Pat, at And So it Goes in Shreveport, said, tongue in cheek, that she would like a Cash for Computers program. Sitting here pecking on my netbook, I could get behind that. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican whose district houses the now bankrupt Pilgrim’s Pride, a poultry producer, asked when we might have a Cash for Cluckers program. I eat a lot of chicken so I’m down with that as well. In fact, I could go for a Cash for Gas program to ease my commute. The hotel industry is suffering during the recession and I could really use a vacation, so how about a Cash for Hotels? Cash for Restaurants and Bars? There are so many industries hurting right now and so many things I would like and could use, why not?
Because it is fundamentally unfair, and un-American, to take from one segment of society to benefit another segment. It is redistribution and it is fundamentally contrary to our values as a society. Cash for Clunkers temporarily props up the automobile industry at the expense of the American taxpayers and even if it had worked as intended, it would still be wrong.
I have to disclose two things. First, I have never owned a Ford but since the bailouts of Chrysler and GM I have said repeatedly that if I were to buy an American car (I am a Toyota owner) it would be a Ford because they did not take taxpayer money. Second, prior to retiring a few years ago my uncle owned one of the most successful Ford dealerships in the country. Understandably, I am getting a huge kick out of this:
Ford posted a 2.9% increase in sales in July over July 2008 numbers, the first improvement in year-to-year sales comparisons in nearly 2 years for Ford.
GM dropped only 19% from last year.
Chrysler dropped 9%.