There are a lot of people out there who no doubt breathed a sigh of relief recently, when the “Cash for Clunkers” plan was extended. Among them are people who want to buy new cars, and salespeople who want to sell them the new cars.
If you haven’t heard about “Cash for Clunkers,” you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, or possibly you’ve just been on vacation. It’s the government program that is handing out $3,500 or $4,500 to those who trade in old gas-guzzlers for brand-new, shiny, fuel-efficient automobiles.
The theory is that if people get a little monetary encouragement to buy new cars, they’ll also add their own bucks to the equation, thereby propping up our failing economy and bringing smiles to the faces of people who own car dealerships.
In addition, it’s getting those Hummers and Excursions and whatnot off the road and reducing our nationwide dependency on foreign oil, as well as putting potential polluters out of commission. All worthy goals.
There was only one problem with “Cash for Clunkers.” It was too popular. The program, which was supposed to last through November, ran out of money last week. So Congress went back to the national printing press and came up with another $2 billion for it.
Sen. John McCain was heard to say sarcastically that if the United States was going to offer “Cash for Clunkers,” it should also offer “Cash for Refrigerators.” (Actually, there is some kind of program for this, believe it or not.)
But that got me thinking. Maybe the government could offer some other kinds of programs to put away polluters and save valuable resources. Here are a few modest suggestions:
• Cash for Cows. It’s a fact that cattle are a major contributor to global warming. By giving rebates for old, used-up, methane-belching bovines so that farmers can buy new calves, you can potentially save the polar ice caps from fading away entirely.
• Cash for Cupcakes. As much as we all love cupcakes, they’re really bad for us. By buying these back from bakeries, it would save everyone a few extra pounds and all that sugar that’s infesting our bodies.
• Cash for Computers. Everyone knows our economy runs on technology these days. And hey, who among us doesn’t think they deserve a new computer? Cash for Computers will keep all that nasty lead and other elements out of the landfill, provide new computers for the masses, and no doubt will increase Internet surfing speed exponentially.
• Cash for Cuckoo Clocks. The world would benefit from a few less cuckoo clocks. Speaking from my own personal experience, they’re incredibly annoying. Getting rid of the cuckoo clocks will cut down on noise pollution and kitsch clutter. The only rule is that those who receive money from this program may absolutely not spend it on new cuckoo clocks.
• Cash for Clowns. Let’s get those old, inefficient, non-entertaining clowns off the streets and away from our children’s birthday parties by giving moolah for the encouragement of brand-new funny guys in white face and big red shoes. More laughter will do us all good, don’t you think?