graphic by twolf

graphic by twolf

John Sidney McCain III, the blue blooded husband of a beer heiress, has decided he will be the Republican face of opposition to continuance of the wildly successful Cash For Clunkers program. The man who cannot remember how many houses he owns is going to kill the program helping regular people put a decent and efficient new car in front of their humble middle class homes. From FOX News:

Fox has learned that Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, will oppose any move to take up the House bill. Around here, we call that a filibuster.

McCain told Fox earlier today, "I not only wouldn’t vote for the extra two billion, I was opposed to the initial billion. "

McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee who ran as a deficit hawk, said, "Within a few weeks we will see that this process was abused by speculators and people who took advantage of what is basically a huge government subsidy of corporations that they already own. "I can’t imagine that any taxpayer of America would have thought that the TARP, the financial recovery money, would be used now to subsidize the sale of automobiles in America."

This is a pile of bunk; John McCain is not a deficit hawk, he is a narcissistic publicity hawk and he hasn’t had enough lately and saw an opening. What is really rotten, however, is he is trying to take down the one program that has demonstrated immediate and tangible systemic benefits. In other words, the precise stimulus the economy is dying for.

Wildly successful is almost an understatement for the Cash For Clunkers program as Marcy indicated in this post. Quoting from the official website:

According to www.CashForClunkersInformation.org, 79% of clunkers being traded in so far are SUVs, trucks and vans with over 100,000 miles and most are being replaced with new passenger vehicles. The average age of a trade-in model is almost 13 years old, and the average odometer reading is approximately 138,000 miles. The most popular clunker trades are Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge and 84 percent of the new vehicles purchased are passenger cars.

This is economic stimulus at its finest. Customers are flocking to dealerships, dealerships are selling cars, service bays are active, manufacturers are moving inventory, financing shops are making loans, accessories are being sold, manufacturing suppliers are being paid and kept in business – it is one heck of an economic spur to a major sector of the economy and a fantastic lead in to the critical opening of the traditional new model year that annually starts in mid to late September.

The effect is palpable; you can see it and feel it at the local level. Drive by your local dealerships, if they are anything like here, they have sprung aback to life. Pay attention to your local advertising, both print and broadcast; if anything like here, it has sprung back to life with the wares and praises of local auto dealerships, probably the most important local advertising revenue extant. You do not have to love the car business to understand what this means to the economy.

But the stingy old narcissistic gluehorse John McCain wants none of that; he wants to kill all the economic activity I can see and feel right here in Phoenix Arizona. But, take it from a native Arizonan, that is typical John McCain, he has never cared a lick about anything but his own self aggrandizement.

It is, however, shocking in one regard; namely McCain has a history of loving sweet governmental automotive subsidy programs to the point of personally abusing them. From a post I did during the election on this exact topic, "Did John McCain Almost Bankrupt Arizona With His Electric Cars?":

Back in 2000, Arizona came within a whisker of financial collapse and bankruptcy. The cause was a corrupt state Alternative Fuels Program engineered by McCain’s best friend and political protege, Jeff Groscost, then speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. That program turned

…what was supposed to be a modest $3 million initiative to encourage the use of alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs) into a half-billion-dollar boondoggle that nearly bankrupted the state and earned it national belly laughs.

Not only was Groscost manager of McCain’s 2000 Arizona Presidential Campaign, the boondoggle legislation was the fruit of McCain’s 2000 Campaign:

Groscost, who has been a paid political consultant to presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, said the campaign was frustrated when it could not find an alternative-fuel vehicle.

Yesterday Newsweek reported that, along with his ten other cars, John McCain owns "three 2000 NEV Gem electric vehicles."

In Arizona, most NEV Gem electric cars are 2000 models sold under the Alternative Fuels program that nearly bankrupted the state. Curiously, John McCain owns three of them. Did he capitalize on the boondoggle his protege crafted to have the taxpayers of Arizona heavily subsidize three new cars?

The answer to the question posed by the earlier post is an unqualified yes. He soaks his own state when it is headed towards insolvency and now wants to deny one of the most vital sectors of the local economy, as in every state in the union, the greater auto business including suppliers, the meager funds necessary to make a running start to the new model year and a return to prosperity. Not to mention prevent the benefit to the ecosystem that will come from the removal of hundreds of thousands of gas guzzling pollutant emitting vehicles from the road and replacement with modern efficient machinery. It is the McCain way.

I have a better idea; let’s not just re-up funding for the existing program; as voters let us demand the existing Cash For Clunkers program be expanded to replace worn out senators!

Are you like me with my Senator John McCain? Is your Senator too old, too stupid, his ideas too worn out? Do you suffer from frequent policy breakdowns and betrayals? How much of a deficit would you accept to replace your clunker old gluehorse Senator?

That question should be being asked by millions of Americans who just learned that Republican Senators are planning to block one of the most popular economic/jobs stimulus programs Congress has enacted in the last fifty years, Cash for Clunkers. Let’s turn in all the creaky old goats and disable them. Starting with John McCain.

[h/t Scarecrow]