09/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bailout Clunkers, not Private Jets

I was in Nantucket over the weekend, and I have to say, I was impressed by the large number of private jets parked on the tarmac at the local airport. Dozens of them. It's only anecdotal I know. But that was evidence enough for me to jump to this conclusion. The rich are still doing okay.

In the other America, folks were lining up at their local car dealers to trade in old clunkers. The billion dollars allocated for the program, which was thought to last till November, was gone in less than a week. Some law makers are squeaking that they don't want to put any more money into it. Here's why they should. The gas guzzlers traded in thus far will save millions of barrels of petroleum a year. Revenue-strapped municipalities are getting badly needed tax revenues. Inventories are going down, which means assembly lines can get busy again. Think of it as a bailout. But this time the beneficiary doesn't have his own jet.

Just a minute, I'm Harry Smith: CBS News.