Final Verdict on Cash-for-Clunkers: Fail

by Greg Pollowitz

There’s a new Brookings Institute report out that determined the 2009 stimulus/green program “Cash-for-Clunkers” was a failure and should not be repeated in the future. Politico reports:

As a job creator, the Obama administration’s Cash for Clunkers program was a sputtering old jalopy that deserves to stay in the scrap yard, according to a study released Wednesday.

The program, which fueled a car-buying spree in the summer of 2009, cost $1.4 million for every job it created and did little to reduce carbon emissions, a Brookings Institution report said. In comparison, research has found one job is created for every additional $95,000 spent on unemployment benefits.

“In the event of a future economic recession, we would not recommend repeating the CARS program,” Brookings researchers Ted Gayer and Emily Parker wrote, using the acronym for the Car Allowance Rebate System.

“While the program did accomplish both of its goals of stimulating the automobile market and decreasing carbon emissions, there are more cost-effective policy proposals to achieve these objectives.”

But this isn’t any news to NRO readers. Here’s a post I wrote a few months ago in response to a Drudge headline that the program had actually hurt — not helped — the environment:

But this is really old news. Just a few of the links we posted back in 2009 saying this very thing.

And more importantly, we knew at the time that Team Obama was fudging on cash-for-clunkers, but, as usual, the MSM cheered on the program as a success when it was already clear that it was not.

I’m glad Brookings is out with this report, but the findings were a) reported on previously and b) predicted by conservatives at the program’s creation. Kind of like Obamacare. 



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