliber

9. Honda Fit

10. Chevrolet Cobalt

It is a violation of the World Trade Organization rules to enact a public subsidy program and skew it toward only domestically produced products, so the Congress has no choice but to extend the program to all comers. No choice, that is, but to not spend the money in the first place.

“Cash for clunkers” will do wonders for the Japanese economy, but its impact on the U.S. job situation is problematic. This unintended consequence is a great illustration of what happens when the blunt tool of government subsidy is applied to the fine tuning of a free market economy. Government planners keep getting it wrong. That's why socialism is such a bad idea.

So Obama can boast of a great success in taking American cars off the road and replacing them with foreign cars. Great going!

© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

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