Here’s what Robert Gibbs had to say about Cash for Clunkers:
“It’s good for dealers and auto manufacturers, it’s good for our energy security and our environment.”
Like most “spin” there is an element of truth in all these claims but not as much as the claimants want us to believe.
Let’s begin with the environmental claim and the inference that the Cash for Clunkers program is making headway in the fight against global warming. Yes it is true that a few relatively “dirty” vehicles are being taken off the roads and replaced with new “cleaner” models. This is surely a good thing to do, but it has virtually no impact on the environment and it certainly has no impact on global warming. The number of vehicles being traded in is a drop in the bucket.
I’m willing to give the spin-meisters the fuel efficiency claim. It is certainly true that relatively inefficient vehicles are being traded in for more efficient models. Of course that was the requirement to get your fellow taxpayers’ $4500, so let’s hope that it was accomplished. That said, the “energy security” claim is pure political BS. Again, too few cars, with too little efficiency gain to reduce our consumption of foreign oil in any meaningful way.