Cash for Clunkers Saved My Life

christineMy father is cut from an old cloth.  The kind of guy that always provides for his family.  Not surprisingly, dear old dad tended to sacrifice the finer things in life.   He never knew the joy of that new car smell.  For years he drove clunkers while the wife and kids drove new cars.  The latest incarnation was an old 88 Cadillac DeVille held together with duct tape and a prayer.  We always knew when dad was almost home.  So did the neighbors.  Now with the kids out of the house, dad started enjoying the finer things in life.  Tuition payments were replaced with trips to Aruba with mom.  I decided to tell him about cash for clunkers.

“Dad, did you know you can get $4500 for the caddy if you trade it in?  I asked.  “That’s all.  It’s a Caddy.”  He replied.   Yes, it was a Cadillac.  It was a Cadillac with 200,000 miles on it and a cassette player that would only play a stuck 80s mix tape I made in Junior High School.  “Aren’t you sick of listening to Flock of Seagulls?”   I explained that he would get the cash if he purchased a brand new car with better mileage.  He deserved  a new car.  Working in a factory for 30 years, he earned it.  Dad finally turned in his old 88 Caddy to buy something new.  He couldn’t pass up the deal.  He opted for the Nissan Rogue.  And dad couldn’t be happier.  “So what happens to my Caddy?” he asked.  “Ummm.  I think they take it upstate to a nice family with a farm.” 

The program seems to be a success.  Ford announced its first gain in sales since 2007.  The environment will benefit from less gas guzzlers on the road.   Less need for gas, less reliance on foreign oil.  The National Automobile Dealers Association reports huge backlogs of applications awaiting approval by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees cash for clunkers.   So who wants to rain on the parade?

South Carolina’s Republican Senator Jim DeMint called it “stupidity coming out of Washington right now.” Sen. John McCain threatened to filibuster efforts to put $2 billion more into the program.  Classic car enthusiasts have complained that a piece of Americana is being destroyed.   Trust me, Americana doesn’t need your rust addled 1989 Ford Aerostar with the custom racing stripe.  Listening to talk radio, I even heard some complain that by buying cars, people wouldn’t buy other things.   Are you kidding me?  We need economic stimulus right now.  Buying cars saves jobs.  It supports a cottage industry of air freshners, hanging dice, car mats, gas stations, and bikini car washes.  More importantly it saves lives.  Does everything have to be a reason to bitch?

Cars are as American as mom and apple pie.  I loved my red and white 1958 red and white Plymouth Fury.  It got to the point where the car started controlling who I was.  High gas mileage was ripping a hole in my pocket.  Not to mention Christine started killing the neighbors.   I finally sent it into the crusher in exchange for one of those little SMART cars.  Sure it doesn’t turn the girl’s heads, but at least the neighbors are safe and I’m helping the economy.

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One Response to “Cash for Clunkers Saved My Life”

  1. Markus Smith Says:

    Some very funny stuff but do you honestly know what they do with the old vehicles? They put sodium silicate into the motor to lock them up and then crush the vehicle. So how is that recycling? When people cant afford a new vehicle because they dont want to be in EVEN more DEBT than they already are. They go to the scrap yard to find parts for their vehicle to keep it on the road, its called recycling. When you cant recycle the vehicle bc its permanently damaged it puts more of a strain on the consumer money wise. Furthermore, when you take these cars and crush them and remelt the metal it causes plenty of pollution… There are plenty of pros and cons of the cash for clunkers but I would have hoped the pros would have out weighted the cons, unfortunately a lot of people bought more gas gusslers and imports. It would have been better if they would have revised it for fuel efficient domestic vehicles.

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