by Ashley Phosphate
Oconee – The wildly successful cash for clunkers program is being opposed by the state’s legislative leaders. The program, paying up to $4500 for qualifying cars to reduce the price on new automobiles ran out of funding last week.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to add $2 billion to the program and the U.S. Senate takes up the measure for additional funding today. But South Carolina’s legislative leaders, including Governor Mark Sanford, met in the upstate today to hash out plans to oppose any more of the federal dollars coming into the state.
“It was bad enough with the stimulus dollars in the first place, but now people are taking their cars in and the federal government is doling out cash for their older, less fuel efficient cars like we were in red China or something,” said Rep. Bobby Harrell, speaker of the house. Harrell is upset with what the program will do to his hopes of offshore oil drilling along SC’s coast. “If they get those cars off the road, what’ll happen to the oil industry? We’re counting on getting money for oil, not money for old cars in this state.”
Sanford, who recently returned from a European vacation with his family, spoke out publicly for the first time since his extra-marital scandal broke in June on something other than his romance.
“Larry and Bobby are dead on with this one,” Sanford said. “Government has to stop intervening and let the markets decide how much these so-called clunkers are worth instead of dictating from Washington. If the government decided how much an old car is worth, what’s to stop them from deciding how much a good divorce lawyer is worth, too.”
Others, including gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Larry Grooms simply are fed up with the new mentality of the federal government.
“Why don’t those bozos in Washington quit with their ridiculous schemes while we’re still ahead,” said Grooms. “It’s high time we cleansed ourselves of this notion that the government can keep spending and spending and spending itself out of a hole. I pledge, if elected governor, that I won’t accept any federal money to buy a car or to buy a house or to buy a computer or anything. I want to spend my own money, not Obama’s money,” he said.