We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A 15 mpg clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 800 gallons of gas a year. A 25 mpg vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 480 gallons a year.
So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year. They claim 700,000 clunkers were turned-in, so that's 224 million gallons saved per year. That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil. 5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption.
More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars. So, the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million. We spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved.
I'm pretty sure they will do a great job with our health care, though.
I don't want to do the math here as you should really do it for yourself, but use 12,000 miles per year as a baseline and 15 mpg for the clunker and say 30 mpg for a state of the art relacement. Assume that gas goes to $5/gal. It will still take years to just break even on the new car.
Its worse than that.
The example assumes an even increase of 10 mpg. I believe the criteria was a vehicle that rated 2 miles per gallon of increase over the vehicle you owned.
There were different level for different amounts you could get in the cfc program.
The Cash for Clunkers program was stupid as well as a waste of money. It makes me angry every time I think about it. The free market system already had in place and excellent way to deal with assets of diminishing value, like used cars. Depending on the cars' viability [ability to still be operated] older cars are taken in trade by dealers and either resold by them, or bundled into car auctions where they are sold to buyers, both American or Central or South American, who repair them and resell them to the general populace of their countries. So the remaining value of the used car is not thrown away, as the Administration did, using our hard-earned tax money to give the owners 'cash for clunkers', but allowed to diminish naturally until it no longer has a value as a car, but as scrap metal. During the Administration-induced uproar of the Cash for Clunkers program, employees of car dealers are shown in videos having to deliberately destroy functional engines of cars which still had many years of life in them. And the workers were angry that they had to do so. It showed in their faces on the videos.
This is just one more example of how remote from the real world the democrat progressives are.
My car, a 1991 Volvo, is still functional and after a reworking in 2007 [at a cost of $1500], still runs like a spotted ape. I said to my husband when the Cash for Clunkers program was initiated, "Don't these damn academics know anything about the free market system?