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Bumps in the road for clunkers

August 17, 2009

Re "Too bad for true clunkers," Aug. 13

Nothing has changed in Washington when it comes to Congress and lobbyists. The "cash for clunkers" program was a great idea that was good for people, our environment and the auto companies. But somehow the lobbyists for the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. convinced Congress to put age limits on trade-ins. Money talks, and the poor and middle class lose.

Many people who have cars older than 25 years need a cash infusion so that they can purchase a more economical car that is more fuel-efficient and produces less pollution. So not only are the car collectors being protected, they are given the OK to pollute. Something is wrong with this picture.

Debbie Wright

Rancho Santa Margarita

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When I first heard the clunker cutoff was 1984, I thought that meant the vehicle had to be older than that. I rushed down to trade in my 1979 Dodge van that gets a whopping 8 miles per gallon. The dealer said, "Sorry, it's too old." I said, "That doesn't make sense." He said, "That's right, it doesn't."

Why exclude older cars from the clunker program? The lobbyists' argument is malarkey. Anyone with a true classic or antique is not going to junk it for $4,500. This would have been the perfect opportunity to help people rid themselves of their older, smoky gas-guzzlers -- the true clunkers.

Ryall Wilson

San Diego

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I hardly think that the older vehicles making up a tiny portion of the total vehicle fleet make a significant difference in air quality when compared with industrial and other forms of pollution.

That leaves the new puritans' and regulators' resentment of the fun hot rodders and classic-car enthusiasts have with automobiles as the primary motivation to regulate the sport out of existence. After all, saving the planet is serious business that doesn't leave room for freedom, self-expression or fun.

Mac Bernd

Arlington, Texas

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