The Austin American Statesman is reporting today that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will vote against providing more funds for the “cash for clunkers” program. Senator Hutchison said that, “we don’t even have a report on how much has been spent on this program, nor reliable estimates of future requirements. It would be irresponsible to pass on another $2 billion with so little information”
Governor Perry agreed and his spokesman, Mark Miner, said that, “after years of deficits, earmarks and bailouts, this is yet another example of the federal government offering a program it can’t pay for.”
This prompted the Hutchison campaign to fire back at Gov. Perry and criticize him for supporting a similar program in Texas which provides assistance to low-income families to replace or repair vehicles that don’t meet federal emission standards.
I’m personally against any program that takes money from one group to give it to another for any reason; the federal and state cash for clunkers programs are no exceptions. However, I can’t fault Gov. Perry for supporting the program because the federal government via the EPA has mandated emission standards that states are forced to comply with. And unlike the federal program, according to Mr. Miner, the Texas program is “responsibly funded.”
It is disingenuous for Sen. Hutchison to criticize Gov. Perry for supporting a program to help his state comply with federal regulations and being fiscally responsible in implementing the program especially since, as Michael Quinn Sullivan points out in his his blog, Sen. Hutchison seems to be a proponent of federal mandates.

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