US government may wind down 'clunkers' program


The "cash for clunkers" program set up by the US government is brilliant. It has come as close to saving the US auto industry as anything since the bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors.

But, as usual, bureaucracy screws up a good thing. The government has not been about to get dealers the money that they give their customers when the customers turn in their old cars. Many dealers can't float the difference, so "cash for clunkers" is putting them out of business. A dealer who gets 20 new buyers could be $90,000 in the hole if it pays out the full $4,500 per vehicles.