Some additional comments on Matt's response to my original cash for clunkers complaints:
"This issue, while interesting, is, as you say, a drop in the bucket compared to the changes that would occur through retooling auto factories, research and development, and the private and public reorganization of health care that is imminent."
I think the cash for clunkers issue is interesting as a small test case of central government's ability to effect changes it deems desirable. This is especially important considering the imminent public health reorganization, as nationalizing health care will be an incredibly sensitive, complex, and delicate undertaking. What degree of confidence should we have that it will be well-executed, efficient, and non-wasteful? If the cash for clunkers "drop" is a sample of what's in the rest of that "bucket," we can expect "poor results."
To reiterate from my response comment: I'm reacting to this issue because it is small enough and blatant enough to be understandable, whereas the other bailouts and wars are so huge as to be incomprehensible in scope. This is small enough for everyone to understand.