Charities as Victims of Cash for Clunkers?

Are Charities going to be Victims of Cash for Clunkers asks Kay Bell of Don't Mess With Taxes.

The Cash for Clunkers program (officially CARS for  Car Allowance Rebate System ) has been hugely popular. Old gas guzzlers are being traded in for new cars that have a $4500 rebate.  An additional $2 billion was added to the program last week.

Quick Aside - $2 billion is the same as $2,000,000,000.00 - ALWAYS write out the zeros when talking about how the government is spending YOUR dollars - looks quite a bit larger now, doesn't it?  At $4500 a car, that is 44,444 additional new cars being purchased.

The program requires that the "Clunkers" are junked by having liquid silicate poured into the engine, so that it is irreparably destroyed.  These cars will then be sold for scrap (and I won't go into the pros and cons of the environmental effects of that).

The problem?  Many charities rely on donations of old cars as an ongoing revenue source.  For example, Bell says:

Animal Services of Thurston County, Wash., depends on up to $20,000 in donations each year from Northwest Charity Donation Service. The service, in turn, relies on donated cars.

But since the Cash for Clunkers program began this summer, the nonprofit's source of funding is drying up, reports King 5 News in Seattle.

These are the same charities that have already lost scores of other funding sources as a result of individuals reducing contribution due to the stock market drop, corporations redlining excesses in the budgets due to the recession, and foundations staggering under market and Madoff type unanticipated losses.  So, score 1 for the car industry, and another negative for the charities that are using private dollars to address some of the staggering needs of the less fortunate.