Government suspends 'Cash for Clunkers' program - maybe

Rick Moran
They didn't even have the rules for the program until July 1 and no one is sure if all the loans given by car dealers under the program will be honored by the government because the rules are so complex.

But the legislative director of the American Automobile Association says the program is suspended because the government fears it will run out of cash. Meanwhile, the smart guys at the White House are saying the program isn't suspended, it is simply being "evaluated" as James R. Healey and Chris Woodyard, of USA Today r eport:

"The thing has exploded. It has exceeded everyone's expectations," said Miller, who was involved in writing the original legislation, known as CARS, for Car Allowance Rebate System. "Throughout our history, it has been auto sales that have pulled us out of recession. People are more likely to buy cars than houses. Not to be too Pollyannaish, but we're gettin' our mojo back. This could be the pivot" that begins an economic recovery. The White House said Thursday night that "dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored."

As of late Thursday, the government had committed nearly all of the program's $1 billion, according to calculations by NADA and various congressional offices. It's unclear whether and how the CARS program could be restarted.

"We're in a full-court press trying to get more cash for 'cash for clunkers'," Miller told USA TODAY Thursday night - pointing out she wanted $4 billion for the program, not the $1 billion that was appropriated.

This is the key: "...dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored." In fact, many dealers may have fudged the rules to sell cars - not uncommon when free money is being thrown away. If the Treasury Department doesn't honor some of those loans, some dealers will be in hot water.









They didn't even have the rules for the program until July 1 and no one is sure if all the loans given by car dealers under the program will be honored by the government because the rules are so complex.

But the legislative director of the American Automobile Association says the program is suspended because the government fears it will run out of cash. Meanwhile, the smart guys at the White House are saying the program isn't suspended, it is simply being "evaluated" as James R. Healey and Chris Woodyard, of USA Today r eport:

"The thing has exploded. It has exceeded everyone's expectations," said Miller, who was involved in writing the original legislation, known as CARS, for Car Allowance Rebate System. "Throughout our history, it has been auto sales that have pulled us out of recession. People are more likely to buy cars than houses. Not to be too Pollyannaish, but we're gettin' our mojo back. This could be the pivot" that begins an economic recovery. The White House said Thursday night that "dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored."

As of late Thursday, the government had committed nearly all of the program's $1 billion, according to calculations by NADA and various congressional offices. It's unclear whether and how the CARS program could be restarted.

"We're in a full-court press trying to get more cash for 'cash for clunkers'," Miller told USA TODAY Thursday night - pointing out she wanted $4 billion for the program, not the $1 billion that was appropriated.

This is the key: "...dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored." In fact, many dealers may have fudged the rules to sell cars - not uncommon when free money is being thrown away. If the Treasury Department doesn't honor some of those loans, some dealers will be in hot water.