Show Me the Money

Car dealers are saying, “Show me the money” when it comes to their participation in the government’s Cash for Clunkers. Here’s the figure: $2.878 billion. That’s how much money the government owes car dealers for the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

“Out of 142 deals they owe us for, we’ve gotten paid on seven,” Lou Tornabeni of Ettleson Hyundai said.

“We had 102 cash for clunkers,” Carm Scarpace of Westfield Ford said. “We’ve been paid for one.”

With each Cash for Clunkers deal worth between $3,500 and $4,500, many dealerships are anxiously awaiting their government payday.

Some, like Advantage Chevrolet, which sold cars up until the last minute, have more than half a million dollars on the line.

“It was chaotic towards the end,” Jason Roberts said.

Roberts says his dealership sold 142 cars under the program — for a total of about $568,000 in government rebates. So far, the dealership has only been paid about $68,000 for about 17 of the deals, which means Uncle Sam still owes them roughly $500,000.

Billion Automotive cashed in during Cash for Clunkers, but owner Dave Billion is still waiting for the rest of his money from the government run program, $3.2 million.

“I wonder how long they’d wait if I owed them $3.2 million.  I think they’d be at my door or at least my banker’s door,” Billion said.

Even though Billion is beginning to get some of his reimbursement money, he’s still concerned because he says there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the program.

I think it’s not good for the government to fall behind and hurt businesses this way.

However so far, everyone is being rather patient.

Here is the thing though, government run Cash for Clunkers going slow is one thing, imagine government run health care. If a car gets clunkier in the bureaucratic process, not much happens, but with in health care and you are waiting for the government to follow up on promises and you wait and wait, in the realm of health, you could possibly only get sicker, dying, or dead. Not a good sign in this debate. Just saying.

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