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This is the same government that wants to take over your health care. Many auto dealers are getting upset that the government is being very slow paying them back the money they laid out for the Cash for Clunkers program.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that some dealerships are owed more than $100,000 resulting in difficulty making payroll:

It [Cash for Clunkers] has generated the most showroom traffic they have had in months while at the same time heaping unease, frustration and worry onto the industry’s worst-ever downturn.

As of the close of business Friday, there was talk in the industry that some dealers are considering pulling out of the clunkers program altogether.

“A number of dealers have floated $100,000 to upwards of $1 million or more” on the clunkers program, said Bill Sepic, president of the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association.

Dealers say they want to see at least some sign that they will be able to recoup that money. Still others need the money to pay bills and meet payroll.

“This is not a Wisconsin problem,” Sepic added. “This is going on across the country.

“We are hearing some dealers who are either strongly considering or have stopped participating in the program. Right now, the dealers are feeling very vulnerable.”

The Government promised quick turn around but is not following through:

They rolled the program out and told us we’d get paid in 10 days. It’s been three weeks,” said Jim Griffin, who owns dealerships in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Menomonee Falls.

His dealerships have 80 pending clunkers deals. The Griffin locations had been paid for four as of Friday, he said.

The Schlossmann Automotive Group has 120 pending clunkers deals at its Honda store in Milwaukee.

“We’ve received no payment whatsoever,” said co-owner Brad Schlossmann.

Showroom traffic is still brisk, Griffin and Schlossmann said, and there continues to be significant interest in the clunkers program among consumers.

Their dealerships will continue to make clunkers deals, they said. “We’re not taking our foot off the gas right now,” Griffin said.

But concern is growing as each day passes that they aren’t paid for pending deals.

“We need that money to pay our rent, to pay our light bill, pay our people,” Griffin said.

Russ Darrow, chief executive of the Russ Darrow Group of 15 dealerships in southern Wisconsin, said his company has done more than 400 clunkers deals and has been paid for only a few of them.

Darrow is continuing to make clunker deals, he said, adding he’s confident that the government rebate payments will be forthcoming.

At Sommer’s Automotive in Mequon, four of its 50 pending clunkers agreements have been approved, said Howard Gleason, general manager.

Dealers said they do not want to discourage consumers from participating in the program, just that they would like to see the administration of the program streamlined.

The poor running of the Cash for Clunkers program is more evidence that the government should not be allowed to operate the Health Care, Energy or any other industry. The next government-run program that operates the way it is supposed to, will be the very first.

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