Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cash for clunkers....

I am a very strong supported of President OBAMA and his programs, and the idea of getting fuel INefficient cars off the road is a good one.


Replacing them with more cars may help the economy but I do have to swallow hard on anything that means more cars on the road, even if more fuel efficient. Who knows whether the cars being scrapped were driven very much by their owners and whether the new cars will actually result in increased air pollution because they are used a lot more.

In my own case, we own two 1988 Hondas. We made conscious decisions at the time to opt for good fuel efficiency, and we have been very happy with both cars. Neither qualified for this program because they are rated at higher than 18 MPG. While it is good to focus on the worst offenders, I have to ask myself, at least, whether it is fair for someone who - in 1988, for example - bought a gas "guzzler", and who has been polluting our air to excess during twenty years to receive up to $4,500 from the government when we receive nothing toward the purchase of our next car which we hope will be much more efficient than the ones we own.

This system has worked successfully in France, Germany and perhaps elsewhere but I do not know if they have the same requirements. In France, for example, it appears that the only requirement is that the car being traded in is older than 15 years. Even if a lower amount is offered, that seems much fairer.

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