Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Clunkers" Program Gets Consumers Spending Again. Rep. Ryan Votes Against It?

The verdict is in: Cash for Clunkers" is getting people to spend again.

WKOW News: The White House announced the so-called "Cash for Clunkers" program, officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), has been so successful, it might have run out of money.

Pat McLaughlin, the general manager at the Russ Darrow dealership (said), "Traffic has been quadruple. Probably 85-percent of the cars we've sold in the past week have all been Cash for Clunkers deals."

The House debated an extra $2 billion dollars, tripling its initial $1 billion budget. It passed by a three to one margin and now moves on to the Senate. Senator Russ Feingold in a statement said he supports expanding the program, calling it a bigger success than anyone predicted.

A successful government program? You bet. This was stimulus money that finally encouraged consumers to spend money, something they haven’t done for the last year, and the main reason for the joblessness, bankruptcies and the drop in corporate earnings. But to Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan, the real reason isn’t a lack of consumer spending, but a lack of tax cuts. No matter how successful Cash for Clunkers is in boosting consumer confidence, Ryan voted no to extend it. I’m not kidding.

Six of Wisconsin's eight representatives in the House approved Friday's expansion for CARS. Janesville Republican Paul Ryan (and Rep. James Sensenbrenner) voted against it, calling the program poorly designed and another burden on the national debt. Ryan released the following statement:

"The premise of this policy remains deeply flawed. Should the government borrow more money and force taxpayers to essentially finance their neighbors' purchase of a new hybrid? The fact that this government program was poorly designed, poorly administered, and over-budget doesn't justify today's rushed appropriation of an additional two billion dollars. I am troubled by the federal government's continued commitment to picking the winners and losers in our economy, while adding to an already unsustainable debt."

Rep. Ryan is more troubled by happy voters who might like the policies of the Democratic Congress and president. As for picking winners and losers, wouldn't Ryan's tax cuts for business have done just that?

So what’s left for a Republican to do for his country?

1. Ryan again uses the “us” vs “your neighbors” argument, in an attempt to feed into the “keeping up with the Jones” envy wars.

2. It’s the “somebody’s getting something for nothing with my hard earned tax money” Ayn Rand rant.

When will voters decide they’ve seen enough? Haven’t they endured enough pain (Ryan)?

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