How is Cash for Clunkers like the sub-prime mortgage fiasco? They are both government programs that end up tempting people to buy what they cannot afford and will most likely lose. Here's how it works. Many who buy cars on this program will end up having their government payment to the dealer disapproved. When that happens the dealer will come after the new owner who, in many cases will not have the cash or credit to pay the difference. The car will be repossessed, the person's credit ruined, and their trade in (destroyed by the dealer by federal mandate) will not be returned. Sounds like another disaster.