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Cash for Clunkers

So the government is handing out money to people who will buy a new vehicle with better gas mileage than an existing vehicle. Left at that it's at least semi-reasonable.

In reality, the government is borrowing more money from China to hand out to people who probably can afford brand new vehicles anyway. The money can be obtained by trading in for a vehicle that gets as little as 2 mpg more than the existing vehicle (I think, I looked at the rules last week but don't have time to verify at the moment). And the traded in vehicle, which is quite possibly in perfect working condition, must be scrapped. I don't think there's even a mileage factor or anything. Lets say my Ranger is worth $4000 in trade in (I'd hope for a little more but that's at least ballpark). It still runs fine. But I could get $4500 if I trade in for a 20 mpg vehicle, but that sentences my truck to be destroyed.

Just stupid.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 4091 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 02:51:04 PM
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I can't believe they put more money into this thing. I thought it was over and done with this morning.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 03:05:36 PM
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Well, though I'm sure there's many problems with the program, and I'm not sure how I feel about it, scrapping the "inefficient" cars is the whole point.

Some rules I could find:

Trade in vehicles must be less than 25 years old, get 18 mpg or less, and have to have been insured for at least a year. (In other words, drivable. It doesn't to any good to take a dead car off the road.)

If trading in a car and getting a car it must be 10 MPG better for $4500, or 4-9mpg better for $3500.
If trading in a car and getting a truck/suv it has to be 5 mpg better for $4500, or 2 better for $3500.

Trading in trucks gets a bit more technical. It's all spelled out here.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/29/autos/clunker_tips/?postversion=2009073013

Edit: And, as far as the "people who can afford it anyway" comment. That might be true, but this might prompt that person to buy that car now, rather than waiting 3 years. (Also, cars over $45K don't count, so if you can afford a Viper, the government won't help you out, although $45K would be a really nice car.)
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 07/31/2009 3:09:32 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 03:16:25 PM
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Also, we tried figuring this out one time, but apparently gallons per mile would be a much better rating. As it stands (supposedly) going from 18mpg to 20mpg is a much much bigger gain than going from 30 to 32, though none of us was smart enough to figure out why, or come up with an analogy.

Maybe I'll look into that.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 03:30:31 PM
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It seems to be an issue of diminishing rates of return that are more obvious to someone looking at gallons per mile.

MPGGPM x100
1010.00
156.67
205.00
254.00
303.33
402.50
801.25


Edit: To spell it our for our "not good at math" friends. The savings going from 15mpg to 20mpg are the same as going from a 20mpg to a 30mpg. The savings from a 10mpg to a 20 mpg are the same as going from a 20mpg car to one that ran on moonbeams, rainbows, and happy thoughts.
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Jeremy screwed with this 3 times, last at 07/31/2009 4:20:56 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3355 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 05:16:41 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:05:36 PM
scrapping the "inefficient" cars is the whole point.


Which causes problems on its own. I've heard some arguments that the energy cost of making a new car is greater than the difference between running an "inefficient" car and an "efficient" one. So by increasing the old to new turnover rate, you may be making things worse.

Also, by junking these cars, you are cutting the supply of used cars/parts, which will increase prices for those who can't afford a new car.

Now, I'm not sure the size of these types of side-effects, they could be big, small, or non-existent, but I doubt anybody in government knows as well (if they even considered that there may be unintended consequences at all).
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Matt edited this at 07/31/2009 5:17:13 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
07/31/2009 @ 06:05:21 PM
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Also, this program doesn't exactly instill confidence in the government's ability to run a program. They vastly underestimated the demand for this program so much that they ran out of their initial money much earlier than they had planned and had to go back for more. It also makes me wonder how they decided on the sizes of the rebates. The large response to the program, to me, means that they probably could have offered smaller rebates and sold more new cars for the same amount of money.
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2887.gifAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
07/31/2009 @ 10:34:32 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 05:16:41 PM
Which causes problems on its own. I've heard some arguments that the energy cost of making a new car is greater than the difference between running an "inefficient" car and an "efficient" one. So by increasing the old to new turnover rate, you may be making things worse.


I was thinking the same thing. The overall environment impact of producing a new vehicle is probably fairly large. And also as you mentioned, I'm sure the people creating the program didn't look into that. They're just trying to sell cars since the government is in the car selling business now.
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2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
07/31/2009 @ 10:43:19 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:16:25 PM
As it stands (supposedly) going from 18mpg to 20mpg is a much much bigger gain than going from 30 to 32, though none of us was smart enough to figure out why, or come up with an analogy.


Think of it as a percent gain. 18 to 20 is a 11.1% gain, 30 to 32 is a 6.7% gain.

10k miles a year at 18mpg = 555g
10k miles at 20mpg = 500g

10k miles at 30mpg = 333g
10k miles at 32mpg = 312g

I didn't find the gallons per mile to be any more useful. It's counter intuitive and a decimal number.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 11:06:40 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:05:36 PM
Well, though I'm sure there's many problems with the program, and I'm not sure how I feel about it, scrapping the "inefficient" cars is the whole point.


The country is in the worst recession in the last how many decades and the government's solution is to destroy perfectly drivable vehicles? How does that make any sense? I don't have the numbers but I bet the fuel savings are drop in the bucket overall.
Lets see 3 billion / 4000 = 750000 vehicles
Half cars at avg +7mpg, half trucks at average +3mpg, just guessing here, for overall +5mpg average, let's say original vehicle average was 20mpg overall
Average 10k miles per year x 750000 / 20mpg = 375,000,000g per year
Average 10k miles per year x 750000 / 25mpg = 300,000,000g per year
Savings of 75,000,000g per year
205,480g per day

According to this http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html
US Motor Gasoline consumption is 378,000,000g per day

So the savings per day is .054%

Is the cost of $3 billion in taxpayer money that doesn't exist worth it?
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
07/31/2009 @ 11:50:43 PM
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090801/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_cash_for_clunkers_what_happened

This article mentions a survey that found 2 to 1 use of $4500 against $3500. Which would mean only 719,942 vehicles, so only 197260g per day saved for .052%
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/01/2009 @ 12:27:13 AM
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When I said getting the cars off the road was the whole point I wasn't making a value judgement, I was just stating a fact.

GPM is way better. You can tell when something is better or not. A family would be much better off replacing their 18 MPG car with a 25 than their 30 MPG car with a 40 mpg car. When I said we didn't get why I just meant we couldn't explain why it was that way. I get the numbers.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
08/01/2009 @ 08:46:32 AM
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No, I think saves are a better stat!
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/01/2009 @ 08:29:17 PM
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Well, I guess I should add that MPG has its place, but since equal increases of MPG aren't equal decreases on actual gas consumption, it's a pretty useless number when buying a car/comparing cars. Going from 10 to 11 MPG saves as much gas as going from 33MPG to 50.* Telling someone your new car gets 5 MPG more than your old one doesn't tell them much of anything.

MPG is a useful number once you own the car, since it tells you how far you can expect to go on the amount of gas in the tank.

GPMx(100,1000,or 10,000) should be the stat people care about when car shopping.

I find it humorous how often it seems that "we" choose bad ways of judging things as the benchmark. We have lumens to measure light, but for some reason we decided to get society used to buying bulbs based on how much electricity they used. Computers are sold based on clock speed, even though the same diminishing return rules apply, and the returns are so small now that we should dump the clock altogether, which once again would lead to needing to market their "equivalent" speed.

*However, this is pretty obvious when looking at 1000 and 900, as well as 300 and 200 gallons per 10,000 miles, respectively.
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 08/01/2009 8:34:43 pm
jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
08/02/2009 @ 08:35:01 AM
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Where does MBL fit in?
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
08/02/2009 @ 09:01:27 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:29:17 PM
Well, I guess I should add that MPG has its place, but since equal increases of MPG aren't equal decreases on actual gas consumption, it's a pretty useless number when buying a car/comparing cars. Going from 10 to 11 MPG saves as much gas as going from 33MPG to 50.* Telling someone your new car gets 5 MPG more than your old one doesn't tell them much of anything.


Can you do the math on this for me. It is very intriguing, and I've never heard of this GPM thing, but it sounds like it might be legit. I want charts, graphs, and pictograms. Mainly, Jeremy, I don't get how to interpret your original table about it.

Wait, I figured it out:
using dimensional analysis that I learned in high school (or just using simple math, because it turned out not to be as many steps as I first assumed)

(1 gal / 11 miles) X (10,000 miles) = 909 gal
(1 gal / 10 miles) X (10,000 miles) = 1000 gal
That's a different of approximately 100 gallons

(1 gal / 33 miles) X (10,000 miles) = 303 gal
(1 gal / 50 miles) X (10,000 miles) = 200 gal
That is a difference of approximately 100 gallons, despite the huge gap in MPG.


In other words, if I trade my clunker that gets 12 MPG for a new car that gets 20 MPG, I would be saving about 330 gallons of gas over the course of a year (assuming 10,000 miles a year). At these gas prices, that's anywhere between $600 and $800 dollars saved in gas every year.


Ok, I'm convinced! Jeremy, you are finally right about something.

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Scott screwed with this 4 times, last at 08/02/2009 9:12:21 am
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/04/2009 @ 08:44:01 PM
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Considering the diminishing returns aspect, shouldn't vehicles traded in for this program be able to be traded back out for even worse vehicles?

So if I trade in my 15mpg vehicle for a 20mpg vehicle, the dealer holds the vehicle and someone else can trade in their 10mpg vehicle and get my old 15mpg vehicle for free? And so on until no one wants to trade up, then scrap those vehicles.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
08/05/2009 @ 03:51:19 AM
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Well, that would ignore the secondary aspect, which would be the helping out of the car companies. Ignoring that though, it would be a net gain, but I'm not sure how many people would only be interested in trading up to that vehicle. Realistically, there aren't many cars that get 10mpg, save for something just being wrong with the car. Your mpg, plus the 4mpg increase it takes to qualify, would probably take you out of the clunker zone. However, if the bigger point is, "shouldn't we look to used cars too" to maximize the net mpg gain for people who can't afford new, then sure I think that would be fine. It would be a different program though. $3500 off a used car would be a lot, although I suppose you could make the case that many poor people drive clunkers, so more or less just buying them another used car with a significant upgrade in MPG would be a good way to attack this, but there aren't as many all around benefits to everyone that there would be for buying a new car.

Alex Wrote - 07/31/2009 @ 11:06:40 PM
Jeremy Wrote - 07/31/2009 @ 03:05:36 PM
Well, though I'm sure there's many problems with the program, and I'm not sure how I feel about it, scrapping the "inefficient" cars is the whole point.


The country is in the worst recession in the last how many decades and the government's solution is to destroy perfectly drivable vehicles? How does that make any sense? I don't have the numbers but I bet the fuel savings are drop in the bucket overall.
Lets see 3 billion / 4000 = 750000 vehicles
Half cars at avg +7mpg, half trucks at average +3mpg, just guessing here, for overall +5mpg average, let's say original vehicle average was 20mpg overall
Average 10k miles per year x 750000 / 20mpg = 375,000,000g per year
Average 10k miles per year x 750000 / 25mpg = 300,000,000g per year
Savings of 75,000,000g per year
205,480g per day

According to this http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html
US Motor Gasoline consumption is 378,000,000g per day

So the savings per day is .054%

Is the cost of $3 billion in taxpayer money that doesn't exist worth it?


To be fair, your opening figure should probably be around 16 or 17. Seeing as it has to be less than 18 mpg to qualify, starting with 20mpg makes no sense.

16 mpg = 468,750,000g per year.
21 mpg = 357,142,857g per year.

111,607,143g saved per year, 305,773g per day, or .08%. Which, in reality means it would "pay for itself" in 3.4 years, (in whatever the hell "currency" we're talking about, which, to be honest, I'm not sure.) which isn't too bad. I mean, if you were looking to upgrade to new energy efficient windows in your house, and their rate of return was .08% of their cost, every day, thus they'd pay for themselves in under 3.5 years, I would say that's a pretty good investment. (and not that I'm saying .08% vs .054% is a night and day number, but it's more accurate, even in a situation that has 37 assumptions in it.)


Also, what was your original "3 billion / 4000 = 750000 vehicles" step? I think if I were grading that paper I would have had to write "show your work" there.

Fake edit: I hope I did the math right. It's late. Nothing worse than being so dead tired you can't wait to get into bed, then waking up at 2 am and not being able to sleep.
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Jeremy perfected this at 08/05/2009 4:05:59 am
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
08/05/2009 @ 02:19:09 PM
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You're right about lowering the mpg estimates, and your math looks reasonable.

The .08% is percent reduction of total gasoline consumption in the US. So we're burning less gasoline which is good for the environment and reducing foreign oil dependency or whatever other political spin you'd like to put on it.

In reality, none of this is paying for itself. Possibly some extra sales tax is being generated by selling more vehicles, but I'm guessing that will be outweighed by the loss in taxes on the sale of the gasoline. So the $3 billion is being pulled out the air and will not be recouped.

$3 billion / $4000 per vehicle avg (just avg $4500 and $3500) = 750000 vehicles purchased.

I thought I saw numbers that said like 80% of vehicles are the $4500 discount, which would mean less overall vehicles, but the per vehicle average mpg savings is higher than what I estimated so I'll call it a wash for now.

According to this, the program is not a very cost effective pollution reducer, so it looks like helping out the car companies is going to be the #1 end result, whether it was intended as such or not
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090805/ap_on_sc/us_cash_for_clunkers_pollution

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:51:19 AM
Realistically, there aren't many cars that get 10mpg, save for something just being wrong with the car. Your mpg, plus the 4mpg increase it takes to qualify, would probably take you out of the clunker zone. However, if the bigger point is, "shouldn't we look to used cars too" to maximize the net mpg gain for people who can't afford new, then sure I think that would be fine. It would be a different program though. $3500 off a used car would be a lot, although I suppose you could make the case that many poor people drive clunkers, so more or less just buying them another used car with a significant upgrade in MPG would be a good way to attack this, but there aren't as many all around benefits to everyone that there would be for buying a new car.

Well, we're talking about trading in clunkers right, so wouldn't you expect many of them to have something wrong with them? Plus after the first trade in for the free money, I'd drop the mpg improvement requirement down to 1 mpg. So if a 15mpg gets traded in for a 20mpg, anyone can come in and trade a 14mpg or less vehicle for the 15mpg vehicle for free. Repeat until no one wants the piece of crap that was last traded in. So 15 for 20, 13 for 15, 12 (95 Suburban) for 13, scrap the Suburban. Net result is a 12mpg vehicle off the road replace with a 20mpg vehicle, instead of just 15 for a 20. Meaning there was a 3.33 GPMx100 reduction instead of just a 1.67 GPMx100 reduction, leading a 2x environmental benefit.

For the record, I think $3500 and definitely $4500 off a new vehicle is a lot of money. They should have started this program at a 3rd of that.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 02:45:05 PM
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If your point is that this in reality is more of a stimulus bill (people buy cars now, and have more money later to spend because of the saved gas money) with a smaller side benefit of helping out with the environment, rather than the other way around, I think that's a reasonable conclusion.

So, if the currency is "gas saved" that would mean it would only take 3.5 years to save a "normal" year's worth of gas, right? That's a decent return, IMO, if that is indeed what it means. If the article is accurate, and it probably is more accurate than our assumption laden guesses, then it's not worth a wet fart environmentally, though, I suppose every little bit counts, and you have to start somewhere. (Also, it's unclear of their total CO2 number is just cars, or a total total, and CO2 emissions isn't really the whole point either.)
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 03:08:58 PM
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From what I can find, the article's number (6.4 billion tons) is an absolute total, which isn't really fair to use as a measure against cars. (Unless you were arguing cars themselves are such a drop in the overall bucket, we shouldn't bother worrying, I think you should compare apples to apples. Obviously improving gas mileage isn't going to reduce emissions from cattle and power plants.)
Personal vehicles accounted for 314 million tons of CO2 in 2004. So, using the car and CO2 savings estimates from the article, by replacing .1% of the cars on the road we're reducing emissions from cars .22%. You could certainly argue it's not worth the money spent, but as a percent gained, that's pretty good. (And the article implies that its 700,000 estimate is based off current emissions, which have dipped as of late, so the figure of 314 million tons might even be high.)
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Jeremy edited this 4 times, last at 08/05/2009 4:24:26 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 05:24:37 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:45:05 PM
So, if the currency is "gas saved" that would mean it would only take 3.5 years to save a "normal" year's worth of gas, right? That's a decent return, IMO, if that is indeed what it means.


I guess that's what it means. But the individual buyers of the vehicles are the ones benefiting. It's not really helping the rest of us that are paying for the program.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:45:05 PM
You could certainly argue it's not worth the money spent, but as a percent gained, that's pretty good.


I am arguing that, because that's what it says, "It's not that it's a bad idea; just don't sell it as a cost-effective energy savings method," he said. "From an economic standpoint it seems to be a roaring success. From an environment and energy perspective, it's not where you would put your first dollar." Also I know at one point the Senate was planning on taking the next $2 billion out of a pot of money meant for environment/energy things...here we go, "But he echoes the concerns of fellow New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman over extending the program using federal renewable energy loan guarantee money. The House has voted to spend 2 billion of those dollars to do so."

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/krwg/news/news.newsmain/article/1/0/1538592/Regional/Udall.Echoes.Concerns.over.funding.source.of.Cash.for.Clunkers.Program

Gotta love the end of this article too, "Udall said, though, that before the "Cash for Clunkers" program is extended a second time, after this one, an analysis needs to be done to determine other energy costs of creating new cars to feed the program." So that confirms Matt's doubts.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
08/05/2009 @ 05:55:40 PM
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I just glanced over your guy's numbers, so maybe I'm off base here, but when dealing with gas savings or whatever, don't you have to consider that many of these "clunkers" would have been traded in anyway in the near future. I've read that many people actually were ready to get a new car months ago, but waited for the program to come into effect before trading in (which would be a net loss, gas savings wise). Others probably just pushed up their trade-in a few months to a year, others maybe more. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while a year of new cars vs old cars may reduce gas usage by 0.08%, a lot of that reduction would have happened soon enough regardless of the program. What we really have is something like a month of fuel savings for one car, plus 4 months for another, plus -2 months for another, plus 18 months for another, etc. Add them up and you get the total amount (not a rate) of fuel saved because of the program (ignoring secondary effects). Obviously, this would be difficult to determine, but is something that would have to at least be estimated in order to determine what we got for our money.

Does this make any sense at all, or am I way off?
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Matt screwed with this at 08/05/2009 5:57:03 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 07:59:02 PM
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There were probably people set to buy anyway, though this gave them more of an incentive to look at mileage. There probably weren't a whole lot of people who weren't in any way-shape-or-form thinking about buying a car who decided they should buy one just for the $4500, but there were probably more people in the "we were considering buying one, or we're due for one, we might as well strike now" than there were in the "well, I'm going to wait around until this comes through."

They did consider your point about those cars coming off eventually, they found that people hang onto cars a really long time, and factored that in, which really kind of addresses Alex's point. If you think about it, just in terms of gas savings, you're actually better off junking the "more drivable" clunkers than the real POS's because the "perfectly good" cars are the ones that are going to be on the road the longest.

In other words, if you have 2 cars that get 16 MPG and one of them has another year of life left, and the other can go strong for 5 more years, it really makes more sense to kill the car that's going to be "sucking gas" the longest. (Or at least you could say, junk one because it IS junk, and junk one because that's where the real impact comes in.)

I think I got off of any course I set out for there, and probably didn't actually address anything Matt was wondering.
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 08/05/2009 8:02:48 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 08:30:06 PM
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I think Matt's post makes sense. My original method does assume none of these people would buy new cars without the program.

How about 10% of buyers in monthly increments?

10% would've bought 3 months earlier
10% would've bought 2 months earlier
10% would've bought a month earlier
10% would've bought same month
10% would've bought in 1 month
10% would've bought in 2 months
10% would've bought in 3 months
10% would've bought in 5 months
10% would've bought in 7 months
10% would've bought in 12 months (some would've waiter longer but consider this the average of 8-infinity months)

I think people are estimating that if the next $2 billion is approved, it will last through September. So lets call 0 month and 1 month both 0 months.

.1 * 2 + .1 * 3 + .1 * 5 + .1 * 7 + .1 * 12 = 2.9 (I'm not sure how to unit this exactly, just trust me)
.1 * -1 + .1 * -2 + .1 * -3 = -.6

2.9 - .6 = 2.3

Should really revise the total estimated purchases based on rates to date
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090805/ap_on_go_co/us_cash_for_clunkers
$775.2 million for 185,00 vehicles so...$3billion should yield 716,000 vehicles

2.3 x 716,000 = 1646800 months of increased mpg generated by the program

I couldn't find reliable data on average miles driven per year, but I didn't see anywhere that said only 10k, so let's make it 12k. That means 1k per month

"White House spokesman Robert Gibbs detailed that the average "clunker" traded in under the program was rated at 15.8 mpg while the average for the replacement vehicle was 25.4 mpg."
http://www.dailytech.com/Ford+Focus+Tops+Cash+for+Clunkers+Sales+Senate+to+Pass+2B+Extension/article15885c.htm

1646800 months x 1kmpm/ 15.8mpg = 104227848g
1646800 months x 1kmpm/ 25.4mpg = 64834645g

104227848g - 64834645g= 39393203g saved by the program

divided by $3 billion = 0.013g saved per $ spent

Edit:fixed math error
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Alex screwed with this 2 times, last at 08/05/2009 8:34:39 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 08:48:41 PM
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10-12K miles per year is the estimate most people use.

It's not just gas saved either, it's less pollution, money in the pockets of the car companies now, and 39393203g worth of money in the owner's pockets, the cars are safer, and their old car isn't going back on the road (though, as Alex said, one mans clunker could be another man's Prius, but I think you have to look at this as nipping it in the bud, somewhat).
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/05/2009 @ 08:49:46 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 07:59:02 PM
There were probably people set to buy anyway, though this gave them more of an incentive to look at mileage. There probably weren't a whole lot of people who weren't in any way-shape-or-form thinking about buying a car who decided they should buy one just for the $4500, but there were probably more people in the "we were considering buying one, or we're due for one, we might as well strike now" than there were in the "well, I'm going to wait around until this comes through."


I think that meshes with my distribution.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 07:59:02 PM
They did consider your point about those cars coming off eventually, they found that people hang onto cars a really long time, and factored that in, which really kind of addresses Alex's point. If you think about it, just in terms of gas savings, you're actually better off junking the "more drivable" clunkers than the real POS's because the "perfectly good" cars are the ones that are going to be on the road the longest.

In other words, if you have 2 cars that get 16 MPG and one of them has another year of life left, and the other can go strong for 5 more years, it really makes more sense to kill the car that's going to be "sucking gas" the longest. (Or at least you could say, junk one because it IS junk, and junk one because that's where the real impact comes in.)


I didn't realize I said anything even closely resembling that. Or are you just saying that I said that that is what's happening? Because I did say that, but I don't that it's a good plan. But maybe you didn't intend to make it sound like I approved of it?

At any rate that leads me to my next rant, based on the parable of the broken window
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Junking the move drivable vehicle moves cars off the lot in the short term, but people would've bought new cars eventually anyway and based on that fact alone the whole situation would be a wash. Although you could make arguments about cash on hand needs for dealers and car companies, but the government has already handed out free money to take care of that (insert sarcasm here). When you add in the fact that we're spending $3 billion in tax dollars to put in effect a net 0 gain program, we're actually out $3 billion as a country. Plus we're borrowing that money at some rate that I don't even want to begin to try and search for, so it's $3 billion + X interest. And besides that, we're taken 716,000 drivable vehicles out of our net vehicle inventory, which in and of itself is hard to positively spin at all. Furthermore, some of those drivable vehicles are being replaced by foreign vehicles which I'm thinking won't help our trade deficit. And to get back to the parable, the short term boon to the car industry will come at the expense of less money flowing to other industries, since no new money is generated by the program.

Edit: the less pollution is really the only benefit, and we've already discussed that it's not really a good bang for the buck investment for that and it's a very small actual benefit
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Alex messed with this at 08/05/2009 8:51:45 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
08/05/2009 @ 09:03:01 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 08:49:46 PM
I didn't realize I said anything even closely resembling that. Or are you just saying that I said that that is what's happening? Because I did say that, but I don't that it's a good plan. But maybe you didn't intend to make it sound like I approved of it?


Yeah, you're right, I should have said "addresses Alex's concern" not "point."
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matt.jpgMatt - 3355 Posts
08/06/2009 @ 01:14:54 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 07:59:02 PM
If you think about it, just in terms of gas savings, you're actually better off junking the "more drivable" clunkers than the real POS's because the "perfectly good" cars are the ones that are going to be on the road the longest.

In other words, if you have 2 cars that get 16 MPG and one of them has another year of life left, and the other can go strong for 5 more years, it really makes more sense to kill the car that's going to be "sucking gas" the longest. (Or at least you could say, junk one because it IS junk, and junk one because that's where the real impact comes in.)


Maybe, but the potential problem with this (and the cash for clunkers program as it is now) is how it will affect the used car market.

Let's say there is a guy who is driving a 20 year old clunker and can't afford a new car, but he does have some money put away for a nicer used car (that gets better mileage). However, now that a bunch of "mid-life" used cars are now off the market, the only cars available that fit his price range will last only 1 or 2 years. Since its not worth buying a new car for only 1 or 2 years, he decides to stay with his older car while he saves up more money. So, instead of him making a modest upgrade mileage wise, he now drives a real gas guzzler for longer than he would have without the program.

Obviously there are a ton of factors that may make a scenario like this more or less likely, but the point is that there is a definite possibility that "that which is unseen" (I couldn't let Alex be the only one to reference Bastiat) will cut into, or eliminate entirely, whatever gains the program expects to create.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/06/2009 @ 08:09:03 AM
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aside from the math giving proof that this is a good or bad idea, what about the fact that I'm paying for someone elses new car? Does that not piss anyone off?

**no offense, but I skipped reading a bunch of posts, didn't want to wade through your math.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
08/06/2009 @ 09:11:00 AM
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It's all just fuzzy math anyway.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
08/06/2009 @ 09:47:49 AM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 01:14:54 AM
Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 07:59:02 PM
If you think about it, just in terms of gas savings, you're actually better off junking the "more drivable" clunkers than the real POS's because the "perfectly good" cars are the ones that are going to be on the road the longest.

In other words, if you have 2 cars that get 16 MPG and one of them has another year of life left, and the other can go strong for 5 more years, it really makes more sense to kill the car that's going to be "sucking gas" the longest. (Or at least you could say, junk one because it IS junk, and junk one because that's where the real impact comes in.)


Maybe, but the potential problem with this (and the cash for clunkers program as it is now) is how it will affect the used car market.

Let's say there is a guy who is driving a 20 year old clunker and can't afford a new car, but he does have some money put away for a nicer used car (that gets better mileage). However, now that a bunch of "mid-life" used cars are now off the market, the only cars available that fit his price range will last only 1 or 2 years. Since its not worth buying a new car for only 1 or 2 years, he decides to stay with his older car while he saves up more money. So, instead of him making a modest upgrade mileage wise, he now drives a real gas guzzler for longer than he would have without the program.

Obviously there are a ton of factors that may make a scenario like this more or less likely, but the point is that there is a definite possibility that "that which is unseen" (I couldn't let Alex be the only one to reference Bastiat) will cut into, or eliminate entirely, whatever gains the program expects to create.


There are still crap loads of used cars, there are just less of them that get sub 19mpg. However, I have no doubt that there will be unforeseen problems, there almost always is.

Carlos44ec Wrote - Today @ 08:09:03 AM
aside from the math giving proof that this is a good or bad idea, what about the fact that I'm paying for someone elses new car? Does that not piss anyone off?

**no offense, but I skipped reading a bunch of posts, didn't want to wade through your math.


The money they've spent thus far on the program would be like you or I spending a nickle, and if they didn't spend it here, they would have spent it on some sort of save the whales campaign, or something. At least something good is coming of this, economy wise, and because it has an environmental angle they used money they had already set aside and planned on spending on various environmental programs, and you never know what you're going to get there.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
08/06/2009 @ 10:36:31 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:11:00 AM
It's all just fuzzy math anyway.


Is there any other kind?

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 09:47:49 AM
The money they've spent thus far on the program would be like you or I spending a nickle, and if they didn't spend it here, they would have spent it on some sort of save the whales campaign, or something. At least something good is coming of this, economy wise, and because it has an environmental angle they used money they had already set aside and planned on spending on various environmental programs, and you never know what you're going to get there.


Finally!

Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:48:41 PM
(though, as Alex said, one mans clunker could be another man's Prius, but I think you have to look at this as nipping it in the bud, somewhat).


If there's any one thing that needs to be nipped in the bud, it's this attitude of "We're the entitled/rich(not really since we're in debt)/spoiled USA, $3 billion is chump change". I worked hard for that nickel and now it's being wantonly wasted. The second thing that needs to be nipped in the bud is government spending. At least balance the yearly budget, and do it NOW! If there even is such a thing as a yearly budget anymore, I think Congress has been passing spending bills once a month for the last year.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
08/06/2009 @ 10:55:35 AM
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Well, sure, wasting money is wasting money, let's just have a little perspective on what's really going on here. People are talking about the CARS program like we've got half our annual GDP wrapped up in it and we'll live or die depending on the long term outcome of it.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/06/2009 @ 12:32:56 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:55:35 AM
Well, sure, wasting money is wasting money, let's just have a little perspective on what's really going on here. People are talking about the CARS program like we've got half our annual GDP wrapped up in it and we'll live or die depending on the long term outcome of it.


If this one gets by us without a fight, what other bullshit programs will the Dems pull out of their arses? If it's a matter of chosing your battle, sure, I'd chose to fight this one anyway. I just think we have to fight all of them.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
08/06/2009 @ 01:02:30 PM
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And many congressmen (mostly republicans) voted to keep spending billions on handful of planes that we don't use for anything, because it meant a lot of make work jobs in their states would be gone. At least the general public is getting something with clunkers.

(And obviously you can be against both things, and obviously democrats, as the group in power, will be the ones "doing things" in the coming years. Just don't act like republicans are the shrewd fiscal sticklers they claim to be.)
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Jeremy messed with this at 08/06/2009 1:03:09 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
08/06/2009 @ 03:11:42 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:02:30 PM
At least the general public is getting something with clunkers.


My nickel saved 0.00065g of gas. Glad I could make such a freaking wonderful contribution to society emoticon
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/06/2009 @ 03:31:28 PM
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I sent Feingold a message asking him not to vote in favor of the $2 billion. I'd send one to Kohl too, but since he's the owner of the Bucks I can't really put in any faith in him. Poor guy probably cries himself to sleep every night.
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reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - Shaken not stirred gets you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth
08/07/2009 @ 10:12:31 AM
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I'm going to wade in here on a small point and please take in mind that I didn't read the majority of the environmental math going on above because I really don't care all that much.

Anyone who saw this as an environmental bill is being a little daft. It was brought on to a) get people to spend money and b) spend it on cars and it has been successful at both. I see this was briefly acknowledged above. Please give me the liberty of allowing the government to spend $3 billion to stimulate the economy when reading the rest of this post.

Intentionally generalizing here, one position, generally attributed to democrats, is to spend money on programs, which is said to have either "a better effect on the economy" or be "completely wasteful," depending on your ideology. The other position, usually Republican, is to give money directly to the people, because they are smart enough to spend it on their own. This may work at times, but right now is really not the best way to help the economy since the savings rate is up so much. Right now people just aren't going to spend that much of the money you send them in a check.

This program seems to provide a good compromise between those two positions. The government is pumping money directly to the people, but forcing them to buy something first before they get it. Any environmental impact is just a bonus. Cry all you want about the stimulus program being wasteful or the difference between creating and saving jobs, but this small part of it strikes a pretty good balance. Plus 7 Republicans voted for the additional $2B, at a time when Republicans won't touch anything from a Democrat. Obviously there are long-term aspects of this that don't hold up, but as a short-term bump to the economy, this program is a pretty good value. Sure they might have bought the cars later anyway, but the point is for them to buy the cars now.

Also, one thing that hasn't been mentioned here that I saw in an article was the safety aspect. A lot of people are trading in old cars that would have gone to their teenagers, so instead of having the least safe drivers driving the least safe cars, at least one side of the equation has been made safer. File that under positive unintended consequences.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/07/2009 @ 05:44:36 PM
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... and the people are happy.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/08/2009 @ 04:48:07 PM
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I wish my wife's car qualified. We have a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix with 170 thousand miles on it. It doesn't qualify, but maaaaaan, it would be so nice if it did. We are thinking about getting a new car (instead of a used car) that does get more than 4 miles per gallon more, but her car doesn't get less than 18 mpg. What a bummer.
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Scott perfected this at 08/08/2009 4:48:54 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/09/2009 @ 06:48:35 PM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 04:48:07 PM
We are thinking about getting a new car (instead of a used car) that does get more than 4 miles per gallon more, but her car doesn't get less than 18 mpg. What a bummer.


Which totally contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory. Why would there be all these mpg rules then? Clearly more vehicles would be sold without the restrictions.

Micah Wrote - 08/07/2009 @ 10:12:31 AM
Obviously there are long-term aspects of this that don't hold up, but as a short-term bump to the economy, this program is a pretty good value. Sure they might have bought the cars later anyway, but the point is for them to buy the cars now.


Just borrowing against the future again.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
08/10/2009 @ 07:16:28 AM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 07:48:35 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/08/2009 @ 05:48:07 PM
We are thinking about getting a new car (instead of a used car) that does get more than 4 miles per gallon more, but her car doesn't get less than 18 mpg. What a bummer.
Which totally contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory. Why would there be all these mpg rules then? Clearly more vehicles would be sold without the restrictions.
Micah Wrote - 08/07/2009 @ 11:12:31 AM
Obviously there are long-term aspects of this that don't hold up, but as a short-term bump to the economy, this program is a pretty good value. Sure they might have bought the cars later anyway, but the point is for them to buy the cars now.
Just borrowing against the future again.


I don't think that contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory at all. You have to put limits on this somewhere. And if you are expecting me to be pissed that I am "paying for other people's cars" when I am not being given the same thing in return, you would be dead wrong. I just bought a brand new car this weekend, and I while it definitely will force me and my wife to tighten our belts on our finances for a while, I am in no way bitter that the system didn't "work for me". But that's just me. I'm thankful for what I have.
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reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - We can do this easy, or we can do it real easy
08/10/2009 @ 12:05:31 PM
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How incredibly reasonable of you, Scott. I completely agree.

It's a short-term economic stimulus program, which we currently need, that has environmental benefits as well. It was also originally part of the stimulus package (at $16 billion) so no one was saying this was a climate change bill from the start. I guess it really is personal choice. I am happy to pay my taxes for this program, especially if it helps right the economy quicker, and all the money I threw in the stock market over the last 6 months goes up to recoup the $3 I'm paying for this program. I'm happy to pay my taxes for a lot of the other stimulus programs, as well as for health care for poor people, even though I already have it and it isn't expensive at all. I'll pay for it because I think its right and hope the economic aspects will right the market and allow my investments to do better as well as allow my parents to retire in 2 years, even though they were supposed to this year. I'm also really lucky to have a secure job and have friends with big families in Detroit, so I'm fine with paying for their unemployment to be extended if they need it. Plus I bought a whole chest of gold doubloons and buried it under a palm tree on an unknown island, so don't whine to me about inflation. You may have different priorities for your tax dollars, but I really am fine with it.

I am not happy to pay my taxes for wars in Iraq or for Carl's college education (but just Carl, other people can go to college).

And by long-term aspects, I didn't mean that the deficit will cause the Chinese to hand out 1000 US dollars to every citizen of China and then send them parachuting over here in some economic Red Dawn attack to spend all of it on US goods made in China, thereby exploding their economy and completely devaluing our currency, sending us into the woods to live as Wolverines.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
08/10/2009 @ 09:43:14 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:16:28 AM
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 06:48:35 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/08/2009 @ 04:48:07 PM
We are thinking about getting a new car (instead of a used car) that does get more than 4 miles per gallon more, but her car doesn't get less than 18 mpg. What a bummer.
Which totally contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory. Why would there be all these mpg rules then? Clearly more vehicles would be sold without the restrictions.


I don't think that contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory at all. You have to put limits on this somewhere.


This makes absolutely no sense to me. If it's so great for the economy, why not just give $3500 for the purchase of any new vehicle?
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
08/10/2009 @ 09:55:54 PM
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Micah Wrote - Today @ 12:05:31 PM
I am happy to pay my taxes for this program, especially if it helps right the economy quicker, and all the money I threw in the stock market over the last 6 months goes up to recoup the $3 I'm paying for this program.


Well, I hope you plan on cashing out in a month or two before the now inevitable sales slump of new vehicles follows up this mad splurge of spending. This program is just making the peaks and valleys of the market larger. Which is great for day traders who guess right, but not so good for long term investments.

Micah Wrote - Today @ 12:05:31 PM
And by long-term aspects, I didn't mean that the deficit will cause the Chinese to hand out 1000 US dollars to every citizen of China and then send them parachuting over here in some economic Red Dawn attack to spend all of it on US goods made in China, thereby exploding their economy and completely devaluing our currency, sending us into the woods to live as Wolverines.


We're already doing that for them. We're taking money that's borrowed from them, distributing it to our citizens and spending at least some of it I'm sure on parts made in China. So they're making interest and getting paid.
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/10/2009 @ 10:43:27 PM
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Sorry to sidetrack, but Micah said "Wolverines". Aparently there will be a remake featuring Tom Cruise's adopted son.

Who wants to go see it on the big screen?!?!?
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reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - They just want the damn ash of that field
08/10/2009 @ 11:04:37 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 10:55:54 PM

Well, I hope you plan on cashing out in a month or two before the now inevitable sales slump of new vehicles follows up this mad splurge of spending. This program is just making the peaks and valleys of the market larger. Which is great for day traders who guess right, but not so good for long term investments.


I'm not too worried about a new car bubble and I don't believe in day trading. I'm happy with my long-term 6-8% a year. But I am in favor of the market getting back to a fair value of its assets sooner rather then later. It was clearly overvalued at 14000 and undervalued at 6000. But until consumer confidence gets back to a worthwhile point that isn't going to happen. I believe in programs like this working to accomplish those goals faster.

What was your ideal solution to put in place 6 months ago? Let all the banks and car companies fail because its the most economically efficient way of dealing with the situation? I really don't want to argue about that but you just seem to be against anything the government spends a dime on, so I just want to know what you would like to have happened.

Carlos44ec Wrote - Today @ 11:43:27 PM
Sorry to sidetrack, but Micah said "Wolverines". Aparently there will be a remake featuring Tom Cruise's adopted son.

Who wants to go see it on the big screen?!?!?

I am absolutely down with seeing the Red Dawn remake. Has Tom Cruise's son been in anything else? Is it going to be as good as Tom Hanks' son in Orange County, because that was terrible.
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Micah edited this at 08/10/2009 11:05:10 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
08/11/2009 @ 10:38:04 AM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:43:14 PM
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:16:28 AM
Alex Wrote - 08/09/2009 @ 07:48:35 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/08/2009 @ 05:48:07 PM
We are thinking about getting a new car (instead of a used car) that does get more than 4 miles per gallon more, but her car doesn't get less than 18 mpg. What a bummer.
Which totally contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory. Why would there be all these mpg rules then? Clearly more vehicles would be sold without the restrictions.
I don't think that contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory at all. You have to put limits on this somewhere.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. If it's so great for the economy, why not just give $3500 for the purchase of any new vehicle?


Like I said, you have to have limits on it somewhere. Adding somewhat of an environmental aspect to it doesn't negate the economic aspect as you suggest that it does.

Plus, people will be spending less money on gas, which will cause the gas prices to drop, which will help all of us out.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/11/2009 @ 10:50:07 AM
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At first I thought I wanted to see the big corps fail so that smaller more successful models could come in and take their place. Now I see that (although I would like to test my survival capabilities) a dystopia or Post-Apocalyptic world is cool only in sci-fi.

I don't like to see our money go into things like this, but really, it seems to be working and I don't think there will be a terrible lull. I think of it like clutch-starting your car. You have to get out and push (spend money), gather momentum, then pop that clutch to start the engine (the economy). Sure you have to push and there might be damage to the clutch, but if it gets that hooptie started, you're off to the repair shop.

In truth, I don't know what to think of cash for clunkers, and every time I hear about it I get a different feeling.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/11/2009 @ 11:05:55 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 10:38:04 AM
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:43:14 PM
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 07:16:28 AM
Alex Wrote - 08/09/2009 @ 06:48:35 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/08/2009 @ 04:48:07 PM
We are thinking about getting a new car (instead of a used car) that does get more than 4 miles per gallon more, but her car doesn't get less than 18 mpg. What a bummer.
Which totally contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory. Why would there be all these mpg rules then? Clearly more vehicles would be sold without the restrictions.
I don't think that contradicts the "it's an economic bill" theory at all. You have to put limits on this somewhere.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. If it's so great for the economy, why not just give $3500 for the purchase of any new vehicle?


Like I said, you have to have limits on it somewhere. Adding somewhat of an environmental aspect to it doesn't negate the economic aspect as you suggest that it does.

Plus, people will be spending less money on gas, which will cause the gas prices to drop, which will help all of us out.


I'd assume the oil producers would just scale back production to keep the prices up, though that assumes this program will even cause a blip in our overall oil/gas usage, which I don't think it will. Those auto owners WILL have the money that they don't spend on gas to spend elsewhere though.
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/11/2009 @ 12:44:03 PM
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Right, gas prices will not be affected.

You didn't finish your other sentence though. Those auto owners WILL have the money that they don't spend on gas to spend elsewhere though; AFTER the gas savings have paid for the price of the vehicle and financing. Even if a purchaser is managing to save $1000 a year on gas, it will take 20 years (on a $20,000 purchase after discount) before the vehicle has paid for itself and brought their purchasing power back to where it was before they bought a new vehicle.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
08/11/2009 @ 12:56:30 PM
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Which would be a valid point if we were talking about subsidizing a private helicopter. (Purchased at the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer?) People (more or less) need cars, getting them to buy now, and put an emphasis on gas mileage, was the point.
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2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
08/11/2009 @ 01:10:09 PM
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Carlos44ec Wrote - Today @ 10:50:07 AM
At first I thought I wanted to see the big corps fail so that smaller more successful models could come in and take their place. Now I see that (although I would like to test my survival capabilities) a dystopia or Post-Apocalyptic world is cool only in sci-fi.


Micah Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:04:37 PM
What was your ideal solution to put in place 6 months ago? Let all the banks and car companies fail because its the most economically efficient way of dealing with the situation? I really don't want to argue about that but you just seem to be against anything the government spends a dime on, so I just want to know what you would like to have happened.


It's not like GM and Chrysler were the only car companies. Ford, Toyota, etc. would've gotten a big boost in market share if those 2 had failed. And GM still could have sold off Saturn and whatever other brands that they ended up selling anyway. The banks are another issue. But we already know that at least some money paid out to banks by the government will never be seen again. Maybe we should have let them fail and use that same money to pay for the insurance claims of customers of those banks whose savings were FDIC insured?
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newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
08/11/2009 @ 01:13:02 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:56:30 PM
People (more or less) need cars, getting them to buy now, and put an emphasis on gas mileage, was the point.


They need to drive cars but the program only includes people who trade in drivable vehicles, so they could have just keep driving them and had $20,000 burning a hole in their pocket.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
08/12/2009 @ 12:43:43 PM
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"Dear Mr. Scheberl,

Thank you for contacting me regarding "cash for clunkers" legislation. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you may know, the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) was created by the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act that was signed into law on June 24, 2009. This program provides a voucher worth either $3,500 or $4,500 for car owners whose present car gets 18 miles per gallon (mpg), or less, in fuel efficiency when they trade it in for a new, more fuel efficient alternative.

Dealers began applying for the vouchers on July 28th, and because of extreme interest, the program's $1 billion in funding was being used up quickly. On July 31, 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2435, to provide $2 billion to continue the CARS program. The Senate passed H.R. 3435 on August 6, 2009, by a vote of 65-37. It was signed into law by the President on August 7, 2009.

I supported the extension of the CARS program, which is better known as "cash for clunkers" because, while not perfect, CARS has encouraged Americans to trade in their older and less fuel efficient vehicles while boosting new car sales and helping to revive local economies in Wisconsin and around the country. As a leading advocate for increased fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction, I am pleased that this bill utilizes $2 billion in existing funds made available previously with the enactment of the economic stimulus legislation earlier this year, rather than utilizing new funds and contributing to our growing national debt.

I am also pleased that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has fixed one problem it created in implementing CARS. When Congress created the CARS program, it fully intended to ensure that consumers across the country who are in compliance with the statute's requirements, including provisions related to car insurance, be allowed to participate in the CARS program. The DOT issued a final rule on July 24, 2009, that set the guidelines for the CARS program, including a requirement that individuals who wanted to trade in their vehicles had to demonstrate proof of car insurance for at least one year prior to the trade-in. This provision conflicted with statutory language stating that a trade-in vehicle be "continuously insured consistent with the applicable State law." Currently, Wisconsin and New Hampshire do not require individuals to purchase car insurance.

I was joined by members of the Wisconsin and New Hampshire delegations, as well as some of the leading authors of the CARS legislation, in a letter to the DOT urging the correction of this misinterpretation of the law. I also spoke with DOT Secretary Ray LaHood about this problem and was pleased that the guidelines were quickly corrected. Trade-in vehicles in Wisconsin are now exempt from the one-year insurance requirement, thereby ensuring that Wisconsinites who meet the CARS program's other eligibility requirements can participate in the program. While all Wisconsin drivers will be required to have car insurance beginning in June 2010, this action by the DOT is a sensible fix for Wisconsinites who are in compliance with state law and who seek to participate in this temporary program.

Trade-in vehicles must be less than 25 years old and have been continuously registered for the full year preceding the trade-in. Trade-in vehicles must get 18 mpg or less in fuel efficiency, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mileage criteria. The EPA worked to update the fuel economy data for possible trade-in vehicles, and issued the new data on July 24, 2009 - the same day that the CARS final guidelines were issued. According to the EPA, "of the 300,000 vehicle model types spanning 25 years, 78 cars no longer qualify, but 86 new vehicles are now eligible."

Trade-in vehicles are required to be crushed or shredded so that they may not be resold for use as an automobile. However, the entity destroying the vehicle is allowed to sell any part of the vehicle, other than the engine block or drive train, and retain the proceeds from such transactions. For more information on the program and how you can obtain the rebate, please visit http://www.cars.gov/. I hope you find this information helpful.

Thank you again for contacting me. For more information about my work on behalf of Wisconsin, you can subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter by visiting http://feingold.senate.gov/newsletter.cfm. I look forward to hearing from you in the future."
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - Tater Salad?
08/12/2009 @ 04:09:02 PM
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You know, MN got hosed on this deal, some idiot at the state level screwed the process up so many applications were turned down that should have been taken. The result was nobody was getting the rebate, or the dealers weren't getting reimbursed.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
08/13/2009 @ 10:21:17 AM
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I like Feingold. Is it wrong if I still consider him my senator even though I don't live in Wisconsin right now?
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/13/2009 @ 11:57:54 AM
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Eco friendly?
http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1044/spin-meter-3-billion-buys-not-so-green-vehicles/;_ylc=X3oDMTE5M3F1NDB1BF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEc2VjA2ZwLXRvZGF5BHNsawNjbHVua2VyLXNjYW1z

Has anyone seen the top ten traded in cars? 6 of the top 10 are Explorers

Seen the traded FOR cars? Only 4 are American companies, which is more than I expected
http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1036/Top-Cash-for-Clunkers-Trade-Ins-and-New-Cars
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/13/2009 @ 01:52:43 PM
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it's no secret that Americans prefer foreign cars. I really didn't even consider an american car with my last 2 car purchases.

And my wife's parents traded in a ford explorer as well for a foreign car.
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Scott edited this at 08/13/2009 1:56:36 pm
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
08/13/2009 @ 02:34:21 PM
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Scott, what kind of car did you buy?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/13/2009 @ 02:40:31 PM
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Do you just mean you didn't factor American vs foreign into your decision, or did you actually rule out looking at American made cars?

Edit: And they bought a 2009 Toyota RAV4, Micah
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Jeremy edited this at 08/13/2009 2:42:34 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/13/2009 @ 04:49:08 PM
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There's too many variables to prove a cause-effect relationship, but still

"The Cash for Clunkers rebate program helped give auto sales to their biggest jump in six months in July, but sales sank elsewhere. Gas stations, department stores, electronics outlets and furniture stores all suffered.

Overall, sales fell 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said, after two months of modest gains. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent increase. Excluding autos, sales fell 0.6 percent, also much worse than predicted."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_economy
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
08/13/2009 @ 10:06:46 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:40:31 PM
Do you just mean you didn't factor American vs foreign into your decision, or did you actually rule out looking at American made cars? Edit: And they bought a 2009 Toyota RAV4, Micah

It was more so that we were looking almost exclusively at foreign cars. I have a consumer reports Used Car Buying Guide from 2007, and although we bought new, I was using that to gauge the track record of certain vehicles. The RAV4 for example had a near perfect rating in nearly every "reliability history" category dating back all the way to 1997. This was a fairly consistent pattern with the foreign models compared to the American models, although it wasn't exclusive on either side. Also, the type of cars we were looking at, the SUV-Crossover, or as some call "Compact SUVs" (which are by no means small although I'm told that the RAV4 should average 24 MPG, which is a significant upgrade from the ~19 MPG my wife was getting in her slowly dying Grand Prix), the top 3 rated cars were all foreign models, and 6 of the top 10 were foreign, with 2 of those 4 non-foreign models being the Ford Escape and the Ford Escape hybrid. We did like the Ford Edge a little bit, but even comparing the "base" models, the foreign cars seemed to offer more. And price-wise, there wasn't much of a difference between the different models.

I think we test drove about 6 different models of car, only one of those was American. Growing up, my family had mostly foreign cars, and the three cars I've owned before this new one have all been foreign, so that could be part of why I prefered foreign cars. But then again, my wife's family only ever bought American cars and even she really only considered foreign cars (probably a fair amount due to my influence, but even still).
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Scott edited this at 08/13/2009 10:11:10 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
08/20/2009 @ 04:40:00 PM
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Ends Monday

http://www.fdlreporter.com/article/20090820/FON0101/90820112/1289&located=rss
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pyzamOmgWtf.jpgJfk10intex - My computer is better than yours!!!!
08/22/2009 @ 01:10:16 PM
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I cant see how any of you people or anyone for that matter have a problem with Cash for Clunkers, or a Public Option. Both of these programs are much better than the American Investment and Recovery Act. This fueled in 2 billion in revenue, people made more money, got more jobs, this was a big sucess, i wish they would put 10 billion in and let it run till January. Not only that, but I cant wait till Senate Dems and House Dems pass that bill to create a public Option so that the president can sign it. This is awesome, and I love the direction in which our country is headed. GOOOO OBAMA!!! GOOOO DEMOCRATS!!! GOOOOO HEALTHCARE!!!! GOOOOO CASH 4 CLUNKERS!!!!
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
08/22/2009 @ 02:51:22 PM
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...just when I thought the NutCan comments were getting a bit too intelligent.
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - Tater Salad?
08/22/2009 @ 03:10:14 PM
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wonder what news source you use.
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2887.gifAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
10/29/2009 @ 01:23:16 PM
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Clunkers: Taxpayers paid $24,000 per car
Auto sales analysts at Edmunds.com say the pricey program resulted in relatively few additional car sales.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/28/autos/clunkers_analysis/index.htm?postversion=2009102817
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
10/30/2009 @ 01:49:39 PM
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"The concern is that much of third-quarter economic growth stemmed from temporary government programs such as the clunkers sales incentives that ended in August."

So we artificially inflated the numbers with this program and now things are tanking again. Genius.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091030/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/us_economy
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