There are several reasons why the so-called “cash for clunkers” program is a bad idea. Here is another one. The first data are in and it appears that most of the “clunkers” being traded in for new cars are American-made, whereas most of the new cars bought with the “cash for clunkers” $4500 subsidy are foreign. And so it turns out that the government geniuses who came up with this hare-brained scheme are de facto subsidizing foreign competitors of American car makers with American taxpayers’ money.
UPDATE: It’s official. The New York Times reports that the chief beneficiary of the cash-for-clunkers caper was — surprise, surprise! – Toyota. “Not a single model from G.M. or Chrysler made the top 10 list, . . .” Bill Vlask, Toyota Tops List of Cash-for-Clunkers Winners, N.Y. Times, August 27, 2009, at p. B1.