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Obamacare? Cash For Clunkers? Send in the Clowns!!

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July 31, 2009 – Comments (25)

The “Cash for Clunkers” program has been suspended effective immediately. No, it is still in effect through the weekend. Yes, the gov’t website is no longer accepting applications for rebates, and car dealers are no longer taking in the trade-ins. The CFC has exceeded it’s $1B allocation; whaddumean you ain’t sure how much money in rebates has been allocated? The House has approved $2B to keep the CFC program alive through the weekend. Witness Mr. Gibbs, the prez’ rep to the media: “Duh, I dunno…”

Are you sure you want these Keystone Kops in charge of your medical care? Your child needing experimental treatment, or will surely die? Your wife who does not meet the screening requirements denied a mammogram? Your grandpa who is going to die in a year or two denied addictive, but super effective pain killing pills?

Are you sure you want the same clowns who are in charge of the “Cash For Clunkers” program in charge of life or death decisions for your medical care?

25 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 01, 2009 at 1:16 AM, SolarisKing (< 20) wrote:

All cars turned in to the C FOR C program are scrapped. I read it today in the local paper. It upsets the junkyard dealers and the auto mechanics.

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#2) On August 01, 2009 at 2:08 AM, rofgile (99.43) wrote:

CFC has been the best stimulus enacted so far.  There is a 4:1 GDP:dollar spent growth because of this.  3 billion total is too little, they should be giving 10 billion to this.

With 1 billion, we had 250,000 car sales.  Yearly car sales in the US are still only 10 million, where they would normally be about 15 million.

We could put 10 billion to this, or even up to 20 billion (which would correspond to almost a 0.8% rise in our net GDP).  That is an awesome stimulus.  The positive effects are not just to GDP, it helps fuel efficiency, addresses the trade inbalance due to oil imports, keeps auto makers and dealers alive through a once in 50 year major downturn.

And yes, I would like the government to bring about a universal health care plan.  You think the government can't provide a good medical coverage?  Have you ever looked at the medical coverage that the US military has?  That's among the best in the world, and guess what - its a plan enacted, and run by.... drum roll..  the US govt.  Why can't a government have a good medical care?  Just because of a ideological reason?  

I know people who came here from Norway.  In their country, they have universal health, universal childcare, ample vacation time, and access to college education.  And they are very very happy about that system. The couple from norway are very much looking to move back as soon as possible.

Ideas are fine, but don't blind yourself to realities too. 

 -Rof 

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#3) On August 01, 2009 at 2:42 AM, AnAmateur (< 20) wrote:

'I know people who came here from Norway.  In their country, they have universal health, universal childcare, ample vacation time, and access to college education.  And they are very very happy about that system. The couple from norway are very much looking to move back as soon as possible.'

 

Norway is a homogenous, highly-educated population. The U.S is a large population that is constantly importing more third world immigrants who take more and contribute less.

 What works in Scandinavia, won't work here.

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#4) On August 01, 2009 at 3:24 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

CFC is guided by the same economic principles as the clowns standing next to the tailor's broken window in the Broken Window Fallacy.

It is very amusing that Progressives, with their haughty sense of intellectual superiority and their smug self rightousness, can completely misunderstand basic economic principles while giving economic advice.

The CFC program simply inflates new car prices, making them less affordable to poor people who weren't lucky enough to have a clunker that could be traded in.  Once again, Progressives claim Social Justice while screwing over poor people.  Furthermore, by destroying clunkers, the program makes used car parts more scarce, driving up prices in the secondary market.  Once again, poor people suffer at the hands of the do-gooders.

Using the Broken Window Fallacy as an analogy, the government is the brick thrower and Progressive cheerleaders would be the fools gathering around the broken window calculating how many jobs were created by this act of vandalism.

Even less surprising is the reaction of Keynesian economists and Liberal politicians.  Once again they find themselves completely amazed that people like free money (when the government offers you a $4500 for a car that isn't worth $4500, that's called free money.)   The distortions that will arise from this economic stupidity will certainly be blamed on the free market.

Stupid is, stupid does.

David in Qatar

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#5) On August 01, 2009 at 3:30 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

To clarify comment #4 directed at the complete imbecile who praised the U.S. Military Medical System, this comes from practical experience with this disgusting and evil bureaucracy.  Besides my father, who lost his leg in Vietnam, leading to a year of Hell in a VA hospital (he has never gone back to a VA hospital since - hmmm, guess he just doesn't know how awesome they are!) and a close friend that was misdaignosed and mistreated for Graves disease and Hypothryroid, then refused re-enlistment without benefits or coverage, there is a well documented history of neglect and abuse in the U.S. medical system that would make any young person sick.

My suggestion to all the kind hearted liberal do-gooders that want to model the U.S. health care system after the U.S. Military Health Care System (the U.S. military being the most Socialist institution in America - no wonder they can't win a fight) is simple:  Go Freaking Enlist You Cowards.

David in Qatar 

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#6) On August 01, 2009 at 3:58 AM, guiron (26.59) wrote:

David,

The VA system is vastly improved and is significantly better than you get from private insurance these days, on average. Taxpayers provide that, you and me both. I don't have to enlist to have something to say about it. I pay for it. Several members of my family are military and have depended on the VA, including my uncle retired from the Navy, who has been treated for cancer for several years, which would have destroyed him financially if he had private insurance on his income. He has nothing but good things to say about his care.

The US is the only advanced nation in the world without universal health care, we pay more for care than any country in the world and get the worst outcomes, and very conservative estimates are that around 40,000 people die every year due to lack of coverage. Our quality of care is lower than many countries which provide universal coverage, ranking 37th in a 2000 WHO study. France's system costs 1/3 less and provides much better care. As that article mentions, "some 65% of French citizens express satisfaction with their system, compared with 40% of U.S. residents. And France spends just 10.7% of its gross domestic product on health care, while the U.S. lays out 16%, more than any other nation."

The only reason we don't have this kind of care is because the insurance companies and others profiting from the status quo have fought it tooth and nail for decades now, spending hundreds of millions of dollars they leeched from us on both parties to make sure we don't get better care. If you are fighting for these guys, you're either a shill or a sucker, because it's clear to anyone who cares to look that we're getting fleeced and bankrupted by the companies who hold our very lives in their hands, who ration care according to maximixing profit, not on the best patient outcome.

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#7) On August 01, 2009 at 4:16 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

guiron,

Again, somebody without any practical experience relying on the bogus studies of government cheerleaders.  You will find out the hard way, I suppose. 

Airman loses legs after gallbladder surgery

Walter Reed VA Hospital Scandal

Mistreatment of Veterans is National Disgrace

Healthcare a disgrace to military uniform

Only someone that has never actually used the military health care system for anything beyond a common treatment would ever dare hold it up as a model.  Again, take the plunge.  Enlist. Get your legs ripped off by a roadside bomb fighting the government's war on whatever.  You obviously must learn the hard way. 

David in Qatar

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#8) On August 01, 2009 at 6:50 AM, devoish (96.42) wrote:

David,

With HR676, (Single Payer, which I support), or HR3200 ("let's try to make the insurers play nice" which is being discussed in Congressional committee and in the news) all the exisiting Dr's, Hospitals etc, won't magically fall off the face of the earth. With HR676 100% of military and veterans will have their lot improved by being able to visit any hospital or Dr in the USA, of their choice. I am not sure if HR3200 allows such, or if special legislation is required as now.

I undertand you believe people and enterprises in pursuit of money outperform those who are not, and eventually quality of healthcare will suffer, if not right away.

I understand also that other "free marketeers" (daretothredux) have promoted volunteerism and charity as their healthcare solution.

I understand and agree, that you believe Gov't interference means that "free markets" do not exist in healthcare.

I understand there is no "free market" anywhere to model after.

I understand there are Gov't run healthcare models that do a much better job of providing healthcare than what we do here.

I understand you will dispute that claim.

Please understand I disagree with you.

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#9) On August 01, 2009 at 9:49 AM, DownEscalator (< 20) wrote:

I become ill reading people praise the VA and European systems of healthcare.  The VA is NOT a good system.  The worst doctors in America wind up working for the VA (other doctors make fun of their peers who wind up working there).  If you did what the VA did system -wide, you'd have a severe shortage of doctors almost immediately. 

Doctors in mainland Europe make about 100k per year (adjusted for exchange rates).  Doctors in the US currently make about 250k per year on average.  You may find that high, but remember these doctors almost always take out ridiculous loans to cover the high tuition of medical school (and to get them through the meager pay of residency).

The reason the VA "works" (snicker) is that they scrape the bottom of the barrel staff-wise.  The whole system cannot do this without lowering our quality of doctors to an unacceptibly low level. 

HR676 is a disaster in this respect.  It completely ignores how the average doctor/hospital will react.  Many doctors will use their connections to find new careers.  Many will move to plastic surgery.  Many hospitals will wind up declaring bankruptcy due to the revenue restrictions and endless obligations (remember, Medicare is the least-preffered payer for hospitals) of HR676.

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#10) On August 01, 2009 at 10:17 AM, Bkeepr100 (< 20) wrote:

No,  the cars are not being junked or scrapped out.  They are stripped of envormental emmision control systems and being shipped to China and other counrties to use on their highways.

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#11) On August 01, 2009 at 10:41 AM, PrestonCheek (32.70) wrote:

 whereaminow

Comment #4

ROTFLMAO

You know that I follow you farely well, I just never knew you had such a great since of humor. :) 

 Thanks man for always telling it like it is, oh yeah and the truth too!!!!!

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#12) On August 01, 2009 at 12:21 PM, UKIAHED (34.16) wrote:

whereaminow

The CFC program simply inflates new car prices, making them less affordable to poor people who weren't lucky enough to have a clunker that could be traded in.  Once again, Progressives claim Social Justice while screwing over poor people.  Furthermore, by destroying clunkers, the program makes used car parts more scarce, driving up prices in the secondary market.  Once again, poor people suffer at the hands of the do-gooders.

 

Inflates the price of a new car?  That’s odd.  I negotiated a discount from last years price on my new car – then I got the $4500 on top of the discount.

Makes used car parts more scarce?  Only the engine and drivetrain.  All the rest (computers, body, interior, etc.) can all be sold.  It seems to me that by adding 250,000 cars into the parts market – you may actually make most parts less scarce (just not the engine and drivetrain).

"The CARS Act requires that the trade-in vehicle be crushed or shredded so that it will not be resold for use in the United States or elsewhere as an automobile. The entity crushing or shredding the vehicles in this manner will be allowed to sell some parts of the vehicle prior to crushing or shredding it, but these parts cannot include the engine or the drive train."

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#13) On August 01, 2009 at 12:35 PM, DaretothREdux (36.24) wrote:

Dare

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#14) On August 01, 2009 at 1:53 PM, alexxlea (42.32) wrote:

Cash for clunkers is stupid. Cars add nothing to the economy other than allowing us to buoy our gdp by a marginal amount for the one quarter it's in effect. It drives up new and used car prices and will lead to a dearth of sales down the road. You might as well give people negative interest rates on their loans if they don't have a credit history while you're at it.

Health care in general is terrible. It's a waste of money. The moneys spent on peope with diseases that can only be treated by specialists are a waste. The money spent on the terminally ill are a waste of money. No offense people but there's this thing called the gene pooland  if you were meant to die then well, there you have it. One less mouth to feed. The only problem with that is that things that you live with until you reproduce carry on to your future generations and cause suffering for them as well. Sure you could cure it but eventually with all of this assistance we're getting we're all going to be sick right out of the box and have to be "medically" "cured" of our "illnesses".

You might be thinking "wow this guy is crazy" but hey guess what, we've replaced survival of the fittest with survival of the richest. If you have the money you can get the operation, period. How is that remotely fair? The accumulation of wealth itself is a socially destructive act.

I don't think you guys get it. The government in America isn't the problem with the government in America. The corporations running the government America are the problem with the government in America. It's embarassing that I live in a country where our politicians are allowed to pass legislation in the blink of an eye when their main contributers to their recent or lifelong campaign funds were those same companies they just wrote bills for. Does no one else think of that as some sort of system that doesn't make the slighest bit of sense?

David, you seem to be targetting the VA itself and its doctors and staff for being the bottom of the barrel. Clearly you with your decades of reviewing their performance can stand as a judge for why they do so poorly. Or rather your unwillingness to admit that perhaps they can simply do nothing with the budget they have, which we do not want to pressure OUR government to improve the situation of. Personally I am disgusted by the fact that in this day and age of bailouts we cannot afford to give a soldier's family a decent life if they have lost their loved one, or give a soldier who loses their chance at a normal life a reasonable compensation for their dedication to the ideals this nation claims to still stand upon.

I agree that insurance companies should be wiped off the map, and I'd like to add financial companies to that list, for obvious reasons. I'm just angry that people are so blind to what is really crippling our nation at this point in its history.

And the root cause of this is because when we as a nation decided that our own individual pursuits were to be held above all else, we abandoned our true passions, we abandoned our friends and our families and our loved ones for the collective pursuit of money. And that is how we arrivd at the state of affairs we have now. From every level of society this desire has overrun any chance of reconciliation with a more perfect union, and the dawn of a new age is upon us. 

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#15) On August 01, 2009 at 3:08 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

What sense does it make to destroy these engines and transmissions?  People of limited means often rely on rebuilt engines and transmissions to keep their cars running since they can't afford a new car or even a good used car.  What about the factories that rebuild these parts?  Do they care about the workers there?  Or the mechanics that install them?, etc.

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#16) On August 01, 2009 at 3:35 PM, alexxlea (42.32) wrote:

It makes perfect sense. People who deal in used cars obviously didn't lobby hard enough for their end of the deal.

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#17) On August 01, 2009 at 4:25 PM, PrestonCheek (32.70) wrote:

#13

You really are gullible, I buy a new vehicle every two years and believe me you are not getting a discount, you are getting what you should pay for a car/truck. The markups are terrrible, you negotiated nothing, they new what they were going to sell it for when you walked in the door.

By the way what was your interest rate when you financed it?

Oh, and don't tell me it was financed through the dealership you bought it through, if so they're laughing all the way to the bank.

#15

That was a great rant by the way.

Dare, I have already listened to it, but I will say thanks again.

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#18) On August 01, 2009 at 4:49 PM, DaretothREdux (36.24) wrote:

PrestonCheek,

Actually, that's chapter 2! Not the Chapter 1 that I posted in my blog. But if you have already listened to it then you are one of the few. Thanks ;-) I will be posting it to my blog when I have finished chapter 3.

Dare

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#19) On August 01, 2009 at 5:27 PM, UKIAHED (34.16) wrote:

PrestonCheek

You really are gullible, I buy a new vehicle every two years and believe me you are not getting a discount, you are getting what you should pay for a car/truck. The markups are terrrible, you negotiated nothing, they new what they were going to sell it for when you walked in the door.

By the way what was your interest rate when you financed it?

I know that attacking me instead of my point may have been fun – but you failed to disprove my point.  So, I will throw it back at you as you burn thru cars more often then I do.  Negotiation skills aside - do you see an increase in new car prices in the last week caused by the CFC? 

In answer to your second question - 60 months at 4.99%.

 

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#20) On August 01, 2009 at 5:53 PM, PrestonCheek (32.70) wrote:

 UKIAHED

First let me apologize for the attack, that really is not my style and I got caught up in the moment.

That is a good rate but remember they do have an astronomical amount built into those cars.

I have not bought a new car since August last year so I cannot answer that question. But I do stick by what David is saying that it will inflate the prices for us little guys.

Don't forget that government thinks they are helping when in fact they are hurting us every time they try to step in, some say they know they're doing it, others say they don't have a clue as to what they're doing. But here are a few links.

http://digg.com/autos/Cash_For_Clunkers_Demystified_Infographic

http://www.businessweek.com/autos/autobeat/archives/2009/05/cash_for_clunke_1.html

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/syracuse_nyfriday_capped_the_e.html

http://www.topix.com/forum/source/chicago-tribune/TIGOB733EVRL54T1U

Ok, I apologized, but I would like you to at least agree that this is not a free ticket to the scum of the earth to slam you against the wall and rape you, and the government.

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#21) On August 01, 2009 at 5:56 PM, DownEscalator (< 20) wrote:

do you see an increase in new car prices in the last week caused by the CFC? 

Yes.  Car companies have been having a severe problem with low sales.  Traditionally, the remedy for low sales is to lower prices.  The MSRP price of a Chrysler Sebring Sedan right now is listed at 23k.  Now no one in their right mind would buy a Seabring for 23k.  That price is way too high and Chrysler should lower it.  In reality, it's about a 16k car.  But the government program allows them to inflate the price by keeping it the same as it would be under normal sales, all while the customer has to surrender an asset and pay over the actual market value of the car with interest.

It's a short-term scam to boost car sales and artifically boost government revenues by claiming higher prices than what would normally sell at the expense of people who aren't fortunate enough to own a "clunker."

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#22) On August 01, 2009 at 6:37 PM, UKIAHED (34.16) wrote:

PrestonCheek

Ok, I apologized, but I would like you to at least agree that this is not a free ticket to the scum of the earth to slam you against the wall and rape you, and the government.

Thank you.  I completely agree that this should not be a free ride for the automakers (I assume that you mean them as the “scum of the earth”), and that the environmental stats from the first $1billion should be checked before any additional funds are added to this program.  I will even go further to say that this was probably not the best use of $1 billion if the focus was to do anything other than move cars.  The environmental intent of this worked in my situation (18MPG van to 45MPG hybrid), but I realize that most folks will not purchase anything with a substantial increase in mileage.  I also realize that I was in the perfect situation to take advantage of this money, whereas most folks are not.

…some say they know they're doing it, others say they don't have a clue as to what they're doing.

The government knowing what it is doing - LOL

DownEscalator

do you see an increase in new car prices in the last week caused by the CFC? 

Yes.  Car companies have been having a severe problem with low sales.  Traditionally, the remedy for low sales is to lower prices.  The MSRP price of a Chrysler Sebring Sedan right now is listed at 23k.  Now no one in their right mind would buy a Seabring for 23k.

So, DownEscalator, by saying “Yes” to my question, you are telling me that the Seabring MSRP last month was lower than 23K?  That after the CFC was passed, all the 18,000 dealers ran out to their lots and changed the MSRP stickers…?  As I have been contemplating this purchase for about a year – I can tell you that my dealer did not change the sticker price (and that I did not pay the sticker price).

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#23) On August 01, 2009 at 6:59 PM, PrestonCheek (32.70) wrote:

UKIAHED

Thanks for accepting my apology for getting us off to a bad start. :)

And I'm very glad you were one of the luckier ones to benefit yourself and the environment with your upgrade.

Sad truth is that your honesty, if given by all would soon turn into travesty when even after this program is halted that the dealerships will continue their raping, these people know no bounds.

 

 

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#24) On August 01, 2009 at 11:59 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

PrestonCheek and DownEscalator,

Thanks for putting the pieces together in a way that reflects present day conditions.  I may have the theory down, but I can not compare to your ability to show its practical application.  Common sense is not a common virtue.  Thanks for the comments!

David in Qatar

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#25) On August 06, 2009 at 1:55 PM, foolishdoog (< 20) wrote:

From a macro perspective the CFC makes little to no sense. You are just making people that might have bought new cars a year from now buy them today. Who buys a new car every year? In addition to a lack of future demand, the government subsidy accounts for 30% of some new vehicles. Can you imagine getting a 30% subsidy on a new home? In addition to that you are creating 0 wealth. You are only transfering wealth down the line from taxpayers who are happy with their cars, to people that want free lunches.  who wouldn't take a 30% free lunch anyway. American's aren't stupid, they will take a free lunch when offered.

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