“Cash for Clunkers” Coming to a Close?

The Obama administration plans to close the door on the politically popular and environmentally slipshod auto trade-in program known as "cash for clunkers," according to a report this afternoon in the Wall Street Journal:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday he would disclose within two days updated figures on the program, including how much of the $3 billion in funding was left. He said he would also offer a blueprint for how the administration will wind down the program to ensure all vouchers issued by dealers are reimbursed by the government before the money runs out.

"They're going to get their money," Mr. LaHood said, responding to dealers' complaints of payment delays. "There will be no car dealer that won't be reimbursed."

Auto dealers have submitted claims to about $1.8 billion of the program's taxpayer-funded rebates, which represents 435,102 vehicle purchases, according to data released today by the U.S. DOT.