U.S. Census data on automobile sales offer yet more proof that Betty Sutton’s biggest “achievement” was nothing but a clunker.
Just like every other Keynesian stimulus program, Cash for Clunkers relied on the delusional idea that government can create new wealth by destroying old wealth:
It destroys wealth by not letting these cars be used up over their useful life. It destroys wealth by routing scarce resources into activities – in this case, car building – that wouldn’t otherwise take place, denying other industries access to those resources. It destroys wealth by taking on liabilities, through borrowing, that have to be paid back later by taxpayers (reducing their purchasing power in the future) or by taxing them immediately (reducing their purchasing power today).
These people traded in a car they’ve been likely to drive less. We can safely assume these cars didn’t get as good gas mileage or were older, “clunkers”, because they were targeted for these reasons. These cars also may not have been driven at all, or driven rarely. However, they’ve been used to help people get a vehicle that they’re now more likely to drive more frequently!!! More driving means more emissions, even if the emission per unit of travel is less. More driving means more fuel consumption, even if the fuel consumption per unit of travel is less.
Betty Sutton’s a labor lawyer and a career politician. All she’s ever done is spend money to pander to big union bosses, radical environmentalists, and every other nutty leftist special interest in existence. She knows absolutely nothing about the free market, nothing about creating capital and jobs, and nothing about the real world consequences of her actions. Nobody should be surprised that her hare-brained ideas have wrecked the economy and burdened our children with mountains of debt.
Re-electing her and expecting anything different makes as much sense as giving an alcoholic a bottle of whiskey and the keys to your car. This shambling monstrosity is her baby. No wonder she didn’t abort it.