Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cash For Clunkers Is An Absolute Disgrace

In July of 2009, the US Government approved a legislative bill known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS. This program offered new car buyers a large cash discount when they traded in a used vehicle that met specific criteria. The motive behind the program was to encourage drivers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles. In spite of this noble effort, I feel the way the program was carried out was an absolute disgrace.

Cash For Clunkers Is An Absolute DisgraceThe truth is, these trade-in vehicles were disposed of in the absolute worst way I can even imagine. Rather than being refurbished, sold to low income buyers, being recycled at scrapyards, or exported to overseas buyers, these vehicles were permanently disabled by replacing the engine oil with an engine-seizing solution.

When poured into the engine and run for a few minutes, the engine seizes up and the car becomes inoperable. As a result, the engine can never be swapped into a different vehicle or used to repair an existing vehicle.

While I can understand the incentive behind getting people to drive fuel efficient cars, I cannot be okay with destroying vehicles that are in perfect working condition. Just look at any of the videos on YouTube of CARS victims meeting their demise.

Take this 1998 Cadillac for example. It is in excellent physical condition and it is vastly more efficient than the vehicle I'm currently driving. The idea that anyone would consider this vehicle a "clunker" is ridiculous! This is not a one-time example; there are dozens of videos of good cars being destroyed in an astonishingly wasteful and inefficient way.

The trade-in vehicles from the CARS program could have gone to so many other good uses instead of being destroyed. They could have been sold to salvage yards, given to hardworking impoverished families that desperately need reliable transportation, or exported to third world nations for use as emergency vehicles or otherwise. They could have been donated to charities, or refurbished and put back on the road. As far as I am concerned, the CARS program is an absolute disgrace.

I'm not the only one who feels this way: