Crank up the volume
Nice to report a feel good story on the economy for a change.
I speak, of course, of the Cash For Clunkers program that was hugely over-subscribed, exhausting its initial $1 billion funding in a mere six days.
At an average of $4,000 per carbon spewing, global climate heating clunker, that means 250,000 new cars vanished from on-lot inventories. The House immediately pledged another $2 billion to the program, subject to Senate approval. This means another potential 500,000 new cars sold, which depending on overall inventories, would necessitate increased manufacturing output, perhaps even the opening of some closed plants. At a minimum, that would require extra shifts and laid off workers being put back to work and significant chunks of their paychecks filtering through their local economies.
Presumably, the multiplier effect of this particular program is many times greater than the $5 billion taxpayers forked out in bonuses to the 5000 employees of taxpayer bailed out financial institutions like CITIBANK and Goldman Sachs, the focus of today’s lead story in the NY Times titled “Bankers Reaped Lavish Bonuses During Bailouts :
Nine of the financial firms that were among the largest recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008, according to a report released Thursday by Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York attorney general.
At Goldman Sachs, for example, bonuses of more than $1 million went to 953 traders and bankers, and Morgan Stanley awarded seven-figure bonuses to 428 employees. Even at weaker banks like Citigroup and Bank of America, million-dollar awards were distributed to hundreds of workers.
The report is certain to intensify the growing debate over how, and how much, Wall Street bankers should be paid.
Success stories like the Cash For Clunkers program has the potential to undermine the Rethugs’ whole anti-govt meme. Of course, given the Obama Administration’s irresponsible bailout of the Wall Street Banksters, that is still a pretty big hill to climb.
But it’s a start.
[Image found here.]