July 31st, 2009 9:05 am | by John Jansen |

I should have corrected this earlier and apologize for not doing so but I am prodded to do so by a commenter.

I was perusing the news on the web last night and found a story regarding the suspension of the cash for clunker program. The source I used suggested that the suspension was the result of a bureaucratic snafu and I decided to run with that and hammer the health care proposal with the as evidence of government incompetence.

Subsequent news stories reveal that the program is suspended because they have exhausted or will very shortly exhaust the $ 1billion designated for this program.

So it was not government incompetence but an enthusiastic public grabbing for the dollars.

I should have waited for a better source and i should not have been as quick to make my ideological point.

My apologies.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Apology/Correction”

  2. By Bob on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    Handing out money successfully is hardly what I call evidence of success. As if it’s hard to give desperate people money …

    It would be “successful” if auto workers who’ve lost their jobs were not on the unemployment rolls next month, but chances all all this did was burn through piles of auto inventory — probably didn’t do much at all in the way of putting someone to work.

    And I’ll bet gas prices aren’t down to $2.00 a gallon next year in spite of all those cars with better mileage.

    And I wonder how scrap metal prices are going to fare with a huge glut of new supply coming their way.

    Shoot, my home PCs are old and high-power guzzlers, too. When do I get my check so I can go buy new stuff for me?

  3. By Bob on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    Ooops, I’m sorry, I forgot. I am getting my cut of my kid’s future earning power. I joined Bill Gross in lining up behind the spigot of free-flowing cash in the toxic waste for cash program as PHK positions it’s inventory for the bond-holder rescue plan encapsulated in all the fed funding facilities and PPIP.

    At least we can call these 2 trillion dollar deficits fair and impartial as everyone from the filthy rich to the filthy poor get their hands on fresh newly printed money.

    I’m glad to hear at least some of the middle class who only know how to spend money on stuff have gotten something out of this. Maybe the next consumer confidence numbers will show an uptick from this opiated financial nirvana.

  4. By Danny B on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    None needed

  5. By jg on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    Nah, your original point was spot on, John.

    This is a preview of what demand government will see for medical services when it becomes the financier and provider to all.

    Big demand, little wherewithal to pay –> rush to get in line for rationing.

    Kind of like food stores in the old Soviet Union.

  6. By K T Cat on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    Two points. First, on a recent Dave Ramsey Show, Dave was blasting the cash for clunkers program as a way to get people to borrow money to buy cars they didn’t need. I’ve got a clunker and it runs just fine, thank you. I don’t need to use it as a down payment on a car loan for a vehicle that will lose $5-10,000 as I drive it off the lot. The whole program seeks to extend the culture of debt that got us here in the first place.

    Second, I think you’re beating health care reform with the wrong stick. It doesn’t matter what kind of job the government does doing anything. We can’t pay for what we consume right now. We have a $2T deficit this year. It’s absolute madness to talk about a new entitlement. It doesn’t matter if people are dying in the streets and being carted away in front of us, we can’t have what we don’t earn.

    All the borrowing that you chronicle here is just that much more we won’t be able to do in the future. Our interest payments are what, $500B a year now? That’s $500B of goods and services we can’t buy now because we’re still paying off the ones from the last few decades.

    So what if we defeat health care reform? Until we defeat the whole concept of getting things on credit, new entitlements will continue to pop up.

  7. By Ken on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    That’s OK it happens to everyone. Keep up the good work.

  8. By BL on Jul 31, 2009 | Reply

    Indeed, they’ve just approved $2B more.

    As stimulus goes, it’s not a bad idea. Given that prices are set on the margin, better fuel efficiency lowers gas prices for all of us, perhaps considerably.


  9. By Chicken on Aug 1, 2009 | Reply

    Borrow first and monetize later? I liked John’s point on health care unless I misunderstood something (this does happen on occasion). Actually, government needs to stay away from health care as much as possible, perhaps catastrophic assistance would be useful, as would fewer malpractice suits(Sign here). Technological improvements are encouraging to me but likely not free.

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