Generalization. People can't do it. Take a concept, apply it elsewhere in a different, possibly wider context. Why is that so hard?
Most of us remember how the Federal government spent the terms of 2 presidents pouring federal money into building the housing market "to help those that could not afford it." Most of this was done by convincing folks to borrow. And most of us can remember the outcome: The crash of the housing market that drug the entire economy down with it. Thanks a lot guys. You helped the poor a lot.
Now take that same idea and bolt wheels on it. We want to take a bunch of folks that have a car that is most likely paid for... and replace it with a brand new car that comes with payments. And we want the taxpayers to shoulder this burden. Convert one asset (a car) into 2 debts (one for the consumer and one for the government). Oh, and it's "for the good of the environment." Oh, please.
I've mentioned before the intrinsic value of a paid for car (or house or tractor or ....) And our wonderful government is trying to remind you that it isn't cash that's important, it's credit. Forget the whole "greatest generation" that worked hard to eliminate debt and reach retirement. Pay for it later. Save for retirement some other time. There's always social security to fall back on. And medicare. It's not your responsibility anyway.
We're told this will help the economy... by asking people to reach out and buy something they weren't sure they could afford.
And remember: it helps the environment. You know, because getting 4 mpg more is going to save the planet. Forget, for a moment, that it actually takes some amount of actual resources and even petroleum based energy to produce a car out of nothing. Forget that the ultimate in "recycling" isn't taking a car and crushing it flat: it's reusing it for as long as it is usable. Come on -- it's more "environmentally friendly" to drive a clunker than to smash it, throw it away and build a new one.
And let's not forget that the "wonderfully altruistic" concept of asking me to subsidize someone's car they can barely afford removes their old car from the marketplace. And don't forget that the old clunker was destined for someone that really couldn't afford a car. In "helping" the new car buyer, the end result is hurting the used car market -- where there are now fewer inexpensive cars for the poor folk to choose from.
Does anyone want to make a prediction on the amount of increase in repossessed vehicles in 3 years?