Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking at the Cash for Clunkers numbers being tossed around...

First, who believes that the program really generated 700,000 new car sales? Yes, there were 690,114 cars sold (based on the vouchers submitted), but are we to believe that NONE of those cars would have been sold during the period but for the program?

And how many of the cars sold through the program were in lieu of a non-qualifying car that would have been the buyer's first choice but for the program?

And of the cars that truly wouldn't have been sold during this period but for the program, how many would have been sold in the not too distant future?

Wouldn't it be more accurate to estimate and report on the amount of the marginal increase in sales volume? Ah, that would be too tough and would require the reporter to present the story in a less-flattering way.

And what about the Obama Administration's claim that 42,000 jobs would be 'created or saved' during the second half of the year because of this program? Is there any claim that ought to have less credibility than an impossible-to-verify claim of 'saving jobs'? No, employers don't call up the Labor Department to report jobs that aren't cut as a result of some government program.