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.