Gee, that was fast:

The government plans to suspend its popular “cash for clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $1 billion in rebates for new car purchases, congressional officials said Thursday.

The real reason isn’t that the government was afraid it would run out of money (hey, thanks to you and me, they never run out!), but the reason for the suspension was because the government was damn near bankrupting the same people they claimed to be trying to help — does that sound familiar?

Through late Wednesday, 22,782 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million had been spent. But dealers raised concerns about large backlogs in the processing of the deals in the government system, prompting the suspension.

This entire endeavor was another example of genius government thinking. Just one of the huge flaws in this was that the dealers take it in the shorts for the “credit” to the buyer on the new purchase, and only get reimbursed after the government agrees that the “clunker” that was turned in qualifies under the gov’t regs. Only then does the dealer receive the gov’t reimbursement. But, that takes quite a while, as you’d imagine.

People were turning in clunkers so fast that dealers were incredibly upside-down on the front end with no back-end reimbursements coming in from the gov’t — so they’re moving all these cars but still can’t even meet payroll & operating expenses in some cases. Essentially some dealers were going short-term broke because of this and had not enough cash flow to continue to operate. I talked to one dealer who was going to suspend the program himself because he couldn’t afford to take the short-term hit with nothing yet coming in on the other end — but the gov’t beat him to it.

Yet another example of the brilliant leadership we have in Washington. Too many theoreticians, not enough people with real-world business experience — or even simulated business experience.

You don’t even need to check resumes to know Obama and his team of campus dreamers don’t have business experience, because anybody with business experience would never let the government get involved with private-sector business in the first place.

The only “clunkers” in “Cash for Clunkers” are the people who thought of the idea in the first place.

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