Feds want to pay people to buy a new car

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bcj1755, May 10, 2009.

  1. My $4,500 Lemon: Taking the Feds Up on Cash For Clunkers

    By DAVID VON DREHLE David Von Drehle – Sat May 9, 1:25 am ET

    It's official: our minivan is a toxic asset.

    The "toxic" part I knew already. Between the catastrophic diaper failure while touring Amish country circa 2004, and the projectile vomiting episode on the way to the beach in '01, my family van has been a rolling Superfund site for years. (See the 50 worst cars of all time.)

    The news flash is "asset." Thanks to the cash-for-clunkers program cooked up in Congress, our 2001 Honda Odyssey may actually be worth something - up to $4,500 if we trade it in on a new, more efficient vehicle. That works out to nearly a dollar per dent, scratch, stain and tear.

    Being too rich for foreclosure, but too poor for derivatives, I had begun to think the government would never craft a bailout for me. However, prodded by crafty old John Dingell of Michigan, dean of the House of Representatives, Uncle Sam has selected me to stimulate the economy by buying a new car. This program will pay me to do it.

    My first reaction to this news was shock. Sometime after I backed into a stump, but definitely before I clipped the neighbor's garage - actually it was around the time the babysitter somehow creased a perfect inch-deep furrow along the entire passenger side, headlight to brake light - I stopped thinking of the van as having any monetary value whatsoever. I resolved to drive it for at least 10 years, or until I developed a capacity for shame, whichever came first. At which point I would pay someone to take it off my hands.

    Now I see the van with fresh eyes. It's no longer just a sun-bleached hulk with the rear wiper snapped off. It's a wiperless hulk worth thousands. If this is socialism, call me comrade!

    The idea, I realize, is to lure the Von Drehle clan out of our gas hog and into a phone booth-sized vehicle powered by switchgrass and meditation. Unfortunately, with four kids, all in grade school, we need a minivan. So is this program for us? To find out, I took a ride on the information superhighway to www.fueleconomy.gov, which is an easy way to compare the efficiency of just about every car imaginable.

    Within a few clicks, I determined that our current van averages 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg highway, which somehow averages out, according to the government, to 18 mpg. That's right on the cut-off for the program, but let's say they vote me in. Given our relatively light usage - around 8,000 miles per year - this translates to about 5.4 tons of CO2 emissions and 10.1 barrels of oil consumed each year. Could be worse, though in the category called "air pollution" the old van rates a pitiful 1 on a scale of 10 (and that's not counting the stench of fossilized chicken nuggets).

    Could we do better? We're partial to Honda products, so I clicked on the 2009 Odyssey. The new model averages 20 mpg, two more than our clunker. And that is enough of an improvement under the Dingell plan to earn us $3,500. Upgrading would also cut pollution, shave half a ton from our carbon footprint and reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil by a full barrel.

    Not to mention leather seats.

    Maybe we should buy American, though. I summoned up the stats for the new Chrysler Town & Country - though not without trepidation. Back in the day, Chrysler invented the minivan and made a lot of money on them, but then they had a '70s flashback and let themselves get creamed by the Japanese.

    Apparently, they're back on track. According to the Edmunds.com review, the new model of Chrysler's top van is "a bona-fide contender for the Best-in-Class sash." Which sounds good - but would the sash count under "receivables" in bankruptcy court? The 4-liter T & C is virtually identical to the Odyssey in fuel efficiency and emissions, which means I could pick up $3,500 for buying one. (See the most important cars of all time.)

    Of course, I'd still be paying a boatload for such a fine ride, but as a taxpayer, I'm writing regular checks to Chrysler anyway. What's one more?

    To pocket the large money, the $4,500, I would need to find a buggy that averages five or more miles per gallon above our current wreck's fuel intake. But that's an easy search on this website. In a matter of seconds I discovered the Mazda 5 minivan, with manual transmission, which averages 24 miles per gallon, spews just 4.1 tons of carbon and sips a mere 7.6 barrels per year. It's a van that a guy could proudly drive to a lunch with Al Gore and the Dalai Lama, with just one downside: evidently we would have to grease the kids before squishing them into the tiny backseat.

    All in all, a tough call. On the one hand, I could get a new car, reacquaint myself with some of the tax dollars I so patriotically pay, and - who knows? - maybe help out a polar bear or two. On the other hand, something about this past year has me feeling less than flush.

    And there is such a thing as sentimental value. My clunker has loads of that. We raised three babies and a toddler in that old van, which means it was doomed from the start to be both filthy and loved. That trim we sheared off during our first family vacation. The crayon mural across the backseat. The permanent apple-juice glaze at the bottom of the cup holders. The energetic scribble engraved with mommy's keys in the car door. The Cinderella stickers fused to the back window. We have stories, and memories, to match every disgusting inch of that van.

    I guess it's true what they say. It is hard to put a price on toxic assets.


    I"ve heard of this before. I just didn't know it had passed.

    "If this is socialism, call me comrade!" Idiot!:rolleyes::rolleyes:
  2. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    I know folks who disagree with the plan but who are drooling to take advantage of it... The sad part is that it will raise prices of vehicles due to skyrocketing short-term demand and inevitably not save consumers ANYTHING. :eek:

  3. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Knoxville Tennessee
    My van is paid off, I dont give two s***s if its old and has 232795 miles on it. I get 26 miles to the gallon in my old 91 Astro. I got my Suburban with 197286 and it is a Chevy Diesel, They can kiss me buttocks and smile.
  4. topper

    topper New Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    deep in the woods
    the feds would really cringe at the sight and mileage of my '93 F-150. gets maybe 13 mpg on 3% downgrade at 40 mph and wind behind at 20 mph. and that's on a good day. it looks like a refuge vehicle from the iraq war that was bombed out, but what the heck, it's still driveable and that's all i need. i don't care about apperances, just getting to where i'm going is all that's important. if the feds don't like my gas hog, they can either buy me a new truck or kiss my a$$.

    Keep both barrels loaded.
  5. oldogy

    oldogy New Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    East TN
    What they don't want to tell you is how much "energy" and resultant pollution it takes to build that new vehicle. Another case of social engineering.:mad:
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  6. Just for the crap of it, I went to the gov't website and checked on my car, 1988 Plymouth Gran Fury with a 318, according to the feds she gets a whopping 15 combined MPG. HAHAHA!!! I do think she gets better than that. Hmmm, should I trade-in a car that's paid for, get a credit of about three times what I paid for it, all so I can have a car payment? Nah, I think I'll keep my grannycar landboat PIMPmooooooooooooobile.:p:p Sorry Barry, not today.

    I also checked my last car, a 1998 Dodge Avenger Sport with the 2.5L V-6. They say the rating are 17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined. I just happen to still have the original window sticker from the car and gives the EPA MPG as 19 city and 28 highway.

    Notice that the EPA "revised" the MPG rating of the 1985-2007 cars to make them "comparable" to the 2009 ratings. I'm sure by "revise" they mean "lower them to trick you into buying a new car with all this climate change and greenhouse gas psuedo-science BS." At least with the Dodge Avenger, this seems to be true:rolleyes::rolleyes:
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  7. Blackhawk Dave

    Blackhawk Dave Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Denton, TX
    I went out and bought a new car...a 66 Fury Convertible with a 383 big block. That's my idea of new car shopping. A real RIDE!
  8. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!!:D:D:D:D:D:D
  9. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Yeah, where's that FED money coming from, enticing new buying?

    It's coming out of OUR pocket, plain and simple. Yet another raping of the taxpayer. :mad:
  10. Yep. I'll just take the view of the normal Obamite. I'll go buy a new car and expect the gov't to pay it off for me. then I'll go get a house and expect the gov't to pay it off for me:rolleyes: Let's all get on that gov't gravytrain:rolleyes::rolleyes: I don't know who p***** me off more, the people that actually believe in socialism, or the ones that will let the socialism happen because they're too lazy and/or ignorant to stand up against it:mad::mad::mad::mad:
  11. Islandboy

    Islandboy New Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Off the right coast
    Socialists out number capitalists, Individualists, Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and none can cannot match their agenda to apropriate what the capitalists have created.
    How about that new Dodge Challenger? I think it's the first worthy retrocar I've seen. Sat in and Revved it, must've burned a gallon before even warm.:):):)
  12. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I don't believe that for a second.

    What I do believe, is that it MAY be too late to do anything about it all at this point.

    And, I think it's going to go very badly in this country, very soon. :eek::mad:
  13. I believe that you're right.

    Ooooooh, whenever I see a new Dodge Challenger SRT-8 I get a warm fuzzy feeling...somewhere:eek::p:p:D Those are some beautiful cars. Mmmmmm.....6.1L Hemi goodness:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    YIKES, I wonder if they would make me pay them 4,500 bucks...:eek:

    This fine specimen of hatred for the well being of our environment averages 5.4 miles per gallon, and if I were to drive it up one side of the rockies would probably average 2.1 MPG and you could probably set fire to the vapor trail;)

    Attached Files:

  15. Tony22-250

    Tony22-250 New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Snellville, GA
    My 4Runner is payed off (in cash)and my father is a finance manager at a used car lot so i always have something to drive :p

    If you dont have cash dont buy it!!! just a little life lesson there folks.

    Oh and this whole paying people to buy cars bull crap is only going to hurt the car industry, and don't worry about the money we will just print more.....
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
General Discussion Feds illegally maintaining a registry of firearms owners and the media fails to report it Dec 5, 2015
General Discussion Feds want to Oct 19, 2015
General Discussion Liberty Ammunition won big lawsuit against DOD/Feds Jan 15, 2015
General Discussion Feds: Too few Americans ‘turn to government for assistance’ Aug 28, 2012
General Discussion Feds fussin'n'fuedin' again May 8, 2012