In light of widespread media reports that the cash for clunkers program’s budget was exhausted ($1 billion) in just four days, Governor Steve Beshear has written a letter to President Barack Obama urging further support of the program.
Here’s that letter:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
In the midst of the worst recession of our lifetime, you and Congress recently created the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), an excellent program that encourages Americans to trade in their old car and purchase a new fuel efficient vehicle, by receiving a significant cash rebate. I applaud your efforts to not only work to remove “clunkers” from the road to improve our environment, but also to invigorate our struggling auto industry. In Kentucky, we followed your lead, and just last month passed our own legislation providing tax incentives for Kentuckians who purchase new vehicles.
However, I was distressed to hear from media reports that the CARS program has run out of funds. This news shows how tremendously successful this program has been, and illustrates the great need to find additional funding to keep it going.
Read the rest after the jump…
In Kentucky, the nation’s third-leading producer of vehicles and home to manufacturing plants of Ford, General Motors and Toyota, we have nearly 80,000 jobs tied to the auto industry. Just this year, we were chosen by Argonne National Lab to be the site of an advanced battery technology laboratory, and we are competing for stimulus funding for an advanced battery manufacturing facility. In addition, Kentucky is home to over 300 auto dealerships. These small business owners benefit directly from CARS, and their tax revenue helps greatly with Kentucky’s and the nation’s economy. Finally, the purchase of new cars not only stimulates our auto industry, but in Kentucky, like many states, it helps pay for new roads, which are critical to economic development and public safety.
I urge you, working with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Congress, to find funds to keep this critical program going. I believe this program is key to turning around our economy. Its popularity shows that Americans are ready to buy new cars. Let’s provide them the help they need to do that.
Steven L. Beshear
cc: Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker
The Honorable John Boehner, Minority Leader
The Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader
The Honorable Jim Bunning
The Honorable Ben Chandler
The Honorable Geoff Davis
The Honorable Brett Guthrie
The Honorable Hal Rogers
The Honorable Ed Whitfield
The Honorable John Yarmuth