REPORT: Cash for Clunkers could be dead tonight [UPDATE]

Congress allocated close to $1 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program. That's billion with nine zeros. And all that money might be gone by midnight tonight. This, according to reports by both the Detroit Free Press and Edmunds AutoObserver. We learned earlier that the C4C program has proved to be much more successful than initially thought, with 22,782 consumers taking advantage of between $3,500 to $4,500 federal duckets for their old "clunkers" during the programs first five days. In fact, so many people are taking the feds up on the deal that dealers are worried they are going to lose track of all the trade-ins. The Department of Transportation ( DOT) could announce the suspension of the program as soon as tonight. In fact, they could announce that all the money is gone and the program is over. We gotta wonder what John Maynard Keynes would make of all this.

UPDATE: As of 9:41PM EST, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that White House administration officials alerted Congress this evening that the Cash for Clunkers would be suspended, though White House officials have denied the report. Confusion is running rampant at this point, but it seems that the $950 million allocated for reimbursement of passenger car and light truck rebates is all but gone and government officials will spend Friday figuring out how to find more money for the program and untangle the reimbursement process for dealers.

[Sources: FREEP, AutoObserver | Image Source: Theo Heimann/Getty]

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