Dan Kennedy

Here’s a number you’re not likely to hear from the nightly news: According to the CNW Marketing Research Automotive Consumer Spending & Attitudes Survey of 9/09, one in six people who traded in their car during the cash-for-clunkers program already regret their decision, mostly because of the new or higher monthly car payments and insurance costs they’re burdened with. Under normal circumstances, only about 6 percent of new car buyers express such regret a month or two after their purchase.

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That means nearly 300 percent more new car buyers pushed to purchase by cash-for-clunkers are remorseful and unhappy with their decision than are normal new car buyers. And there’s more regret to come, as many of these buyers will default on payments, have cars repossessed, credit ruined. And just wait until all these already unhappy cash-for-clunkers buyers discover that the $4,500.00 “gift” from the government is taxed as income by the same federal government (and their state), and that refund check they count on each April has a big bite taken out of it. Whether it’s pushing people into homes or cars they can’t afford, government’s meddling has negative consequences.

On the other hand, Thomson Reuters has found that 80 percent of Americans are satisfied with their health care providers, 70 percent satisfied with their health insurance coverage, and 53 percent are satisfied with the amount of money they have to pay out of pocket for care. Further, the most common complaints or requests for reform have to do with portability of health insurance, which can obviously be cured without the big-footed destruction of every aspect of American health care proposed by the President and Democrats in Congress.

But why would you do that when you can create 50+ new federal bureaucracies and who can guess how many czars? How can they pass up the chance to preside over a certain quagmire of insufficient supply, shortages of doctors and nurses, and the departure of private insurers forcing tens of millions of people to the so-called public option? Why opt for responsible, rational reform when you can have care rationing, cost controls at the expense of patient-doctor autonomy, and skyrocketing costs and deficits – not to mention theft from the Medicare, which is already racing headlong toward bankruptcy.

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur and contributor to the Business & Media Institute.