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Too poor to bail

Originally posted at Eclectablog.


Graphic by Anne Savage

Not that we were expecting the federal government to do for a failing urban giant like Detroit what they did for big corporations like GM and Chrysler or monstrous banks like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. But this right here? This is dickish:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is pushing an amendment that would bar the federal government from bailing out any city in America, including Detroit. [...]

“There's no good reason why Detroit or any other American city ought to receive a taxpayer-funded bailout from Washington," he said. "I hope that the normal bankruptcy process will be allowed to go forward, and I hope that the bankruptcy follows the rule of law, and the Obama Administration resists any temptation to meddle in the process and play politics." [...]

Cornyn is trying to include the amendment as part of a transportation and housing appropriations package the Senate is currently considering on the floor.

The text of the amendment specifies Detroit by name, but would also apply to any other bankrupt municipalities. The amendment would bar any federal financial relief to a struggling city, including lines of credit or other types of financial aid.

The amendment would also go so far as to bar any federal funds from a bankrupt city until local officials have "demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the solvency and generally sound financial condition of the local governmental entity."

Cornyn's not the only one, by the way:
Cornyn is one of at least five Republican senators — the others being Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and David Vitter of Louisiana — to propose amendments in recent days to spending bills prohibiting funds from being used to, as Hatch put it, “make sure taxpayers across America are not put on the hook for a bailout of Detroit” or other cities.
I get it that Cornyn and his pals don't want to help our struggling city, help Detroit has not, in fact, even asked for. If Detroit goes down, it's not going to affect him or his corporatist pals in any discernible way. It's not like Detroit fills their campaign coffers like the Big Banks do so there's no reason to hope they'd give a squat about the city.

But outlawing it?

Yeah. Dick move. Major, major dick move.

Also, barring "any federal funds"? Does that mean all grants and federal funding currently in place go away? Does that mean Detroit can't avail itself of existing programs designed to help urban areas, struggling or otherwise?

Hell, let's just put a bullet in Detroit's brain and be done with it if that's what you're all about.

Maybe "dick move" is too nice...

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks, Your Government at Work, and Michigan, My Michigan.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Not to mention - it's still a (21+ / 0-)

      union town and these GOP scumbags love seeing anything to do with unions being brought down.

    •  But they did pay the taxes that fund GOPers... (6+ / 0-)

      salaries.  Oddly, though, the GOPer politicians conveniently forget that little fact.

    •  Hanity and other rightwing bloviators... (8+ / 0-)

      are already working on the meme that Obama said he didn't let Detroit go bankrupt but look at it now.

      A republican governor sticks the knife in and the US congress twists it.

      Allowing an American city to go bankrupt is beyond reproach.  Making the American people who have worked their entire lives for the pensions they are entitled to, stand at the back of the line to receive their earned benefits behind the banks that caused the crisis to begin with is down right evil.  

      If this does not enrage the general public then we can officially declare empathy dead and walk off the battlefield because this class war is over and our side's surrender terms make the Treaty of Versailles look like a charitable gift receipt.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:00:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, that's the thing. Detroit is an integral (3+ / 0-)

        part of America, as is any city. Banks are just business's.
         

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

        by ZenTrainer on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 09:26:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Other American cities have gone bankrupt. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward
        Allowing an American city to go bankrupt is beyond reproach.
        For a list of municipalities that have gone bankrupt, see here.

        And Detroit's mayor recognizes that Detroit won't be the last city to go bankrupt.  A number of publications are going to be focusing on the other cities who have similar financial situations and are eyeing what happens in Detroit.

        It's a sad situation, of course, for the people who live in a city that is in a situation where it does not have the money to keep the various economic promises it has made.  But the situation is not unique to Detroit.  

        •  Detroit is the largest municipality to go bankrupt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          and the only one which was initiating the process of building a $00 million dollar sports arena while simultaneously lobbying to ensure creditors get paid before pension holders.  That makes it unique.

          Including Jefferson County in that list is very revealing.  Jefferson County Alabama went bankrupt after "Too big to jail" banks got caught bribing local officials:

          The citizens of the Birmingham, Alabama area years ago got themselves into trouble when corrupt local officials borrowed billions to pay for an elaborate new sewer system (which they'd been forced to build as a result of an EPA lawsuit). The local pols then doubled down on their corruption and stupidity when they ran to Wall Street to refinance the County's debt into the future, signing the citizens of JeffCo up for billions more in finance charges.
          The bribed local officials all got jail time but guess how much jail time the banks got?  And even though the banks bribed the officials and the whole process was corrupt, guess who still has to pay the very theives the billions of dollars of debt they were illegally saddeled with.  Yes, the banks drove them into bankruptcy and walked away with all of the towns money, all the employees pensions and faced zero consequences.  Yea, I am sure the banks learned their lessons and will never do that again.

          I guess you are right, screwing american cities and their workers out of their retirement benefits and their treasures is not unique.  It is disgusting and immoral and a travesty but I guess it is not unique.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:57:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And the federal government should (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward

            bailout Detroit so it can build that stadium?  I think the people in the rest of the country who pay the taxes that would go to that would revolt . . . .

            There are a number of other cities who are in similar situations, although not yet as dire, because (at least in part) they promised health care and pensions to city workers without funding those commitments.  

            •  The point is, they promised the pensions... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              without funding them.  They used the money for things like sports stadiums rather than what they were committed to use it for.

              I am sick of people blaming General Motors' hardships and other corporation's financial woes on people's pensions.  If they would have funded them in the first place (as they were supposed to), it would not have been an issue.  They want to eat their cake and have it to.  They want to take peoples defferred benefits that was part of their wages and spend it on tax breaks for the wealthy or road contracts for their brother-in-laws and then when the time comes to pay their debt to the people who worked their entire lives for it, the workers have to get in line behind the miscreants.

              The federal government should sue the state of Michigan for the misappropriations of the people's funds and audit them for evidence of malintent.  If Michigan can claim that they have the authority to supplant democratically elected leadershio in a city or county for emergency management, the federal government should have the same right at a state level.

              At the very least, all pension holders in the city of Detroit should file a class action law suit for putting their guaranteed benefits in jeapordy while investing the people's money in an unproven investment.  That should at least win them an injunction on the stadium.

              "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

              by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 11:36:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is exactly the point. (0+ / 0-)
                The point is, they promised the pensions...
                without funding them.  They used the money for things like sports stadiums rather than what they were committed to use it for.
                "They" are the people elected to office by the people of the city of Detroit.  The rest of the country should not bear the cost of that.  If the federal government rescues the city of Detroit from the irresponsible actions of the people they put into office, doesn't that mean that the federal government is telling all cities that, if the elected officials act irresponsibly with the taxpayers' money, the federal government will bail them out?  

                If the federal government does provide financial aid to Detroit in some way, it needs to come with significant "strings" -- assurances that (1) the city will make the changes necessary to put it on a stable financial path for the furture; and (2) the funds are basically low-interest loans that will be paid back to the federal government (i.e., the taxpayers).  

                •  Actually, Detroit is under "Emergency Management" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil

                  The governor appointed the emregency manager displacing the democratrically elected officials.  The city is is partison Democratic so they did not elect a republican governor, the overall state did and then the city's democratically elected leadership was basically fired by the governor.

                  March 14th  –Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appoints corporate bankruptcy lawyer Kevyn Orr as Emergency Manager of Detroit. Orr has assumed the power of the mayor and city council.
                  Letting this travesty occur while doing nothing to stop it would be as bad as watching Katrina destroy New Orleans and doing nothing to help.  Maybe no one will be killed immediately but destroying the retirement funds of thousands of workers is not much more ethical than just letting people die in their attics.  Either way, we will be sitting by, watching events that will cause immense suffering on the common person through no fault of their own and it is entirely avoidable.

                  These people did what they were supposed to do.  They planned for their future.  They took lower salaries for decades on the promise of defferred benefits for their old age.  They played by the rules and because of greed and mismanagement and political manuevering, their lives will now be in jeopardy.  Shame on anyone who lets this happen.

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 12:34:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's nothing like Katrina. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Buckeye Nut Schell, Pi Li

                    Because the flooding of New Orleans was caused by the ineptitude and deceit of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, as a federal judge specifically found, in an expansive opinion. The federal government knew, in 1965 when they began designing and constructing the federal levees, that they were not going to protect the city as the federal government had promised, but they did not tell those of us who lived here.   In other words, it was not my own elected officials, or even a natural disaster, that flooded my home, cost my children and me virtually everything we owned, and destroyed the home my parents had lived in for 50 years and cost them everything they owned.  It was the federal government who caused it, but federal law made the federal government immune from suit.  So, yes, I do think the federal government should have been financially responsible for something it caused.

                    •  I agree that the federal government... (0+ / 0-)

                      should have been liable for those damages caused by the neglect of not only federal but state governments.  If I remember correctly, the federal government had allotted some of the funds for those levies but the local government choose to use that money on other priorities.  Regardless, the government is supposed to be there when the people need them to be.  That is why we pay taxes.  Why have a military to defend this country if it is not responsible to protect us from destruction.

                      However, you did not address the fact that the city of Detroit's democratically elected government's authority was usurped by the governor and replaced by one of his minions.  The people who worked their whole lives for their pension and sense of security in their old age is about to be thrown out into the cold through no fault of their own, unrepresented by any local elected government.  

                      Which is worse, not responding to a disaterous natural storm that destroyed the lives of thousands in the matter of a few days or a man made disaster, entirely avoidable, initiated by greedy bankers, currupt politicians and economic turmoil that was not caused, supported or even participated in by the common person in Detroit.  

                      I empathize with your plight in New Orleans.  It was a terrible tragedy and I hope you got the help you deserved.  I just cannot see how you cannot share the same empathy with the people of Detroit.  Just because their is not an Hurricane of epic proportion destroying an entire city, it doesn't mean that real people who are guilty of nothing will not have their lives destroyed by this "Decision".  The fact that there will not be bodies floating through the streets may make it less obvious the enormity of the disaster, losing everything you planned to live on in your retirement years will cause average, everyday people to lose their homes, force people to work an extra ten years, make senior citizens decide between medication and food, drive some people to suicide and others to massive depression.  This is not their fault and we should be there to help our fellow citizens.  If we can justify bailing out JP Morgan then there is no reason we cannot justify helping out an American city.  We spent a hell of a lot more helping out Iraq didn't we?  Look what that got us.

                      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:36:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Once again, just wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VClib
                        If I remember correctly, the federal government had allotted some of the funds for those levies but the local government choose to use that money on other priorities.
                        This is just wrong.  The cause of the flooding of this city was the negligence and ineptitude of the ACOE in designing and building the levees, and the fact that they knew decades ago that the levees were not properly designed and constructed, but did not think they needed to tell us.  Before you talk about the Federal Flood (what you call Katrina), you should read this.
                        However, you did not address the fact that the city of Detroit's democratically elected government's authority was usurped by the governor and replaced by one of his minions.  The people who worked their whole lives for their pension and sense of security in their old age is about to be thrown out into the cold through no fault of their own, unrepresented by any local elected government.  
                        The financial problems Detroit is experiencing did not start with the emergency manager, of course.  They were caused by city government for many years making pension promises and health care promises that financially the city could not afford to keep, and that they did not fund at the time.  Certainly, I understand the issue of people who were counting on these retirement payments.  And they should look to the city and state government for that.  The federal government has not bailed out other municipalities that have had to declare bankruptcy.  

                        But here's the most important point.  If the federal government bails out Detroit, is it obligated to bail out every city that has financial issues because it over-promised pension and health care benefits to its workers? If it does that, there's really no end, because there are a lot of cities -- and states, for that matter -- who have made the same promises that financially they cannot keep.  And that would be a penalty to municipalities and states that have managed their finances more responsibly.  

                        •  You are right... (0+ / 0-)

                          but I did remember reading this:

                          This switch by the New Orleans District to significantly shorter sheet piles saved the District $100,000,000.

                          And on August 29, 2005, the newly raised floodwalls along the 17th Street and London Avenue canals slid laterally, fell over and led to direct residential, commercial and public property flooding damage in excess of $27 billion in the city’s main basin.

                          “The shallow sheet pile depths led directly to the two levee breaches on the London Avenue Canal, and to the north breach of the Inner Harbor Navigation Channel by the the Lower Ninth Ward, and they contributed to the levee breach at the 17th Street Canal” says Dr. Ray Seed, co-chair of an independent post-Katrina analysis underwritten by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

                          It turns out, that this was inaccurate as revealed in 2008.  I read several articles on the issue after your comment and to put it quite simply, I was wrong.

                          However, that does not change the principle argument.  The government has a responsibility to protect it's citizens from unfair predetory practices.

                          If the federal government bails out Detroit, is it obligated to bail out every city that has financial issues because it over-promised pension and health care benefits to its workers?
                          Republicans said the same thing about Hurrican Sandy.  If the federal goverment bails out this natural disaster then it will have to bail out every natural disaster.  
                          The financial problems Detroit is experiencing did not start with the emergency manager, of course.  They were caused by city government for many years making pension promises and health care promises that financially the city could not afford to keep, and that they did not fund at the time.
                          The financial problems Detroit is dealing with can be traced directly back to federal free trade agreements and the mass exudus of manufacturing jobs as a result.  Throw in the federal government's negligence in their lack of regulating the banks and the economic depression caused by that deregulation.  Detroit was doomed by this government's policies.  The people's pensions have nothing to do with it and yet that is the first thing the government wishes to take away like they do with every corporate bankruptcy.  Look at Peabody Coal and how they grouped all of the pensions into one company and then drove it into bankruptcy to deprive retirees their guaranteed benefits.  The city could not afford to keep the contractual obligations to its employees because it squandered the money on tax breaks and immediate expenses without showing any planned intent to meet its financial obligations.  These, in effect were interest free loans the workers of detroit were subsidizing the government with.  

                          When a worker takes $15/hour or $20/hour instead or $25 or $30 working in a factory because they know they will get good benefits when they retire, they have made a sacrifice to plan for their future.  They cannot go back and start a new career for the next thirty years to save money for their retirement in some other way.  That was part of the cities known financial obligation.  The fact that they didn't set that money aside is their mismanagement of funds.  It is not the people who worked for that benefit's fault.  They are not greedy for wanting what they were guaranteed.  The federal government needs to make sure that the people get their guaranteed benefits.  It is why we joined the military to fight for justice for all of America.  if we cannot support the working men and women in Detroit then we have no business fighting anywhere else on the planet.  A retirees life in Detroit is just as important as a storm victim's life in New Orleans or in New Jersey or in Joplin Missouri.

                          Building a $444 million dollar sports stadium is a slap in the face to these people.  I don't think you equate losing all of your financial security in your retirement years as being as detrimental as losing all of your posessions in a storm.  Maybe you are young and retirement is so far off that it is not easy for you to understand.  Maybe me, being out of the navy for a couple decades and in the private sector ever since puts me closer to that reality.  Maybe being financially responsible for my mother who has dementia makes me more attuned to the financial realities of senior citizen health care and special needs.  When my father passed away, he had a pension and it was wonderful for him to not have to worry about his medical bills or leaving his wife financially destroyed.  We, as Americans, have a moral obligation to look out for our fellow citizens whether they are hit by a storm or a financial crisis.  If that means bailing out a hundred cities or repairing a thousand cities ravaged by storms or earthquakes or whatever.  We stand together and we help one another.

                          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 03:33:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, "dick move" is way too nice. (11+ / 0-)

    What they're proposing has nothing to do with making a more perfect union. It has nothing to do with our all being in this together. They say they love the Constitution, but they've apparently never read the Preamble.

    On the contrary, neo-confederates like Cornyn and Graham are all about decline and dysfunction, dismantling the union and pitting us against one another. They know that if we're all fighting amongst ourselves, there's a good chance we won't notice that they've robbed us blind. Divide and conquer, baby, and to the "winners" go the spoils.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:07:52 AM PDT

  •  We've seen this before (14+ / 0-)

    Dick move is right, but it's been part of the Republican playbook for at least 40 years. Remember New York in 1974?

     photo ford-to-city_zpsc386804e.png

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:40:52 AM PDT

  •  Pretty much the same from the President, though. (11+ / 0-)

    Said he was going to leave local matters to the locals.

    Economist Richard Wolff on Democracy Now talked about it and how we can bail out banks and car companies, but not communities that dry up and whither because of corporate practices. And what's the use of an economic design that not only doesn't work for people but forgets them without regard, much less remorse.

    And, frankly, most Democrats, the kind that wouldn't go and stand with Occupy in NYC or DC, even for a few days or week or two in the beginning...

    What again does the Party have to offer when Elizabeth Warren stands out like a sore thumb, as did Occupy among the rank & file, as the only people with both a clue but the willingness and the gumption to focus like a laser upon it in the public square?

    The leaders are only part of the problem. They're just a reflection of the followers.

    SECURITY, because ticking time bomb mushroom cloud of terror!!
    Shop Kos Katalogue

    by Words In Action on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:50:38 AM PDT

  •  Everyone without a Rethug Decoder ring... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell, llbear, unfangus

    is on their own.

    Now, if you're in the cool kids with lobbyists club, of course they'll NEED to help you out.

    As usual, it all comes down to investment in the future.   Will the people being bailed out invest in the future retirement plans of the politician in question?

    If not, no bailout.  Simple.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:04:42 AM PDT

  •  Just more legislating of profits. (4+ / 0-)

    This is the plan, bankrupt the People and pick up infrastructure and resources at firesale prices.

    Michigan is living 10 years in the future and has been for about 15 years now...

    So sad.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:12:56 AM PDT

  •  This is just stupid (5+ / 0-)

    I hope Cornyn's idea will go nowhere. It has terrible potential in unforeseen circumstances. But mainly, it's just evil to refuse help when a city goes under, and a city is its people, not just infrastructure.

    We still have money to give to corporations. We still give them huge tax breaks. They still park their money in tax havens and loopholes and refuse to aid the very people who made them rich.

    You're right, this is beyond dickish. Way beyond.

  •  But they're ok with bailing out Kabul corruption? (9+ / 0-)

    Ghost money from MI6 and CIA may fuel Afghan corruption, say diplomats

    ...The CIA and MI6 have regularly given large cash payments to Hamid Karzai's office with the aim of maintaining access to the Afghan leader and his top allies and officials, but the attempt to buy influence has largely failed and may have backfired, former diplomats and policy analysts say...

    ...the CIA's handouts, reported in the New York Times to have been in the tens of millions...

    Our politicians allow a Waste of $85 Billion on Afghanistan Aid but they refuse to help a US city--full of taxpayers who fund the salaries of those politicians as well as the money they waste in funding corruption, Wall St. bank bailouts; Endless warfare,;and the nine year "gusher of money" they've been throwing/ continue to throw at the Intelligence Services, including the NSA...

    The arrogance, incompetence and malfeasance of our elected "representatives" is out of control.  People need to wake up and smell the stench of GOP politicians' hypocrisy, and Dem politicians' silence and indifference and do all we can to change this.

  •  Odd attitude for a senator from a state (6+ / 0-)

    that has experienced repeated boom-bust cycles.  I personally would be less willing to entertain a bailout for Detroit had the city not lost half its population in a couple decades, and along with that, the revenue streams required to fund existing obligations.  Leaving poor management and some bad politicians aside, most of the problems Detroit faces are because external forces killed revenue. It doesn't seem unrealistic for the federal government to assist in economic recovery for Detroit.

    Has the federal government historically supported the Panhandle through bust cycles?  Are there subsidies intended to even out economic cycles that benefit Texans?  Shouldn't those be cut, too?

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:31:39 AM PDT

  •  Pretty much the same spiteful shit (6+ / 0-)

    As Vitter's play to bar some felons from ever receiving food stamps, even after they've served their time.
    Would be ironic if this law would also end up barring funding to cities which were declared national disasters. A hell of a lot of those seem to happen in Texas and Louisiana last time I check.  It's okay to get money from the feds if a storm blows the crap out of your city, but if it's crippled by an economic perfect storm , you're on your own? The way these assholes can compartmentalize never ceases to amaze me.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:37:34 AM PDT

  •  Give me your pension money (7+ / 0-)

    Republicans only focus on pots of money.  Pension money is all left of Detroit to loot.

  •  Why do Republicans hate America? (4+ / 0-)

    Here's hoping for a national blue wave in 2014 and 2016 that washes these assholes permanently out to sea.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:57:31 AM PDT

    •  Republicans don't hate America, they love it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eclectablog, unfangus

      just like a fisherman loves his favorite fishing lake.  That is where he catches all his fish and skins them and eats them.

      The republicans love fishing all of the money from American suckers who actually thought that all of that pension money they worked for would still be there when they retired.  They love all of those suckers paying into social security all of those years thinking it will still be there when they get old.  They love all of those American soldiers willing to go out and get killed so that Exxon can make record profits.  

      Republicans love America because it is their best fishing hole.  Detroit is a prize fish on the line just waiting to be reeled in.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:13:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How surprising I'm not hearing any Democratic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell, Victor Ward

    senators, let alone the WH, demand that we bail-out one America's largest cities.
    I guess I should be satisfied that Obama isn't pushing for the TPP.
    Bad Republicans.

  •  But we WILL build that hockey arena! (11+ / 0-)

    And ask the struggling retirees whose average pension of $19,000 we now want to cut to pay for it with increased property taxes. Yay!

    What we really need is a federal law forbidding tax dollars of any kind from being used for sports facilities.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:26:36 AM PDT

    •  I was just getting ready to post this as well... (7+ / 0-)

      Look at the Republican priorities in Detroit...

      This is ridiculous.  This is the most blatant theft of the American worker I have ever seen.  They are going to steal the people's pensions, cut their social security and then blame them when they do not have enough to survive on in their "Golden" years.  It looks like we have traded in our golden years for another semi-precious mineral.  

      Would talc be considered the appropriate value for our retirement expectations?

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:40:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's absolutely hilarious (6+ / 0-)

    to me to hear federal officials bloviating about local politics in Detroit, as though federal policies and programs didn't contribute to the decline of the city.

  •  Simple answers for simple folk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99

    This is like putting handcuffs on your own children's wrists. God forbid they might need to spread their arms wide at some point in their life. Nah, Grandpaw knew what was best for you before you were even born. By the way, sorry you weren't able to steady yourself and you fell off a cliff. You probably would have led an unhappy life anyway. Grandpaw knows best.

  •  Ok. Challenger to John Cornyn needed stat! (0+ / 0-)
  •  I'm not hearing any call for the federal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, andalusi

    government to bail out bankrupt cities from anyone in Washington, so I'm not sure what this legislation is for, except for some kind of political statement.  

    The economic situation Detroit is in is certainly bad, and extremely unfortunate for the people who live there.  However, Detroit is certainly not the first municipality to go bankrupt, and I think it's pretty clear that it won't be the last.  Of course, other municipalities in financial straights are going to be eyeing what happens in Detroit, since a federal bailout there WITHOUT significant, enforceable "strings attached" (measures that would insure the city does what is necessary to get out of financial straights and perhaps even pay some of that money back over time) would arguably set a precedent, and let other municipalities know that a declaration of bankruptcy gets a big influx of federal money.  I'm not sure that's a precedent we want to set for this country.  

  •  Put come 2016 the pundits will claim Michigan is (0+ / 0-)

    ...winnable for the Republicans. Their statements about the situation in Detroit will be all but forgotten/dismissed by the pundits.

    I can hear it now:"but Christie can appeal to those blue-collar workers, the Reagan Democrats".

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 09:21:54 AM PDT

    •  It is winnable for the Rethugs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward

      The indifference of this WH to the city of Detroit has made it so. But more than that, this neo-liberal WH's championing of "free-trade" provides a skillful opportunist like Chris Christie a great chance.
      Outside of Detroit, the white Reagan Democrats, and whites generally, don't give a damn about what happens to Detroit.

      •  So it's Obama's fault! Ok. Thanks for that. (0+ / 0-)

        I guess the auto bailout produced no benefit for Detroit? Perhaps you missed that prior to your joining our fine community? I can also assure you that free trading was well underway before Obama even took office.

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:10:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Banks are (0+ / 0-)

    much more important than actual, living humans, especially humans who don't have buckets of cash to give to politicians.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 09:58:19 AM PDT

  •  People think outlawing local bailouts is bad... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    ...policy? I don't.

    There is no good reason for the Feds to intervene here. Detroit's problems are between the city government, bond holders, pensioners, and taxpayers. All of these people dug themselves into the hole they are in, and all should suffer the consequences.

    Sustainable economics can only exist where bankrupt organizations are allowed to fail and be replaced with better ones. Detroit stakeholders elected to take the risks. None of the rest of us did.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:02:09 AM PDT

    •  I agree it would be a terrible precedent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Victor Ward

      if the federal government simply bailed out Detroit.  Other municipalities are closely watching what happens.

      •  If Detroit gets bailed out... (0+ / 0-)

        ...it's Katie bar the door. Every municipality will demand a bailout and there will be endless complaints by municipalities that weren't bailed out. It will be a total disaster, and an unnecessary one.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 12:54:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wasn't there some kind of federal rescue (0+ / 0-)

    or bail-out of the City of New York years ago?

    •  My understanding is that New York (0+ / 0-)

      got some low interest loans in the 1970's.  It's mentioned here.  Of course, in the 1970's, interest rates were much higher.  Today, most loans are "low interest" by 1970's standards.

      Since that time, a number of municipalities have gone bankrupt, and none were bailed out by the federal government.  

      I don't think anyone in Washington, in either political party, is advocating that the federal government set some kind of precedent by bailing out a city that had gotten itself into financial straights in part by making contractual promises that it did not adequately fund and could not economically keep.  A number of other cities are in that same situation, although perhaps not as bad as Detroit, and the federal government cannot send the message that, if you go into bankruptcy, we will bail you out.  

  •  Not even subtle, (0+ / 0-)

    Cornyn et al.  If this were Houston, you would be screaming for aid.  Beyond that, I would get banned from DKos if I said anything else I am thinking.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:41:48 AM PDT

  •  Detroit and Stockton (0+ / 0-)

    Detroit is in a racial environment where the whites fled and left the blacks to rot.  The Governor used the "emergency manager" law to take over areas of the state and replace the elected representatives.  Half the blacks in Michigan have no local elected representatives.  The mangers looked for anything they could either take or sell.  One sold the Silver Dome in Pontiac for $500,000 to a Canadian casino that he could manage.  Another took a donated beautiful beach and gave it to Whirlpool for their company compound.  It was whites robbing blacks.
    Stockton was crushed by Wall Street crime with massive foreclosures and local bonds that should have been criminal.  An "emergency manager" has been available for advice, but not to loot.  Stockton will make a recovery after the bankruptcy.  No pensions have been taken in Stockton.  Same for Vallejo also in Northern California.
    Stockton is a victim of Wall Street crime.  Michigan are Republicans looting with a racial bias.

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