'Cash for Clunkers' deal drives auto sales - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Cash for Clunkers' deal drives auto sales

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  • Congress looks for money to keep 'Cash for Clunkers' fueled

    Congress looks for money to keep 'Cash for Clunkers' fueled

    WASHINGTON. - The Cash for Clunkers program will stall at the end of this week unless the Senate fills the program's tank with money.>>
    WASHINGTON. - The Cash for Clunkers program will stall at the end of this week unless the Senate fills the program's tank with money. Critics there say this is just a government giveaway that is helping one industry at the taxpayer's expense and not helping the environment. The program is a success in terms of sales. Ford reported corporate sales up for the first time in two years. The White House says the program's meeting its other goals of less pollution and less fuel consumption.>>

WASHINGTON. - Critics of the wildly popular 'Cash for Clunkers' program are attempting to put the brakes on new funding.

In Saint Louis protesters tried to disrupt a congressman's news conference touting the success of the program.

Dealers have already claimed more than half of the $1 billion in government rebates that was supposed to last through October.

Lawmakers have promised another $2 billion this week.

Chrysler has sold so many cars dealers are running short.

The company has stopped doubling the government rebate.

The government says more than 130,000 Americans have traded gas guzzlers for cars that are, on average, 61 percent more fuel efficient.

The increase will end up saving the typical buyer up to a $1,000 per year on gas.

Ford, rolling out its new Taurus on Wednesday, said 'Cash for Clunkers' could boost the economy as manufacturers make more cars.

"Clearly, this has been a home run," said Ford economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick.

Still, some are questioning the cost.

"I'm not going to pass a bill onto our kids of two billion dollars to buy a car today," said New Hampshire's Senator Judd Gregg. "That's just not fair to our children to keep doing this to them."

Others are asking if it's fair to just to help automakers.

So far just under half the cars sold in this program came from America's big three.

Some economists think because the cars being sold are the least expensive the program won't have a lasting impact on the economy until the government can create more jobs and boost consumer confidence.


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