Here in Cambridge, our definition of a clunker seems to be
different from what it is elsewhere. So while I know many people
who are driving a car that’s older and less fuel-efficient than
they wish it were, only one of them actually went to a car dealer
to try to take advantage of the stimulus program, and he failed.
It turns out that 15 years ago, when they made his current car,
the EPA was giving really optimistic estimates of fuel milage. So
while he gets something like 9 miles per gallon in mostly city
driving, the EPA has it rated at 18.5 MPG combined. So it isn’t
eligible for cash for clunkers.
However, I think the government stimulous programs are closing
in on a number that will make Americans do something energetic
like go to a car dealer. $600 really isn’t enough, but $3500 is
more than enough. So maybe there will be new programs giving us
small numbers of thousands of dollars for other virtuous
activities. And maybe some of them will benefit Cambridge citizens.