Consumers certainly seem to like the government's offer of rebates on new cars, said Jennifer Liberto and Peter Valdes-Dapena in CNNMoney.com. In fact, runaway popularity may have led to a suspension of "cash for clunkers" after less than a week in operation. The $1 billion economic stimulus program—which promises refund vouchers up to $4,500 to people who trade in old gas guzzlers for new, more efficient vehicles—has already "burned through its funds" (The House approved another $2 billion for the plan on Friday; the Senate is expected to vote on Monday).
Democrats will pump in more taxpayer money to keep the rebates coming, said Stephen Spruiell in National Review. But the program itself is a "clunker." The bill requires that all the jalopies people trade in must be crushed and shredded, which, as Henry Payne pointed out in National Review, will punish the "already hurting used-car and -parts businesses." And "the victims will be lower-income Americans who buy only used parts and vehicles."
The "surprisingly popular rebate program" has clearly "provided a shot in the arm to the struggling auto industry," said Katharine Q. Seelye in The New York Times. But with "cash for clunkers" suspended so quickly, "confusion reigned" over what will happen next—the White House says the program would continue. And the Michigan congressional delegation is determined to get "more money to keep the program alive."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- You're reheating pizza wrong
Subscribe to the Week