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Dear Auto Advisor, The “Cash for Clunkers” is a great way for me to get a new car. What is the downside of doing this? James, Panama City.

James, The downside of the clash for clunkers is that is using money that the government does not have. It is using the American citizen’s tax money to sell cars. This is private industry that is being subsidized by our Government. I am worried that pretty soon they will have give away programs for getting new homes or boats. The other downside of this is that these vehicles are being destroyed that are being turned in. The cars can’t be resold to help recoup the cost of the “Cash for Clunkers Program.” Parts are not allowed to be sold from these cars and the body must be crushed. The engine must be drained of oil and run at fast idle till the engine “Locks Up”. You can watch the video of what they have to do to the engine @ Failure to follow the Governments procedure of destroying these cars can cost the dealership up to $15,000 per violation. If you go to the dealerships who are participating in this program you will see a car lot full of cars that are to be destroyed! It really is a waste of taxpayer’s money and will only help bankrupt our country. Of course the upside is that the dealerships are selling lots of NEW cars! Maybe this is how they plan on selling more Government Motor (GM) cars to the American public. In the future maybe auto repair shops will get the government to give us “Cash for Repairing Clunkers” Of course then they would tell us how much we can charge and how to repair them. I know this seems far fetched, but bailing out banks and the car industry at one time seemed just as far fetched. In the long run the downside of the “Cash for Clunker” program seems to far exceed the short run benefits of people buying of new cars subsidized by the Federal Government. There is no free money out there to buy cars for you and I. We all must pay for it someday, somehow. If not us, then our children’s children will pay for it. Is this how we repay our founding fathers who fought and died for this country?


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