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Old 11-23-2009   #91
 
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Originally Posted by dgosn View Post
El Flaco,

great well though out post regarding ROIs.

Per Cash for Clunkers:

What will the repercussion be if employment continues it's downtrend. To me it seemed like Cash For Clunkers could be a disaster. Employment is down, companies laying off, people loosing home, etc... So here comes a great program for the environment, but what happens when these people that cashed in loose their jobs and default on their auto loans. a $3500 or $4500 dollar credit is enough downpayment for most cars that were allowed assuming a person has average/decent credit. That credit with $1000 would be enough for a down payment for a person with fair/poor credit.

I am afraid that this program may have convinced people to buy a new car when they didn't really need one. This would cause people to finance cars, default, and cause a similar albeit much smaller problem as the housing bubble. I think it was a great plan for the environment, but maybe the wrong time?
Actually, I think the environmental impact is probably the least significant.
  • Miles per gallon for the vehicles being scrapped: 16.3 (Consumer Reports put the latest numbers at 15.8, but it's still close)
  • MPG for the new cars: 24.8
  • Assumed miles driven per year for each: 12,000
  • Gallons of gas saved per year: 270
  • Tons of carbon dioxide saved per year: 2.7
It's not bad- if you calculate that, of the $4500, you can directly attribute $25 per ton of carbon removed (cost of carbon credit in the US), and an average of 2.7 tons net of carbon per swapped vehicle, for a 10 year life span on the vehicle, that means that the carbon subsidy on each clunker was about $675. Fuel savings of about $800 annually back in the buyer's pockets (+270 gl x $3/gl), which goes back into the economy & it's not imported from overseas, you got another 1.8B gallons saved. Still, I think it also provides consumers with more rational way to look at car buying (efficiency versus how many cupholders).

The default rate of purchasers will be tougher to gauge, but generally speaking, I doubt the folks with poor credit can currently get loans for new cars from dealerships - I'm thinking that they still hit up the used car market. Either way, the final analysis will have to come sometime next year.

I think the timing was pretty important, at least for the car industry. As the WSJ pointed out, the manufacturers were able to move through a considerable amount of inventory that was choking them and their suppliers. You add in the saved jobs (even those that may suffer unemployment later), and the downstream effects should be a damn sight better than some of the other types of stimulus programs out there. A U. of Delaware program recently put an initial estimate at about $.60 on the dollar (not counting environmental impacts). In comparison, Bush's vaunted tax rebates were calculated to have a miserable return of $0.34 on the dollar - so we could have done a lot worse.

I don't have a reason to doubt that analyst's assessment of 21,000 jobs. It's not a particularly impressive figure in and of itself. Now, folks like Theo will want to take $3B and divide that by 21,000 jobs and shriek about that number; or divide by 700K clunkers and shreik about that number, or calculate by gallon of gas, or carbon credit, or car dealership....you get the idea. Those number as the stand individually may not be individually impressive, but collectively they matter, and the nature of the program will have echo effects long after Q3 of this year. In the end, a .3% boost to economy meant that the program put money into working people's pockets, and it had a considerable multiplier effect.

Again - a $3B stimulus program is pretty small beans. It's just higher profile because of the industry.

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Old 11-24-2009   #92
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So the question I gotta ask is- when you taunt the President for trying to right the ship.....does that makes you feel like an American? Or a Republican?
Here's where you are mistaken. I'm not a Republican and never have been. I'm a Conservative and I was JUST as critical of the Bush administration. During the last election cycle I voted for Ron Paul.

So you keep right on torturing the numbers anyway you please because eventually they'll confess to anything.
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Old 11-24-2009   #93
 
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
Whoa, slow down there Tex. You're getting yourself a little worked up.

If you want to dispute the non-partisan CBO numbers, break down the individual parts of the plans and parse out costs. The CBO's numbers state we go from 83% coverage to 96% and the plan results in "a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $104 billion over the 2010–2019 period". You may 'intuitively' know, by the power of your deep intellect, that those savings will not materialize, but you cannot abstractly assign the total cost of the plan (which includes the GOP_heralded insurance exchanges) to the 6M that qualify for the Public Option within that Exchange.

Cash For Clunkers:
Aren't you a trained economist? I think it's fairly disingenuous to focus purely on a compartmentalized unit cost-to-taxpayer, versus a reasonable stab at extended effects of the program.

This analysis is from a guy that gets a kick out of determining ROI for all kinds of things:
Results

  • Total Cars “Clunked”: 690,114
  • Total Money Used: $2.9 Billion
  • Top 3 Benefactors (by Percentage of Clunkers Sold): Toyota 19.4%, GM 17.6%, Ford 14.4%
  • Top 5 Car Models: Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Escape, Nissan Versa, and Hyundai Elantra
  • Top 3 Clunkers: Ford Explorer, Ford F-150, and Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Vehicle Type Clunked: 84% were trucks, SUVs, or vans
  • Vehicle Type Purchased: 59% were passenger cars
  • Average MPG of Clunkers: 15.8
  • Average MPG of New Purchases: 24.9
  • Fuel Economy Improvement: 58% (19% improvement over the average vehicle on the market)
  • Economic Growth: 0.3% to 0.4% in the 3rd Quarter
  • Jobs Potentially Saved: 21,000
My Analysis

Right now the news is full of 15 second clips that show car dealers with stacks of paper on their desks. They are ecstatic at all of the car sales but very disappointed with the paperwork and timeliness of payments. The lots are empty and they are even selling the cars they drive personally (a perk of working for the auto industry, of course).
So, my first question is… what did people expect? This isn’t a question of government vs private. This is a question of having to process over 690,000 applications worth approximately $3 billion in a short period of time. If they processed them extremely fast they would open themselves up to potential fraud. Each case of fraud would be one less possible car sold. So this is a classic case of “Damned if you, damned if you don’t.”
The car dealers can cry all they want. You know who isn’t crying (and you won’t see this on the news)? The car manufacturers, the auto suppliers, the people who are employed because of the car industry, and the rest of the economy that watches the consumer confidence ratings. Some car dealers were releasing estimates that 80% of their sales were under the clunker bill. The car manufacturers got a huge influx of cash to re-tool as necessary and keep themselves afloat through the recession. They depleted their inventories so that they can keep their production lines running and thus keep people working. This will cascade into the suppliers and even other industries.
Because people are staying employed, this should alleviate the unemployment foreclosure wave about to hit. They will also stay in the pool of people able to consume. Remember, at this time our economy is consumption driven. When people see a successful program like this they also see that a lot of people are spending money. This inflates consumer confidence, too.
And anyways, $3 billion is less than 0.5% of the Defense Budget. People complain about programs that they haven’t given a chance and wrote off from the start. And then when the program is over they expect instant results. Macroeconomics is slow moving… in 6 months to 1 year we can revisit this topic and see if it provided any kick start to the automobile industry and thus the economy.
Moreover, the raw numbers of those who utilized the program don't tell teh whole story either. As the WSJ noted, the program had a multiplier effect that also drove sales outside the program.
"Some people bought a new car or truck, even though they found out that they did not qualify for the program. Once in the showroom, they saw the difference between a new car and their old vehicle and managed to negotiate a good enough deal to make the purchase worthwhile. The net result: Annualized light-vehicle sales rebounded in July to top 11 million -- the highest selling rate in nearly a year.
As you might imagine, success such as this has a multiplier effect. First, the jump in sales will cause the auto makers to boost production to restock their showrooms. This will add to incomes of workers who build these vehicles, besides the incomes of those who sell them. Suppliers to the industry will benefit as well, ranging from raw materials to parts." -Marketwatch

Flu vaccine.
The well-documented reason that the H1N1 vaccine is slow to market is because this strain develops agonizingly slow in the almost 100 year old process of growing the virus in eggs. H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Delays "Frustrating," Says CDC
The CDC could experiment with 'faster' ways to bring the vaccine to market, but that could jeopardize safety. So "do you want it done fast, or do you want it done right?" Given this strain's largely non-fatal impact, the vaccine is getting out there as fast as it can. Now, I'll admit that I had hopes that the Annointed One could magically make viruses grow faster in eggs....but I didn't anticipate that you would also believe that too, Theo.

The Federal Gov't has allocated available vaccine to the states, and some states have been better at distributing than others. I got mine a month ago (infant in my house) from Boulder County free of charge, and was in-and-out in 30 minutes.

Additionally - There's been extraordinary demand for seasonal flu vaccine because folks are hyper vigilant due to H1N1. Since seasonal flu peaks in Jan / Feb, healthy people are fine to wait until November to get the seasonal flu shot. But the hype around Swine has set demand back earlier than anticipated (sept-oct), when there is less vaccine out there (because the only people who need it then are high-risk). So there's been slight shortages there.

Are there anymore GOP talking points that we should address right now?
Now thats impressive, thanks,, I read in Newsweek (yea I know me reading, funny stuff) that a 1099 will be sent out to each participant of the clunkers program, (news and figures dude) you have any reflection on this infomation?

May be alittle more control up front on the mexican flu might have helped the hype, at the very least to show some good faith on a outbreak in the furture instead of we will deal with it.

Just sayin,,
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Old 11-24-2009   #94
 
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Originally Posted by Theophilus View Post
Here's where you are mistaken. I'm not a Republican and never have been. I'm a Conservative and I was JUST as critical of the Bush administration. During the last election cycle I voted for Ron Paul.

So you keep right on torturing the numbers anyway you please because eventually they'll confess to anything.
Well, if you didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and 2004, then I apologize for that assumption. Who did you vote for, BTW? Either way - it seems to me that you're still gleefully rooting for this President to fail.

And you're right - it's so lazy of me to try to quantify things rather than to dismiss them outright out of a political bent. I'll work on that.
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Old 11-24-2009   #95
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
Well, if you didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and 2004, then I apologize for that assumption. Who did you vote for, BTW? Either way - it seems to me that you're still gleefully rooting for this President to fail.

And you're right - it's so lazy of me to try to quantify things rather than to dismiss them outright out of a political bent. I'll work on that.
I voted for Ron Paul.

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Old 11-24-2009   #96
 
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Did you like the flat tax he proposed?
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Old 11-24-2009   #97
 
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Originally Posted by Neil Gustafson View Post
Now thats impressive, thanks,, I read in Newsweek (yea I know me reading, funny stuff) that a 1099 will be sent out to each participant of the clunkers program, (news and figures dude) you have any reflection on this infomation?

May be alittle more control up front on the mexican flu might have helped the hype, at the very least to show some good faith on a outbreak in the furture instead of we will deal with it.

Just sayin,,
Yeah, I think that a lot of quality info will be gleaned from next year's tax returns, the next 3 quarters in car sales, and the industry's overall health.

As for the 'hype' of this strain, I think it's good to keep the word 'hype' in context. Are people rioting in the street because Obama issued an emergency order to waive of some requirements of Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health insurance programs? No. It simply strips away some of the bureaucracy that prevents the system from effectively triaging patients (some of whom have been whipped up by the news media - not the Fed Gov't). So, for example, a hospital can more quickly establish off-site, alternate care facilities that could help them deal with E.R. demands. It'll make sense if you have to go to the emergency room with staph infection, and you don't have to wait behind 25 people with the sniffles and a fever.

Not that caution isn't warranted- the Spanish flu strain also caused relatively mild community outbreaks when it emerged in the spring of 1917, but returned with a vengeance at the beginning of the regular flu season in the fall of 1918 (exacerbated by massive numbers of people being transported around the world for the War). Given the recent reports of Tamiflu resistant strains around the world, it's better to be vigilant than dismissive IMO.
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Old 11-24-2009   #98
 
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I voted for Ron Paul.
You wrote in for Ron Paul in 2000 and 2004?
Damn, you were Country before Country was cool.

I respect Ron Paul in the sense that he's one of the last intellectually honest conservatives; and I support his stances on the War, drug policies, and the Fed. Not on board with his stance on education, health care, abortion rights, and stem cell research. He's also a little homophobic and frames every discussion about government as if it's a conspiracy. And yet, he runs for President. I remember how Reagan said he was going to dismantle the Federal Government too.....
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Old 11-24-2009   #99
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
How about a billboard? Let's brainstorm ideas:

Hawaii...US State, or IRAN?????
Hawaii - Show us the REAL State Constitution!
What Are You Hiding, Hawaii??
Bin Laden Don't Surf....Or DOES He?????
1500 Miles from the Mainland - Closer to IRAQ!?!
Honolu-Jihadi - NOT USA!
How about: Hawaii: I can see South Korea from my backyard.
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Old 11-24-2009   #100
 
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I don't falt Ron's point of view on the government being a conspiracy you look at things that go on and the dirt they dig up to bury someone and the money they spend kinda put a spin on it. Its tough to go after a fat cat like the fed gov and then try to run and not have shots fired over your head. Tough road to ''hoe'.

They have off site extended-care facilities now in Chicago. In texass meda flex are poping up. Quick care facilities, stiches, broken bones ect. can even get you stable for the ambulance ride to the big house.
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