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-- is from US news and world report he's joining us and he's the chief business correspondent there Rick always good have you hi guys appreciate it interesting and -- that you wrote about.
Why the cash for clunkers program in fact -- prove that the government might.
Be able to handle health care.
Well it's become mentally it's become really fassel the same look the government can't -- acts right -- don't think the government does -- in your mind and you do you want running your health care.
I just ask the question a different way could your health care insurer.
Have run cash for clunkers now as as a disclaimer I am not a fan of government bailouts I mean and there's liken it -- element of absurdity.
Two let's throw a few billion at this at that -- another thing.
But this is the closest we can come today to a defense of this clunkers program everybody I'm bashing it's only so I -- are necessarily -- to defend the clunkers program I'm just saying let's look at it in different ways so this is a program.
That was set up by one arm of the government congress it was set up for now we know grand total of about six weeks they've won three billion dollars that it.
And they said OK with about two weeks warning.
Noticed two weeks notice we want this agency the national highway transportation safety administration called -- Take to run this program.
So and it's just somehow found 220 employees to put to put on this program they only have 635.
And -- 225 wasn't enough they ramped up to about 12100 finding them from other agencies and stuff like that and so twice the total staffing -- this agency got thrown on to this program.
And look who's complaining it's not -- a -- car buyers are not -- car buyers got covered.
They got the rebate and of the onus is on car dealers to.
To make sure the paperwork is all filled out everything.
And suddenly we have a were having -- love affair car dealers.
You know we all feel terrible for these car dealers who are not getting reimbursed within seven days I guess right I think what we might find out we we you know that the -- is not only in on this but what we might find out when this is all over and done with his.
But if I.
-- -- if you're who expects to get reimbursed overnight when you don't get the paperwork right nobody.
Right so let's say -- and to taking six weeks for these you know what amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rebates to some dealers what -- -- take six weeks for those that come through also about the -- -- time it takes my health insurance company to send that rebate check to me you know.
When I want it reimbursed for some something that my doctor wants us trying to just killed while trying to save changes and -- -- -- -- about it but the point is.
Did you know for all these complaints legitimate that you could raise about this program -- other government programs that you have questions about this one seems ridiculous who gets -- seven days for anything.
When you when you go to buy a cell phone and it comes with a fifty dollar rebate.
How long do you expect to wait for that rebate check.
I think it's three to six months.
Now in the fine print it says.
Rebate could take three to six months for processing they basically hold on your money as long as they can -- and they give it to you at the very last moment for -- about say this is outright fraud.
A six week rebate hit the consumers already taken care of I mean this is -- this is actually a reasonable standard -- I think the government screwed up.
Is they probably did not have all those procedures now -- at the beginning.
And they -- should've said.
Expect your rebate in 48 weeks are so dealers I mean this is this is important because if you're running a business in cash is going out yeah you need did manage your cash flow so -- probably screwed up in that regard but.
You know show me -- show me a private a private industry that actually doesn't you know with no notice and.
Isn't it great when you get the three days -- least expecting it.
You've -- you know I like.
Whenever -- -- a hundred bucks a fantastic I Griffith.
-- what a it's it's great to have that perspective about the cash for clunkers program to bring some levity the conversation because it has been is that the stimulus and things -- and moving so fast.
It's been hard to get a grasp of what's going on -- -- things that we have seen him we are gonna wait to see.
Against -- retail numbers -- how much this is cannibalize other industries that loving you talked about it in in the realm of cash for clunkers and and what what is it should be expected by dealers it -- it's interesting fact is what we're seeing consumers -- class act.
Unintended consequences and I've seen other analysis Centre -- referred -- some analysis I've seen other house assists as the same thing.
It doesn't look like the numbers will be big so it's a little bit of retail spending that might shift from some of the back to school merchandise for example and things like that.
By all accounts it's going to be a lousy year for retailers and people just don't have much money to spend what we saw that -- the last number right the retail sales are thought clunkers really helping out and the bottom line number was not a little bit and it was actually got -- -- point that I think that's any anybody has expectations for a big -- bounced back in retail is going to be very disappointed.
Do you think -- -- just sitting here you're thinking about this program that.
You know he did and -- that fact that maybe you could sit at the profits for this that this should be a permanent program but something about it don't.
It's encouraging governments should -- -- subsidized private so I mean I I most feel would just like to the government get out of the whole business of having to subsidize as much the economy as it is I mean the government's already huge yesterday economy.
Cash for clunkers so if you just do some quick math.
TARP was 700 billion dollars -- -- is almost 800 billion dollars right there -- That's one point five trillion cash for clunkers was three billion dollars that's my -- at one point 5% one point 5% hitting marginal almost.
Negligible amount -- -- bailout money.
And it got some people buying something I mean remember that there's a there's a homeowner program that supposed to.
Provide fifty to 75 billion dollars to help solve that problem.
I mean nothing.
And it that -- -- -- eight inches in harms patients happening out in California because he studies cash for clunkers senate at all the different auto dealerships and easily and freeways right.
Right but the conversation anecdotally between friends is that.
I they're making offers and -- they're getting outbid their night and they can't they can't get -- hung in there throwing money trying to get homes and they can't they're wondering part of the reason is.
Is -- not.
It giving that access to credit for certain bidders are slowing down a process to get closer to that November 30 deadline could you know perhaps in the -- we -- -- regulators have.
Let my definition of a bad idea don't give anybody -- can extend past the clunkers to homes right -- your home clunker and turn it in for something cheaper can get this big government -- right.
Or co -- than it yeah I think it's safe to go back to -- original.
Blog post threat on US news.com.
Which it did does raise you -- -- me from orbit to me it raises a larger point when you talk about.
That the government do they really want to run health care because I remember the first day this broke.
Didn't you try to remember this week that we get a couple of guests on and that line was used was my multiple -- all they can't run this that can't run health care.
And I think it brings up a larger -- -- catchy it's timely but it's also misleading that there's a lot of things that are being argued now and in the country and you could disagree with.
The policies the administration or you can be on the other side agree -- but there's so much with it's there's so much extreme.
Viewpoints being thrown out there that it just it's crazy they're not they're playing are simply not true -- that that it almost it it hurts your your larger argument doesn't it.
It won't let me out let me -- water and preview of a -- I wanna write this week intimately -- Let's say we end up with a government health care program that is like the post office.
-- might be the that would be the best of all possible outcomes because if if if the service is really as bad as it is it is the post office.
People won't want to do it.
But it will I think you'll say I I don't I just want to stay with it in the private system and therefore the government you know the government option doesn't blow everybody else out of the water because it out competes and offers lowest price because people say I'd actually prefer better service.
But what is the post office it's kind of it's kind of the last choice for people who don't want to pay for FedEx or UPS.
And it kind of handles everybody and -- the court thing it does it actually does get a letter from the center to the person who receives it.
And it accomplishes a basic thing and -- but nobody else wants to get in that business -- mean -- no money in that business.
-- is actually pretty good model for government health care.
And it just takes in this post office workers again hours cat and now standing ovation by the way that's another issue those -- there was another piece of the journal that kind of having a congressman lines usually very similar saying that he compared to maybe public housing for example -- at -- inserts a roof over their head grade Health Care Reform.
But not everyone would opt to live or one saint -- that's not if it's not the best option you have the choice to pay more -- a -- or a better plan.
Which I think probably -- indication that all for the private plan to probably be provide better service -- -- something pretty good blog.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- They understood like that I -- -- I mean it hit it's still the level of excellence here I think so ovaries that standard no -- a.
Every -- I we can always make us think even if we don't want to but I know that answer coming up CC and -- to Rick Newman from US news and done we'll report.
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