Cash for Clunkers Sentence of the Day

Nicolas Loris /

“But don’t expect anyone in Congress to admit that taxpayers are paying around $6,000 to provide a $4,500 rebate for a foreigner or illegal immigrant to buy a new car. “

That’s Lurita Doan. She argues:

“First, DOT created and staffed an entirely new organization with three divisions to administer the clunkers program.

Second, the funding was allocated to cover extensive Help Desk telephonic support, promotional materials, mailers, travel, Web site development and maintenance. Plus, extensive administrative and managerial staffing was also funded. There is staffing to manage the contracts, to review the auto dealer submissions, to develop Executive Branch and Congressional reporting, and to provide investigatory oversight for the program.

Federal government staffing for 3 divisions doesn’t come cheaply. Add to it other administrative and overhead costs for office space, telecommunications, power, equipment and furniture, as well as costs for meetings, photocopying, paper, pens, help desk support. When the government’s costs of running the program are totaled up, each clunker is likely to cost taxpayers around $6,000 per car.”

And:

Perhaps, one of the most disturbing parts of the Clunker program is that the recipient of the $4,500 doesn’t need to provide a Social Security number. So, it is possible for illegal immigrants, as well as resourceful folks from Canada and Mexico, to cross our borders, trade in their clunkers, and get American taxpayer dollars.”

Charities and mechanics are upset as well, and rightfully so.