Today’s Headlines

  • Anonymous White House official admits: "What we ended up with is a program in which you trade in old clunkers for new clunkers" (NYT)
  • Meanwhile, "clunkers" rush shows signs of a slowdown (Dow Jones)
  • Obama’s green jobs adviser wonders why conservatives are so resistant … (WSJ)
  • … while one Idaho conservative flies his Amtrak flag (AP)
  • Tiny airports sure are getting a lot of stimulus money (ProPublica)

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Brookings: “Cash for Clunkers” Wasn’t Worth It

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Turns out paying people to buy cars isn’t a great policy for the economy or the environment. That’s the determination of a pair of Brookings Institution researchers who evaluated the effectiveness of the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program. The $2.85 billion program, part of President Obama’s economic stimulus package, produced only 2,050 “job-years,” according to researchers […]

Today’s Headlines

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After years of arguing that transit demand is too low to matter, conservatives protest D.C. transit’s failure to accommodate high demand from conservatives (WSJ) More on the Senate’s vote to let Amtrak passengers travel with guns (CNN, AP) LaHood still reassuring auto dealers they’ll get "cash for clunkers" money (Bloomberg) Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) gets […]

The Times’ Thickheaded Train Tag Team

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The New York Times has now turned loose writers at two of its economics blogs to make weak arguments against the construction of high-speed rail lines. Eric Morris of UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies (Photo: ericandrewmorris.com) I have been following Ed Glaeser’s attempt to do a back-of-the-envelope assessment of the costs and benefits of a […]

Is “Cash for Clunkers” a Good Idea, Ever?

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Photo: bondidwhat/Flickr The New York Times today endorsed a bill from Senator Chuck Schumer, and its companion in the House, co-sponsored by Long Island Democrat Steve Israel, which would offer up to $4,000 in vouchers to drivers who give up their gas guzzlers (averaging 18 miles-per-gallon or worse) in exchange for "a new or used […]

GAO: Economic Recovery Benefits of ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Are ‘Uncertain’

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"Cash for clunkers," the White House’s much-touted program encouraging trade-ins for more fuel-efficient autos, had an "uncertain" impact on economic recovery, according to a new audit from the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) — largely because it remains unclear how many of the car sales it spurred would have occurred without taxpayer subsidies. Were "clunker" […]

New ‘Clunkers’ Analysis: Trucks, SUVs More Popular Than Suggested

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When the Obama administration first called for more "cash for clunkers" last week, two influential senators said they could not back an extension without stronger efficiency standards for the program’s trade-ins — only to drop their opposition after viewing U.S. DOT sales figures that showed buyers snapping up gas-sipping cars. Is this Ford Escape the […]