'Cash for Clunkers' Needs a Funding Fill Up

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A Senate vote this week will determine whether the popular Cash for Clunkers program will receive extra funding. But many are no longer sure this is a good use of tax dollars.

The Cash for Clunkers program sold a staggering 250,000 new cars, and burned through its $1 billion of funding in less than a week.

"I feel like I have been clunked on the head to be honest with you," said customer Johnny McQuane. "I feel sad and upset. I feel its unfair because some people can do it and we can not."
    
It was a busy weekend at automobile dealerships across the country as drivers lined up to trade their clunkers for for a $3,500 to $4,500 rebate and a new, more fuel efficient ride.
    
But many potential customers left empty-handed.

"We had thought it qualified based on the qualifications on the website but come to find out we just missed the mark just by a couple miles very disappointing," said customers Robert and Rebekah Jarman.
    
However, the disappointment didn't end with drivers. Dealers liked the boost in business, but hated the paperwork.  The government website used to process sales was often overloaded.

"Now look here, the site's opened up, and Internet Explorer cannot display the web page," dealership owner Rick De Silva explained.
    
Despite the difficulty, many hope the Senate will follow the House's lead and approve an additional $2 billion to keep the Cash for Clunkers program on the road.
    
But there is growing debate if the program is worth the cost.

"This is the best economic stimulus money that's been spent to date," said dealer Sam Ajayi. "It's been doing fabulous things for our business."

"My children and grand children are going to pay for these cars and we're helping auto dealers while there are thousands of other small businesses that are not getting the help," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

But no matter what the Senate decides on additional revenue, the White House said the deals made this weekend will be honored.

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