" Economist Alan Blinder helped popularize the idea of a scrappage program, and the moniker "cash for clunkers", with his July 2008 op-ed piece in the New York Times. Blinder argued that a cash-for-clunkers program would have a tripartite purpose of helping the environment, stimulating the economy, and reducing economic inequality." (From Wikipedia)
This was a good idea, but there was inadequate appropriation in 2009. Put money into the economy by buying something that lots of people have. Even better would be to buy labor from the unemployed to build infrastructure. How about a high-speed rail line across the country? Instead now the FED buys bonds to help the banks, and the no-nothings want to reduce government spending in favor of austerity.