Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cash for Clunkers: 136 Pages of Rules and Regs; How Many Pages for Government Health Care?

Webwire -- The United States Government has recently released the “Cash For Clunkers” program, 2009. There has been some confusion as to how to go about claiming the $4,500 check. First of all, there is no “$4,500 check,” at least not one the public will ever see. The entire transaction must be done at the dealership, and if the transaction qualifies, the dealership will receive the sum direct from the government.

How does the dealer know if the transaction qualifies? The government rules, requirements and procedures are outlined in this 136-page government document, whose title is enough to make your head spin:

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 512 and 599
[ Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0120 ]
RIN 2127-AK53
Requirements and Procedures for Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program

Here's an excerpt of just one part of one of the 136 pages:

As set forth in section 599.200(c), dealers that have been contacted by mail by the agency and that wish to participate must register to do so electronically, using the authorization code and following the instructions provided in the mailing, and fill out an electronic screen providing, among other things, name and contact information and bank account and routing data for receiving payment under the program. The agency will review this information to ensure completeness, and verify that the dealer has a still active franchise agreement (based on the continuously updated list provided by OEMs).

Section 599.200(d) sets forth the procedures for approving and disapproving registration applications. Section 599.200(d)(1) provides that, where an application for registration is approved, the agency will notify the dealer of approval by email, providing a user identification and password with which to conduct transactions, and add the dealer to the list of registered dealers on its website at http://www.cars.gov. Consumers may consult this list to identify registered dealers in their locality. Section 599.200(d)(2) provides that, where an application for registration is rejected, the agency will notify the dealer by email, and provide the reasons for rejection. The agency anticipates that, unless rejected, confirmation of registration and addition to the list should occur within 2 to 4 business days after a dealer submits the required information.

Section 599.200(e)(1) provides that the agency may automatically revoke a registration as a matter of course for termination or discontinuance of a franchise but the dealer’s registration may be reinstated upon a dealer’s showing of proper and adequate license to sell new vehicles to ultimate purchasers. Section 599.200(e)(2) states that the agency may suspend or revoke a dealer’s registration under the procedures in Section 599.504. Section 599.200(f) requires a registered dealer to immediately notify the agency of any change in the registration information it submitted or any change in the status of its State license or franchise. Finally, section 599.200(g) accommodates transactions that occurred after July 1, 2009, but prior to the publication of today’s final rule, by permitting registration after a qualifying sale or lease transaction has occurred.

MP: If there are 136 pages of mind-numbing government regulations for a $4,500 car rebate, can you imagine how many pages of regulations will be required for a government-managed health care system?

21 Comments:

At 7/29/2009 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Hell! When I originally heard about this "benefit" on the news weeks ago I knew that it would be something that sounds good but in practice pretty worthless -- which also sums up the Democrats to this point. (Mind you, the GOP didn't do much better.)

 
At 7/29/2009 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks I smell a comeback for the big law firms. Somebody's got to read all this drivel.

 
At 7/29/2009 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe somebody actually wrote all that drivel.

 
At 7/29/2009 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting my car w/ this credit this week (I don't feel too dirty about it either, since I regard it as a partial refund of the $12K in taxes I paid last year). Of course, I was going to buy a new car anyway...

I'm hearing the $1B of funding will be gone by next week. Most of the dealers I spoke to were totally inundated with orders and befuddled as to how to process the cars.

--JB

 
At 7/29/2009 8:11 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

One person's "mind numbing rules" is another person's "clearly spelled out rules."

As a representative for government compliance for our membership, I find that I can save time/$$ and grief by using the documented experience of others who are often experts in their field. Why waste time reinventing the wheel if someone else has already found a solution to a problem and addressed it? At the same time, I see nothing wrong eliminating old and useless information.

I don't care if a codebook, a set of rules and regulations, or a labor contract is a million-pages-long if can find what I need when I need it. How many pages should a dictionary have? How many Webpages should exist? How many books should be in a library? My answer: enough to do the job.

Not to be argumentative, but I found the Cash for Clunkers CFR easy to use. That's the trick to this stuff, use it like a dictionary, and don’t try to read it front-to-back like a novel. I found out in way less than 1 minute I don’t own a clunker :) I did not need any of the other 136 pages after that, but the information is further available for others to use if they need it. I would rather have too much information than too little information.

 
At 7/29/2009 12:02 PM, Blogger QT said...

What a great idea! Encourage people to take on new debt at public expense.

Has this government learned nothing from the housing bubble, the sub-prime mortgage debacle, and the melt-down of the financial sector due to excessive levels of leverage? Is there any idiocy to which more tax dollars aren't the answer?

Breaking news: In a Savings Shocker, the Government Discovers That Paper Has Two Sides

 
At 7/29/2009 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We turned in an old pickup for a new car Monday, but were forced to sign a form saying if the government wouldn't pay, we'd be responsible for the $4,500 or the deal is off, and we go back to square one.

Today, Wednesday, we got a call saying their application to the NHTSA was rejected because they listed the trade as a "factory rebate," not a "CARS rebate." So it will be at least Friday before the new request for CARS rebate goes in. They said they had 60 like it.

Why would a reputable dealer misstate the kind of rebate on the purchase order?

 
At 7/29/2009 11:26 PM, Blogger QT said...

Anon.

You bring up an excellent point. Looks like more people should be reading the 136 pgs. of fine print.

 
At 7/30/2009 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point of the article is a good one which should not be ignored; especially in light of the fact that the biggest clunkiest entitlement program so far is under discussion.

The point being the cash for clunkers is or should be a fairly straighforward easy thing to implement. Turns out it's not as easy or straightforward as it was touted to be (like a lot of thngs this admin thought they were gonna do but which turned out to be more complicated or worse than they thought).

When government gets involved in the private sector it always turns out bigger, more expensive, and less efficient; despite President Obama's wishes and hopes to the contrary.

In fact, I heard this morning that very few if any dealers have been reimbursed for the clunkers they have managed to sell.

This is government when it pokes in where it doesn't belong.

SilverKait

 
At 7/30/2009 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mean to flood the thread ... but I do have more thoughts on this. Sorry.

So with my previous comment in mind, I'd like to take an issue in which I think Government might be right for the job and see how it did - the Veterans Admin.

A wonderfully run program which takes care of our vets as if they were Congressmen. The facilities are always clean, the care and doctors are always top notch and timely given in nature . . . what? What's that you say?

The Veterans administration is not all those things in regard to veterans healthcare issues? Gee, who'd a thought it?

The truth is, even in regard to the very men who have defended it's very existence . . . government falls short despite the pretty language and good intentions of those who put the program into place.

SilverKait

 
At 7/30/2009 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight.

In regard to a relatively small and easy program ---> The government implementation of the Cash for Clunkers program - things aren't going just exactly the way "they" thought it would. In fact, seems to be mired in red tape and delays putting some dealerships on pins and needles if not on the edge of bankruptcy.

In regard to the Veterans Admin, a program a bit larger and a lot more cumbersome irt gov regulations and incompetence (or maybe it's just apathy or the result of discouragement on the part of those who want to do the job but are hampered?)...

Even reading the regs doesn't help in this case, because the gov entity itself is like a brick wall at times in the Vet Admin. Where's the money, why do vets fall through the cracks, how come some of the hospitals were little cleaner than a nest made by rodents? +shrug+

Let's go a little larger. The Stimulus bill. Where's the money? What happened to the emergency jolt we supposedly needed? What is it going for? . . . Here's one recent beneficiary of that government run entitlement program . . . one among many "unintended?" results of a government run program... mmmm.
Talk about a stimulus package.

 
At 7/30/2009 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for talking so much ... this is my last comment.

The bottom line is, if government can't (or won't, for whatever reason)if gov can't adequately manage these smaller programs, what makes anyone think it will handle our healthcare decisions and treatment any better or cheaper by implementation of what will probably be a much more complicated monstrosity?

What if instead of waiting for the reimbursement of dollars they are clearly due, what if those dealers were patients waiting for heart surgery, tumor removal, antibiotics, hiv meds, abortions? Think that won't happen? Mmmm...

The thing is, the money is there for the dealers ... but with national healthcare as libs propose it, there is no guarantee the money will be there, in fact as far as I am aware not one proponent of it has denied there will be rationing and waits which mirror and /or exactly recreate those which have gone on in almost every previous government entitlement program. :(

SilverKait

 
At 7/30/2009 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter (high school teacher) just handed in her 1998 4WD Explorer (14 mpg) for a Acura TSX 4 banger (21/30 mpg)and had to furnish everything but DNA to get the CFC $4500 discount. Apart from that, I think this is one gov't program that might actually work, and quickly, for economic stimulus, and in a sector that had a significant impact on the great depression. However, I wonder if there is more economic benefit to Japan than to the US... I may be missing something but GM, Chrysler, Ford = 3 and Toyota,Nissan,Honda,Mitsubishi,Izusu,Subaru,Suzuki..that is 7 that come to mind, there may be more. My last two GM vehicles were mf'd in Canada and Mexico, so I'm wondering... what do we need to do for manuf to succeed here? I'm not convinced it has all that much to do with unionism.

 
At 7/31/2009 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm.... so if the government decides for some reason to not pay or if it, oh, if it runs out of money, you are on the hook.

Sounds like a good deal. Or maybe not. Still, that's the chance you take when you allow the government to put it's foot on your neck through government funded entitlements.

SilverKait



At 7/29/2009 5:17 PM, Anonymous said...
We turned in an old pickup for a new car Monday, but were forced to sign a form saying if the government wouldn't pay, we'd be responsible for the $4,500 or the deal is off, and we go back to square one.

 
At 7/31/2009 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the gov't deal does not go through, it is worse than just calling off the deal. You either have to pony up the $4500 or the deal is off PLUS you have to pay rental on the car you return to them. They may give you your clunker back with the engine fused, so if it was worth $1500, it is worth nothing at all now. I don't think there is anything in there that penalizes the dealer if he goofs up the paperwork - there is always binding arbitration...
- High School Teacher's Dad

 
At 7/31/2009 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like an obvious thing some things need to be fixed irt healthcare in the U.S.

But, the whole system does not really need to be trashed. It works for most of us. I say fix what's broken, don't break what works.

What I mean is, if I have a broken finger, under my personal healthcare regime, I see a doctor, I get xrays, find the break, set it, and let it heal.

But if Obama et al were to decide what to do in the case of my broken finger, they'd cut my arm off; possibly both of them in order to avoid future broken fingers.

With all the influence Obama has/had he could do some real good.

Instead though, off goes the nose to cure the allergy, and out goes the baby with the bathwater. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

More's the pity that our own government representatives have bought into that kind of false remedy.

SilverKait

 
At 8/01/2009 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to Walt G. If you accessed this information from your house, the government now has your IP address. Also, you have now given the government access to ALL the personal information on your computer as long as you have the computer. Aren't you glad you know you're not eligible for the clunker, but indirectly allowed the government to know more about you than what they did before you tried to get the rebate.

 
At 8/01/2009 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Search under Campaign for Liberty. There is an alternative

 
At 8/06/2009 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello High School Teacher's Dad
Wow. I see your point. It's a bit of a risk; and if someone isn't into risk-taking it might be a better deal to pass on this one. Still, seems to be working for lots of people.

On another point, you say there don't seem to be penalties for the dealer if he goofs up the paperwork? Aside from having sold his soul to the government you mean?

Unwillingly in some cases, but the result is the same --- the dealer himself is suffering from neckunderfoot syndrome no matter how happy he is about the "higher sales" he may be enjoying. As a result I'd say any mistakes he makes should rightfully be addressed to his employer --- hmmm?

+as an aside as I ponder the convolutions of this situation...--> Depending on one's pov, that person would either be Obama or yourself (or me). We supply the funds to Obama and he passes the working capital on to the dealer ... so which one of us is the employer anyway? And who is ultimately responsible for the flubs which will undoubtedly result from this program? (:o\

SilverKait


High School Teacher's Dad said:
If the gov't deal does not go through, it is worse than just calling off the deal. You either have to pony up the $4500 or the deal is off PLUS you have to pay rental on the car you return to them. They may give you your clunker back with the engine fused, so if it was worth $1500, it is worth nothing at all now. I don't think there is anything in there that penalizes the dealer if he goofs up the paperwork - there is always binding arbitration...

 
At 8/06/2009 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello again, Hello High School Teacher's Dad,
Another thing I heard ... and you seem to know a few more particulars than I do so you might know whether it's true or not without my having to do the research myself?

I heard dealers (in general? or just these dealers in particular?) expect to make about 2,000 dollars on each car they sell in a normal market. Now, IF the money comes through from the government, they are making twice that amount on each car ... and the extra is being paid for by your and my taxes (in the form of the "government" check for 4000dollars). That doesn't seem right. Companies who we have already bailed out for billions of dollars being bailed out once more to the tune of $2000 per car sold?

Some of that "extra" 2thou may be eaten up by the expenses surrounding the disposal of the car (if they are disposed of) and by the paperwork and red tape itself mmm? But still ... doesn't seem right that your tax dollars and my tax dollars --- money we made by working our own jobs or running our own business -- is being used to offset their business expenses. +shaking my head+

SilverKait


High School Teacher's Dad said:
If the gov't deal does not go through, it is worse than just calling off the deal. You either have to pony up the $4500 or the deal is off PLUS you have to pay rental on the car you return to them. They may give you your clunker back with the engine fused, so if it was worth $1500, it is worth nothing at all now. I don't think there is anything in there that penalizes the dealer if he goofs up the paperwork - there is always binding arbitration...

 
At 8/25/2009 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

+sigh+ Many, many dealers still have not been paid. They thought they were going to be paid within 10 days.

So I have to repeat a question/observation I brought up previously:

What if it was healthcare and doctors we were talking about, instead of cars and dealerships? . . . "What if instead of waiting for the reimbursement of dollars they are clearly due, what if those dealers were patients waiting for heart surgery, tumor removal, antibiotics, hiv meds, abortions? Think that won't happen? Mmmm..."

~SilverKait

 

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