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Edmunds casts doubt over the actual effectiveness of Cash for Clunkers; White House fires back

A new Edmunds research study indicates U.S. taxpayers paid $24,000 per new car sold during the Cash for Clunkers program which took place over the summer.

The entire Cash for Clunkers program cost a total of $3 billion, offering car owners with gas guzzlers to purchase a new car with up to $4,500 in monetary incentives.  The program -- aimed at boosting the economy and getting older, less fuel-efficient cars off the road -- didn't have the economical impact as expected by some numbers, states Edmunds.

According to Edmunds, “Nearly 690,000 vehicles were sold during the Cash for Clunkers program, officially known as CARS, but Edmunds.com analysts calculated that only 125,000 of the sales were incremental. The rest of the sales would have happened anyway, regardless of the existence of the program.”

"Our research indicates that without the Cash for Clunkers program, many customers would not have traded in an old vehicle when making a new purchase," added Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins.

If true, the $24,000 per vehicle paid by taxpayers is $3,000 less than the average cost of a new vehicle purchased during the program in August 2009: $26,915.

Statements from Edmunds have angered White House officials, with Edmunds defending itself by saying the government is "shooting the messenger."

The "faulty analysis suggesting that the cash for clunkers program had no meaningful impact on our economy or on on overall auto sales.  This is the latest of several critical 'analyses' of the cash for clunkers program from Edmunds.com,  which appear designed to grab headlines and get coverage on cable TV," according to the White House.  "Like many of their previous attempts, this latest claim doesn't withstand even basic scrutiny."

The White House claims Edmunds didn't take "beneficial impact" from fourth-quarter Gross National Product into consideration when compiling its report.  Furthermore, the government said its program helped boost both local and the national economy, creating new jobs that were being pulled away from the U.S.

After the program ended, the auto industry suffered a post-clunker sales drop, though sales are slowly expected to rise.



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Probably biased
By TSS on 10/29/2009 7:13:28 PM , Rating: 4
Both edmunds.com and the white house's statements are biased in their own way. I do think that the white house in this case more so then edmunds.com.

Ramping up production for lost inventory.. give me a break. Who's going to buy that new inventory after the post clunker sales drop? Since sales are expected to rise they would've risen anyway.

In any case, I'm going with edmunds on this. Why? well.... to be honest i've been waiting for an excuse to use this:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

national debt > GDP. Probably for the first time since a long time. The white house caused that, so i'd rather not trust them on any analysis of financial effectiveness.

However somebody claiming the government just wasted another big wad of cash with little to no result seems entirely likely to me.




RE: Probably biased
By reader1 on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Probably biased
By Keeir on 10/29/2009 7:37:09 PM , Rating: 5
Ummmmmmmmm

If the government was fast enough spending money, we could "never have a recession"

GDP = C + I + G + (X - M).

That G is government spending. This quarter repersented a large increase in government spending as ARA funds are finally getting spent.

Typically US government spending is approx 36% of GDP and around ~5 trillion. If we increase G by around 400 or so billion, on a yearly basis that would leave to overall 3% growth. Seems to me over the past year the government has increased spending by more than 1 trillion!

(X-M) is also a critical component. If people stop buying imported goods due to dollar inflation, this could also artifically raise the GDP figure.

Its way way way too early to decide government spending was worth it.

If government spending returns to normal levels (HA!) and the GDP continues to grow 2-4% a quarter for several years, that will provde the government spending was worth it.


RE: Probably biased
By Nfarce on 10/29/2009 8:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
Don't waste your time on that mindless asstard.


RE: Probably biased
By ssjwes1980 on 10/29/2009 9:06:32 PM , Rating: 3
His name might as well be playstation3 and not reader1
for anyone who remembers


RE: Probably biased
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 3:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
I appreciate Keeir's post as that was information that I had not known. I have a question for Keeir. Is that number for government spending include the stimulus money actually spent (~80 billion or so) or does that include the total stimulus bill. It seems that the not-so-news organizations like to overstate the spending but giving the impression that the gov has spent all of the stimulus bill and then some.


RE: Probably biased
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2009 8:21:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Its way way way too early to decide government spending was worth it.


Last I heard, only about 7% of the "stimulus package" has actually been distributed. And the list of things it went too..well, would NEVER stimulate the national economy.

So no, it's not too early to tell. We know. The stimulus is a disaster and a fraud. And, in typical government fashion, is so slow and ineficient at being ran that the economy would have already fixed itself at this point before the damn thing is even passed out.


RE: Probably biased
By Zoomer on 10/31/2009 10:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
Question is, how much does the rise in G lead of a fall in I due to private borrowers being squeezed out of the lending markets?


RE: Probably biased
By kfonda on 10/29/2009 11:23:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The recession is over. That proves all the government spending was worth it.


That's great news. That means we don't have to spend the several hundred billion dollars left from the stimulus program.


RE: Probably biased
By reader1 on 10/30/09, Rating: -1
RE: Probably biased
By hyvonen on 11/1/2009 6:36:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
national debt > GDP. Probably for the first time since a long time. The white house caused that, so i'd rather not trust them on any analysis of financial effectiveness.


It was the last white house that caused that, and drove the country into recession. The current white house is different, and I trust them more. They have to be spending a lot of money fixing the mistakes of the previous WH - it's not cheap.

How much money has been wasted on Iraq war so far...?


Dubious meanings
By danrien on 10/29/2009 7:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
Edmunds statement that "the sales would have happened anyways" are a lot like obama's statement of "saving or creating 2 million jobs". they can be claimed to be true because they make no measurable claim.




RE: Dubious meanings
By mindless1 on 10/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Dubious meanings
By Targon on 10/29/2009 7:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
They may have happened eventually, perhaps 6-12 months after the program ended, but I doubt that all those people buying cars during the program were going to trade in their old "clunkers" at that point.

This is something that most people do not seem to understand. A sale is intended to encourage people to buy NOW, not later. Cash for Clunkers was intended to make people buy then, not at some later date.

You could say that every single person out there will be buying a new computer in the next four to six years, but sales and promotions encourage people not to wait until they absolutely MUST buy a new computer. It also encourages specific items to be sold rather than "just any product", so there are multiple reasons for sales.

I plan to replace my old car(not considered a clunker because it gets more than 18 miles per gallon) in the next eight months, but if a new program came along before the end of this year, I would buy sooner rather than later. So, would they say that I would have bought a car anyway?


RE: Dubious meanings
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 7:43:45 PM , Rating: 5
The underlying problem with our economy is our decreasing GDP vs consumption. Encouraging people to consume more, and also insisting that viable vehicles be destroyed is counterproductive in the long haul.

Further, these cars traded in weren't really old "clunkers", most cars old enough to not be emissions mandated, computer controlled and fuel injected were too old to qualify. What was more often traded in was a car someone deliberately chose knowing it had less than optimal gas mileage.

These old cars did have value still and despite the environmental-wannabes that claim everything be d@mned we must cut carbon, the concept of destroying something that has value still and considering it a positive thing in a recession is utter madness, even if it were totally *free*.

Nobody is saying you shouldn't buy a new car when you want or need one, but all on your own dime and that whatever you can get for your old car, is being paid because it is of value to someone else instead of just contributing to landfill pollution.


RE: Dubious meanings
By Mint on 10/31/2009 12:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
You got it backwards. The reason that unemployment has skyrocketed is that we've decreased consumption. Excessive consumption has been the backbone of the American economy for a while, which is why it was frail for many years now and only held up as long as that mentality stayed afloat.

When the overleveraging of all the banks finally exposed itself and triggered the recession, much of the excess consumption stopped because a saving mentality kicked in. We don't need to buy a new car so often. We don't need to buy a $5k TV for an incremental picture upgrade over $1k TVs (which are already 50" plasmas). We don't need manicures, fancy restaurant food that costs 10x home-cooked food, etc. At the same time, employers were forced to cut all the positions that least impact production.

The result is increased GDP per employed capita. We are getting more efficient, and our needs (at least those that people want to pay for) are declining; our ratio of needs to production ability is decreasing. The free market is no longer going to give us full employment, because those with $$ get less benefit than ever before from products that the 10% unemployed could produce for them. It's an inevitability of pure capitalism, unless you remove minimum wage (which both discourages automation and lowers the standard of living among the lower and middle classes, thus impedes societal progress).

"Cash for clunkers" had two purposes: artifically create demand to try and spark recovery (i.e. resuming the consumption mentality), and make the sudden collapse in demand become more gradual to allow the auto industry to better manage. The first goal was a lost cause, as auto demand per capita is never going to go back where it was. Not only are cheaper cars getting ridiculously good (today's Genesis beats the shit out of $100k Merc/BMW from 10 years ago in every aspect but status), but cars have proven to be longer lasting (this has been studied) and reduced lifetime will only result in GM/Chrysler woes. The second goal has dubious value.

Your solution of trying to keep cars around longer will NOT help recovery, because that will just reduce consumption. However, I still agree with your sentiment because I'd rather have gov't fuelled consumption in areas that are actually useful (infrastructure, resource independence, education, etc), even if it requires higher taxes. It's ridiculous to spend $5k per car for the environmental impact that a new car gets. A $10k subsidy for PHEV will have 10x the impact on urban air pollution than a car in this program.

(Forget about AGW, as even though I think it's happening, the benefit we get from fighting it is pathetic. F***ing envirotards.)


RE: Dubious meanings
By mindless1 on 10/31/2009 10:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
We increased consumption as much as possible when people were heavily in debt, homes foreclosed, etc.

The myth that we need to spend our way out of the situation is not only false, it's what got us into the situation in the first place.

You are overlooking that it isn't a vacuum, that the US dollar needs to rise and we need more exports, more money coming INTO the country instead of OUT.

There's no way around this simple fact, you can't just play shell games with money you have to have it to spread around while what we have instead is a huge and still growing national debt. Citizens buying a lot of crap doesn't do a thing to reduce that.


RE: Dubious meanings
By hyvonen on 11/1/2009 6:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
Great post.


RE: Dubious meanings
By dr3wbear on 10/30/2009 12:53:24 AM , Rating: 3
@ danrien

WOULD THE SALE HAVE HAPPENED ANYWAY, is one of the first "extraneous variables" to be considered when decoding metrics for sales programs/incentives.

Consider that Edmunds does know what they are doing, and that the reason for their research is business/economic. You think the executives at Edmunds are gonna buy shares in a company without doing some research first? So those executives might be stuck going with Jim Cramer's mad money advice for any other industry but they know cars, and the car industry and when they say which car colour is preferred by consumers then I"m gonna buy shares in that colour of paint, because auto industry metrics are what edmunds is about.


But what about the lost sales on the cars traded in?
By Outris on 10/29/2009 8:26:16 PM , Rating: 5
I am currently shopping for a car and nearly every dealer I talk to points out that a significant percentage of the cars traded in during the CFC program were in great condition and could have easily been re-sold. These cars could have been excellent buys for others who cannot afford new cars.

Instead, the dealers had to have the cars destroyed.




By RU482 on 10/30/2009 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 3
wholly crap...have you ever traded in a car? The delta between what the give you and what they turn around and sell it for is thousands of dollars. The great majority of the time the only thing that is done to the vehicle is a reconditioning/detail that anyone can have done for $129 retail at a detailing shop. If you think dealers lose money on used cars...you're crazy


By CyborgTMT on 10/30/2009 2:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
wholly crap...have you ever worked in the auto industry?

I did for 8 years. I know the investments and return on trade-ins from first hand experience.


By Spuke on 10/30/2009 4:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I did for 8 years. I know the investments and return on trade-ins from first hand experience.
Then you should know that trade-ins are virtually free money to a dealership and that dealerships make a considerable amount of money on used cars. The profit margins on a used car are MUCH higher than a new one.


By Zoomer on 10/31/2009 10:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
It probably depends on the market as well.


By ElFenix on 10/31/2009 12:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
uh, that's why he was correcting the post before him which claimed that dealers take a loss on used cars.


Assuming they are correct...
By kamel5547 on 10/29/2009 7:14:37 PM , Rating: 1
Even if they are right it does beget the statement that C4C had
quote:
no meaningful impact on our economy
. I assume that incentive money was spent on something, so even if the purchase was not spurred by the incentive it likely still helped the economy as a whole.




RE: Assuming they are correct...
By Keeir on 10/29/2009 7:28:25 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I assume that incentive money was spent on something, so even if the purchase was not spurred by the incentive it likely still helped the economy as a whole.


That would be true if government money was -free- money. But government money is not free. C4Cs should be considered entirely deficiet spending. Money was taken future generations to buy current generation overpriced cars as an attempt to maintain status quo on (potentially) economically unfeasible business plans. Doesn't seem like a great impact on our economy on the whole.


RE: Assuming they are correct...
By foolsgambit11 on 10/29/2009 11:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
It may or may not be. Just because the money has to balance out in the end doesn't mean that the net results will be the same. Take, for example, an individual who gets a bank loan to open a business. He defers payment and agrees to pay interest because having the money now will enable him to make more money in the long run than not taking the loan, even taking interest into account. Same with student loans, &c. Government spending to stimulate the economy, likewise, can work, in principle. It's just a matter of ensuring that the money is wisely spent. I won't pretend to be an expert on the total economic impact of Cash For Clunkers, nor should anyone, since it's too early to tell what the long-term effects may be (if they can ever be truly determined, what with all the other factors influencing the economy).


RE: Assuming they are correct...
By dr3wbear on 10/30/2009 1:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
"I won't pretend to be an expert on the total economic impact of Cash For Clunkers, nor should anyone".

Actually people and/or organizations who specialize in industry research should be experts on "total economic impact of..." (any stimulus program)

Examples would be the tens of thousands employed as research statisticians. They are the people who do the economic research for investment banks, investment companies, etc.

Another very fine example would be EDMUNDS and the automotive industry research that they perform and provide.


RE: Assuming they are correct...
By hashish2020 on 10/30/2009 3:31:09 AM , Rating: 1
Edmunds is the shittiest most assbackwards low-quality automotive journalism this side of Consumer Reports

Whatever the merits or drawbacks of c4c, I ignore both publications completely when it comes to cars


What is 3 billion dollars these days
By itbj2 on 10/29/2009 7:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
3 billion dollars was a lots of money a few years ago. But now it seems to be pocket change. The US Gov. will have to borrow 2.38 trillion dollars this year. So adding an other 3 billion to that is meaningless. However the hundreds of thousands of people owning over 20K on a car loan is the real problem. Encouraging to buy cars during a time when most people should be saving their money to pay off their debt is criminal. It would be interesting to see how many of these cars will get repod over the next 24 months.




RE: What is 3 billion dollars these days
By raytseng on 10/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: What is 3 billion dollars these days
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2009 6:34:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
$3B is like 2days of funding for the Iraq/Afg wars.


Yeeeahhh because defense spending and helping someone buy a car are totally comparable...


RE: What is 3 billion dollars these days
By FailingTheChildren on 10/30/2009 10:59:38 PM , Rating: 1
There was NEVER EVER any national Defense issue with Iraq. The US mainland was NEVER at risk by Iraq. It was all the figament of the demented minds Bush and Cheney.

Bush and Cheney and Congress screwed up a country for no good reason and now the US feels has some sort of moral obligation so they are mortgaging their children's future to the Chinese who are and will be a risk to almost anything and everything Bush's and Cheney's children will care about.


RE: What is 3 billion dollars these days
By Reclaimer77 on 10/31/2009 10:42:44 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry but our objective was to wage a war on terror. BEFORE the WMD's were even brought up, Bush outlined what we had to do in the Axis of Evil speech.

So, were terrorists in Iraq ? Clearly they were, unless imaginary people were killing our troops. Not to mention the HUGE list of terrorist and their leaders captured or killed in Iraq.

How in the hell do you propose we fight a war against a terrorist group, and then completely ignore thousands of it's members taking over entire cities in a neighboring country ?

We fought WWII on multiple fronts too. And nobody called each front a seperate "war". If you idiots were around back then I guess you would be upset because Japan attacked us, so we should not be fighting Hitler at the same time either.

I don't know why you are complaining about Bush still. DIdn't Obama say "on his first day" we would be out of Iraq and Guantanamo closed ??? Well ?


By ElFenix on 10/31/2009 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
AQiI got there after we did.


This must be that "transparency" we were promised.
By MonkeyPaw on 10/29/2009 8:23:07 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Statements from Edmunds have angered White House officials, with Edmunds defending itself by saying the government is "shooting the messenger."


I wonder how long it will be before the White house calls Edmunds "not a real news source" for the auto industry?




By Nfarce on 10/29/2009 8:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Damn. I'd have voted you up for that but I spent them all!


By Outris on 10/29/2009 8:36:12 PM , Rating: 3
The White House hates transparency.

Similar statements were made by the White House when accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released their analysis of the proposed health care bill. "The PWC projections track what The Heritage Foundation and many others have said about the legislation: It does not save money. It simply taxes those who have health coverage and uses the money to give care to others."

"The White House is said to be livid. After all, President Obama’s claims that he makes care more affordable are exposed as a myth by the new study." In fact the average taxpayer will pay an additional $4000 per year.




By Hakuryu on 10/29/2009 11:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know that I disagree with the findings, but I find the amounts reported suspect. I'm a cynic when it comes to all reports - you can spin anything to your favor.

Just who is the 'average taxpayer'? There are people that make $8,000 a year and those that make millions. Averaging such a wide population is not very informative. It's been a while since I took statistics, but wouldn't a median or other figure more likely give us a better picture then a simple average? You can't believe a low income family of $8,000 a year will be paying half of that for healthcare.


By rtrski on 10/30/2009 2:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
While you're correct that its hard to define an 'average' anything, your example range is a bit disingenuous.

Someone who makes only $8000 a year as an individual, much less a 'family', is not a "taxpayer". And don't pull the payroll tax canard either: thanks to our present administration and congress, they get refunded more in income tax than they pay into SS/medicare.


Nothing ever changes
By DominionSeraph on 10/29/2009 7:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Over an infinite span of time, an infinite number of cars would have been sold anyway. As the effect of the Cash for Clunkers program would be finite, that gives us an additional effect of 1/infinity.
So we spent an infinite amount of money per unit.




RE: Nothing ever changes
By ussfletcher on 10/29/2009 7:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't the cost per unit approach zero, not infinity?


RE: Nothing ever changes
By DominionSeraph on 10/29/2009 9:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
No.


The Post Clunker Sales Drop...
By jdietz on 10/29/2009 8:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
suggests the program was effective.




RE: The Post Clunker Sales Drop...
By jonmcc33 on 10/29/2009 8:48:52 PM , Rating: 3
It was effective at putting money into already fat wallets of the automotive industry. The last thing I care about is a lame car salesman.


Misleading headline
By RU482 on 10/29/2009 10:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Each Cash for Clunker Car Sold Cost Taxpayers $24K


When I see this statement, it says to me "even though the rebate/credit provided per vehicle in the cash for clunkers program was $4500 or $3500, the program cost the government $24,000 per vehicle"

Am I misreading this?

Wouldn't it be more responsible for the headline to say "Each Cash for Clunker Car Sold Cost Buyers $24K (on average)"




RE: Misleading headline
By CyborgTMT on 10/29/2009 10:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
No... They are just using fuzzy math.

Here's how they break it down. Of the 690,000 vehicles sold using CARS they say only 125,000 of them count because the rest would have been sold anyway.
They then take the 3 million price tag and divide by 125,000 to reach $24,000 per car. If you take the 3mil spent and divide by the full number of cars sold it comes out to $4347 per car.


RE: Misleading headline
By RU482 on 10/29/2009 11:29:09 PM , Rating: 1
in teh revolution, we must kill the lawyers and accountants


Clunkers
By btc909 on 10/29/2009 7:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the CARS program boosted sales at car dealerships on a select group of 4 cylinder vehicles & the sales died when the program ended. Go check any online automotive dealers inventory, hardly any cars are on the lot. They can't sell what they have. The real telling story will be a comparision of previous year end closeouts compared to the 2009 year end season. The CARS program just shifted when the auto sales were going to take place.




woo who
By Bonus on 10/30/2009 12:03:38 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for bill, dems. Jeez.




Gimme $24k!
By Skott on 10/30/2009 12:24:31 AM , Rating: 2
You know if the Govt would have given us all each 24K cash to go buy a car of our choice the auto industry would be swimming in sales and money. We'd each have a new car, auto workers would be busy at work, the auto companies and dealers would have gotten the money, and Uncle Sam would have still given out a stimulus. Win-win for everyone.

I know it doesnt really work out the way I say above mathematically but when they tell me it cost each American X amount I sometimes wonder. 100s of billions have gone out or will soon for stimulus but not one penny will I get to see or use. Its always for someone else. *sigh*




Don't forget the sale tax boost
By nofumble62 on 10/30/2009 12:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
without the revenue on sale taxes, the State will further be in deep s.

The Edmund argument is baseless. Yes, the purchase will occur anyway, but not right away.




Many Factors
By tech329 on 10/30/2009 4:06:11 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if factors such as improved fuel economy and how that affects oil imports and our trade balance were considered in the analysis?

Also there are other hard to evaluate things such as reduced pollutants that influnce air quality in large metro areas which have a negative impact on health. Studies I have read indicate higher rates of asthma and such, especially in children and the elderly, in our larger metro areas with most of that attributed to burning of fossil fuels. For sure these things may only make a small dent in this one instance but incremental movements in this direction will pay off big time in the long term. A short term vaulation based just upon immediate dollar cost isn't the only piece of this puzzle.




By stlrenegade on 10/30/2009 9:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
but I used it anyway. My car was worth maybe 1000-1200 and needed at least 500+ in repairs to make it pass safety and emissions in december.

So I bought a Honda Fit. 17K - 4500 = 12.5K financed. The payment is 20 bucks more than what I used to pay as a car payment for my clunkered car, so it didn't hurt me. I now have a reliable, fuel efficient (double the MPG my suv was getting) car that doesn't cost me much more than my SUV used to.

I justified it by saying the govt. was giving back 4500 of my tax dollars I put into the system.




Let's compare the two sources
By Chaser on 10/30/2009 12:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
Edmunds provides outstanding consumer information for potential car buyers both new and used. They also provide "insider" information about how dealerships and their sales teams operate to take as much money from you as they can get away with. Edmunds "True Market Value" pricing for base models, options and fees is priceless for many uninformed purchasers. Edmunds also provides useful new car reviews and buyers forums.

Washington DC and the present administration is borrowing us into the highest federal deficit ever in presidential history with reckless unaccounted spending including trying to create a new federal healthcare entitlement that is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost an additional UNFUNDED $900,000,000 while all the other existing government health care programs are rampant with fraud and abuse and are expected to be bankrupt by 2013.

Yeah I think I'll side with Edmunds on this one.




By Beenthere on 10/30/2009 1:50:47 PM , Rating: 1
$24K per tax payers is nothing compared to the price we'll pay for "affordable healthcare".

Yeah, baby spend the tax payers money and raise taxes to pay for it all.




"Would have bought them anyways"
By Shig on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 7:25:04 PM , Rating: 1
That's as good as it gets, even if you interview each and every purchaser you could never be 100% sure of the honesty and accuracy of their answer given different circumstances w/o the program.

I accept that the supposed recession might have contributed to decreased car sales, but let's face it, even with a $4K incentive people who are hard up aren't going to trade in a working vehicle and spend an average of $22K if they weren't wanting to anyway.

So I think their assessment is quite reasonable, that they have done it as accurately as reasonably possible.

Their point was not to satisfy your ultimate desire for concrete evidence but to make people think a bit - after all the program already happened and is done, no? It's not as though they can change the past.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By artemicion on 10/29/2009 7:51:13 PM , Rating: 5
I didn't really approve of cash for clunkers in the first place, but even I can see that edmund's logic is shady.

It assumes (incorrectly) that the *only* benefit from cash for clunkers is the incremental increase in car sales, which is false. There are many "benefits" (you can argue the value of the benefits, but you can't dismiss them altogether): benefit from more fuel economical cars on the road, benefit the fact that the people who would've bout the car anyway have 3k extra cash to "stimulate" the economy with, benefit of having newer and presumably safer cars on the road, etc.)

I still don't think the benefits add up, but hack statisticians who wave BS numbers around to support their cause annoy me (even if I agree with the cause).


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 8:06:27 PM , Rating: 5
I dismiss them altogether. ;)

1) They don't benefit more from more fuel economical cars, they had to spend $22K on average which buys a heck of a lot of gas.

2) People who would've bought them anyway are people who didn't need the economic stimulus help.

3) That 3K extra cash isn't "extra" it comes out of the pockets of taxpayers who could have also spent it if that was the right path but it is not, the economy does not need more spending, it needs a decrease in consumption and an increase in GDP. It needs people to STOP SPENDING.

4) Newer and safer cars on the roads aren't benefits. Human error causes accidents, vehicle age rarely does, on the contrary an older vehicle is a sign of someone who drives well enough they didn't total their car before it got older!

They aren't trying to be statisticians, they simply made a valid point that when all is said and done, we wasted a lot of money. Let a person's income and the free market decide what sells, do not take money out of citizens pockets and decide for them it should artificially stimulate something that needs a market readjustment to work in the long run.

All this program did was take a lot of money and put it where it did no good, are we going to keep buying people new cars or is this just a one-time situation that won't make a dent in the average economy of cars after a single-digit # of years?

That is the key, we can't think in terms of a 2-5 year long fix, because that is only trying to spend away the inevitable when money is not an infinite resource. We have to look at decades of change.

At the very least they could've put it towards nuclear power plants instead.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By nuarbnellaffej on 10/29/2009 9:19:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the economy does not need more spending, it needs a decrease in consumption and an increase in GDP. It needs people to STOP SPENDING.


This one really made me laugh! I see you live up to your name once more, I mean how could our GDP increase, if we all spent less ?


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By HrilL on 10/29/2009 10:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
well pretty much most of the crap people spend their money on is not made here or doesn't really benefit our GDP. People would need to buy American made products. It would help us a lot more if people in other countries would spend more on our products and services. Spending more doesn't mean your GDP will go up necessarily. The money has to be spend on the right things.


By cruisin3style on 10/30/2009 4:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
consumer spending was cited as one of the big reasons for the increase in GDP that was recently reported

Not that your point isn't valid


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Jacerie on 10/29/2009 10:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I mean how could our GDP increase, if we all spent less ?


It's quite simple really. If we were to reduce the amount spent on imported goods the GDP would rise proportionally to the money not spent. If that same amount of money not spent on imported goods were to be instead spent on domestic goods the increase to the GDP would be even greater.

The real problem here is that the stimulus plan failed before even a single penny of it was distributed. The federal government didn't have that money lying around for a rainy day. They asked the federal reserve for the money. All this did was devalue the dollar.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By MonkeyPaw on 10/29/2009 10:47:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I mean how could our GDP increase, if we all spent less ?


It's called "exports." Make stuff and sell it to other countries. Who knows, it might even strengthen the dollar, since the currency will be backed by something of value.

Also, no one saves money anymore. Our economy is literally driven by credit, and misused credit is a huge reason we are in this mess right now. If you really wish to accumulate wealth as an individual, you need to stop buying so much meaningless crap that either breaks or becomes useless before it clears your credit card statement. Too many Americans live in a house with no equity, drive cars on upside-down credit, and have thousands of dollars of credit card debt and student loans. Somehow it became acceptable to buy whatever you want and then live paycheck to paycheck. A nation of people like this is very ineffective. Everyone is in debt, and when the economy hits the skids, too many people can't pay it off.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Jeffk464 on 10/29/2009 11:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not one of those Americans. I'M DEBT FREE!(Clark Howard) I pay off my credit card every month and payed cash for my 2005 tacoma.

The thing I don't get is how it can possibly cost the government $24k to write a $4,500 dollar check. Something doesnt sound right to me. If you are going to throw out such a ridiculous claim you need to back it up with some accounting.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By GaryJohnson on 10/30/2009 1:02:20 AM , Rating: 2
To arrive at the $24k figure they are adding together the payouts for each auto sale that leveraged the program per each auto sale that they say only happened because of the program.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By mikeyD95125 on 10/30/2009 2:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm I understand the method but I don't agree with it. I don't think edmunds should have discounted all of the car sales they deemed "would have happened anyway". Too many factors. Maybe the tax rebate convinced them to spend more $4,500 worth of options and warranties on the cars "they would have bought anyway".

Whatever i'm sure this will get propagated through the media without many people giving a second thought.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By phazers on 10/30/2009 1:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
Presumably Edmunds looked at the historical sales data for the relevant time period, to get an idea of how many "clunkers" would have been traded in anyway without a cash incentive out of your pocket and mine. Dunno how accurate that approach is when the economy is bad, however.

I've been reading the economists' concerns over our huge and growing deficit spending, over on MSN.com. The dollar's future as well as most American's financial health is not looking too bright. Although the various bailout plans may cause a short-term rise in our economy, the trip back down could make the current recession look like the sniffles.


By mindless1 on 10/31/2009 9:51:00 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't look at clunker trade-in, that wasn't even a good goal to destroy viable vehicles.

They looked at projected sales and what increase in sales was attributed to the incentives.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By KIAman on 10/30/2009 2:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not one of those Americans. I'M DEBT FREE!(Clark Howard) I pay off my credit card every month and payed cash for my 2005 tacoma.


Assuming you are smart with your money and have no debt, you could've qualified for a low interest APR and put the cash in an interest account. This makes money and further increases your credit worthiness.

Not saying you did something bad, just trying to point out that a credit economy is not all bad, just the ones who abuse it.

As to the article, I think artificial business props hurt more than it helps. I'm not entirely sure of the analysis but I think the billions for the Cash for Clunkers program could have gone towards something more useful. All this did is make 700,000 people happy, while the rest of the 299 million absorb the cost.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By conquistadorst on 10/30/2009 3:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Assuming you are smart with your money and have no debt, you could've qualified for a low interest APR and put the cash in an interest account. This makes money and further increases your credit worthiness.


An interest account would never be able to keep up with the APR on a loan. This is how banks make their vanilla money; borrowing for less and loaning for more. I don't disagree with your conclusion that credit economy is not all bad. I'd be confident and even venture out to say that a flourishing economy would never even be possible without extending credit. But it's businesses that are borrowing money and making more with it, not the average consumer.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By KIAman on 10/30/2009 5:30:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking about a savings account. Interest account can be anything that accumulates interest, for example a short term CD.

1.9% APR on a car loan with a 4.5% short term CD...


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By conquistadorst on 10/31/2009 1:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
At first I wasn't going to reply because you're missing the point and just busy crunching theoretical numbers. But then I worried people may become misinformed by not seeing the full picture.

A real bank will not offer a loan on an auto at that rate, the national average now is well above 6%. Loan rates on cars are higher than home loans because well, cars are far more risk for what they're worth. The 1.9APR financing KIAman is talking about is easily obtainable but by the facade bank shops the manufacturers set up themselves (a la GMAC). In fact, you can even obtain a 0 rate these days on a loan through these "banks" with some if you have a good enough credit score. Why? These banks don't aim to profit on these loans. No, instead the parent company, like GM, is focused on doing whatever it takes to close the sale. The low rates are there to entice you to buy the car. Often times, so is an option to opt for a cash rebate instead. Do your math to see which one better benefits you. Each person's situation will be different; some manufacturers are far more desperate than others.

And again, a real bank today won't offer CD rates at 4.5% either. They should be able to borrow money cheaper elsewhere if they need to shore up their capital, especially if they only need it for the short term. If a bank is offering such a high return you should know there is a reason behind it. Not even the most desperate banks are offering such a high yield today.

The point I'm trying to make here is that banks are in the business of borrowing money, loaning it, and profiting off the difference. The average consumer should not be under the impression they can easily beat a bank at their own game without taking on risk. As interest rates change, so will the numbers, but the story will remain the same. Banks are there to profit off of you, not to give you a hand out. Anyway, if anyone read this I hope they are now at least more informed.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Xentropy on 11/1/2009 10:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
The overall average bottom line is going to come out in the banks' favor, but individuals can take advantage of deals from time to time if they're willing to make acceptable choices to use loans.

I seem to mostly notice two polar opposite types of people:
1) The ones who abuse credit, live paycheck-to-paycheck, have multiple credit cards maxed out and make minimum payments, etc.
2) The ones who avoid credit like the plague, refuse to even own an "evil" credit card, pay cash for everything, hold no debt, and so forth.

The second type is really barely any better off than the first. Not having credit means not generating a meaningful credit score and not being able to qualify for a good loan if (really more likely when) one *does* find themselves in need of one. (Even the most anti-credit saver rarely has access to enough cash to buy a home outright, for example. And when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage, they're unlikely to obtain the best rates.) Additionally, while GMAC has their own reasons for offering such rates, taking advantage of most low-rate financing offers can be more beneficial than paying cash outright. 0% financing in particular, if no rebate option is available, is *always* worth taking advantage of...if you have the cash to pay in full up-front, you can probably trust yourself not to spend it twice knowing you have that loan to pay off, but even if you don't, just opening a temporary money market account or CD to put that cash in and make payments from is generating essentially free interest in the interim.

Additionally, with good enough credit (which does require neither being a credit abuser nor too fearful of credit to use it), you can easily find auto rates in the 3's from a "real bank" (or at least a "real" credit union). Granted, a 4% CD will be hard to find, but money now is worth more than money 3 years from now when you're paying off the last of the loan, due to inflation. If you can get a 3.5% auto loan from a credit union due to good credit, and your personal inflation rate (how YOU value dollars, how YOUR spending is affected over time) is 2%, you're effectively paying 1.5% in interest, since you're paying the loan off in devalued dollars as the term wears on. One can probably find a mid-term CD in the 2's (my credit union has 24-month CD's at 2.2%).

Bottom line is: Being afraid to touch credit for fear of getting burned isn't much better than abusing credit and living paycheck to paycheck. A balanced approach is by far the best to use. The only people I would advise against using any form of credit are credaholics, people who have proven through their usage history that they cannot be trusted to use it wisely. People who were merely scared away from credit by seeing someone else's troubles are just robbing themselves of a useful financial tool, and I always recommend they get a credit card and use it for every miscellaneous transaction, but pay it off in full every month, so they can start building a credit history and qualify for more meaningful loans in the future.


By conquistadorst on 11/1/2009 11:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, well said Xentropy. It is an unfortunate reality that in order be considered creditworthy you have to have credit history. If anyone has an opportunity to build credit for "free" they should certainly consider taking advantage of it if it won't hurt their creditworthiness. I would disagree however with the wording calling the 2nd person type "barely any better off" however - I would choose forsaking a privilege in lieu of slavery. Actually, the 1st person type is forsaking the privilege anyway as they'd already be considered uncreditworthy.

You might be able to find a better APR on a car loan than what I mentioned. I was only using bankrate's listed rates which are currently above 7%. I don't believe bankrate includes credit unions.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 12:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, no one saves money anymore.
Not quite true. 4 out of 10 Americans save and the average amount is around $23,000. Still the majority don't save at all or don't save very much.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By tmouse on 10/30/2009 7:58:33 AM , Rating: 2
While that may be true I think the distribution is probably severely skewed for savings. An equally sobering point is that 5/10 are carrying unsecured debt averaging $8000 and up to an additional semi secured debt (ie cars) of an additional 10,000. These numbers do not include mortgages. Also the numbers of debt "write offs" due to death are increasing (which we all pay since nothing is ever truly written off).


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 2:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An equally sobering point is that 5/10 are carrying unsecured debt averaging $8000 and up to an additional semi secured debt (ie cars) of an additional 10,000.
I thought it would have been more than this.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By nuarbnellaffej on 10/30/2009 11:03:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's called "exports." Make stuff and sell it to other countries. Who knows, it might even strengthen the dollar, since the currency will be backed by something of value.


This sure is a nice principle, but I'm sure mostly everything that can be exported by the US is already. What do you suggest we start exporting? Trade inequalities are a fact of life, that will always exist when there is an imbalance between trading partners. The only effective way to stifle them is through government control of international trade, and when that happens everybody suffers.

By the way, almost our entire economy is based on consumer spending, so when we start holding back, the economy suffers, its as simple as that. It's just hilarious that people think the economy will improve if everyone stops spending.


By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 10/30/2009 4:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
They're not saying to stop spending, they're saying to spend less.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By mindless1 on 10/31/2009 10:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
There is never such a situation as "everything that can be exported by the US is already". The global demand for goods and services is not decreasing, anything marketable can be a segment of competition.

I can't think of anything that the US could not export, excepting things we ban like certain technology/military/etc. sensitive items.

The idea that we need to spend is false, we are spending on imported goods which is draining the economy or didn't you notice the national debt? The key to a national budget is the same as a personal one, you have to have more coming IN than OUT to correct a deficit.

I did not claim that ONLY reduction in consumer spending solves the problem, it is only one part of the puzzle and it is hilarious you wrote with no idea about basic economics.

Look at the past, that is what brought us to where we are today. We spent plenty, to the point of a large % of population carrying heavy debt so if you were right we didn't come near a recession at all.

Hmmmm.


By nuarbnellaffej on 11/2/2009 3:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
Your the one who seems misinformed, You seem to be stuck on the old notion that no wealth is generated, only exchanged, and that one country can only get richer at the expense of another. That is an incorrect and out dated theory, besides how would you suggest we curve our trade deficit?

The ONLY way to do that would be with government intervention though the use of tariffs, which only make US made goods economical by nerfing all the competition. If a US manufacture cannot compete in a global environment, than they should be allowed to fail.

Just look at Germany's Ruhr valley, it used to be a thriving industrial zone, bristling with steel mills and countless other factories. During the 1970's they begun facing stiff competition from foreign competitors, and the German government tried to support them through the use of tariffs and subsidies.

All that did was delay the inevitable death of those said industries, many economists' think that had the German government simply stayed out of the private sector, those heavy industries would have died and been replaced by more modern ones, the Ruhr valley could have become something like the silicon valley, instead of the mess it is now.

Don't get me wrong, I do buy American, and get a warm fuzzy feeling when I do, but only if all other aspects of the product are equal to or better than the foreign made product, if it is the same, and the American cost's one penny more, I'll buy the foreign one.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By HueyD on 10/30/2009 8:26:01 AM , Rating: 1
The weak dollar is also part of the equation, which will only get worse as the government keeps borrowing and piling on debt. Which is why they want to move to a new global currency and drop the dollar.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By 91TTZ on 10/30/2009 10:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
Buying useless crap doesn't really help anyone in the long run. Getting into that habit only accumulates inefficiencies and waste.

We'd be better off if we spent more on things we actually need and weren't so wasteful.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We'd be better off if we spent more on things we actually need and weren't so wasteful.
How so? Explain please.


By mindless1 on 10/31/2009 10:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
How about nuclear power plants?


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By 91TTZ on 10/30/2009 10:11:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
benefit the fact that the people who would've bout the car anyway have 3k extra cash to "stimulate" the economy with,


Well not really, that is wiped out by the fact that other taxpayers had to pay for it. So there was no net gain in available money to "stimulate" the economy.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By rolodomo on 10/30/2009 7:50:13 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
even I can see that edmund's logic is shady.


Yes, over 80% would have bought anyway? So over 80% of the unusually high foot traffic at the dealership during a typical day of the program didn't know about the program and instead just showed up? Seems like a stretch.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By tmouse on 10/30/2009 8:17:35 AM , Rating: 3
Come on one has little to do with the other. What they were saying is the increase of the sales (and foot traffic) was mostly a compression effect caused by the program. Most of the sales and the foot traffic would have still happened, although it would have taken a longer time. Go to a dealership now; many are ghost towns with the sales people looking like a pack of hungry hyenas ready to pounce. Even the government acknowledges this albeit it in a roundabout way, notice their claims about the 4th quarter benefits? The program took from Peter (future sales) to pay Paul (short term jump in indexes). All "stimulus spending" is based on this, the problem is people are scared and slow to accept new "numbers" and quick to hesitate/stop when any bad news comes. This will not change anytime soon and makes stimulus spending a somewhat questionable tact. Real reform is needed but that would require longer term pain and loss and I do not really think any politician has the spine to do it and they would not be able to stay around long enough to do it since the people enjoy being children and want everything now and for as little as possible. Works for kids since the parents will pay, thinking of the government as the parent is plain stupid since the parent is being financed by the "children".


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Methusela on 10/29/2009 10:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
Funny thing is, that's EXACTLY what my (now) ex-girlfriend did with her SUV. She traded it in w/ Cash for Clunkers for an incrementally-better MPG V6 Toyota Venza...She always was horrible with her money.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By fic2 on 10/30/2009 1:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
How does she like the Venza? That is one of the cars I am kind of looking at.

As for me - I probably would have participated in CARS, but my '99 subaru forester w/120k miles gets too good of gas mileage (26 mpg) to qualify. So, basically I probably will keep it another 2-3 years and get rid of it somewhere near 150k (about half life of a subaru).


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By reader1 on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 7:56:38 PM , Rating: 4
Nonsense. Those who had a desire to cut their gasoline consumption could have and still can choose to do so at any time.

The program simply played upon people's greed, people that didn't have a particular desire to be green, and the cars chosen weren't the most fuel efficient.

If not money was spent, it was still a loss. Going into debt further and spending away tax money while the national debt rises ever more does not lead to a higher standard of living.

Overspending has to stop, on both a personal and governmental level. We can't just print up more money and expect the rest of the world to value it.

Stop the "green" madness. We are more green today than we were 50 years ago, but did it do anything to increase your standard of living or was it instead a buildup of infrastructure and technology that did it instead?

Green = dumb, it takes no push to go in a direction some try to call a green movement, when it is viable the market will seek it for it's own merits. Until then, the worst thing to do is pretend it solves any problems society has, as it only creates more waste.

THINK about that. The past decade before this green movement we were greener than ever before, except for ever increasing use of personal electronics but that trend isn't going away any year soon. Now we are doing nothing significant, only wasting money.

Take for example the electric automobile. Most of us will need to own one for an eventual benefit considering it is not a zero emissions proposal either once you consider all aspects of manufacturing and powering a vehicle. If we all pay out taxes to subsidize ourselves getting these cars then all we have done is put more governmental overhead into doing it, wasted a lot of money.

The answer is simple really, you never come out ahead by trying to push someone to do something they wouldn't have on their own, let nature and society advance on the right path instead of pretending a few shallow thoughts matter more.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By reader1 on 10/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 8:13:06 PM , Rating: 3
Conversations about my personal beliefs outside the context of the article are inappropriate, but since you asked, yes I was against forcing it. Let the digital reception capable sets sell until there is enough market saturation that each station makes up their own mind if and when they will switch.

I was also against the $40 coupon for tuner boxes, IF the government had not mandated the switch. Technology will make us advance, we can clearly see this from the past up until now. Government forcing the people to do (something) goes against the principles the country was founded upon and claims to still believe in.

If someone wants digital TV, by all means let them buy a cable or satellite subscription. If we want to argue that eventually the freed spectrum will be used for additional services, then when the day comes that the service is perceived as valuable then let free market decide who buys spectrum after considering the value in doing so, and uses it for something else. Forcing abandonment and auction was the wrong way to do it, let the market decide!


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2009 8:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention why in the hell are we paying taxes so people can buy new cars ??


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Nfarce on 10/29/2009 8:28:57 PM , Rating: 4
Just wait until the first round of auto loan defaults hits. What, people who supported this mindless government crock of taxpayer funds think that those who had hoopties to trade our money for were truly capable of buying a $20-$30,000 car? And yes, even the lowest of the low credit scorers can get a car loan in this economy - at 18% APR for 84 months.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Hiawa23 on 10/30/2009 10:13:49 AM , Rating: 1
Just wait until the first round of auto loan defaults hits. What, people who supported this mindless government crock of taxpayer funds think that those who had hoopties to trade our money for were truly capable of buying a $20-$30,000 car? And yes, even the lowest of the low credit scorers can get a car loan in this economy - at 18% APR for 84 months.

I really don't get this mentality. Some of you make the argument that most those who bought only bought cause of the program, & were already not financially able, & they wil default.

Seems many like to sit on their high horse, & look down on people, but for many of us & I have a car loan & a mortgage, but if something happened with my job & I couldn't find another one in a matter of time, like many I would default on my loans.

My point is I don't think you can make an automatic assumption that they just handed out money to any Tom Dick & Harry who could drive their vehicle to the dealership.

In this economy & with so many loosing jobs & jobs continually being shed I expect the defaults to continue whether it be car loans, mortgages, credit cards & whatnot, whether they used the program or not.

I don't look down on anyone who has fallen on hard times as most of us are a pre-existing condition, missed paycheck or two or less away from loosing all that we continue to work hard for to keep. I just think many just want to be able to take care fo their families work hard & have a decent life.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 3:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't look down on anyone who has fallen on hard times as most of us are a pre-existing condition, missed paycheck or two or less away from loosing all that we continue to work hard for to keep. I just think many just want to be able to take care fo their families work hard & have a decent life.
I don't think he was looking down on anyone but merely making a point. I don't agree with his point though. I think people just took advantage of the not free money plus they could get rid of their "old" car in the process.

That said, I don't agree with the CARS program and I like the new frugal fad that seems to have taken hold at the moment. I'm not saying people shouldn't spend money, just have some sense about it. Go ahead and buy that 5th wheel but consider a used one instead of new, less depreciation, more features for less money, etc.

We created a society that is very comfortable for most citizens. Try not to spend your way out of the comfort zone.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Hiawa23 on 10/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By reader1 on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
By nuarbnellaffej on 10/30/2009 11:14:55 AM , Rating: 1
I can tell you were trying to sound sarcastic, but to a free market guy like me, that doesn't sound to bad. :p


By mindless1 on 10/31/2009 10:09:23 PM , Rating: 1
Funny, I never wrote a thing about NASA. Anything else you want to attribute to other people to support an argument that doesn't exist?


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 2:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The answer is simple really, you never come out ahead by trying to push someone to do something they wouldn't have on their own, let nature and society advance on the right path instead of pretending a few shallow thoughts matter more.
Damn, Mindless! Your whole post was awesome and actually inspired me! Thank you very much.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2009 8:05:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The Cash for Clunkers program was a great idea. It will be seen as a turning point for green technology. It was the point where fuel efficiency became mainstream, not just for eco-nuts.


lol dumbass.

I hate to tell you, but trucks and SUV's are at the top of the list for what people traded in their clunkers for.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By reader1 on 10/29/2009 8:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/08/06/cash-for-...

The 5 Most Purchased Vehicles:
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Ford Focus FWD
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry

The 5 Most Traded-In Vehicles:
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2W

Vehicles Purchased by Category:
Passenger Cars: 88,841
Trucks: 61,287

Vehicle Trade-in by Category:
Passenger Cars: 24,903
Trucks: 125,198


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By jhb116 on 10/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By CyborgTMT on 10/29/2009 10:50:11 PM , Rating: 4
You do realise that Toyota has been manufaturing their American/Canadian/Mexican sold cars in North America for years now. They have 14 plants in NA, 9 of which are in the US. This is compared to 11 factories total in Japan. So yah, the top profits trickle back to Japan, but it's not like our billionares are blowing their vaction money here either...


By dr3wbear on 10/30/2009 12:24:13 AM , Rating: 4
@ cybortmt

Well said. Never ceases to amaze me how often people cite the "Japanese cars" therefore the money was spent in Japan.
Bought the car in- America
insured the car in- America
bought gas for the car in- America
car maintenance in- America

Thank you very much. It is always nice when stats are presented. Now not only can I remind people that Toyota (Honda, Nissan) make cars here, but can follow that "jab" with a "haymaker" of supporting stats.
The funny part is that look they get when you tell them that "Japanese" car was made "IN AMERICA" with parts made "IN AMERICA".


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Hiawa23 on 10/30/2009 9:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah - 4 out of the 5 were Japanese makes. So much for keeping the money in the good old US of A - numnuts..

I am not sure what some of you expected. Did you expect to see 4 out 5 cars bought to be American branded, when it is the assumption by many that foreign auto branded cars last longer & are more fuel efficient, & I figured most of the clunkers traded in would be gas ineffiecient American branded vehicles. I doubt they could have stipulated only American branded vehicles could be bought under this program.

How do you fix this problem, as I have no clue as this is decades in the making, 7 there is no quick fix. We don't make anything anymore, not sure you can just blame the people for buying foreign products when we don't make much of anything anymore here.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 3:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We don't make anything anymore, not sure you can just blame the people for buying foreign products when we don't make much of anything anymore here.
Actually we still have the one of the largest if not the largest manufacturing base in the world.

http://www.bls.gov/fls/chartbook2009/chart5.9.pdf

We make plenty here.


By nofumble62 on 10/30/2009 12:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
follow by Dodge


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 3:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The 5 Most Purchased Vehicles
You are looking at the governments "list" not the actual cars sold.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/07/autos/cash_for_clu...

1. Ford Escape
2. Ford Focus
3. Jeep Patriot
4. Dodge Caliber
5. Ford F-150
6. Honda Civic
7. Chevrolet Silverado
8. Chevrolet Cobalt
9. Toyota Corolla
10. Ford Fusion


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By knutjb on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By knutjb on 10/31/2009 1:29:42 AM , Rating: 1
For those who don't get it Edmunds charges for its data that is how they stay in business.

Are any of you paying Edmunds?

Thought not.

If Edmunds made wild claims they couldn't back up do you really think they would be in business? I think I'll stay with Edmunds over the whitehouse.

Go see for yourself.

http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/press/159486/art...
http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
By dr3wbear on 10/30/2009 12:32:25 AM , Rating: 1
@ reclaimer77

That is just F***ing hilarious. One sentence. One very dry sentence.

Not sure what to say? I know what to say but everytime I try I start laughing because of what you said.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Googer on 10/29/2009 9:23:52 PM , Rating: 3
The whole cash for clunkers deal was a government sham to snoop on the public. It's in the user agreement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqfuZ7hiap0


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Nik00117 on 10/30/2009 6:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
Worked, for my family and friend.

My friend was a person who always bought used cars. She'd spend $1,000 or $1,500 on a used car ride it until it dead (2-3 years normally) then junk it (get $300-$500 back) and go out and buy another one.

My family always bought used as well.

My friend ended up picking up a Ford Focus brand new 2009 model SE. The price was $15,000 with her cash for clunker it was $10,500, her car was worth maybe $700 or $800.

My family bought a Ford Escape, that before Cash For Clunker sold for $21,000 they got it for $17,500

Both of those individuals bought cars because of the cash for clunkers and otherwise wouldn't of considered it. I'm sure the same is true for many.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 3:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Both of those individuals bought cars because of the cash for clunkers and otherwise wouldn't of considered it. I'm sure the same is true for many.
Your friend was VERY smart with her money until the CARS program came along. She wasted her money. New cars are wastes of money. They depreciate horrendously. A used car is a MUCH better deal. If I wasn't such a car nut, I would just buy some POS like she did and have loads more money in investments or savings where it works much better for me. Sometimes being human sucks. LOL!


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By corduroygt on 10/30/2009 5:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
You only live once, and some people think it's worth it to have nice new cars. I'd rather waste my money on buying a nice new car than to waste my life never having had one.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By Spuke on 10/30/2009 7:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You only live once, and some people think it's worth it to have nice new cars.
I agree, I've bought new cars before but hear me out for a second. I like the BMW 135i but it costs around $45k with the options I want. I can get a loaded 2008 135i with 6.7k miles for $30k. Which one is the better buy? I get what I want (and then some) for MUCH less. And it's still a new car with the new car warranty and the new car smell.


By corduroygt on 10/30/2009 11:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well a 1-year old $30k BMW is a lot different than the $1500 clunkers that you were praising the other poster's friend for. Also BMW's and high end luxury cars depreciate so fast that it only makes sense to buy them lightly used. A coworker bought a 2008 335i last year for $50k and now the car is worth less than $35k.
I, on the other hand, got a brand new Acura within $1-2k of what some dealers are asking for 1-year old models at the moment, and got 1.9% manufacturer financing to boot! It makes sense to buy a BMW or Mercedes lightly used, but for their cheaper japanese competitors, used doesn't make as much sense.


RE: "Would have bought them anyways"
By rdhood on 10/30/2009 8:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
Edmunds logic is spot-on. No, we could not have known exactly how many cars would be sold anyway, but we have darned good estimates. Similarly, we know about how many people will be unemployed next month, about how many new unemployment insurance filings there will be, and about how many foreclosures will take place. It is like a tide. We don't know to the inch how high a tide will be, but we have pretty good data and can guess pretty accurately.


White House Is Full Of It
By mindless1 on 10/29/09, Rating: -1
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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