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Cash For Clunker Sequel: Dump The Pump

Given the success of "Cash for Clunkers", the government will introduce a sequel that one observer called "Dollars for Dishwashers". That's not really the name, but it's better than "Clunkers, Part Deux".

It's reported that Uncle Sam will fund a $300 million program via the stimulus plan that will allow you to swap energy-sucking appliances for new ones that carry that "Energy Star" seal of approval. If car dealers thought that getting paid was hard, the sequel plans to allow each state to get in on the act. In other words, while in NY, your air conditioner might fetch a $200 rebate, in Wyoming, it may only get you $150. The Department of Energy wants to focus on ten categories of appliances, but states could petition for an expansion of that list. The rebates are likely to be $50-$200 per appliance.

After hearing about this and then the Toys-R-Us "Cash for Kiddie Clunkers," I started to feel left out. How about a program for women who need new, more efficient shoes for the fall season?

Under the "Dump the Pump" program, we'll trade in our beat up, bull market Manolo Blahniks for more sensible, recession-style flats. For every pair of shoes that we trade, I'm thinking we should get a $50 rebate. The struggling retailers will love it and we would be helping to reduce the cost of podiatry care. It's just a thought.

This post originally appeared The Financial Decoder blog on CBS Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
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