Commentary: Cash for Clunkers did its job

Some critics are saying that the immensely popular Cash for Clunkers program was just a temporary surge for the auto industry, and it won't last. Well, every day can't be Christmas.

We doubt that many people associated with the auto industry — designers, manufacturers, advertisers, sales personnel, you name it — hold ill feelings toward Cash for Clunkers. After all, it resulted in nearly 700,000 new car sales during the past month.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers said the program will boost economic growth in the third quarter by 0.3 to 0.4 percentage points because of the increased car sales in July and August. An estimated 42,000 jobs will be created or saved during the second half of the year, the White House said.

“Manufacturing plants have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bought fuel-efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

Some might gripe that of the top four cars sold under the program, three were Japanese — the Toyota Corolla, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Camry. The fourth was the Ford Focus.

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