Cash for clunkers: Nothing like using Chinese money to boost Japanese businesses.

Not that I have anything against the Chinese or Japanese — alright, I might have something against the Chinese government — but it’s absolutely hilarious that the United States government is using Chinese money (from the debt they buy) to boost sales of Japanese businesses (from the Financial Times):

The US’s cash-for-clunkers scheme, designed to bolster Detroit’s embattled carmakers, is turning out to be an even bigger boon for their Japanese rivals.

According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday, Americans are using the scrappage incentives to buy more vehicles from Toyota than any of the three Detroit carmakers

Toyota has an 18.9 per cent share of vehicles bought so far, putting it ahead of General Motors with 17.6 per cent and Ford with 15.4 per cent. Chrysler is in fifth place, after Honda.

Getting the government you deserve every day since January 20, 2009…

H/t: Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge.

Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.

Case in point: Watch a perfectly good car be destroyed.

This Volvo decides to resist (kinda long, you might want to just skip to the end):

Ace of Spades (which also gets a hat-tip for the video) reports that the dealers are pouring sodium silicate into the gas tanks.

Gotta wonder what all that oil is going to do to nearby rivers and steams. Oh well…

Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.

House of Representatives approves an additional $2,000,000,000 in corporate welfare.

Because the “Car Allowance Rebate System” (CARS) program (commonly referred to as “cash for clunkers”) needs a bailout after receiving higher than expected interest. The Obama Administration and Congress were shocked — shocked, I tell you — that when the government starts handing out $4,500 to anybody, they get a huge response!

It’s bad enough that there was $1,000,000,000 originally dedicated to this program but now the House, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that it needs another $2,000,000,000. And to make matters worse, 77 Republicans voted for this most recent monstrosity of corporate welfare (roll call vote). At least all the Republicans in Virginia’s Congressional delegation voted against it.

The only thing that would make this whole situation halfway rewarding is if all the cars are being sold by Ford and foreign automakers so Government Motors (GM), Dodge, and Chrysler don’t receive anymore welfare payments.

And this has to be one of the saddest pictures I’ve seen in awhile:

Autos Cash For Clunkers

Yes, I know it’s a gimmick ad by some car dealer but it represents perfectly what the government is doing. They’re paying for the destruction of vehicles, not because they don’t work, but because a couple of businesses need another bailout and the government has the ability to throw away money by the billions. Cars that cost thousands of dollars, and which hundreds of people spent dozens of hours building, are being destroyed by government fiat.

And think about this: What happens when someone just out of college, or someone that has been saving money for a year to buy a used car, goes out and tries to buy a car and finds out to his surprise: “What the heck! Used cars are a lot more expensive than they were a year ago!”?

Why? Because the government has interfered with the free market and worked to destroy the existing supply of used cars.

I’m halfway through reading Atlas Shrugged, and it’s amazing how much this country is starting to look like the situation in that book…

Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.

National Debt Clock runs out of digits.

$700,000,000,000 here, $300,000,000,000 there, soon we’re talking about real money.

AP via Yahoo! News:

The National Debt Clock is shown near Times Square in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. The clock has run out of digits to record the growing figure. As a temporary fix, the dollar sign has been switched to a figure–the “1” in $10 trillion. The clock is marking the current national debt at about $10.2 trillion. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Why can’t Albert Pollard be my representative to Congress?

His thoughts on the bailout deal in his weekly column (DOC file):

While the leaders of this nation negotiated a new bailout deal over the weekend, things seemed pretty normal on the Northern Neck. I got a chance to see some bald eagles that were on “The Cliffs” of Richmond County, geese were moving South and the weather forced farmers to take a break from long harvest days.

I rarely delve into national policy, but while the bailout deal won’t change whether there is rockfish migration this fall, it will change just about every aspect of American Capitalism.

As I am writing on deadline, I do not pretend to know everything in the 110 page bailout plan, nor do I know if it will even pass in the House of Representatives today. However, there are some things that I do know.

Free markets depend upon risk, reward and failure so that they can make long term efficient decisions. Indeed, the very efficiencies of big picture economic decision making means that – to avoid a future crisis — there must be some losers on Wall Street and in the investment community.

If the bailout bill insures that the people who should lose big do lose big, then it is probably acceptable and deserves passage.

Those people who take the biggest risk of time, talent and capital in the free market deserve to get the biggest return. However, everybody who has ever opened a lemonade stand knows that those who risk the reward also risk getting stuck with some lemons.

It is a firm understatement of fact that $700,000,000,000 (700 Billion dollars) is a lot of money – even judged by federal government standards. And, it is also true that the markets need help – I am not so Pollyannaish as to say that we should let complete economic meltdown occur without any action.

However, those who buy too many lemons – whether for loans or for a lemonade stand – should bear the responsibility they took with that risk. It is not the responsibility of the American taxpayer to reward bad economic decisions – and that is what this bailout deal appears to be, a reward of bad economic decisions.

Meanwhile, the earth as God designed it will move on. Fish will start their fall run, deer will start their rut, and the fields will dry up enough to finishing harvesting the crop. And, depending upon the action of Congress, there may be some extra lemons to go around.

I’m sure as heck aren’t going to get this from my current representative to Congress (Rob Wittman).

$700,000,000,000 here, $700,000,000,000 there; soon we’re talking about real money.


Check out what Rick Sincere found over at Forbes (emphasis added):

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

More bailout-palazoo: $25,000,000,000 in loans to the auto industry.

Over at Michelle Malkin’s blog:

The bailout binge continues apace. I’ve pointed out to you already that both Barack Obama and John McCain support the $25 billion automakers’ bailout. It’s speeding through Congress as we speak. President Bush will sign it this week after both parties fall in line and pass it (vote is expected in the House tonight).

Read the whole thing as they say.