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The House speedily approved shifting $2 billion more from the stimulus bill to the "Cash for Clunkers" program which enables people to receive up to $4,500 in trade-in value for an old car toward the purchase of a new vehicle. The program had been given $1 billion in stimulus money at the start of the week.

Proponents think the program is going very well. They maintain many Americans want to buy new vehicles that are more fuel-efficient. Getting old gas guzzlers off the streets is good. Furthermore, the auto industry benefits through increased demand.

Opponents aren’t as sure. They first wonder why $3 billion from the $787 billion in stimulus money was suddenly available for the project. They question how much other money is sitting in a pre-approved slush fund.

There’s still doubt whether the first billion is actually gone. Opponents say surveys were taken at select dealerships to determine early demand, then extrapolated to the entire country. It is telling that the program was announced only after the federal government–and by extension, U.S. taxpayers–took controlling interests in Chrysler and General Motors. Via

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