The Senate stimulus bill includes up to $1500 in excise tax refund. Just when I was thinking that it might be time to replace the wife's clunker, I saw the fine print: it would apply only if you bought a new car. Also, Congress will let you deduct interest if you took out a car loan.
Why is the rebate limited to new cars? And why should we have to take out a car loan? It seems that Congress will give you a break if do what no smart consumer should do when buying a car: buy new or buy what you can't afford. These are just inducements to consumers to make poor financial decisions.
Also, the tax complexity! No, I have to wonder: is it worth the steep depreciation and warranty-related dealer scams just to get the stimulus? Is the interest-rate deduction worth not paying cash? I wish Congress wouldn't try to make tax accountants out of all of us.