I wish I had a 15MPG clunker to trade in for a new 30MPG car. Then instead of driving 10,000 miles this year I could buy twice as much foreign oil and get in 20,000 miles — maybe afford to move farther away from work and contribute to urban sprawl. But even if I didn’t get to do that, at least I was able to contribute some of my tax dollars to help other people burn through foreign oil in better style.
That method works with beer, too, as Tom McMahon points out in the following diagram (used with permission).
BTW, one thing I like about the cash-for-clunkers program (really, no sarcasm) is that it’s limited to a fixed amount of dollars. When the billion dollars are used up, the program is over. It’s no use having President Obama call in the director of the CBO and intimidate him into providing estimates that are more optimistic. When the money is gone, it’s gone. No open-ended entitlement here.
Well, at least not so far. I’ve seen headlines suggesting that Congress is trying to make it into something resembling an entitlement after all.