President Obama's "cash for clunkers" program created few jobs and those cost $1.4 million each. And those were not permanent jobs, only for one year. Obama and VP Biden claimed it would create 70,000 jobs. It created 3,676 of those one-year jobs. Jobs could have been bought by other methods much, much cheaper. Duh.
Did it increase car sales? No. IT just moved them forward (earlier). Sales did go higher, then cratered when the program ended.
It helped higher-income people at the cost of lower-income people. After all, what happens to not-new cars? They are bought by people who need transportation who can't afford new. But Cash for Clunkers caused 700,000 cars to be junked. Some really were clunkers, but many could have served for another decade.
"But it was intended to improve the environment by getting gas guzzlers and polluters off the roads," you say. It did reduce gasoline consumption - by about 3 days worth for the country. Wow. And carbon emissions? See Detroit News:
The study found the costs for reducing carbon emissions was similar to the $3,400 hybrid tax credit, but more cost effective than the electric vehicle tax credit, excise tax credit for ethanol or renewable fuel standard.
“The cost per ton of carbon dioxide reduced from the program suggests that the program was not a cost effective way to reduce emissions,” the study found.