My son’s station car is an old Ford Explorer AWD which, despite being a V-6, was rated at about 15 mpg. Approaching 100,000 miles, the SUV’ s resale value is very low.
The House approved a bill to give him a $3,500 voucher to buy a car that is supposed to get only 18 mpg, or $4,500 if it gets 20 mpg. Only 18-20 mpg? That’s not moving us much closer to President Obama’s pie-in-the-sky 35.5 mpg goalpost is it?
Consider how easy it would be to game this giveaway program by using that $4,500 voucher to buy a big SUV or V-8 muscle car.
First of all, with Chrysler and GM dealerships folding, it should be easy to buy a mediocre Chevy Cobalt or Dodge Caliber for about $10,000 more than the voucher.
What you do next is sell that boring econobox, even if you end up with $1,000 less than you paid – that still leaves you with $3,500 of free money, courtesy of taxpayers.
As this process unfolds, the flood of resold small cars will make it even harder for GM, Chrysler and Ford dealers to get a decent price for small cars, because of added competition from new cars being resold as used.
That’s their problem, not yours.
So, take the $9,000 net from reselling the crummy little car plus the $4,500 from Uncle Sam. Then use that $13,500 to make a big down payment on a used Cadillac Escalade, Toyota Tundra pickup or Corvette.
File this under “unintended consequences” (my own file is running out of space).