Conservatives, led by an army of bloggers, announced months ago that the "Cash for Clunkers" program would be a disaster; that the government could never help spur car sales. Except that, of course, the brief program moved nearly 700,000 new cars off car lots during the traditionally slow summer months.
Rather than acknowledge they were wrong, or better yet, just keep quiet, right-wing bloggers are now in pretzel mode trying to explain how the stimulus program was actually, you know, a failure.
And I'm not sure anyone has made a lamer stab at it than Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Now, what happens to the companies that make parts for these cars? Under normal circumstances, people would replace parts as they fail while keeping the cars on the road. Suddenly, the after-market parts industry has 700,000 fewer cars for maintenance. And since Americans mainly traded American cars for foreign vehicles, that parts market will not bounce back for years.
Of course! it's all about the after-market parts business. (Stop laughing!) Morrissey claims "Cash for Clunkers" was a disaster because 700,000 car owners are no longer buying spar parts.
A) Did you get a load of those jalopies that were being hauled into dealers as part of the "Cash for Clunkers" program? Those were not the type of cars meticulously maintained by owners who spent lavishly each year on spar part. (Clue: they're clunkers.)
B) Does Morrissey think the new 700,000 care purchased this summer will magically never need spar parts? And if and when those 700,000 owners, even if they're foreign car owners, need spar parts, does Morrissey really think all those parts are foreign made?
C) Does Morrissey know anything about the automobile industry?
UPDATED: Notice that Morrissey conveniently ignores this "Cash for Clunkers" nugget from the WashPost:
One auto analyst called the program a success, if only because his research showed that it was responsible for saving 39,000 jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated.
UPDATED: Hot Air Pundit also does not have a clue about auto sales:
Just like the housing market...How long until alot of these people who were driving a "Clunker" and are now driving a brand vehicle, suddenly can't afford their new car and start defaulting on the payments? Anybody? Did the Federal Government care to think that far ahead?...
Does Hot Air Pundit really think the "Cash for Clunkers" program meant that twice-burned banks loaned money to people who didn't have proper credit? That as long as people arrived on the lots with a clunker, that car dealerships were able to magically come up with financing, even for buyers who didn't qualify, and that all people had to do was sign on the dotted line and they got to drive off the lot with a car they clearly could not afford?
Seriously, is that how Hot Air Pundit thinks the program worked?
UPDATED: Hot Air Pundit points to this quote, in USA Today, from Edmonds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl as proof that "Cash for Clunkers" was a failure:
"Cash for clunkers distorted the market in a way that benefited the industry for four weeks. Now, the payback begins."
But for a guy who runs a company that helps sells cars, Anwyl doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. Because four weeks ago when less than 250,000 "Cash for Clunker" cars had been sold, this is what Anwyl told CBS News:
"After that initial flurry, I think we'll see that those deals are done and then there won't be anything else to come in after that."
When less than 250,000 cars had been sold, Anwyl was telling reporters the program was a flop and that sales would immediately dry up. When three times that many cars were sold, Anwyl was still telling reporters the program was a flop.
Hmm, I smell an agenda.