The U.S. Senate is now deciding on whether to approve an additional $2 billion in funding for the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program. Should the Senate approve, President Obama is certain to approve extending the program, designed to replace old gas-guzzling vehicles with more fuel-efficient ones, by offering consumers government subsidies of up to $4,500.
Judging from a recent uptick in auto sales and increased traffic in auto dealers' showrooms, the "Cash for Clunkers" program appears to be successful. But the program remains shrouded in controversy, with continuing confusion about which models qualify, as well as complaints the program does not go far enough in promoting sales of fuel-efficient vehicles.
As the owner of a nine-year old vehicle with over 160,000 miles, I would like to take advantage of the program. But my four-cylinder, Japanese manufactured sedan is rated to get at least 25 miles per gallon, thus is not on any qualifying list. The program as now constituted does not help consumers that made environmentally-conscious car purchasing decisions in the first place. Instead, it "rewards" those that chose to drive fuel-thirsty trucks and cars with a nice fat stimulus payment toward their next vehicle.
I'm sure there are others in the same position I'm in. Want to know what our readers think of the "Cash for Clunkers" program? Go to NASA Tech Briefs INSIDER Question of the Week to find out, and feel free to voice your opinion.