Car Loans, Main Street, Sweet Pork

Where are we headed?  Here’s a clue for ya from MotorTrend:

Are you the type who regularly checks your credit score and stays on top of every little change at the major credit bureaus? If you’re like many Americans, the answer to this is probably no, but you might want to start being a little more diligent. Recently, Chrysler, Ford, and GM all made new-car leases harder to get, and it looks like loans are next. Reeling from the current credit crisis, financier GMAC now says it will lend money only to customers boasting a credit score of 700 or above.

Corporate greed, unsound business practices and government meddling are becoming painfully obvious at the ‘main street’ level. 

Auto lenders are tightening their standards to put themselves at less risk that’s good, but shouldn’t that have been the practice in the mortgage business before we got into this mess?  

How’s that a main street concern?

So what does this mean for people in the market for a new ride? Considering that, according to credit bureau Experian’s 2005 National Score Index, the average American boasts a rating of 678, those planning to buy a GM car or truck will need to double-check their credit to see if they qualify. Estimates are that GMAC’s move could kill one in four car loans, and Experian says that in 2008 customers with credit scores of 700 or better accounted for 74.3% of all auto financing purchases. This is up slightly from a year ago, when this same group made up just 71.1% of all new-car business.

Less new car loans available?  The need for fewer new cars.  The need for fewer cars?  Fewer workers needed to build cars.  Fewer workers needed?  Fewer workers mean fewer paychecks and less spending.  Less spending at the grocery store, clothing stores, restaurants, etc., etc.  Fewer workers there or businesses closing down.

Government needs to get out of the bailout business, it can only make things worse and prolong this mess.  What government should do is cut taxes on everyone, stop spending tax dollars on crap and get out of the way.

What crap?  Well, for Fiscal year 2008, my state of Ohio has received $211,698,486.00 in earmarks.  Projects include Fire Fighters’ Hall, Columbus (National Park Service – Save America’s Treasures) and Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens’ programs for at-risk youth, Akron (Discretionary Grants – Juvenile Justice Programs).  Those may important programs, but are they taxpayer programs?  Couldn’t those projects have sought funds elsewhere?  Like, maybe from private donations?  Are those project important enough to add to the collapse of our economy?

Citizens Against Government Waste identifies pork barrel (oh, I’m sorry, it’s  “sweeteners” now) projects from the U.S. Senate within the 2008 Federal Budget here.

Here’s a rundown of those calculations:

Number of projects – 10,286

Total amount of projects – $18,261,200,000.00

That’s just the Senate.

Number of Senators with zero earmarks –

Coburn Oklahoma R
McCain Arizona R
McCaskill Missouri D
DeMint  South Carolina R
Feingold Wisconsin D

As Governor Palin said, when you’re in a hole, quit digging.  I don’t think that the U.S. government could cut spending, let alone quit spending during the bleakest financial times.

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Filed under Duct tape zone, In the news, Issues, Politicians

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