Killing Opportunity Scholarships Is The Real Clunker

Lindsey Burke /

Last week, Congress rushed to infuse an additional $2 billion into the “Cash for Clunkers” program on the grounds that it is wildly popular. “I’d like to see that program extended…I hope we can get it done,” stated Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). “I think the last thing any politician wants to do is cut off opportunity for somebody who wants to get a rebate to buy a new automobile,” stated Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Durbin and LaHood were not alone in their sentiments. According to the Associated Press, Vice President Joe Biden said the program is an “unqualified success”:

I think it would be hard to tell…the thousands of people who have just traded in gas guzzlers for more efficient cars that this is having no impact.

If, as the “Clunkers” paradigm suggests, popularity is the metric by which success is determined, politicians should be scrambling to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Since 2004, more than four students have applied for each available scholarship, substantiating the popularity of the program. (more…)