BUTTE, MO — Due to a loophole in the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program, local dentist Halman Johnson was able to bring his wife of twenty-two years into the local Ford dealership and walk away with $4500 cash and a 2010 Escort Cabriolet hybrid.
The “Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009,” passed by Congress earlier this year, was designed to get inefficient, low-mileage polluters off the road, but according to Alonzo LaMonica of LaMonica Ford, the rules never specifically stated it had to be an automobile. “It specified mileage and age, but never indicated anywhere in the legislation that it couldn’t be a person.”
Dr. Johnson may not be the last to capitalize on the loophole.
Upon hearing of the dentist’s trade-in, Congress gathered in an emergency session to issue a temporary moratorium on issuing cash for spouses, domestic partners, and parties to civil unions, but the ban doesn’t take effect immediately. Consumers have until Friday to bring their significant others to their local dealership and claim their rebate.
LaMonica said he hopes the ban isn’t permanent. He spent nearly fifty-thousand dollars on an upcoming advertising campaign, urging customers to “Trade in Your Wife for a Little Black Escort.”
“If this program ends,” he said, “that money’s down the ol’ crapper.”
Perhaps a bigger problem for LaMonica was what to do with Mrs. Johnson. “We couldn’t just drop her into the junk heap with the rest of the trade-ins,” he said.
LaMonica did the next best thing: he bought her a one-way ticket to Capitol Hill.
“Those congressmen will know what to do,” he explained. “They have plenty of experience dealing with other men’s wives.”