Gosh! It sounded like such a good idea for the government to help the ailing auto industry and the environment by getting old gas guzzling cars off the road. Yet, like every government program, there's a downside:
First, the Environmental Protection Agency magically recalculated the miles per gallon it estimates many older cars get. Suddenly people whose cars met the previous standard no longer do.
EPA's move has caused confusion and headaches:
From CNN: In some cases, car buyers say, dealers are backing out of sales they've already made because the EPA changed the fuel economy figures on their trade-in.If all EPA has to do is wave a wand and make cars compliant on this score, then why don't they do it for all cars and avoid the costly retolling of industry necessary to meet more stringent government fuel standards on new cars?
"My wife just received a call from the sales manager saying that our clunker doesn't qualify anymore, and that we could either pay the extra $4,500 or return the new car (and get our old car back)," Greg Straka wrote Tuesday on a message board at the Edmunds.com automotive Web site.
Second, there is that little matter of government paperwork. This report from Minnesota highlights a problem seen all over the country:
Walser Toyota in Bloomington was open until midnight on Monday, with a waiting list. Salesmen were working long hours processing all those government rebates.
Each deal is 20 pages of documents that must be scanned and submitted individually through a government website that often doesn't work very well. They’ve sent in more than a hundred deals, cars they've already sold and about thirty have been rejected. Many of them were rejected because of a paperwork error. The rules of the program sound pretty simple, but the rulebook is at least a couple hundred pages long.
In a hotel ballroom, more than a hundred Minnesota auto dealers met Tuesday afternoon, invited by the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association. They were there to discuss all the problems they are experiencing.
What happens to the folks who already traded in their clunker but now find out their paperwork was rejected? Will dealers have to repossess those cars? Sound like fun to you?
Lastly, there's the problem of when and how dealers get paid for the clunkers. Multiple reports show that dealers haven't received any money and don't know when they will. It's causing a drain on already stretched financial resources.
Imagine Government Run Health Care
So what happens when government takes over health care with a rule book of thousands of pages? Will you get the immediate care you need or will you spend your sick days trying to get the correct paperwork moved through a faceless bureaucracy?
What happens when your doctor says he can't treat your condition without authorization from Washington? Will you die while some ACORN agent looks up your voting history to see if you qualify as a value to society?
To quote President Reagan: "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." If you depend on government to help you, you will be disappointed!