Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rush: Cash For Clunkers= Tax Cut

There is nothing Rush Limbaugh, a paragon of disingenuousness, does better than trying to have it both ways. And so it was on Friday, while Rush was on his way to claiming "cash for clunkers is a public sector disaster. It turns out our cars aren't clunkers; the program is," he would contend

By the way, this billion dollars that they allocated has been the most stimulative thing they have done. And the reason is it's essentially a tax cut..... just imagine if just half, if just half of the stimulus bill had been returned to people in the form of tax cuts we would be on our way out of the recession....

You know, I'm tempted to say when I listen to Debbie Stabenow, "Just shut up! Just shut up, cut taxes for everybody. Cut taxes $4,500 for everybody has a chance to use their money or all kinds of things."

The Car Allowance Rebate System, Limbaugh (a multi-millionaire who never saw a Republican tax cut he didn't like) argues, is "essentially a tax cut." Let's see: as explained here, "the dealer will take your trade, apply the credit toward your purchase price, have your clunker destroyed, and get reimbursed by the government." And that would be a tax cut?

It's really not very complicated. Rebate program: go to a private dealer, buy a car you hadn't intended to buy, agree to pay for the car, and get a credit on the price. Tax cut: send the government less money than otherwise because the tax rate has declined; save most of the money.

A result of an automobile rebate program? Not surprisingly,

Manufacturers, who had cut back on production late last year and early this year, are accelerating production schedules to accommodate the rebate program.

And the Bush tax cuts? According to an article written by Larry Beinhart on April 28, 2008- before the economy went into a tailspin-

Ordinary Americans found that their income was declining. From 2001 to 2007, median family income declined -- depending on where you get your figures from -- by somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Median individual income went down by at least $1,000.

The yearly average number of new private sector jobs created from 2001-2008 was just 369,000, not even keeping up with the growth in population. It should be compared to the average number of new private sector jobs created from '92 to 2,000: 1,760,000 per year.

The number of people in manufacturing jobs decreased by over 3 million.

And few industries have suffered in recent years as much as the domestic auto industry, and probably none with as devastating an impact on the American economy.

Fortunately, this program isn't a tax cut. Just something that will do its part to help wean us off foreign oil, stimulate the economy, and make the automobile industry a little more viable. And in so doing, annoy Rush Limbaugh.

Next Rush: Cash for Clunkers is similar to socialized medicine, bad for the elderly just like Social Security.

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