Haste, not waste

Published 6:58 pm Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Federal Government’s CARS program is over.

After starting with a billion bucks and later, with Congressional approval, adding $2 billion more to the coffers, government officials in charge of operating the much-hyped program are singing its praises.

Fact: The program took nearly 700,000 gas-guzzling “clunkers” off the road.

Fact: As a result of the program, American consumers purchased more fuel-efficient American-made vehicles. The average fuel economy of the vehicles traded in was 15.8 miles per gallon and the average fuel economy of vehicles purchased is 24.9 mpg. – a 58 percent improvement.

Fact: The program put American workers back to work. Ford and General Motors announced production increases for both the third and fourth quarters as a result of the demand generated by the program. Honda said it will be increasing production at its U.S. plants.

But there’s one other fact that needs immediate attention.

On the front line of the CARS program were the car dealerships. They were the ones who had to immediately fork over the thousands of dollars in cash rebates offered through the program.

Many of these car dealerships are experiencing a rough ride down this road known as a tough economy. Many have been able to keep their doors open, but just barely. Their biggest problem is cash flow.

They’ve done their part in the CARS program. They’ve sold cars…now it’s the government’s turn to ensure a speedy process to refund the rebates, as promised, to these dealers.

Don’t make it any tougher than it already is on these dealers. Make sure they receive this CARS program money as quickly as possible so they can continue to make a living and continue to invest in their communities.