Did Obama announce the end of used cars?

In his speech about the GM bankruptcy yesterday, President Barack Obama (from the New York Times) said:

And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass fleet modernization legislation that can provide a credit to consumers who turn in old cars and purchase cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars. (emphasis added)

Turn in old cars.  It’s long been a talking point of liberals and environmentalists that cars older than a given age should be removed from the highways.  The usual mantra goes “The government should buy all cars older than X and pay the owner $750.  Then the owner could go out and buy a newer, cleaner, more efficient car.” The advocates for this position either fail or refuse to understand that the owners will not be able to find a car to buy with their $750.  Basic economics.

President Obama used the words “turn in” not “trade in.”  He will give folks a credit – I suppose that means an income tax credit – for doing this.  This sounds like the used cars will go to the government and be removed from the market.  No more used cars.  You either buy an expensive putt-putt new car, or you go without. It appears that he’s set out to destroy the used car market.

Update – Welcome Instapundit and Charming, Just Charming readers.   And a hat tip to Chicago Boyz for the link to a post showing the Brits have already adopted such a scheme.

123 Responses to “ Did Obama announce the end of used cars? ”

  1. This two bit hustler has no conception of the real world. He has been spoon fed socialism by his handlers for decades and now wants to force feed socialism to the public. But first he is gonna have to do something about all those rednecks who cling to their guns and religion,huh?

  2. With whose money? WITH WHOSE MONEY? This guy thinks it all belongs to him to do with whatever he wants. And he seems to think it will never run out.

    I blame the idiots who have elected him.

  3. So which is worse for the environment…using a slightly higher MPG car, or creating a new car from raw materials to replace the old car that got a slightly higher-than-average MPG?

    I’d say using what you’ve got as long as you can is the more environmental friendly choice, it’s just not as glamorous.

    I guess it doesn’t help that not buying new cars doesn’t float GM new business.

  4. How many people driving 750$ cars pay any income tax? Very, very few, consider 50% of the country doesn’t pay income tax. This program is a bust before it even starts.

  5. How much you want to bet that two years after this program starts, we find out those “turned in” cars are sitting in a huge pile, their tires on fire and their various fluids leaking into the water supply while the bureacracy charged with managing the program is spending the money on hookers and private jets?

  6. My husband has a 2005 Silverado, I have a 2008 Chrysler 300. So we’re suppose to trade in the silverado for a smart car to tow our boat and trailer? I’m suppose to trade in my 300 for some small, death trap? I think not. Mr. Obama does not live in the same world I inhabit. He lives in some kind of green, fantasy world.

  7. Obama is obviously as stupid as he is incompetent. If he thinks he can force people to give up their muscle cars and vintage wheels–especially for a measly “tax credit”–he’s begging for another American Revolution. Car owners would sooner burn down the White House and dump Obama’s skinny rear on a slow boat to France than give up their wheels.

    Jeez Louise, are there no bounds to Lord Zero’s idiocy and arrogance?

  8. Our family is working out our car purchasing strategy but I promise you nothing this thug Crip in the WH says will impact us except contrarily. I will NOT be buying any Obamamobiles under any circumstances (and we women make the auto purchasing decisions in families, even if it is to “permit” hubbies to have their toys, which I have done numerous times), and we will not be purchasing anything that contributes to any government or union pensions period (taxes we have no control over excepted, until the Revolution).

    This thug cretin is not allowed on our TV or radio so about the only place we actually see the garbage he’s spewing is online. Words cannot describe how insulted and revolted we are by him.

  9. It’s not quite as bad as all that. The current bill is offering $4,000 to $5000 for cars older than 8 or 10 years (can’t remember exactly), depending on how bad their mileage is. The car being ‘turned in’ has to get 19 mpg or fewer based on EPA ratings, so this won’t affect the used small car market directly. The new car has to get some minimum mpg as well. And you have to have the car registered for at least a year leading up to the ‘turn in’ date, so you can’t just go buy a clunker and trade it in. Obviously you would be foolish to turn in a car if you couldn’t afford a new one even with the incentive, or if it was worth more than the incentive they’re giving you.

    So in answer to your question, no, he didn’t announce the end of used cars. The effects will be fairly limited. That’s not to say that the program is a great idea, but at least we can debate it on the merits of what it actually is.

    Wait, did I just say that on a blog? Who am I kidding?

  10. You write as if you will have a choice….you don’t. What he says you will do, you will do. Elections have consequences, and it’s time you people realized that your Hummer Party couldn’t go on forever.

  11. California has been trying this for years. We’re bankrupt now, and we still have a bunch of old cars. I’ll keep mine just to piss him off.

  12. Won’t kill used car market. If the trade in value is greater than $750, the car will be traded in.

    And how is “cleaner, more efficient” defined? Say cars built before 1990 (I have a 1986 Volvo) are defined as old. Can I turn in my Volvo and purchase a 1991 Volvo? This would, of course, increase the value of existing cars.

  13. hell, I’ll be clinging to my V-8 too!

  14. But of course you don’t need a used car. Obama and the Socialists have a Utopian vision for America. They are planning to bring you trains! Bullet trains between cities. Light Rail to downtown. With Urban Transit Villages organized around the stations so you can walk or bike to anywhere you need to go.

    If you really, really need to drive somewhere, there will be a guy on the corner who rents SmartCars by the hour.

    Private car ownership will go the way of the Dodo bird. Government Motors won’t be a car company; they’ll be a Pension Plan that happens to make cars designed by bureaucrats for eco-zealots. It won’t matter if they sell any of those cars, the important thing is that the UAW members remain fat and happy.

  15. Hey, why not? The “Turn in your guns for some money” program worked like gang-busters.

    Not, you know, actual gang-busters, but lofty rhetorical ones.

  16. Cars are another piece of property that the progressive government must eradicate from long-term holding. Too many, including the black and latino cultures, identify with cars and feel that their ownership provides for a sense of identity. This must be eliminated.

    Homes and land are nothing more than rental property, given the state of property taxes. This has been a major victory for progressives in the past century. The next major asset owned that must be controlled to wield a firm stick over the people is their auto. Break their capacity to feel control and ownership, deprive them of their choice and force them to ride in a tiny, generic green-car and further resistance is taken from them.

    Little by little, you crush their spirit and break their will to fight.

  17. I don’t see anywhere in the quote where Obama says that the federal government will give a credit for the purchase of a new car. Only that owners of older cars should turn theirs in.

  18. Of all the Rush songs I ever thought might possibly be prophetic, “Red Barchetta” was not among them.

  19. The speech sounds a lot like Feinsteins line:”Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em in.”

    Start with cars, work your way to guns.

  20. Well, this socialist is doing it a little different than his friend Castor. Castro just did away with the new cars and kept the old cars. Everyone in the new car business went into the cane fields and then the used car business boomed and when you go to Cuba you can see how that turned out. Everyone thinks that Castro is a genius for thinking of this. Then Castro went in to the Health Care field and did away with a lot of things that were really not needed and he has been hailed for his ingenuity there also; soon we will have the same type of medical facilities like Cuba. How did we ever get by with out having a community organizer, organizing us. He’s just wonderful, he probably has plans to run for office like Castro and his pal Chavez and I’ll vote for him for the next 50 years.

  21. Having to buy a new car from either GM or Chrysler will be as optional as paying Federal taxes

  22. And then there are those of us bitter clingers who also cling to our old cars. I have two British cars over 36 years old, and restored with great care. The White House idiot has about as much chance of taking those as he does my two 60 year old military rifles.

  23. In ObamaLand, doctors work for free, Hamas becomes known primarily for their twice-a-year road-cleaning projects throughout Israel, each unit of carbon is assigned a serial number and tracked (unobtrusively), Al Gore slims down through rowing his houseboat, and the right-thinking, progressive, moderately wealthy Friends of B.O. silently zip around the city’s open and (at last) convenient streets in their $135,000 Priuses and hybrid Hummers, giving head-nods of serious but coolly distant approval to the lumpen unemployed lined up for blocks to get on the one light rail train that BO bought for the city.

  24. If this Harlot of Babylon gets his way, there doubtless will be very specific daffynitions as to what constitutes a “car”.

    Look for the market in used half-tracks and farm tractors to skyrocket.

  25. I think you overstate the case. The idea is somewhat idiotic and will be ineffective, but should provide an incentive for a few rednecks to clear the chickens our of the ’53 Whatever they have on the lawn by the oak tree and push it to the nearest redemption center. No one with an actual functioning car will take him up on his offer for obvious economic reasons.

    I feel for the chickens, though.

  26. This redneck is also going to cling to his used car. “They can have my used car when they pry it from my cold dead ass”.

  27. I wouldn’t be opposed to them mandating that old cars be turned in, because I would simply refuse to do it. They might refuse to register my car, but then I’d get to drive it without registration fees. If I’m not allowed to have it, I’m not required to pay insurance on it. I don’t need a driver’s license to drive a vehicle which is illegal to possess. Woe be unto the tow truck driver who tries to tow my illegal conveyance. He will find how far righteous illegality goes. It’s not like the police would harass me, there’d be thousands of illicit vehicles just like mine on every stretch of highway from sea to shining sea.

    Let them try it.

  28. We have three used vehicles – a ’93 and 2 ’95’s. All three are wonderful vehicles that rarely require anything other than routine maintenance – and there is NO car payment! I never want to have a car payment again, which means any vehicle I own will be used. And the three we currently own will have to be pried from our cold dead fingers, unless the engine dies.

    Also, here in Texas the State already offers up to a $3,500 credit towards the purchase of a new(er) vehicle if you turn in your older car.


    I don’t know how many people use it.

  29. Sounds like a Heinlein novel I once read where the idea was to scrap any unsold cars even if new to make new cars in order to keep the economy going I think it was “Door into Summer”.

  30. They can have my Ford Festivas whey they pry them from my cold, dead fingers!

    Rob J

  31. I think Obama is on to something here! Everybody starts with a living wage, say $100k a year, taxed at 100%. Every time we do something responsible, recycling our old flashlight batteries say, we’ll receive a tax credit, good for purchasing other responsible things such as union-made clothing or hydrogen gas. Families could buy an entire week’s worth of food by bringing their own cloth bags to the supermarket.

  32. Completely agree. Articles like this just get you thinking. Thank you for posting.

  33. There are precedents in many other countries. I’m familiar with Spain, where the government has at different times offered tax credits worth hundreds of dollars in the purchase of a new car if you can prove that the old car has been decommissioned. Nobody forces anybody to do anything, and clearly, if the tax credit is $750 and your car is worth $2000 you are not going to go for this (unless you get additional incentives from the dealer, as they often do to extend the appeal of the program).

    Plans like this are only designed to remove some old clunkers from the road, and are not perverse socialistic schemes (although libertarian would do well to be distrustful of any such ideas). You can think of it as similar to the energy tax credits that the US already offers.

    When the plan was first introduced in Spain after a protracted economic crisis, with many cars on the road that were 20+ years old, it was extremely successful and may have saved the domestic car industry. They are trying it again during the current downturn but it’s having zero effect. The circumstances have changed dramatically, obviously, the country being wealthier than before and the number of old cars much smaller. I suspect that the effect in the US may be too small to notice.

  34. I publish a site that’s all about minimal consumerism and simply buying less to save money. Obama asking for people to turn in their old cars is pretty much the same message. I appreciate that he is concerned with consumerism and how to start facing in a new direction.

  35. The ramifications of this are immense. We own several antiques and I can assure you they don’t meet any kind of EPA standards Obama might set. Further, they are worth currently more than $750 apiece, that’s for sure. If he’s going to eminent domain our vehicles then he has to give fair value at least, or the equivalent in a new vehicle. $750????? BAH.

  36. Discouragement of the used car market has long been used in places like Japan to prop up and sustain the auto industry. I would not be surprised to see this administration use turn-in and regressive tax and emission recertification programs to “return” viability to Chrysler and GM.

  37. He is just going to take YOUR gun and YOUR used car!!

  38. Such a move would just be the first step. “Progressives” don’t like the masses to have personal transportation anyway, they want us all to use mass transit. Its what allowed the guinea pigs to flee attempts at social engineering in the past such as school busing.

  39. Has anyone seen Jimmy Carter recently?

  40. He will have to pry my cute little red VW bug convertible from my cold dead hands.

  41. What does he plan to do with the “turned in” cars? Scrap them? At the taxpayer’s expense?

  42. They can have my ’73 F-250 Highboy 4×4 when they pry my cold dead fingers off the steering wheel..

  43. What about all of us who love our “Old” cars? You can have my 75 Corvette when you pry my weapons out of my cold dead hands.

  44. F U Obambi – I will be driving my big, gas-guzzling, foreign SUV into the ground over the next 20 years.

  45. Every “proposal” has that whiff of earnest late night dorm room conversation.

    I graduated 20+ years ago, but I heard versions of all these as an undergrad — usually preceded with “Why can’t we just…”

  46. Yeah, Obama hit the nail on the head when he cited the type of American who clings to guns and religion. The stupidest, most ignorant, racist douche nozzles in the whole country. Throw in paranoid delusional since you think the man is going to force you to give up your used cars.

  47. It is my understanding that dealers make more profit on used cars than new, so Obama is once again hurting car dealers. Mechanics and makers of auto parts also profit off older models. Has anyone done a study about the offset in energy used in manufacturing vs. running a car? I suppose if less people can afford cars more people will use public transportation. It goes without saying people like Pelosi and Obama will still be free to jet around the country (for dates, fund raising or to sign legislation) or be driven in motorcades of SUVs. Does this sound like Soviet Russia to anyone?

  48. Does this idiot just spew out whatever fantasy pops into his mind.
    Hey, I know that Obi one is well on to his way to destroying our capitalist system, he has done a wonderful job in doing so without even having to bother Congress with the details or heavy lifting so far but if he thinks people are going to turn in their cars for a credit of 750 dollars to buy a golf cart doors he is just plain nuts.

  49. Message to Obie: Sorry, but I’m perfectly happy with my early 90’s 4Runner with over 200k on the odo. It’s not going anywhere. If he wants it to run “cleaner”, he can give me money to have it re-engined, but I’m not “turning it in” to buy anything new.

  50. I like my 10-year-old Chevy Blazer SUV. I’m not about to ‘turn it in’ for one of those putt-putt, unsafe micro-cars. I don’t mind paying for the gas my SUV guzzles. It holds all my stuff, and I feel safe driving around in it. I thought this was America, the land of free choice. If I want one of those putt-putt cars, I’ll buy one. But until then, I want to have the FREEDOM to make my own choice, based on my needs and my wishes. I really HATE this %$&*%@# nanny government!!!!

  51. My 18 year old car gets nearly 30 mpg in city driving, and recently passed an emissions test with flying colors. If it ain’t broke, don’t junk it.

  52. This would be a transfer of $750 dollars to the more well off that could already afford a new vehicle. The poor will still not be able to purchase a new vehicle. Oh well, more taxes raised to support politically connected groups.

  53. What I’d really like to know…is WTF are you gonna buy for $750? Even my beat up 1994 Nissan P/U is worth more than that…and it gets far better gas milage with the 15 yo four banger engine, than the new 6 bangers that are all that’s easily available on new Frontiers/Tacomas

    More to the point, I can’t afford a new car payment, or even a newer USED car payment…which is why I’ve kept my beat up old truck in the first place. I’m an unemployed cabinetmaker, barely making ends meet, and now he wants to take away my ability to even get to a job, presuming of course that I can actually find one.

  54. this is stupid. the people who will suffer from this sort of stupidity are the poor. they do this garbage in california, where if your old car flunks the ever more stringent emissions restrictions then you either have to spend tons of money (i spent about $1,200.00, which i had to BORROW btw), or they give you $1,000.00 towards a “new” car, which based on the amount of money they give you towards a “new” car, will ensure that the following year you;ll be failing the smog test and turning that “new” car for another $1,000.00. makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

    note to stupid liberals: you can’t buy a decent car for $1,000.00 OR $750.00. the reason people drive old cars IS BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO POOR TO BUY NEW ONES! ^%$#@!@*&&^%$


    only the rich and the comfortably middle class can afford to be liberal.

  55. They already tried to do this in California twenty years ago. The Air Quality Management District (AQMD) implemented a sort of cap and trade system that compelled oil companies to buy up clunkers in exchange for pollution credits. On top of all the other problems, it was found that the people who were supposed to junk the cars were instead selling them to people who didn’t care about little details like registration.

    Some serious attention should be given to this sort of stuff already tried by states before they inflict it nationally.

  56. We are used to these schemes in Europe.
    Basicaly Goverment help Automakers churn out new cars.
    BUT, there is always some details that favors the national Auto makers (Ie size/Pollution emissions /etc)
    In Germany , goverment susidies tend to favor “bigger” german sedan models (Mercedes/BMW) by putting penalties on diesel engines.
    in France , goverment put the same penalties on “big” unleaded engines and thus favors small French made diesel engines(which in fact emitt less CO2 but MORE pollutants known as NiOx).
    I wonder where teh emphasis can be in the US to favor American cars?

  57. I thought all those touchy-feely ‘Progressive’ type claimed to be the “reality-based community.” Is there any evidence whatsoever that Obama is in contact with the real world?

  58. He can pick up my car when he comes to get my guns. Molon Labe…and V-8.

  59. I guess ending is better than mending.

  60. We’re obviously going to have to adjust. In the future, we will need to cling to our guns, religion … and suburbans.

  61. Eliminating used cars, otherwise known as cheap cars, from the road will keep the poor off the road. This will increase ridership on public transportation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make it easier for the wealthy (equals middle class by todays standards) to get around town in their Prius.

  62. BHO got his idea from the Texas Drive a Clean Machine Program. However, nothing in that program requires an owner to accept the terms of the program. See http://www.wilco.org/aircheck to see how it works in a very conservative,red county.

  63. My 17-year old Toyota Corolla was more efficient than my brand new car–30-32 miles to the gallon, even on steep hills, in cities, etc. It was pretty good on emissions also–passed every test in every state I lived in.

    What are people supposed to do if they can get a better trade in value than the tax credit would cover?? Socializing the car market is a really, really bad idea. GM and Chrysler are crashing despite the bailouts and with the government stepping in (illegally) and setting terms for their respective bankruptcies, things are going downhill rapidly.

  64. OK! I had told myself that I had sufferd through the Carter years and that as a conservative after Obama we would be back stronger than ever. So I would just bide my time and wait it out.
    But as a used car salesman at a dealership in west Texas this is starting to get personal REAL quick’! First, the Govmint kills large SUV sales with high gas prices that in turn kills GM that kills the new car side where we get our trade ins that I sell. My customers don’t have the cash flow and ALL want cheap $5000.00 used cars that used to sell for $2500.00 bucks. The kind of cars they used to buy for their kids.
    They have to buy them becasue the BANKS won’t loan them the money anymore to buy a NEW car and they can’t afford the payment anyway.
    NOW that idiot wants my cutomers to TURN IN the very cars that everybody and their dog wants to buy from ME so they can get them off the road! What the heck and I supposed to sell?
    That will make the $2500.00 car of three years ago that is now $5000.00 bucks so hard to find that they will all be around $8000.00 grand for an old junker!
    Now NO ONE can afford to buy ANYTHING! WTF!@!!!$#(&(!!!
    Somebody make this Freaking Idiot GET A CLUE!!!

  65. Think of how un-green it’s going to be to use all the natural resources to force build all those new cars, nevermind the landfill that’s going to be required for the old cars that are “turned in”.

  66. Destroy the used car market? Sounds like something somebody in the new car sales market would like to have done. I’m a “buy new, drive for 200k+, then buy a new car” person. I sold a 1997 s10 4wd pickup with 219k on the clock for near 4k 2 years ago. 750 dollars for a “trade in”? Well, if you buy disposable cars it might be a good deal. I’m digging my 2008 toyota tacoma though.

    And what about cars for kids and the american red cross, taking used car donations to help fund their efforts in exchange for a tax deduction? Who would make up the shortfall? Make up a new police unit to fine owners 1000s of dollars for driving a lada with a defective wiper blade or a dent, to ensure the car buying elite keep the market turning over, and doing it in the name of the children and the environment we are just borrowing?

  67. Y’all write as if there won’t be a huge tax for buying a verboten used car. No one will be able to trade in, or buy a trade in, because of the excise tax.

    The one thing I can guarantee, is that every new program will be stuffed to the gills with hidden taxes.

  68. It’s a bit of a stretch to assume that Obama plans such trade-ins to be involuntary. Of course, if the payment is to be limited to $750, and voluntary, it will only succeed in buying the oldest and junkiest of cars (generally with over 10 years and 100,000 miles of service). Fortunately these tend to get the worst mileage and, even more so, to have the highest levels of pollutants (not just the CO2, but the real pollutants which make smog).

    FYI, I understand that Japan has long had a much more rigorous (and involuntary) inspection system which tends to get rid of older cars, and that right now they are planning a voluntary program that would reward drivers with about $2,500 for scrapping vehicles older than 13 years and buying a new car.

  69. Time for me to install a police push-bumper on the Geezermobile (’97 Crown Vic).

    It’ll be just the thing for pushing (not so very) Smart Cars out of my way in the fast lane.

    The car has only 106k miles on it, is perfectly maintained, hauls all my gear, pulls a small trailer and gets 27 mph highway on road trips.

    No way would I trade all that for a squirrelmobile.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  70. That’s going to go over really well for people with restored classic cars….

  71. My guess is spare parts will be next. Certain models won’t be alowed to stay on the road.It won’t be clunkers either, cuz he will want the owners who can afford to buy new.Don’t bother to tell me how it can’t happen.It just will.

  72. Welcome to the Home of the Controlled and the Land of the Used to be Free.

  73. Barry – good to see someone else remembers “Door into Summer”. First thing I thought of too…

  74. Here in Virginia, we have a car tax. It’s painful. It comes around October, which is close to Christmas, but not as close as it used to be (people complained).

    Our new Toyota costs nearly $600 a year in a one-time yearly tax to the Commonwealth.

    Our 1997 Honda Civic costs $75.

    So I face a yearly tax bill of nearly $700 for those two cars.

    I couldn’t possibly afford a 2nd new car.

  75. Well, I guess this settles the old Nixonian question:
    “Would you buy a used car from this man?”

  76. The real problem is that CAFE standards in the US have been plenty high for the past 15-20 years. There just aren’t a whole lot of clunkers out there getting less than 20 mpg any more and very few of the ones that are will be addressed by this. Maybe 20 years ago this was a problem, but it’s not any more.

    It’s a traditional Obama-ism – a solution that pretends to address a major structural problem but won’t really work, like claiming that rigorous tire pressure checking will save billions of dollars in gasoline. Sure, correct tire pressure can give you a 1-3% boost in efficiency, but most modern tires don’t deflate, most oil change places check your tires for you, and so most people already have this well in hand and have for the past fifteen years.

  77. […] From my cold, dead hands, cocksucker: In his speech about the GM bankruptcy yesterday, President Barack Obama (from the New York Times) said: […]

  78. Savings on gasoline don’t usually pay for the increased cost of a more efficient hybrid or new technology auto.

    Politicians point to Europe as a model of overall auto efficiency. But, Europeans are more “efficient” than the US because they drive less and buy much smaller cars.

    Items from Car and Driver and an analysis of costs and savings are interesting. Your efficient car will be small, expensive, less powerful, and will not return your increased investment in gas savings. The savings claimed by the Obama administration would amount to 3.5% of US oil use, when the US auto fleet is replaced by the new cars sometime in the distant future.

    It seems Obama wants to hurry up the replacement of the auto fleet. This is easy, using other people’s money.

    Efficiency Breakthrough: Small Cars with Small Engines

  79. So in addition to clinging to my guns and religion, I now have to cling to my F150? I don’t want me and/or my family driving anywhere in a new Chevette from Government Motors!

  80. Why do I see this working out with people bringing in cars worth only their scrap values, if that, and making money off of it. Hell, I could get a pretty good deal picking up every old, abandoned car and trading it in. This is another waste of the public’s money.

  81. Obama will get millions of old cars this way. Everything in a junkyard that still resembles a car will be worth $750. It also establishes a floor on used car prices. No old $200 clunkers for some poor person to drive. That car is worth $750 at government reclamation centers.

  82. With all of these “mandated” plans in the works, it seems like a good time to go into manufacturing of a product the government will need in large quantities in the near future:
    Body Bags!

  83. Bitterly clinging to their guns, religion, and used cars.

  84. “I try to get more cynical every day, but lately I just can’t keep up.”

    This is just step one. There will be more to come. The sequence will go like this:

    1. Mandate (well, dictate) that new motor vehicles achieve 35 mpg by 2016, which Obama has already done.

    2. Announce tax credits for cars older than X years taken off the road. We’ll also be told that it’s patriotic to buy a new car to help save the environment and rejuvenate the domestic auto industries.

    3. Then will come tax penalties for hanging on to cars older than so many years. Look for an excess-emissions tax like Britain has. But wait, you say, emissions testing is not done across the country or even (like here in Tennessee) everywhere in one state. Won’t matter, The emissions tax will really be an age-of-car tax, based on EPA-published averages for engines and model years. Your car’s actual, measured emissions won’t matter.

  85. Obama can kiss my fat white land yacht.

  86. I’m with Texas Jack, I have a garage full of pre-1960 VWs, all of which get over 25 mpg. If O-bambi thinks he’s getting them, he’ll understand the meaning of ‘sucking chest wound’.

  87. Obie is an incrementalist.

    Firts step “provide credits to turn in old cars” to ease the passing of “the fleet modernization legislation… purchase cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars.” The aim is to pass the legislation to replace “old” cars with “clean, more fuel-efficient cars”.

    Second step: Any pre-Govt.Motors cars are old cars. You will not be given credits but be forced into buying a new car whether you need it or not. If you think you can threaten not to return those bastards to Congress, think again. As soon as the Court is packed, things will fall into place. Remember Kelos? They can confiscate your perfectly fine home on a perfectly gorgeous location and give it to their cronies. Suing them to the Supreme Court will just waste all your savings and your pathetic life. They can let the EPA regulate your old cars, anything has emissions higher than the biddy GM car will be outlawed. Yes, folks, outlawed. You can be prosecuted as an environmental terrorist under the Environmental Security Act 2010.

  88. I’ll think about buying an Obama dream car just as soon as Obama starts being transported here and there in a Ford Focus limousine. Accompanied by the Secret Service, of course.

  89. The economic effects of this are:

    – A gradual rise in the cost of used cars, if the government truly does take them in and destroy them.
    – Some increase in the sale of new cars, as people on the margin who otherwise wouldn’t trade in their old cars for a new one now will.
    – Probably a major gaming of the system. Anyone with an old broken-down beater they don’t even use is now sitting on a $4500 asset. A market could actually arise in which old, dead cars are brought stumbling to life and then sold to people who want to use them to get the tax credit. Say you want to buy a new car, but you don’t have an old beater of your own. No problem – you buy someone else’s old beater for $2000, then turn it in to the government for a $4500 tax credit.

    – The elimination of an entire class of used cars over time – those that aren’t worth as much as the government’s tax credit. That’s going to make it very hard for the poor to drive.

    – Yet more federal debt, leading to higher taxes, higher interest rates, and other bad things.

  90. I’m sure someone smarter than me can look up the figures and prove it, but I think there was a study in Southern California showing that 80-90% of pollution comes from the 10% oldest cars. Not talking about a 1999 Taurus here, but cars from the 70s and 80s, before catalytic converters and such. It’s not such a terrible idea to incentivize people to get rid of their junkers and hoopdies, as long as you keep the eligibility narrow enough that you have a real impact on air quality.

  91. As Charleton Heston once said, “From my Cold Dead Hands!”

  92. Dear Mr. President:


    Dazed in Michigan

  93. […] I wouldn’t even bother to mention this at all, considering how it is an internal political matter in a foreign country, except that I just found out that Pres. Obama has suggested that the US adopt the same stupid plan! […]

  94. Where will these older cars go? One poster above suggested that thy’d end up in huge, pollutting scrap heaps (which is very likely, and is also where a lot of the “recycled” material ends up).

    Another option is that some of those in charge of the repo’d cars sell them to Mexican dealers, which is precisely where really old American cars go now. Yes indeed, another form of corruption created by government interference. Also, what’s going to happen to those charities that take your old car as a donation? This administration has already shown a hostility towards the whole concept of private charity, and this would be another example.

  95. This is a great program. My grandfather has a car sitting on his property that he’s not using. It is up on blocks with weeds growing around it. We;’d sure be happy to get $750 from Obama for that heap.

    Plus, I’m sure that there are plenty of cars that are sitting in the bottom of swamps that could be dredged up for such a program. How about those VW beetles from Mexico? The ones with the orange quarter panels. They would also be eligible if driven across the border by an illegal. We can’t limit this program to US Citizens, oh no.

  96. “I publish a site that’s all about minimal consumerism and simply buying less to save money.” writes someone above who thinks Obama’s got A Plan.

    And how, exactly does buying NEW cars fit into “minimal consumerism” and “buying less?”

    My guess is that we, as a family — who recycled before it was a word — are greener than the average greenie Prius driver.

    We are savers and re-users — low level consumers — because we have never been even moderately wealthy by the usual American standards. But we have what works to make sure we are not living in neanderthal America: TVs, DVDs, cameras .. and older cars on which we make NO PAYMENTS. We haven’t had a car payment in so long I simply do not remember it. (MMmmmm thinking, thinking — 1980s on a used Volvo.) We have NEVER bought a new car. EVER. In 41 years of marriage, we have had car payments on ONE used car.

    Our newest vehicle is a 1992 F-250 diesel truck that has almost 300,000 miles on it. The current Volvo is 20+ years old and still pulls 30 mpg on the interstate. And has well over 300,000 miles. (When they provide standard shift cars again someone will re-discover how that adds a bunch of driving miles to each gallon of gas.)

    We live in the country. As do many Americans. 3+ miles before you can buy milk.

    How come “choice” in America this administration seems to be limited to abortion only? This guy is unbelievable. He makes me very tired.

  97. Many of my Northern Alabama neighbors have dozens of cars around the yard. It’s a ststus symbol. By offering up to $750 per vehicle Obama creates a following in an area where he has very few fans. A similar incentive to have hound dogs spayed could create an economic windfall in this part of the country.

  98. […] government would prefer to take our old, safe, reliable cars and destroy them, and force us into buying overpriced, badly made, […]

  99. Cars not needed in the gulag, comrades. Only shovels.

  100. used cars will be the new luxury car. just ask anyone driving a 2008 diesel, they all want a 2006 or earlier diesel.

  101. The “cash for clunkers” bill is a fraud. The “tax credit” is a credit to DEALERS. That’s right. It’s not like you buy a high MPG car and come tax time you have a $4000 tax credit on your tax return. Nope.

    The way it works is the dealer gets the $4000 and then “gives you” the $4000. Except that the dealer will then just add $4000 to the price of the car he’s selling you. Or maybe not the full $4000 but $2000 or $3000. One way or another the dealer will keep some of that $4000 for himself, probably without you even realizing it.

    Yet another fraud brought to you by the Fraud President.

  102. Haha, they don’t care if you can’t pull a boat – in fact, even better if you can’t, cause you’re a rich jerk for having one in the first place, and besides, it uses gas and pollutes, so there.

    And you guys talk like you think you’ll have a choice? Hey, when it comes to it, you’ll f-ing do it cause you’re told to, cause you’re non-econodeathtrap will be illegal, get it?

    Is this crap starting to sink in with everyone yet?

  103. […] car market? OK, the thread title was probably a bit of hyperbole. But did anyone else catch this tidbit in President Obama’s latest […]

  104. They can pry my car keys, my crypto keys and my gun from my cold dead fingers!

    Has anyone considered the opportunities for boycotting all General Motors and Chrysler products? And not just the new cars let the old clunkers sit on the used car dealer’s lots as well; the used parts business is a very lucrative revenue stream for the car industry. Don’t buy any socialist American cars. For our freedom and that of our children and children’s children, don’t support the looter socialist state! THE ONE, his Car Czar and their henchmen don’t buy American manufactured car; the American people are the ones who buy these cars. Well we are not going to buy them any longer. General Motors and Chrysler are going to fail with or without our intervention but we can accelerate the process and shorten the time to when free markets are restored to America.

    Michael Ronayne
    Nutley, NJ

  105. I’ll turn in my old Ford Ranger if Obama buys me a replacement vehicle.

  106. FO BHO

  107. They can pry my 94 Jeep from my cold dead fingers. They can try and pry my cold dead fingers from my 39 Chevrolet. They can try and pry my cold dead fingers from my ’57 Ford F100. They can try and pry my cold dead fingers from my 1931 Model A. They can try and pry my cold dead fingers from my ’64 Alfa 2600 Sprint. They can try and pry my cold dead fingers from my ’67 Alfa 2600 Sprint. They can try and pry my cold dead fingers from my ’67 BSA Gold Star if they want to…

    but they should probably bring a car hauler.

  108. […] Taking our used cars? Man, when it comes to clinging to things I would say old cars are number three behind bibles and […]

  109. After you turn in your old car you can ride the non existent mass transit train in your area. Think what that will do for suburban and exurban property values.

  110. Not only will it put used car dealers out of business, it will end charity car donation. Charities are already strained due to the economy and the change Congress made to the tax deuction for car donation in 2005.

  111. […] Posted by Just_A_Guy OK, the thread title is hyperbole. But did anyone else catch this tidbit in President Obama’s latest speech? The flaw of course is a poor understanding of economics. […]

  112. i think the suggestion of boycotting Government Motors is a good idea. i currently drive a GM vehicle and i will not be buying another one once this falls apart.

    furthermore, this garbage is going to do nothing but hurt the poor – those who can’t afford to buy new cars. just like with everything libs do, it is the poor and middle class that end up paying for it in the end. people need to wake up.

  113. Lord Soetoro is making Jimmah Cahtah look like a rocket scientist. He even makes Bush look like a genius.

  114. He says Congress should pass a law that would give a credit to people turning in old cars. Where in his speech do you see the word “require” or any synonym? How can you logically equate this with the “end of used cars”?

  115. u repukes make me sick, u wanna destroy teh planet and ur mad that president obama found u out an stops u by taking away ur filthy toys

  116. Did you know that those on this shyster ‘auto taskforce’ have NO background in autos/ none. Steve RaT-tner, owns a Benz – Lexus – Audi/ In fact they all (minus 2) own foreign cars. A few own none (lease) a few have no license (drivers). Take a gander at the FIAT (Rat-Mobiles). These rat-cars are about the size of my oak kitchen table.

    NO more vacations/ camping etc. No need for seat belts or air bags. WHY? Hell, with one of those Mexican ( not inspected) semis hitting you/ the whole mess can be buried (no need for a coffin). Rattner (ultra wealthy) former investment banker (auto czar) and his “NOT QUITE” college graduate, Brian Desse (31) wouldn’t know a fan belt, from a carburetor! These ‘rat-cars’ will get you to the local Wigget Factory and home (maybe). The elite could care less/ they’ll KEEP their high end gas guzzlers (we pay politician’s leasing fees – gas)!

    Rattner’s wife, Maureen White was picked up for ‘drunk driving’ – NYT – New York Post (didn’t cover). Only the Proles go to court!! Thus far there are 21 Czars! WHY? They are unelected – not vetted – and answerable only to President! I guess this is change/ but not exactly ‘change you can believe in’!

    As for ‘shared sacrifice’ – it doesn’t appear that the banksters/ et al are tightening their belts (dates – shopping in Paris – Air Force One used 90,000 gal of gas on Earth Day for needless town hall chit chat. I thought the campaign was over?

  117. Everyone needs someone to blame. Even the president Does. And did anyone ever figure 10 years ago where to country was headed. Of course It was always planned. Stop looking for someone to blame and find GOD and this will teach you how to really live. Life is worth living and enjoying. Everthing else is a little thing called luxury. Youdumbfuks!

  118. […] Posted by Just_A_Guy OK, the thread title is hyperbole. But did anyone else catch this tidbit in President Obama’s latest speech? First answer, how many of us do listen to this person? […]

  119. I think that obama is doing what all of us should be doing and that is being concerned about the planet. If you think of the benefits instead of your inconvenience, you and everybody else would live a better life, have cleaner air, cleaner water,etc., etc.,etc.. All he is trying to do is have an open mind like everybody should. Personally I think he is doing a great job. Solar storms due to gas guslers or Nice Clean AIR and a full of Life planet. (OUR CHOICE) Keep up the good work Obama

  120. -@ tree hugging hippy,
    —I know your comment was probably made with intent to to cause trouble, but it brings the question that people could ask: How could people have a better life if they’re low income, can barely afford living and gas for commuting, and the King wants to take away their mule, giving them a penny to buy a $100 horse. Now, if that person can only save $1 a day because they have two kids, a dog and a wife to feed, how the hell are they going to afford a $9k car? Save up the money they make from the job they lost because they could not drive to work in their economical “clunker”?

    -My Thoughts (synical as it may be),
    —I say he is trying one of two things, hopefully I am wrong on the second one, but with his religious background, one can’t help but wonder if he was a seed planted in the US by a terrorist network. That was my ONLY* fear when I considered he might be elected.

    —Either he is pushing buttons to tick everyone off, in hoes that the American people will get off their keisters and say, “That’s enough with the government ruling, WE THE PEOPLE RULE” or, he is first spending money we don’t have trying to put us in the dirt, and then making the US citizens spend their money so that we’ll all be poor and weak and can be overthrown easily. If there’s no money in the till and no money in our pockets, the next plane to hit a skyscraper will burn, burn, burn and no one will have funds to even drive to the fire to save the people…

    … and why didn’t our military get to vote? Where is his original copy of his birth certificate? I was born in 1969 and mine wasn’t laser-copied or ink-jetted, nor were the peoples’ who were born in 1989. It is time to start pushing the investigating his legitimacy as a president and citizen.

    -Economy & Emissions
    —Some older vehicles are more efficient and run cleaner than the ones built a month ago and they were built to run on better gas than we have now. Would outlawing older vehicles be discrimination based on age, if that older vehicle could be fine tuned to yield 30mpg on the highway?

    —The national scrappage bill was opposed by many states in 2003 (IIRC). Collectors of antique cars stopped California’s bill in it’s tracks before they had a chance to pour the first glass of water at the assembly. This law http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2009/06/president-obama-signs-cash-for-clunkers-car-allowance-rebate-system.html should not have made it to the file cabinet. He is rushing bills before people can intervene. He needs to go now before he sends us into the sewer.

    —Furthermore, Next might be no pre-1991 vehicles; I owned my vehicles before any new law was passed and if I have to drive unregistered vehicles in protest I will, but I’ll be damned if someone is going to force a law on me telling me that I must save GM from ruins by buying their vehicles when they cannot produce a reliable vehicle which I would consider buying and other companies prices are high to compete with GM’s over-priced garbage. How much will he give if you crush a post-1991 vehicle that can’t deliver 25mpg highway and/or emits sulfur that chokes you when driving in rush hour traffic?

    —I will* continue to drive my old vehicles that are more reliable, produce less hydrocarbons and get better economy than 40% (generous) of the post-1991 vehicles he is talking about forcing us to buy. If I am stopped and told that I must surrender my vehicle, as it will be crushed, I will crush it myself using the cars that are preventing me from enjoying my classic that delivers 30mpg highway and emits COs less than .5%.

  121. Future World: They sent this hatchet man Rattner (investment banker -big donor to Obama) to dismantle GM/ him and some dweeble named Weese (31) whose ONLY experience in life was working for Hillary’s campaign and an “almost graduate of Yale”(New Yokr Times. It used to be called dropout. Rattner living in a 12 story mansion (NYC) has amongst his fleet of cars (none American) an Audi/Mercedes Benz.

    Obama before his armored fleet had a big a** SUV/Chrsyler 300. For us? It’ll be a sardine can car (FIAT what a joke!) run by a hamster wheel. Just enough to get you to the LOCAL Wigget Factory from your Work Force Housing (Google it, they’re putting this in place every state). NO more trips with the family. Good news: You won’t need those air bags or car seats. When one of those (thousands thanks to Clinton’s NAFTA) Mexican semis hits you, they can bury the whole mess/ they won’t find any piece of you big enough to bury. PS Obama used MORE gas on EARTH DAY than my entire family would use in a lifetime/HEY, maybe we could end Perpetual War / now there’s some real pollution for ya!! Where in the Constitution does it direct Gov to run the auto industry and mandate what cars we drive?

    These FRAT boys haven’t a clue as to costs in the real world/ WE pay for the leasing of their BIG A** SUVs / and Obama’s FLEET of gas guzzlers that follows him (family) on dates, shopping in Paris, trips to see Lion King London. WOW –I bet (no money worries) they feel like they won Publisher’s Clearinghouse (same goes for Bush etc). Our founding fathers would puke. Google/ Not Yours to Give, Davy Crockett/ we used to have statesmen/ now we have HOGS.

  122. Hey you idiots! You don’t have to do it!


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