We need to get Congress out of the car business. It has no idea what it’s doing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Adam Lee, of Lee Auto Group in Maine, says his dealerships have struck 100 deals under the new “Cash for Clunkers” program, which offers a maximum incentive of $4,500 toward a new car, if you trade an older and inefficient car to be junked.

For doing 100 deals, Lee told the Journal, he’s waiting for $450,000 from the federal government, which has yet to be disbursed. We’re confident he’ll get his money. Lee has fulfilled his end of this crackpot bargain that Congress has created. So have many dealers across the country.

So much so, in fact, that the $1 billion appropriated for “Cash for Clunkers” was sucked dry in days, forcing the House on Friday to approve an additional $2 billion to keep the program going.

Somebody, please stop the insanity.

Cash for Clunkers is working as an incentive to buy cars — and amazingly so. But this doesn’t stop the policy from being fatally flawed, by persuading people of probably limited means — hence the owning and driving of clunkers — to purchase new, expensive vehicles through the assumption of debt.

The program’s incredible activity, though, has underscored another flaw, this one economic. The government has now spent $1 billion in taxpayer dollars to purchase junk cars, up to $4,500 each, despite the value of these cars being collectively, and greatly, far less than the incentive.

And now, the government is poised to spend $2 billion more, to buy more cars that are worth about nothing — they’re being junked, after all — for $4,500. This is lunacy.

Maine’s congressional delegation, which voted for Friday’s additional clunker funds, is fawning over the program’s swift utilization as evidence of its value to, in the words of Rep. Mike Michaud, “help families afford the purchase of a new fuel-efficient vehicle” and sustain manufacturing jobs.

Maybe. Or maybe the program is an astounding success because taxpayers are being played for suckers. There is surprise that a government program offering 10 times the value for an old inefficient vehicle is a rousing success? We’ve written before that there are no car dealers in Washington. Apparently, there are no business people either.

(One note on promoting fuel-efficient vehicles: the market for them was robust even without cash for clunkers. Did we really spend a billion dollars to get people to buy cars they were buying anyway?)

The Senate should not allow the next $2 billion to be spent. The taxpayers have been bled enough to buy worthless assets. We already own all of the country’s toxic mortgages. We already own the rancid, unprofitable parts of General Motors. We’ve spent billions on things when nobody else was offering a nickel.

And now, taxpayers should spend another $2 billion on junk cars? Please, enough is enough. One billion dollars are gone and this program is still a clunker. Let’s rebuild the American automotive industry and its dealer network on solid footing, not on expensive, nonsense gimmicks.

No more money for cash for clunkers. These prices are insane.

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