Given the embarrassment of the recently-admitted Cash for Clunkers shortfall after only a week of rebates, it was probably good PR to get the House to quickly pass a $2 billion bailout of the program. The Senate won’t get a look till next week, though. Dealers started withdrawing the offer when word got out that the program, officially known at the Car Allowance Rebate System, was running out of money, so they better get the word out quick. Meanwhile the Times hears that things are “a mess” at dealerships, where personnel find that the government web site where they’re supposed to register the clunkers “keeps crashing.” Dealers have to kill the clunkers, prove that they’ve killed them, and get the car corpses to scrap dealers before they can get the $3,500-to-$4,500 rebates they’ve passed on to customers. Photo (cc) rjs1322.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 31, 2009