Gov. Tim Pawlenty expressed his opposition to the popular 'cash for clunkers' program today.
Speaking on his weekly radio show on WCCO-AM, Pawlenty said he thought the effort to get old cars off the road was based on politics, rather than sound economics. He said it also may have some unintended consequences.
"There's a lot of poor people, there's a lot of ministries, there's a lot of others that could probably benefit from easy access to an older, cheaper car. But that market now is going to be impacted, or impinged, by what amounts to a series of political decisions," said Pawlenty. "And that is always the danger when government intervenes and starts having the Congress or the Legislature start making decisions, instead of the marketplace."
Pawlenty's comments come a day after the U.S. Senate voted to put another $2 billion towards the trade-in program. Both of Minnesota's Democratic senators voted to continue the cash for clunkers program. President Obama signed the measure into law this morning.
Pawlenty's opposition comes in spite of the fact that Minnesotans are eager users of the cash for clunkers program.
As of earlier this week, Minnesota ranked fourth in the nation in the number of vehicle owners who have requested cash for clunker vouchers. The federal government reported that more than 7,500 Minnesotans had requested vouchers worth more than $26 million.