What “Cash for Clunkers” Was Really All About

Credit: Tony Fischer

You may recall the Obama-era “Cash for Clunkers” business. It was a very dirty business and a key element of Obama’s declared intention to fundamentally transform the United States – though to this day many people do not understand just how key it has proved to be.

The plan was sold to the public as a means of “stimulating” the then-flatlined American car industry, which was almost literally (and in GM’s case, actually) bankrupt. The idea was to get people to buy new cars by paying them to throw away their old cars.

The cars were not traded in. Not even “parted out” – i.e., their major components (such as their engines, in particular) removed in order to be re-sold to someone in need of low-cost replacement parts. They were destroyed. Engines dosed with silica and then run until they seized – so as to render them unusable.