More money for clunkers trade-in program?

Posted Aug. 03, 2009, at 2:40 p.m.

The “cash for clunkers” program ran out of money in just a week. Is it worth $1 billion — maybe $3 billion, if Congress approves more money — to encourage people to trade in older cars for more fuel efficient ones? Does scrapping the trade-ins unnecessarily take needed used cars off the market? Would it be more effective for the government to just give money to American car makers? Or to mandate higher fuel economy standards?