What Could Have Been

It only took a week to drain the cash-for-clunkers $1 billion program budget. Seeing how many cars have been sold in the last seven days, congress has just approved another $2 billion for the initiative. I’ve seen billion so many times this summer, the word has lost its value.

It seems the initial clause that the CARS program would run until Nov. 1 or when money ran out was just rhetoric. The government is just having too much fun selling cars and taking the credit for saving the economy.

Michigan has to be loving this too. There is no doubt that the government intervention is moving cars, the Great Lakes State’s boon industry.

Yet, we don’t know what damage we have done. There are untold billions of goods that were not created, were not stocked, were not purchased because money flooded the car market. The government is not invigorating the economy, it is setting it off balance, pronouncing one sector over the others.

Those industries hurt by a loss of sales will be unable to point directly to the government and blame them when they go under. There will be no smoking gun. Yet what goes unseen still exists. It is just that the voices rejoicing over what is seen (thousands of car sales) are too loudly jubilant at their good fortune for the rejected parties to be heard.

It sounds like a sorry plea to lament what could have been. But oh, what could have been!

Adam Rule – MCPP Intern


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