If you want to help someone buy a new car that gets much better gas mileage than the clunker they currently own, write them a check. But don't steal my money under the false impression that government can do a better job of solving problems than individual initiative can.
Members of the Obama administration admitted a day or two ago to being very surprised at how "successful" the Cash for Clunkers program has been. Because of such high demand, the original funding of the program has run out. It takes a pretty dense government official to NOT understand that if you give something away there will be a lot of people that want it.
The other thing they haven't thought about is that the Cash for Clunkers program is theft.
For nearly every problem that government claims to have solved, it turns out to have created at least one more problem. The Cash for Clunkers program is one such program that is fraught with residual problems. It encourages dishonesty. It forces Americans to pay for other peoples' automobiles. It convinces more Americans that more government control over our lives is just fine.
Today I requested that a friend of mine, who is completely in favor of the "Cash for Clunkers" program, simply bypass the Cash for Clunkers bureaucracy and write me a check for $9,000, so that I could much more quickly turn my two clunker cars in for new ones ($4,500 is the maximum that one can receive from the government for qualifying clunkers). Even though she is a U.S. taxpayer, she refused. She'd rather have the government force you to pay that much for my car--and for everyone else's cars who take the latest government bait.
With each succeeding generation the grotesque experiment in government control of just about everything--which kicked into high gear with the coronation of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president--has convinced more and more Americans that the responsibility rests with government to take care of...just about everything, including buying cars for people. They bailed out the car companies, which makes it seem to some people logical that the next step would be to bail out the car buyers.
Fewer and fewer people see the irony of government control:
--that even though the federal government controls even private health insurance and health care, shrill voices call for greater government control over health care.
--that despite the fact that the United States economy is controlled by government not much less than the Soviet Union was in its heyday, government-appointed and -brainwashed economists trumpet the Establishment party line that the current economic downturn is a failure of the free market.
--that welfare cases have begotten mass expectation of entitlement, and a sense of entitlement has led in some cases to crime, all because federal government originally concocted the inane supposition that it can provide for our welfare more effectively than states, cities and towns, or families.
--that child and spouse abuse rise indirectly from the family disconnect that has resulted from the expectation of the "entitled" that government--not parents--is responsible for providing for their children.
In this context, it's not surprising that thousands of people think that government is responsible to buy a new car for them. The Cash for Clunkers program is a natural step on the evolutionary path of "government is responsible for everything". Where in the Constitution of the United States is the Federal Government authorized to steal your money to buy me a car? Yet so far, 250,000 Americans have thought nothing of buying a new car and sending you the bill.
Congress is on the verge of approving twice as much funding for the Clunkers program as has already been spent. I'm sure it won't be hard to find 500,000 more Americans who are as content to steal your money as their 250,000 clunking forbears.
Did I happen to mention that your taxes are going up? Did you know that Obama's promise NOT to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 is out the window? With that knowledge, are you still in favor of the Cash for Clunkers program?