Of Course Cash for Clunkers Was Going to Work!

And foreign-owned companies are benefiting from our taxpayer dollars. Detroit automakers have made 45.3 percent of the total Clunker program sales, and Japanese-based companies have reported 36.5 percent. While many Japanese autos are assembled in America, their profits are going back overseas.

The environmental benefits claimed by the program are also suspect. While everyone agrees having more fuel efficient vehicles is helpful especially while we continue buying Middle East energy, one has to question where all of the “clunker” vehicles are going.

Reports are that salvage yards are confused about whether they can keep good parts from old vehicles rather than just throw them away. A researcher for the Chemical Heritage Foundation said that the program harms the environment because new vehicles being manufactured use resources and that “engine fluids, refrigerants, and other chemicals” in the clunkers “end up as hazardous wastes.”

The one lasting positive impact then from the program may not be the temporary automotive buying frenzy, but rather the lesson it teaches all Americans: allowing people to make their own decisions is the best way to stimulate an economy. When you unleash the American people from the heavy hand of the big brother in Washington, our economy is unleashed to grow.

David Keene -- chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose foundation sponsors CPAC -- notes that liberal Democrats have a long history of opposing the idea of allowing Americans to keep their own money to spur on the economy:

[Their opposition is] reminiscent of the Democratic reaction to the Reagan economy back in 1984. First, the Democrats of that era predicted that the recession Reagan inherited would persist because of Reagan’s wrongheaded dedication to cutting taxes. Every believing liberal Democrat knew [that] wouldn’t work.

However, it did work and the American economy recovered. We are seeing the same principles at work in Cash for Clunkers, arguably the most successful program of the last year because the American people were left free to make their own decisions with their tax money.

The same principle is at play with other programs, like school choice. Ultra-liberal Democrats, winning elections using campaign coffers filled by teacher unions, have steadfastly argued against dismantling school bureaucracies. They did not want to allow parents a choice on where their children are educated. However studies have shown student improvement as a result of choice-related programs available in some states where parents can use their tax money elsewhere -- outside government-run schools.

Time and time again, when government steps back and allows citizens the freedom to make their own choices, Americans jump at the opportunity.

Isn’t the concept of freedom the very principle upon which our nation was founded?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.