Show Me the Money! (Or, Clunker Math)

August 2, 2009

UPDATE: Finally! Others (bloggers and liberal Congressmen) start asking the right questions…

O NOES! The Cash for Clunkers program has run out of money. That much seems certain. The program burned through the one billion dollars allocated to it in little less than a week. While Congress debates the merits of pouring billions more into the program, perhaps we should examine where the first billion went.

According to an AP release which has been widely reported, about 23,000 cars have been traded in and destroyed under the CARS program. Let’s be generous and presume that each of those “clunkers” qualified for the maximum $4,500 bounty.

clunker math 1

That means that approximately $100,000,000 (the clunker math above shows how we arrived at this figure) has been spent on rebates to customers taking advantage of taxpayers’ generosity (yes, that’s our money we’re talking about here).

But, but… the program was funded for one billion dollars. $100,000,000 is only 10% of the entire program. How can that be?

clunker math 2

What happened to the rest of the money, that 90%, that nearly $900,000,000? Nobody seems to be interested in that.

Was it spent in processing fees? Overhead? Bribes? Union pay-offs? Cash in the freezer? Cottages in Ireland? Bankrolling gay prostitution rings? Official military aircraft travel to home districts? Incompetence? Who knows?

Before we the taxpayers, in our infinite generosity and with our bottomless wallets, re-fund this program for another two to four billion dollars, could we please find out where the overwhelming majority of the first billion went?


UPDATE: Dr. Zero at HotAir’s Green Room writes about the Tao of the Clunker.