The U.S. House voted Friday to push through $2 billion into the “cash for clunkers” program that had become so popular with consumers that the U.S. Department of Transportation and auto dealers feared that the initial $1 billion placed in the program was drying up too fast. South Carolina Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has been an outspoken critic of the program. Appearing Tuesday morning on CNN, DeMint said the federal government should not be borrowing money to help one industry.
“I believe these cars would have sold anyway. The month-to-month sales for cars have gone up through most of this year already and all we’re doing is creating a bump in car sales in a few months. Again this is borrowed money, this is not the role of the federal government and frankly I thank we are making a mess of the economy rather than helping to fix it.”
The “cash for clunkers” program provides incentives for consumers to trade in their gas guzzlers for more fuel efficient vehicles. If the trade yields an improvement of four miles a gallon the customers receives $3500 toward the purchase of the new vehicle, if the improvement is 10 or more miles the consumer receives $4500. DeMint says by singling out one industry the government is toying with the practice of picking winners and losers during these tough economic times.
“What about appliance dealers, tv manufacturers, and heat pump manufacturers? All of these relate to efficiency. there are a lot of products and services in our economy and we at the federal level should not be borrowing money to help one industry.”