Cash for clunkers, a win-win-win? Think again


In a blustering press release touting the success of cash-for-clunkers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood commented that the program was "a win for the economy, a win for the environment, and a win for American consumers."

We interrupt this fantasy for a brief return to Planet Earth. Yes, cash-for-clunkers was a big win for certain segments of the economy: car dealerships and people who build cars (in Asia mostly, but hey). It was a big loss for mechanics, who lobbied heavily against the bill but were outmuscled by the car dealers. And in the long run, it really may have just frontloaded car sales.

Originally published