Manzullo: Congress should expand ‘Cash for Clunkers’
From press release
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) said July 31 the federal government should dramatically expand the popular “cash for clunkers” program by removing all conditions and giving vouchers to all Americans who buy a new vehicle. Such a program would energize our economy, re-start the auto manufacturing supply chain, and put Americans back to work, he said.
Manzullo voted Friday, July 31, to shift an additional $2 billion in previously-approved federal funds to the original cash for clunkers program, which was frozen late Thursday, July 30, after officials realized the original $1 billion appropriated for the program was exhausted after just a week in operation (it was scheduled to run until Nov. 1).
The original program gives prospective car buyers up to a $4,500 voucher for trading in a gas guzzler (18 mpg or less) in exchange for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the initial $1 billion cost of the “Cash for Clunkers” program generated $5.5 billion in economic activity, including substantial tax revenue for state and local governments.
While he supported the $2 billion extension of the program Friday, July 31, Manzullo supports a much more generous vehicle voucher program focused on bolstering manufacturing in America, ending the recession, and putting Americans back to work. Manzullo introduced legislation earlier this year to give Americans a $5,000 voucher to purchase a new vehicle, no strings attached. The New Automobile Voucher Act of 2009 (H.R. 1606) would have provided a one-time, $5,000 electronic voucher from the U.S. Treasury at the point of sale of a new vehicle through the end of 2009. It would have provided vouchers for 15 million new vehicles (original “Cash for Clunkers” bill covered 250,000 new vehicles).
Every 1 million in new vehicle sales has the following impact on the economy:
• Creates 60,000 jobs (10,000 at vehicle assembly plants; 50,000 at suppliers, auto dealers, and other businesses);
• Provides $750 million in tax revenue to the federal government;
•Provides $1.4 billion in sales tax revenue to states; and
• Saves federal government $1.4 billion in unemployment payments, food stamps, job retraining and COBRA health subsidies.
Manzullo said: “The huge interest in the cash for clunkers bill shows vehicle incentive programs can go a long way to strengthen our economy and put Americans back to work. But the existing program needs to be expanded to include all vehicles. My bill would have revived automobile manufacturing and sales, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work, and restoring the tax revenues our state and local governments need to continue providing services to the people.”
The automobile industry and its suppliers account for 13 million American jobs, 20 percent of all U.S. retail sales, and billions of dollars in state and local sales taxes. The drop in U.S. vehicle sales from 16 million in 2007 to 13 million in 2008 to a projected 9 million in 2009 has been one of the leading causes of America’s economic downturn and huge job losses.
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