Cash for Clunkers 2: The Re-Rise of Government Motors

It's not the title to a bad summer movie sequel. It's the reality of a bad government program sequel. Kerry Picket:

The Obama administration and their friends on Capitol Hill are floating around a proposal to change the $7500 tax credit for green vehicles. This change can be found not only in President Barack Obama's budget but also a bill proposed by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat.

Edmunds.com, a 45 year old trade magazine company that provides automotive information, posted a Department of Energy document listing the department's funding highlights. The proposed Obama Budget, changes the existing $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit “into a rebate that will be available to all consumers immediately at the point of sale.”

The original Cash for Clunkers was an expensive mess. The sequel will likely build on the mess with an added kickback for the company that US taxpayers had to bail out. And it's likely to help struggling Democrats, by design.

It is pretty convenient that Ms. Stabenow, who represents a state where GM is headquartered is pushing a bill that is also supported by Edison Electric Institute, whose president was a loaned a Chevy Volt, Eaton Corp: the sole American producer of car recharge systems, and Battery Electric Vehicle Coalition, a lobbying group for the electric car industry.

In fact, Department of Energy's David Sandalow told Bloomberg News in February the insta-credit would operate the “same way the 2009 ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program worked.”