Cash for Clunkers

Is the program almost out of money?

I briefly considered participating in this, but I’m too cheap to spend more than $10k on a new car. Seeing news on how popular this program is got me thinking about unintended consequences, though. Conventional wisdom says that the most economical car is the one sitting in your driveway. How many folks out there just took on a car payment that they can’t really afford? The MPG improvement with the new car is likely canceled out by the environmental cost of the energy and raw materials used to create the new car.

Wouldn’t it be nice if people would use their down payment to maintain their existing car and plow the would-be car payment into the stock market as a contingency fund or for a future all-cash car purchase in a few years?

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