As Cash For Clunkers Trades Pile-Up at the Junk Yards, Meet "Cash For Appliances." You Asked For It? You Got It. Toyota!

Travis's picture

Cash for Clunkers, although the Obama Administration will hail it as the "savior" of the automobile business, and it did infuse many a dealership with traffic, and paperwork- it was a disaster in the making.  Some would have called it "controlled chaos" but, that's anything involving the public on any mass scale, and on another note...  That's the car business and politics pure and simple.  

But as I read about how junk piles are overstocked with CARS trade-ins, with "C4C" written on the soon-to-be cracked-up windshields, with breakers and recyclers unable to keep-up with the paces of parting, sorting, crushing and shredding- recycling for the betterment of our world; really, there's more garbage to come- Cash for Appliances.

The South Carolina Budget and Control Board's State Energy Office announced this past Thursday that it will use some $3.9 million, their share of $300 million federal stimulus funds for new appliance rebates according to an article written by, a Sumpter, South Carolina-based publication. 

The "Energy Efficient Appliance Program" is expected to launch soon (though more official state sites say by Christmas) and will give $50 to $500 in rebates to customers willing to trade-in old appliances for newer, more efficient ones.  Sure, more spending and consumership in the name of the environment.  After all, it's "green" and it obviously works, right?

In an article written by Annabelle Robertson, a staff writer at The Item, John Clark, Director of the South Carolina Energy Office is quoted as saying "This is a great opportunity for South Carolinians to save money at the store and every month when they open their utility bill;" don't you love it when politicians and State officials get involved in sales?  Hey, at least it's a trade for them to fallback on, right?

For small appliance items that can be bought and carried-out of the store, the rebate will be instant.  Larger appliances that have to be professionally installed, will have their rebates withheld via an online database until forms are filled-out and mailed back- they'll be tracked electronically.

The idea is to get consumers to buy new, efficient Energy Star(tm) compliant models- which is basically most new appliances, but I stand to be corrected on this.  Shit, if my 46" Bravia is- just about anything is these days. 

Rebates are based-on cost differences between standard and Energy Star(tm) models, for more on the Energy Star(tm) designation- logon to

South Carolina customers will get rebates from stores who participate in the program and must turn-in their old, inefficient appliances to be recycled.

Yes, there will be more garbage to recycle. 

It will be interesting to see if any lessons were learned in the Cash for Clunkers program, and how they will apply to Cash for Appliances.  Paperwork backlogs, delays in compensation, etc, etc, could wreak havoc on the appliance store floor- another arena of controlled chaos if you've ever shopped a new household appliance. 

Rebates range anywhere from $50 for dishwashers and refrigerators to $100 for clothes washers to up to $500 for a new furnace.  For a complete rundown on the South Carolina Cash for Appliances program, logon to for details. 

Since each state will be administering its own program, they're free to select which appliances to include, and the respective rebates to put on them.  Also, trading-in old appliances for recycling may or may not be mandatory according to state. 

States had until just last week, October 15, 2009 to submit their application for funding and plans to the Department of Energy (DOE), which hopes to have monies available by November 30- just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

So, as Washington hails Cash for Clunkers as the program that "saved the automobile business," putting hundreds of thousands of new "green" vehicles on the road, Cash for Appliances just may very well be "the program that saved Christmas."  Just wait- it's coming.

And the real beauty of the program- all those empty refrigerator boxes make great houses for those struggling to make ends meet- as unemployment mounts, soaring past 10% by Christmas, for sure.  Makeshift Hoovervilles for the 21st Century- but let's call them Obamatowns.

But the Obama Administration will have to spin that one too.  I mean, look at all the low-cost housing they will be creating?  Relax, I'm not totally "hating," just a little skeptical, for sure.  

That's politics.  And that's sales.  "You Got It...  Obama."

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Cheeky Bastard's picture

And for our next government program, we are going to

















buy the moon ...

Cursive's picture


They'd never propose buying the moon.  The moon could be a vital new source of metals and minerals.  Therefore, its purchase would represent something of lasting value.  Such an expenditure for valuable raw materials would never be allowed.  Alaska is so 19-th century.  Entitlements and Chinese-sourced trinkets are so 21st-century. 

Cheeky Bastard's picture

you actually make a good point .... the government doesn't like its ROI to be positive .... so yeah .... screw the moon .... buy Mercury ....

Sqworl's picture

More TARP money for GE...everything made outside the US and they pay no taxes...Unfecking believable!!!

deadhead's picture

I don't know about buying it, but the usa just bombed it!



whoopsing's picture

Still no new's about definate H2O...Hmm

Anonymous's picture

We are hanging onto our old Appliances (14+ years old) because they work, paid for and nothing wrong with them.

We dont think the amount of savings will be worth it.

It's a wash.

Finally but not last, how many kilowatts are we gonna use per month with the most frugal appliances versus the monsters we are running now. You tell me where the savings are. Especially living under threat of cap and trade.

Anonymous's picture

We actually saved a lot of money when we replaced our air conditioner unit in Florida. Our electric bill was cut in half.....

Anonymous's picture

Not only are the operating savings small, but they are probably eaten up by the huge cost of transporting, disassembling, and shredding the old cars, not to mention the hazardous waste problems. Those big hydraulic shredders don't run on solar power, you know.

geopol's picture

In the interest of eugenics.. CFW= Cash for wives.

E pluribus unum's picture

Cash for boners - get a $5 rebate for every hard-on you get. To ensure that it is a government program, you can only jerk off with it.

glenlloyd's picture

How is it that we can be blessed with so many idiots....I just don't understand how anyone can believe that these short term initiatives do any good. In the end you're right back where you started but you've spent a bunch of money giving out subsidies to people who likely didn't really need appliances to begin with.

I am so not impressed with the losers who come up with this shit.

geopol's picture

You just don't understand modern economics,,


Small illustration: Let's use a billion dollars shall we, we as citizens give the government a billion to build a highway, make it an interstate. The cost analysis brings the project number to approximately 800 million. Now where talking, I see a 200 million dollar savings. Keep in mind this is the quote from the contractor Perini Corp. As we examine the counter party risk in additional cost due to the fact that this road traverses several townships. Town A 100,000 building inspector bribe. Kickback to the selectmen, five in all "tie breakers" 50,000.00 each. This gets repeated twenty times with varying success. Total 7,000.000. This money is being released on an sub project complete basis. Federal graft, waste= 470 million.

So as you can see by doing some elementary math the definition of this project could be described as "Giving youself a blood transfusion with 50% of it falling on the ground.


I hope this clears it up...



Anonymous's picture

BO plans on installing used appliances in all his newly purchased through the Fed rental property. You didn't get the memo?

Daedal's picture

Best of all, the used appliances and cars get destroyed instead of being donated. Thanks, Obama, for 'saving' the planet and fucking over the poor -- all at the tax payer expense. Genius.

geopol's picture

You sound bitter,,,

Whats wrong with all those poor stiffs going into debt. VELOCITY OF MONEY BOY, VELOCITY OF MONEY

Daedal's picture

You mean velocity of debt? ;-p. Believe it or not, I was referring to the poor that would be receiving the appliances and cars, not the poor that will be buying them. Though, these days, I suppose the distinction is non-existant.

Racer's picture

The only people to benefit will be those who could have afforded it anyway and more than likely just brought forward their purchases! So overall, no benefit, just like the bridges to nowhere effect in Japan.


torabora's picture

By denying the poor used cars, BarriO is putting them back on their feet and into public transportation. Remember, it sucks to not have money.

Anonymous's picture

It's the Obama two-step. Enrich the plutocrats while impoverishing everyone else to keep them dependent on government.

jefftheshark's picture

For politicos, "Cash for Appliances" is the natural consequence to years of unsuccessfully trying to implement their "Cash for Hookers" Program.


If the trickle down benefits of prostitution had only been properly explained to the masses, we would have seen how far Elliot Spitzer was actually ahead of the curve in stimulating the economy.



geopol's picture

Thaks for the tip,,, I'm running for office, on the cunnilingus ticket..

Anonymous's picture

Well, I think you have it licked!

Daedal's picture

"President Obama announced he wants to give every senior citizen $250 next year. This is part of his 'Cash for Geezers' program." --Jay Leno (Oct 19, 2009)

Racer's picture

How many years are people going to have to wait before their extra money they have handed out so they could save more on electricity and water bills before they will see a return? and what about all the extra water, electricity it cost to produce those new goods in the first place? Add that into it and I would suggest that it is far more green and cost efficient to just keep the old one!!

Anonymous's picture

Depends on how old your appliances are, especially refrigerators. Refrigerators doubled in efficiency around 1981 and then doubled again in the 90's, I believe. We've been living for 7 years in a 1928 Boston apartment that was converted to condo circa 1978. I just figured out a couple weeks ago that our perfectly fine frost-free Whirlpool fridge dates from 1979 and has been costing about $500/year in electricity to run, a full 50 per cent of our total electric bill. In hindsight I should have replaced it 7 years ago and would have been way ahead by now.

Anonymous's picture

problem is you are assuming -- that the poor can afford electricity at all-- some need all the money to go for food -- NOT the energy efficient fridge with ice dispenser!!

people who can not afford food are the ones that need help!!! they will not be buying the new fridge

again the people who are being helped here are not the ones that need help!!!

alien-IQ's picture

Just another small step on the road to mandatory Gaia Worship.

Marley's picture

As opposed to mandatory Xtrian, Islamic, Buda, or Hindu worship?  My personal favorite is Fauna; Goddes of fertility.  Fauna festivals are fun if you can get in.  :)

blueskyscottsdale's picture

The mayor of Chandler Arizona is on a China junket courtesy of a mayors association in China. He reports from China "I'm amazed at how many smart entrepreneurs there are here in China". Evidently while we battle over "cash for toasters", China's entrepreneurs are gearing up to really kick our ass. Cash for toasters is the best we can come up with? If this country has become so dumb, we deserve to have our asses handed to us.

Check out this movie trailer and then ask yourself "Exactly how far behind is America?"

E pluribus unum's picture

Actually "cash for appliances" is a direct ripoff of the the Chinese program where they give cash to people who buy appliances

Howard_Beale's picture

Actually, China gave out vouchers only--no money.  And for those without the facililities to use these appliances, the had a new storage unit.

ToNYC's picture

How far are we from C4I? Cash for Intelligence. This has got to be Obama's Canard. What about the Donation of Cars to Charities? Destruction of useful vehicles for the ostensible purpose of bringing Demand Forward is a pinnacle of short-sightedness akin to destroying crops and livestock to increase the value of the remainder. Cash 4 Whatever will serially and seriously retard demand for the object  of and speculating on the next Program. What about the rat bounty in old China bringing about rat breeding for the bounty? Are these people smart or cynical? Probably both but they know from social greases if not graces.

What if they rewarded for for paying a mechanic to make a clunker the best it could be and donate it to a place where those who needed a car could find one and then you got the benefit. Destruction blows and sucks and the crowd that thought of it should be lost and the shovel buried.

Andrei Vyshinsky's picture

Who was it, Whirlpool or Amana who paid off John Clark and/or those to whom he reports for this little cutie? Could anything be more obvious? To say nothing of the intrinsic merit of the idea from an environmental viewpoint - if it actually has any - why appliances and not something else, long lasting batteries, for example? Man, the ruling clique is absolutely shameless, whether at the state or federal level! I know, someone's going to tell me that Clark is a "Christian". So was Sanford, if I recall.

JohnKing's picture

Dear Santa Obama,

Please give us Cash for Christmas.


Your Non-Banker Subjects



time123's picture

Yes, there was chaos during the C4C program, as potential buyers did not know exactly if it is off or still on, and how long it is going to last. Some people rushed to buy a car just to make sure they are not missing on a great deal (4.5K off an 18K car was a cool 25% off the price of a car!)

My guess is that it helped not just the automobile companies and car dealers, but also insurance companies that all of a sudden started getting $1K / year premiums rather than 0.3K / year on the old car. Also, State government who collected on taxes for the new car.

But it was a short term boost, only to be followed by a medium term bust as anyone who wanted to buy a car already did. The same is likely with this appliance program.


market timing signals at


mellmeister's picture

Still waiting for cash-for-hookers, or C4H, here.

loup garou's picture

Think of the potential for fraud and abuse.

This definitely requires the appointment of an Appliance Czar

Zippyin Annapolis's picture

We here in Annapolis are anxiously awaiting the "Cash for Cabin Cruisers" program--we are told it is on Larry Summers' desk. It will be capped at say--$100,000. And the jobs impact is off the charts. Florida especially. And we all know they need it no?

CharlesBronson's picture

I am waiting for real cash for cash.......

geopol's picture

Screw that,,, 1/10 oz gold eagles for FRN's


Spread the word, spread the word

Anonymous's picture

With the world economic slowdown, the scrap generated by the clunkers will probably sit in the scrapyards for a long time before it is melted down and reused.

Anonymous's picture

Whirlpool is shutting down American production and moving to Mexico, perfect timing?

Anonymous's picture

Whirlpool is shutting down American production and moving to Mexico, perfect timing?

brown_hornet's picture

Put all your old frigs,furnaces and water heaters on my curb.  Some illegal in a 20 yr old F150 will be along in about 5 min to pick them up.

Anonymous's picture

F^^^ Whirlpool and buy a Speedqueen from Wisconsin

Prudent Monkey's picture

here it is, the result of supportive economic policies for the global automotive industry (view of South Korea, in Italian language):