The original allotment of $1 billion of taxpayer funds for the federal CARS (aka “Cash for Clunkers”) program nearly was exhausted in less than a week. The amount designated was only enough for at most 286,000 rebates, and that would be the case only if each vehicle qualified at the lower $3500 level.
This means either:
1) The federal government could not foresee that one in every nine hundred Americans of driving age just might happen to own a vehicle worth significantly less than $3500 (let alone $4500) and still consider themselves in good enough financial shape — rightly or wrongly — to purchase a new car at essentially a 10%, 20%, or even 30% discount
2) The government did know how quickly the designated money for the CARS program would be depleted, yet still implemented it at an insufficient level of funding because they had the fallback of “finding” even more taxpayer money to continue the program.
This is, of course, the exact same government millions of Americans want to have an even bigger hand in — if not completely take over — health care, a field that has many more facets, involves thousands of times more money, affects many more people, is exponentially harder to predict, and frankly, is much more important to the nation as a whole than any vehicle rebate system.
A vehicle rebate system they managed to bungle, mind.