The federal government has invested gobs of greenbacks in its Cash for Clunkers program that ends Monday. Too much, some naysayers say. But I say why stop with cars?
Our lives are filled with clunkers - most of which are being ignored by government programs that subsidize everything that moves, and a few things that don't.
Cash for Clunkers, of course, is the government plan that offered motorists up to $4,500 credit toward the purchase of a new, fuel-efficient car when they trade in a gas-guzzler to be scrapped.
My car, while not well, missed the ''clunker'' designation. But I do have other clunkers lying about the house, and I'm sure you do, too. Now that the cars are crunched, where are our programs?
My computer is a fine example. While most of my friends have fancy flat-screens or laptops that weigh about the same as a dozen sparrow feathers, I still jump-start one of those clunky PCs with a monitor big enough to double as a 30-gallon goldfish aquarium.
Obviously, this oversized power drain cannot be very ''green.'' For the right incentive check, I could be convinced to help the environment by upgrading to a more efficient model - such as one that will let me play better video games.
Come to think of it, my home is a plethora of clunkers.
My toaster is a clunker. It used to lightly toast my bread, the way I like it. Now, if it's not busy making clacking noises or smoking, it charbroils my bread. This takes far more energy than necessary for my taste.
Maybe Cash for Clunkers could front me $10 for a new toaster. Better yet, how about $1,000 toward a new grill? With a new grill, I could burn more than bread, and all at once, too. This improves efficiency.
The carpeting was a clunker when I moved in 13 years ago. It's even clunkier, with all kinds of bumps, bruises and bald spots. The problem with replacing it has been the cash - but not if I can get the federal government to declare it a clunker.
My furniture clunks. The main theme is late 20th century hand-me-down.
Come to think of it, forget the furnishings. Let's scrap the whole house. I could trade in my homestead for a condo where someone else mows the lawn. Make the program good enough, and I'll buy a houseboat and move to the ocean. Then no one has to mow, saving the ozone.
Why stop there? How about a Cash for Clunkers program to trade in inefficient spouses? I bet this would be a very popular program.
Do you have a spouse who won't do the dishes, help with laundry or build the shelves he promised to do three years ago? He's a clunker, a guy whose carbon footprint is left mainly on the foot rest of his La-Z-Boy.
I want to go on record as saying that I definitely do not have a clunker for a spouse. But my wife, who just walked by with a mop and bucket, said she can think of someone who does.
Anyway, Washington, that's my plan for the next - and more worthwhile, I might add - Cash for Clunkers program. I'll be waiting right here in my easy chair for my checks to arrive. My wife says to hurry.
----- Join Cole's Cash for Clunkers Lobby at firstname.lastname@example.org.