When new programs are unexpectedly halted

A friend of mine told me she just traded in two old cars for two new ones and got an amazing amount of cash for some seriously clunked out cars through the government’s Cash for Clunkers program. Then just today another friend was headed off to the local dealer to do the same (only with just one car). And then, I read that the government already is in search of more funds in order to avoid suspending the fledgling program – not even a week after its introduction. Last month, Congress approved the Car Allowance Rebate System program to help with auto sales and get some of those gas guzzling, air polluting clunkers off the road. In just about six days, 22,782 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million of the budgeted $1 billion had been spent according to a story by the Associated Press. The concern was that the backlog and paperwork channel may have actually spent more than the program allows.

How does something so great turn into a PR nightmare? What if you were planning on going this weekend to buy a new car? Don’t most people car shop on Saturdays anyway? PPP – piss poor planning. In trying to do something good for the economy, the program developers didn’t anticipate the quick response from consumers nor the paperwork trail from dealers to the government that the program would create. A lesson in thinking through your plans from beginning to end – and troubling shooting and anticipating before implementing.


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