August 2, 2009

The Madness of King Barack I

I turned a jaundiced eye toward the Cash For Clunkers program when I first heard of it. It seemed like just another bit of progressive feel-good theater designed to make the ecomaniacs feel splendid about themselves. That being, of course, the entire raison d'etre of a progressive in the first place. I assumed the barriers to entry for this enterprise, the red tape and myriad of if/thens, would make the program just another liberal circle jerk. Cheap vaudeville for the True Believers.

Therefore I was surprised when I read that no only was the program hugely successful in enticing folks to buy new fuel efficient cars, but it was so goddamn successful they'd run out of the first billion dollars of taxpayer money and needed an infusion of another 2 billion. All the while killing/unkilling the program as "too fucking successful," to quote the administration's Demolition Derby Czar.

Two things about this program drive me absolutely insane: first, anyone who can afford payments on a new vehicle doesn't need my fucking tax dollars to make that happen. $4500 rebate for your clunker? Better be prepared to pay sticker price less $4500 for that new vehicle, sucker. And anyone who can't beat a salesman down $4500 on a new car without a trade in is a fucking moron.

Second, and most egregious, is the fact that these "clunkers" are being willfully destroyed to prevent their use forevermore. Here is the infamous video you've all seen of a Volvo(!) being destroyed with a lethal dose of sodium silicate:

You poor people who voted for Obama? He just fucked you again. Poor people can't afford $500 car payments even with a $4500 taxpayer bailout. All those "clunkers"? They were traditionally immediately auctioned into the bottom rungs of the used car market. High school and college kids looking for a first car? Poor folk who can only afford a $500 to $1500 car, where the dealer carries the paper and you pay him weekly because your credit resembles that of the Weimar Republic circa 1922? You're boned, Patsy.

It's just like the old trope of burning a village to save it. (I really despise the assholes who perpetrated My Lai. Not only for what they did, but for giving the Left 40 years worth of ammunition, during which they endlessly and breathlessly proclaimed that that was all we ever did in Vietnam. Besides bayoneting babies and raping women, of course).

A government that purposefully destroys perfectly serviceable consumer goods, inexpensive goods that most benefit the poorest and most desperate members of society, is a government gone so fucking mad it makes the ravings of tertiary syphilis look wholesome in comparison.

This singular act belies any affectation of good faith, compassion, or humanity this craven and diabolical regime presumes. Barack Obama would rather have poor people beggar a damn ride to work, or walk holes in their shoes, than drive an affordable vehicle that does not meet his arbitrary and capricious definition of environmental friendliness.

I work in a county full of poor country sods, black and white. Almost to a person they drive "clunkers". And there is a reason they drive pickup trucks from the sixties, seventies, eighties. And it's not for ironic reasons, or because they enjoy driving a "classic". It's because they bought that truck when they were 25 years old, and have babied it their entire lives and they never want to buy another vehicle, unless it's to buy mama a Buick when she's 65 to drive to the Publix and the hairdresser once a week. These poor bastards just had a goodly amount of the affordable vehicle market yanked out from under their feet by a megalomaniacal prick.

I suppose King Barack I wants them to ride public transportation. Well, they don't have fucking buses in the country, or the small towns. That's an urban construct designed to help enslave the city proles. Hamlet proles need a cheap car, you miserable wretches.

My indifference to this contemptible bastard has grown to concern, to disgust, to loathing. He isn't fit to carry a house framer's tool belt. He is a fraud, a despicable fraud, who would build his empire upon the bones of the weakest, most vulnerable segment of society as he engineers us into the ditch.

I cannot wait to vote againt this son of a bitch again.

Update: Welcome, Salon readers! If you think that post was vituperative, well, you haven't been scrolling my archives. I'm just sorry I wasn't sharp enough to compare Sarah Palin to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now that was inspired. In a Tourette's Syndrome barking, I just ate my own feces kind of way.

Posted by Velociman at August 2, 2009 6:00 PM

This video pisses me off beyond repair.

I wouldn't let that worthless son of a bitch ride inside the truck, and yep, I too can't wait to vote against his traitorous ass again.

Posted by: dick at August 2, 2009 7:55 PM

Poor Volvo is screaming for her life.

Me, I'm driving a '97 Escort. I don't exactly like it but she runs well enough and my commute is short enough and I damn sure don't want a car payment.

And the government is destroying a nicer car than I've ever owned. Fuckers.

Government in action: pour in gunk to make the system lock up then gun the motor until it seizes.

Posted by: Brian Dunbar at August 2, 2009 8:03 PM

Why, in three years, we'll all get to do that. I love the USA.

Posted by: Elisson at August 2, 2009 8:51 PM

Yeah, well, Elisson, that's what them Venezuelans thought, once upon a midnight dreary.

Posted by: Velociman at August 2, 2009 9:02 PM

I wonder how many times the poor and stupid that voted in this clunker can get boned before they are bone dry and the raw begins to burn.

On the other hand, they'll be so loosened up by then that they probably won't feel a thing.

Posted by: vanderleun at August 2, 2009 9:04 PM

You actually think this elitist bunch gives a crap about the poor? I drove a clunker when I was poor. Now the poor are forced to drive Lexis's or take the bus. The BACK of the bus.

Elitist fuckheads.

I'm paying for this car credit crap and this is making the less fortunate even LESS fortunate.
I hope Obama dies in one of his "fuel efficient" vehicles. Serve him right

Posted by: Tammy at August 2, 2009 9:23 PM

Oh dear Lord. It frightens me that you and I were on the exact train of thought at the exact same moment in time.

As you were typing this post I was leaving a comment at Ace's place that made (less eloquently, of course) the point that the working poor will take the greatest hit from this sham and that the rural poor would be hit the hardest.

I think it's time I looked up that therapist now.

Posted by: jmflynny at August 2, 2009 9:54 PM

My mom had the sand to suggest that I should trade my 1984 Dodge 3/4 ton truck in for an Obama mobile.I told her that as long as I could afford it I will keep my old truck. It will haul more wood than anything that they make these days.

Posted by: Cocklebur at August 2, 2009 11:54 PM

Uhh, not exactly. The Gov has paid out 150 million to dealers out of that billion. Most are waiting to see their first check, and remain underwater in the deal. 57 states Obamamath. So by all means let us expand the program to three billion.

Posted by: james wilson at August 3, 2009 1:28 AM

While viewing that Volvo vid my mind reached back to the FDR administration in the 30s (although I wasn't alive at the time, born in '44) to when they forced the farmers to kill all the hogs and pour out all the milk. EXACT same defective f*****g thought processes.

Posted by: virgil xenophon at August 3, 2009 2:39 AM

Taxpayer funded wanton destruction of functional machines. Virgil Xenophon, you are exactly right.

Education is the cure for ignorance, but the ignorant have ascended to power and they appear to be confident that they're right and can refuse a cure. We are without much (other than protesting and petitioning the morons that have been elected) recourse until 2010.

Keep your heads down, put up your provisions and keep your powder dry; it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Posted by: Guaman at August 3, 2009 5:08 AM

I'm right there with you. Having decided that both the wife and I needed to update our automobiles about a year and a half ago I chose to get rid of them through private sale rather than a trade-in. My custom van was donated to the Alzheimer's Association and the other two cars with combined mileage of 300k+ were sold to a couple of my hourly employees right after they got back their tax return money that the government had already fucked me out of.

Posted by: Richard at August 3, 2009 9:37 AM

Come to think of it, all of those car donation programs for the Salvation Army and Boys Home charities are toast.

Fucking compassionate Left.

They want to corral us all into big cities and feed us, shelter us, transport us while we magically produce wealth for them by working for them. Which is an economic circle-jerk that will never amount to a shuddering dollop of prosperity.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at August 3, 2009 10:14 AM

You are absolutely correct...Øbama is a despicable fraud, who is counting on Øbama "voting for" idiots to build his empire. He should take the bus, if you know what I mean.

I, also, cannot wait to vote against this piece of shit again.

I would not have a beer with that motherfucker for all the tea in China. I'm pissed!

Posted by: Sam at August 3, 2009 10:51 AM

..."because your credit resembles that of the Weimar Republic circa 1922?" Didn't you meann to say ...America circa 2009?

Posted by: WolfDog at August 3, 2009 11:01 AM

I'm no fan of Volvo, but this made me sick. And pissed off.

These gibbering knuckle-dragging chimps and their obvious glee at destroying something they probably couldn't afford to purchase make me long for a sequel, where shrapnel from a catastrophic failure turns everyone present into pasta strainers.

Posted by: apotheosis at August 3, 2009 3:11 PM

You hit the big time.

Posted by: VGK at August 3, 2009 3:48 PM

Keep on wasting, we will have have you back where you started, begging.

BHO is a fucking mad raving communist.
Mandela is a right wing nut when you compare him to BHO, my God, (with a small g)

Posted by: keeskennis at August 3, 2009 4:09 PM

Wow... Who knew the Salon was read by so many self righteous pricks?
The asshole count is way the fuck up over there.

Posted by: dick at August 3, 2009 5:04 PM

Joan makes an excellent point. When charitable car donations drop to nothing this year, I hope they all remember who took away their source.

(rest of rant posted over at Og's place)

"Unintended consequences"...the libtards can't seem to conceive or execute a program without screwing over the people they're trying to help.

Posted by: Grumpy Old Ham at August 3, 2009 5:25 PM

I already send back most charity snailmails (not my core faves, just the others) with a note: "Sorry, but due to the financial disaster created by the current government, there are no funds available at this time to donate. Don't like it? Write to the White House."
The One is an asstard, simply put, and his works of an utter asstardian nature.

Posted by: LeeAnn at August 3, 2009 6:30 PM

Belinda emailed me the link to your review on I was very pleased to read that your sensitivity towards the poor has been recognized by someone other than myself and Belinda. Oh, and the video shows something that can only be classified as a murder. I find it reprehensible that they would use my tax money to pay for such wanton destruction.

Posted by: Cody Pless at August 3, 2009 7:09 PM

Methinks the current President may indeed be a poltroon.

Posted by: Cappy at August 3, 2009 7:36 PM

as has been clearly stated elsewhere, the modern GOP not only can't STAND, it can't AFFORD any government program that actually works well. The GOP's way of getting and keeping power is to say that "government" (that is, anything they don't like or is ideologically unwelcome) is the problem. Therefore any successful program, such as Medicare, Social Security, and yes, Cash for Clunkers needs to be slammed, in any way possible, facts be dammed.

A government program that demonstrates its effectiveness on a truly grass-roots level drives goopers insane because it undercuts their entire ideological foundation, such as it is.

Far as I'm concerned? At this point the entire GOP, its members, its voters, and sundry enablers, are traitors to America and should be completely ignored from here on in. They don't care about America, all they care about it their own financial and political benefit. Period.

Posted by: suckitGOP at August 3, 2009 9:21 PM

I suppose that the one good thing you can say about this insanity is that it is one of the few parts of the "stimulus" package that has stimulated anything other than my blood pressure. Most of the programs are either giveaways to the Left's favorite causes (giving my money to ACORN pisses me off but doesn't do anything for the economy, except maybe slow it down to the extent that the the bureaucracy siphons off a portion or slow it down in the future when interest rates go up) or infrastructure projects which won't get to construction for years down the road because of government procurement rules (of course, you might ask why we are even doing these if they weren't worth doing when local government was going to have to foot the bill).

Posted by: Ben at August 3, 2009 9:22 PM

My guess is you are one of the people who thinks he/she isn't acutally going to have to pay for any of this nonsense. If you were, you would know that none of the programs you cite are worthwhile from a utilitarian perspective -- e.g., I can get better returns from my matress than I can from Social Security.

Posted by: Ben at August 3, 2009 9:25 PM

seriously Ben? you wanna argue "utilitarian perspective"? so the point that GOP only cares about itself is therefore immediately proven... not to mention the overarching point that the GOP can't have a successful program exist, since their whole ideology will crumble...but hey, let's go... you state you can get "...better returns from your mattress.... than social security" So how's that stock portfolio doing over the last 10 years??? S&P 500 in Aug of 1999 = 1300ish... S&P 500 today? 1000ish.... that's f'ing great.... isnt it? (I guess that's what we get when the Supremes install the "CEO" preznit... but i digress)
i think my social security "investment" will get way better than a negative 25% return in 10 years.

2nd.. your guess is wrong... i know i'm going to have to pay for it... and guess what, i'm OK with that. i'd rather live in a society that has taxes and thus services from a functioning gov't. if you dont like that, move to any number of countries with little to zero taxes... such as say Chad, or maybe Angola... and tell me how you like it there....

Posted by: suckitGOP at August 3, 2009 9:51 PM

1. Nice generalizations about the GOP. They are, or course, wrong. That said, why is it my responsibility to save for your retirement?
2. If you know you are paying for these programs, you are an idiot for supporting them. The past is no guarantee of the future, of course, but over the long term the stock market pays better returns. Average working life is 40-50 years. Using that as a time frame and looking at all such time periods, average lifetime return of blue chip stocks on the NYSE is 9%/year. Social Security can't touch that.
3. Social Security is now and always has been a "pay as you go" program. That means it relies on current workers to pay current retirees. There is no trust fund because the only thing SS "invests" in is gov't bonds. In other words, SS has a massive unfunded future liability. As the number of retirees relative to the number of workers increases, the gov't will have no choice but to means test and/or raise the retirement age - which effectively makes the return for current workers even lower. Those who will retire in the generation after the Baby Boom are well and truly fucked. Demographics are inevitable.

Posted by: Ben at August 3, 2009 10:12 PM

I am a car guy and you are right, this program is a 110% blinking abomination, and a waste of perfectly good vehicles. But you are kidding yourself big time if you think the GOP wouldn't have done the very same thing. These programs exist all over Europe under regimes across the political spectrum. All the major parts of the auto industry bailout were being set up BEFORE January 20, including the reinterpretation of TARP to cover the auto industry, which enabled the Chrysler and GM deals.

You can bet that McSame and Palin would have done this too. Good lord, they would have created a media event for Palin herself to kick it off at some dealership in East Nowhere, with her pouring the ground silica Koolaid into some poor Cadillac while explaining that in Alaska, they didn't use crushers, they just let the moose trample the cars after the engines were killed.

Posted by: fjp at August 3, 2009 10:30 PM

"You can bet that McSame and Palin would have done this too. Good lord, they would have created a media event for Palin herself to kick it off at some dealership in East Nowhere, with her pouring the ground silica Koolaid into some poor Cadillac while explaining that in Alaska, they didn't use crushers, they just let the moose trample the cars after the engines were killed."

Interesting, You have the ability to see the "Alternate-Reality-That-Feeds-My-Self-Justified-Anger-At-Stuff-That-Never-Happened." Must come in handy for predicting the outcomes of Bowl Games in other dimensions. You probably make a killing off the spread. We can never know what mighta-woulda-coulda happened if McCain and Palin were in the White House, so just stop being a turd.

This "Progrom" is a crime. Period. End of story. Well, unless there's gonna be more "Moose-Crushing" action. That's always fun. So I hear. In stories about fantasy dimensions.

Posted by: Kresh at August 3, 2009 11:28 PM

Oh look... Salon even sent you a troll.
Somebody kill it with a newspaper.

Posted by: dick at August 4, 2009 7:37 AM

HEAR, HEAR dick!!!!!!!!!!! I detest trolls. This whole thing is just painful. I drive a 91 Explorer, and she perks along just fine. Cost me $2,000 five years ago. I hate this whole wretched fascist take-over of our nation beyond words.

Posted by: cmblake6 at August 4, 2009 1:27 PM

I couldn't help it. I knew better, but did it anyway.

I read some of the comments at Salon.

To have them tell it or, as one person pointed out "they're only accepting cars less than 25 years old", car owners fall into just two categories: New car owners and POS sub-$500, 25+ year-old-car owners.

I bought my first new car at age 42 and my first car was an early 70s Beetle with no floorboard behind the front seats. As luck would have it I was able to buy better and better used cars through the years until I finally walked on to a lot and purchased exactly what I wanted for pretty much wanted I wanted to pay for it.

The fuckjobs over at Salon would relegate the working poor to pre-1984 vehicles for life.

All their rantings tell me is that none of them have worked for a living or had to earn a damned thing they've owned. Otherwise, they might understand that some of us ASPIRE (or have aspired) to greater things than to simply remain, 'the working poor.'

Posted by: jmflynny at August 4, 2009 9:07 PM

"all we ever did in Vietnam. Besides bayoneting babies and raping women, of course."

DAMMIT! So THAT was where I screwed up... I was raping babies and bayoneting women. Wait- THAT would make me a muslim!!!!
What karmic irony!

Posted by: J3 at August 4, 2009 9:51 PM

All their rantings tell me is that none of them have worked for a living or had to earn a damned thing they've owned.

Probably. I would bet most of them don't even think about having to work and be poor in the sticks.

Public transit is non-existent. If it exists it's never convenient for where the jobs are.

Posted by: Brian Dunbar at August 4, 2009 10:11 PM

Actually, no US serviceman ever said "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." He DID say that "In the process of trying to save the village it was destroyed." It was destroyed by NORTH VIETNAMESE ARTILLERY. The village was An Tre, I believe. The lie was Peter Arnett's, he of CNN fame. He went on to a distinguished career of lies.

Posted by: Khornet at August 5, 2009 10:34 AM

That's a great ad for Volvo. Would a Ford engine last that long?

About that brilliant plan: today it's "cash for clunkers" - turn in your old car and buy a nice new one for only $11,000 or $13,000 (counting the rebate).

Tomorrow it's "turn in your old car and take the bus home". Or else.

Posted by: ZZMijke at August 5, 2009 5:55 PM

I was in the other room while it was on and so missed who said it, but heard someone say on Fox tonight that it has been determined that the net gain of sales is only ~22k vehicles. Meaning, of course, that a hell of a lot of people who would have bought a vehicles anyway walked away with taxpayer money.

Now, let's divide the $1B by 22k and see what we really paid for the program.

Posted by: jmflynny at August 5, 2009 11:20 PM

Well Guys, we in good ol' England have the same problem. Brainless Ecowankers with absolutely no idea of the damage they are doing. They don't realise that once you've extracted the minerals, made the metal and built the car, it would take many, meny years for a Toyota Pious to out-eco a 20 year old Taurus, BMW or Mercedes - cars that can be repaied time and time again.

Like the USA, the British car industry is completely fucked so we rely on foriegn imports to avoid walking everywhere.
Of course Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai etc are all screaming because they can't sell new cars to idiots. So to aid the poor Japanese/Korean/French car industries, let's throw away hundreds of thousands of perfectly good cars and replace them with cheap Japanese/Korean/French rubbish that will be fucked in 8 years time.

Our system does not have the moronic engine destruction because the British fool in charge of our system actually realises that when a running car goes to a scrap yard, the engine is the most valuable and saleable part. That Volvo video is a fucking disgrace and it does not cast a very good glow over the USA. Everyone in every country can see what's going on here. But would it have happened under Bush?

Either way, you have my sympathies with your idiot dictator!

Posted by: An English Guy at August 10, 2009 10:45 AM

Those "clunkers" could have enabled poor families to get off welfare. And now the douchebags who dreamed up this boondoggle want to take over our health care and 1/5 of our economy. They'll probably put the antifreeze from the "clunkers" in our IV bags and do to us what they did to that Volvo.

Posted by: Christina at August 22, 2009 6:35 AM