Of course the cash for clunkers program is popular, we’re giving away money. My concerns are first, that we are just moving demand around, and that the sales in this program are robbing sales from 2, 3, or 12 months from now when we are going to still need sustained growth in our economy. Remember, around 60,000 to 70,000 people are trading their cars in for new ones every month without this program. Second, I haven’t yet gotten clear answers on how many deals are currently in the pipeline and how they will wind this program down in a way that will give certainty to buyers and dealers. Third, I’m worried that an extension right now will penalize the two companies that we just made huge taxpayer invesments in. I’m trying to verify, but I believe, based on my conversations with dealers and other research, that Chrylser and GM both have inventory issues with the cars that qualify for this program. Seems weird we would invest billions of taxpayer dollars in two American companies in an effort to save them, and then extend a program that could penalize them. I realize all car sales, both foreign and domestic, are good for the economy, but I hate the idea that there may not be a level playing field for the next few weeks because of inventory issues.
This is a tough call, but at least wanted to let eveyone know that I’m studying all of it and trying to make a decision that is not rushed, but thoughtful.