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City Council President Gives 'Cash for Clunkers' the Thumbs-Up

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Is this Clucker a Clunker worth some cash? / Photo by nailmaker via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Passing the measure known as "Cash for Clunkers" looms before lawmakers--and their summer recess--and has been met in the media with its fair share of critics and cheerleaders. Categorizing himself as the latter, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti published a post today on his website declaring his support--"love," actually--of the program that "gives car-buyers vouchers worth up to $4,500 for trading in their low-mileage vehicle for one that’s significantly more fuel-efficient."

Garcetti says that Cash for Clunkers is "the sort of smart, pragmatic, market-aware approach to a set of thorny problems that leverages a modest amount of government money as a catalyst that achieves several important goals at once." Those goals include stimulating the economy, stabilizing a "shaky domestic car industry," addressing environmental issues like air pollution and greenhouse gasses, lessening dependence on foreign oil, and help keep local governments functioning and employing.

But Garcetti adds that the Cash for Clunkers program isn't the be-all, end-all for the economy and the environment, despite its need for "a comparatively modest amount of incentive money," noting that swift action is key: "We need more programs that pragmatically achieve important goals by leveraging market forces with intelligent leadership and catalyzing investments. We have a lot to get done and need to be smart, and quick, about it."