Clunker math

August 9, 2009 

One has to admire the budgetary savvy of the Congress in its zeal to mitigate carbon emissions, boost the auto industry, enhance its image or something.

Do the math: At $4,000 per clunker, $1 billion will subsidize 250,000 cars. The added $2 billion of our money will do another 500,000 cars; total 750,000.

I'm guessing there are some 100 million, give or take a few million, "clunkers" eligible for this charade. So, we will soon have dealt with less than 1 percent of the problem -- and not made a dimple in emissions. A total cure is out of reach -- think third "stimulus." But we will have provoked a lot of consumer debt.

However, this sure diverts the front pages from some health care discussion. Clever.

Fred Westervelt

Ocracoke

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