After months of haggling, Democratic lawmakers have forged a bill intended to stimulate auto sales by paying as much as $4,500 to consumers who trade in their vehicles for more fuel-efficient new cars and trucks.
The resulting cash-for-guzzlers bill, heavily influenced by environmentalists, will help improve fuel economy but will not stimulate the economy as effectively as an earlier cash-for-clunkers proposal would have. That plan emphasized the age of the vehicle being traded.
But given the circumstances of politics, this is the best we can expect. Congress needs to pass it quickly so the president can sign it. The industry needs this legislation now.