...CFC did nobody any favors in the long term, it simply got people to spend money many of them shouldn't, dried up the supply of good older used cars that people in the lower echelons of the earning brackets, like myself, or people who simply don't like to spend a lot of money
I don't believe Cash For Clunkers hurt the used car market much. Most of the cars that got traded in were at the end of their useful life anyway. A buddy-0-mine traded in an old Jeep wagon with 250,000 miles on it and got a new Honda Civic. I was interested so I toured a bunch of local car dealers on Sunday (when they were closed) to look at the CFC trade ins. You could spot them easy because the dealers pretty much kept them all together at the back of their lot. What a bunch of loser cars. Mostly beat to death SUVs like old Explorers and tons of rotting mini vans. On one lot I saw a Caddy Catera that I thought was very nice until I walked around it and saw that the entire passenger side was wiped out. No doubt totaled. And those were troublesome cars that deserved to die!
I just checked out the Philly Craigs List and there are plenty of decent cheap cars out there if you care to spend the time to seek them out.