‘Cash for Clunkers’ has tough road ahead

WASHINGTON (August 3) – Congress yesterday delayed extension of the wildly popular “Cash for Clunkers” program, with one aide privately admitting that the Senate was uncomfortable with a federal initiative that was both successful and widely praised by the public.

“They just don’t know how to react,” said a clerk from the Senate’s appropriations committee. “They’re standing around looking at each other with this silly expression on their faces. I’m afraid some of the older senators are going to fall down.”

Car sales nationwide have skyrocketed in the last two weeks as owners of older models flocked to struggling dealerships, driven by the incentive of up to $4,500 in credit toward a new vehicle. The $1 billion federal plan, designed to both stimulate the sagging auto industry and get aging gas guzzlers off the road, was nearly depleted by a weekend of fevered car-buying.

The White House has said that the initiative, technically called the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), will be discontinued unless the Senate backs the House allocation of an additional $2 billion that will aid in the rescue of Detroit’s Big Three automakers. The new program, called the Have Every Auto Purchased (HEAP) bill, will specifically target products of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

The indecision on Capitol Hill seems to be fueling increased confusion among potential buyers about how the program is supposed to work. Although a federal website lists the specific makes and years of models that qualify for the rebate, some consumers are arriving at showrooms around the country with “clunkers” that don’t qualify. A Ford dealer in Illinois reported turning away someone who wanted to trade in their iPod Touch for a new Focus, while Metrolina Chevrolet in suburban Charlotte rejected one woman who rode into the lot on her Roomba vacuum cleaner.

“We had a guy from the office park next door try to trade in his human resources representative on a PT Cruiser,” said Joe Black, sales manager of South Richmond Chrysler in Virginia. “I agree we need to get these old wrecks off the road, but I can’t just throw a law-abiding citizen in the crusher, even if he is a worthless piece of corporate junk.”

Other Americans simply seem to be unfamiliar with the term “clunker.” One person interviewed by a local TV station in Washington thought the deal was offered for “Junkers,” who were members of the landed nobility in eighteenth-century Prussia and eastern Germany. Another individual railed against “all the advantages that these young punkers don’t appreciate” while a third observed that “George Clinton, Parliament and all the P-Funk crew have stopped touring, so they don’t need a new car anyway.”

No cash for P-Funkers

No cash for P-Funkers

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3 Responses to “‘Cash for Clunkers’ has tough road ahead”

  1. karenlgj Says:

    “We had a guy from the office park next door try to trade in his human resources representative on a PT Cruiser.”

    Amazing.

  2. crookedcockroach Says:

    Man..that photo is AWESOME!! LOLZZ!

  3. Laura Hedgecock Says:

    I turned in a minivan for the CARS program. My kids think congress screwed up. They’d like the dealers to video the destruction so it can be enjoyed by the entire family and later be posted on Facebook.

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