Government Spending

After Cash 4 Clunkers Comes…Cash 4 Washers & Dryers


The last time checked in on Uncle Sugar of Uncle Sugar's Auto Shack, he was raving about the cash-for-clunkers program.

Now that that program is on empty, he's moving on to the next rebate bonanza: Cash for new washers, dryers, and other EnergyStar appliances. This is not a hoax: The gummint is doling out $300 million for refrigerators and you name it.

NEXT: Transparency Chic

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  1. Couldn’t they just do like a “Cash 4 Taxes” program, where they give us $1 for every $1 we pay in taxes?

  2. Are you crazy, Joe M? The country would go broke!

  3. Awesome – I’m getting a new wine ‘fridge. Drinking is the only way to get thru this sane.

  4. Holy fuck. I thought this was a joke post.

    In the age of Obama, truth is always stranger than fiction.

  5. I just thought I would mention that my old 32″ Panasonic tube tee-vee is causing WAY too much CO2 to be generated to power it. I hear those new, big flat screens use MUCH less energy.

    Just sayin’.

  6. L.A.’s DWP has had a similar program for years.

    If Reason wanted to put on their thinkin’ hats – instead of playing dress-up games – they could find someone who’s familiar with such programs (there probably is someone) who could come up with reasons to oppose it. For instance, they could find flaws in the DWP’s established program, or they could point out how the fed program differs from local programs.

    And, if there aren’t such flaws, then why is Reason opposed to it?

    Assuming there are flaws, then Reason could put on their action hat and go do something by asking politicians tough questions on video about that program, in a way designed to make those pols look bad.

    So, which will it be? Actually doing something, or playing cutesy dress-up games?

    P.S. That’s a rhetorical question, everyone knows which Reason will choose.

  7. Looks like I FINALLY get in on the sugar. Been putting off buying a fridge for over a year and was all set to buy one a few weeks ago when I noticed the poor condition of my chimney, put off the fridge for another 6 months.

    With a government like this, I’m going to put off purchasing all non-essential items until there’s a stimulus/subsidy. Can Lucre 4 Landscaping be far behind?

  8. Wow… I was about to say exactly what LoneWacko just said… I mean… the first sentence of it.

    I hear radio ads in L.A. all the time about scrapping “inefficient” refrigerators… The basics of it go;

    College-aged girl: Hey mom, if you’re getting a new fridge, can I have your old one for my dorm room?

    Mom: No, we’re going to throw it away and get $50 off our electric bill thanks to the power company! It’s good for the environment.

    What isn’t said is;

    College-aged girl: Will you buy a new fridge for me?

    Mom: For the $50 we get back? That’s impossible… No fridge for you bitch.


    College-aged girl: But doesn’t it take a ton of energy just to make a brand new refrigerator or recycle all the parts of an old one – I mean, a truck has to come out and get it, they have to pay people to break it apart, use energy to melt down the parts, more energy to reform the parts into something else, more energy to ship it wherever it’s going to go… and it still works, so why would you do that?

    Mom: Quit sassin’ me, child!

  9. The real irony with these clunker plans is that what people are buying is not American-made. Most of the cash for clunkers vehicles sold were foreign, and most of the fridges and appliances people will be buying are not made in the US either. Perhaps the administration and congress should get back to the real world and figure out how to use all that federal debt to create jobs instead of supporting foreign markets.

  10. “Also, a new car is more fun than a new dishwasher”

    Not according to my female friends.

  11. $300 *million*? Must be a typo …

  12. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

    DJ – that’s like 10,000 spoons when you just need a knife.

  13. “And, if there aren’t such flaws, then why is Reason opposed to it?”

    It doesn’t matter, there is one huge flaw: you have to take money from your neighbors by force. Why should I take money from my neighbors to buy a new refridgerator? I’m sure they could spend $200 on something they really need soon.

  14. Also, seriously – how many American families have a fridge small enough to fit in College Girl’s dorm room?

  15. was cash for clunkers a waste of money? it seems to have been pretty popular with the public, but now we have to think about what happens next:

  16. You know? If I was Whackalone? And I had all those bitchin ideas for how to make a website better? I would start my own website? And it would be just peachy dandy? And it would be way way way more popular than Reason? And I would be way way way better at writing than all these wannabes here at Reason? And then I could just concentrate on my own website? And I could leave all these folks at Reason that are soooooo beneath me, well, beneath me.

  17. Huh – Are Lauren and DJ spambots? Usually spambots are better at making their links clickable, but the whole vaguely-on-topic excuse to post a link to another site seems spambotty.

    Anywho, from the article “Lately, cash-strapped consumers have chosen to repair, rather than replace, hobbled dishwashers and other water-intensive appliances, according to industry analysts.” I resemble this remark. Our 1980s-vintage Maytag suddenly started trickling cold water such that it took about 4-5 hours to fill the tank when washing clothes. Since it does that at least twice in the cycle, it was taking a day to do a single load. My wife wanted to spend $350 on a new cheapy washer, but after two hours of fiddling around behind the washer with exactly one screwdriver and a ratchet wrench, and one trip to the parts store for a $35 infill valve, and our washer is working like new. I’m sure we could use marginally less water, but no less energy (we wash most loads in cold water), but I’ll keep this one going for a few years. There are better things to spend my money on.

    I’m not exactly what you’d call handy with tools, either.

  18. lunch, if you are on well water the first place to check for that problem is the little screen in the end of the hose. That fixed it for us years ago.

  19. Well, fuck. Fuckity fuck. I missed the subsidy boat yet again. We have new appliances because we just remodeled our house. What we need is a swanky new subsidized driveway and a spiffy new subsidized patio. Dammit, I’m a middle-aged yuppy! And subsidies are there to support middle-aged yuppies! Where’s my damned decorative concrete manufacturer’s shot-in-the-arm subsidy!

  20. It’s a trap.

    For all the reasons mentioned above, and also because the new appliances are almost certain to be less durable. Trading in something built to last 100 years (like an old Maytag) for something built to last 10-20 is not a winning plan for one’s wallet.

    My father wasn’t raised during the Depression, but he carried a tiny replica of it around in his mind. It made him smart. He said this:

    “If all other things (technology, price, etc) are equal, purchase the heavier appliance. It’s made from more durable parts and will last longer.”

    You can bet that the government is subsidizing the purchase of lighter appliances, but I’m not involved.

  21. Another thing (of course) Reason forgot to do in their quest for shtick was to follow the money. GEe, I wonder who could be profiting from this scheme?

  22. brotherben – No such luck. The inlet valve was also leaking water all over hell and creation when the cold water was on. It had well and truly bitten of the dust. But the fix was cheap and easy, so woots all around.

  23. How much for my toaster, Mr. Goverment Appliance Salesperson?

  24. “Where’s my damned decorative concrete manufacturer’s shot-in-the-arm subsidy!”

    Shovel-ready! ™

  25. Another thing (of course) Reason forgot to do in their quest for shtick was to follow the money. GEe, I wonder who could be profiting from this scheme?

    Lonewacko, in case you haven’t picked up on it, this here website is just a blog. A blog where the reason writers put up posts about random bits of breaking news, make little pot shots or go for schtick, and usually try to have at least one post a day about immigration or taco carts or something just to get your goat.

    Meanwhile, they are working on thoroughly-researched articles for the print magazine.

  26. Where is my Shit from Shinolah subsidy?

    Also Shovel Ready(tm)!

  27. They’re still never gonna top that Matthew Lesko spot: “85 billion dollars to help bank executives TAKE A VACATION!” “I’m goin’ to Canada!”

  28. So, which will it be? Actually doing something, or playing cutesy dress-up games?

    P.S. That’s a rhetorical question, everyone knows which Reason will choose.

    What a dipstick. Sure, they have endless time and a bottomless budget. How about participating in the whole process and YOU doing some of that work? Or are you too busy writing your autobiography? Can’t wait to read about your many journalistic coups and trailblazing research. Stick with the Huffingtonians, there’s no requirement to do any thinking, research, or self-examination. And they’re humorless, too, so you’ll be real comfy. By the way, what do you dress up as? Top or bottom?

  29. Program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.


  30. I think we all could have guesses this was sure to come. I think it was a great idea to get people not to be energy efficient but to buy more home appliances such as washers and dryers and boost our economy.

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