One of The Economist's anonymous writers at its Democracy in America blog unleashed a short torrent of unholy wrath this morning on Cash-For-Clunkers.
This, after the blogger's colleagues defended the program—which the Senate deemed worthy of a $2 billion expansion today—as "too little to lose sleep over" and praised it as "a surprisingly quick and easy win" on the basis of happy testimony from an uncle who owns a car dealership. (I know a few glaziers who would love to get in touch with that blogger.)
Anyway, this nugget of clunker-rage is worth quoting in its entirety:
Just wanted to throw in my two cents on this cash-for-clunkers business as I seem to be at odds with my fellow bloggers. It's a ludicrous waste of taxpayer money wrapped in offensively cynical packaging. If you want to save the environment and/or reduce America's dependence on foreign oil there are about a million things you can do before you resort to a $3 billion boondoggle. You can sit around and fiddle with the numbers so it sounds like we're going to eventually save petrol, but of course the proponents of the programme don't try to puzzle out how much we'd save if we just raised the petrol tax like a normal country. Because of course the point isn't to help the environment, the point is to help the car dealers. So why can't we just say that? Is our sense of entitlement so swollen that we not only think we deserve handouts at every turn but we need to be praised for taking them? I'm with the cranky commenters who find the whole thing grotesque.
Check out Reason's rapidly expanding archive of C-4-C coverage here.