The federal government’s Cash for Clunkers program is turning out to be something of a clunker itself, according to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. The program aimed to help consumers trade in gas guzzlers to buy new more fuel-efficient cars.
The program ran out of financial gas only days after being launched. Grassley says he’ll strongly oppose an effort to pump another two-billion dollars into the troubled program. Grassley says, "The program seems to be a mess and knew it was a mess a long time ago but nobody created it, so until these kinks are taken out of it, the answer’s no."
The program was intended to help the nation’s struggling auto makers and auto dealers, but Grassley says it’s now causing much unnecessary confusion and frustration for the dealers it supposed to be helping.
The Republican says the program is full of bugs that have to be fixed before he’d consider injecting more money. Grassley says, "The program’s going to have to be paid for out of other portions of the stimulus package, because if this is one that is working, if you want to call this program ‘working,’ you can at least say it does a little more for the economy than most of what’s in the stimulus package."
He says Cash for Clunkers is quickly becoming a "disservice to the auto dealers, their customers and the American taxpayer who is financing this program."
"While the program has been unquestionably popular with consumers, dealers are facing significant obstacles and frustrations in dealing with the online registration," Grassley says. "There’s system stability issues, vehicle eligibility issues, engine disabling procedure issues." The Senate today is discussing a possible program extension.
The Obama administration has released a report that finds new vehicles being bought under the program are 61% more fuel-efficient than those being traded in.
A Des Moines metro car dealer talks about cocerns with the program in a related story found here .