The funniest part is that the Democrats have the power to enact whatever they want. There is nothing at this time the emasculated GOP can do to stop them. So why is government health care, cap and tax, and every other real Democrat program not enacted already?
Probably because if they tried to enact it, the GOP would be back in power in 2012 like the Dems are now (not necessarily my cup of tea, based on the idiot leadership currently bumbling along).
So if you have unpalatable crap you're trying to feed people who will boot you out if you shove it down their throat, how do you pass it? Incrementalism. Bit by bit, you slip the shit by them until you have such a mess that the only option is either total reversal (which will be painful), or let the government take over everything.
For example, the Democrat health care plan (preliminary plan, obviously will change (grow) as it works its way through) is a perfect example of something that makes universal health care look better:
Ok, confused yet? If you say no, you're full of shit.
Strangely, this is probably why all the bills they pass now are so big that no one will read the whole thing unless they are paid to glaze their eyes over. It's easier to sneak the veggies into a kid's diet if you fry it and cover it in cheese.
But we're not kids (more or less). Things should be made plain, discussed, and decided, not sneaked, slid, and bullshitted past us.
Which brings me to the Cash for Clunkers program:
If you're not familiar, the Cash for Clunkers program basically pays people to turn in shit cars for new fuel efficient ones, up to $4500. The car manufacturers (including Government Motors and Chrysler-on-a- Crutch) benefit, because it will move merchandise (and take crappy cars out of the stream), the environment benefits from better emission vehicles (it is a positive, folks), the people buying cars benefit, because now their POS vehicle can be limped onto the lot and tossed, and their next crappiest car can become the junker. Even the taxpayers, who get hosed by every giveaway Washington invents, are only taking it in the ass for a few billion (sadly, only a few billion is a plus by comparison). And car salesmen are happy because it means sales, and therefore commissions.
That leaves the Car dealerships themselves. They're about to learn the lessons of Medicare.
First, government NEVER puts enough money onto any program, because they allocate based on political necessity, not any sane economic model. That's probably why the first billion in the program burnt away in a couple of weeks and the spendaholics in Washington are looking to throw more money at the program. They did the same thing with the government-sponsored digital converter boxes.
And while consumers get their cars and pay the rest in real time, the dealers have to absorb the costs until the GOVERNMENT PAYS THEM! This is the real problem. Suppose the number of vouchers submitted far exceeds the allocated funds (it will, of course)? Then either someone takes some hits, or the government rations either the amount paid or the number of vouchers per a timeframe.
Oh, and the used car people get the shaft, because this is just to sell new cars.
Now while this is not the biggest or worst program yet (what's a few billion between Congressmen, anyway?), it's an easily illustrated example of the creep of Washington.