Bryan Jacoutot ably explored the core reason for the Motor City’s recently fiscal crash: unfunded liablities.
As a former citizen of the Detroit area, I simply shake my head, as the city’s race-based politics and poor business environment caused me to flee to the Golden State over 20 years ago. Subsequently, the continued devastation caused by the entrenched Democratic oligarchy is such that it makes a Somali exile long for his home country:
However, as a Californian, I really have nothing to crow about. Several of our cities have filed for bankruptcy, for the same set of reasons plaguing Detroit. In fact, the population of the two larger cities combined (Stockton and San Bernardino) is 500,000 plus — so the scale is on-par with that of Motown’s money wreck.
I am following the developments closely. Interestingly, Stockton is putting a sales-tax measure on the ballot to a potential solution. Good luck with that!
Michigan Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Aquilina ordered Detroit’s bankruptcy filings be withdrawn because they violate state law guaranteeing that pensions must be paid to public employees. Additionally, the judge specifically cited President Obama’s corporate bailout during her remarks on the decision, further ordering that a copy of her declaratory judgment be sent to the White House.
John Sieler of CalWatchdog notes how the ruling and attitude may impact California:
If Obama intervened in Detroit, he would have to intervene across the country, setting a new precedent of the federal government bailing out cities. And if that happened, you would see dozens, maybe hundreds, of cities declaring bankruptcy as a way to get federal funds. Thousands of cities everywhere, even financially sound ones, would become even more fiscally reckless, especially on pensions, assuming that, no matter what happened, the feds would bail them out.
Such bailouts soon would amount to hundreds of billions of dollars, goosing the already immense federal debt of $16.7 trillion.
And even if the president wanted to blow billions on municipal bailouts, the U.S. House of Representatives now is controlled by Republicans who wouldn’t cooperate. As a start, they wouldn’t bail out a city that voted 98 percent Democratic in the last election. And Republicans also wouldn’t want to bail out workers whose unions continually attack Republicans, while manipulating the system to push public employee pay and benefits to unsustainable levels.
As to the GM bailout, the latest estimate was that its final cost to taxpayers will be $25 billion. Just letting the normal bankruptcy proceedings go forward would have saved that money, while still reorganizing the company, albeit on terms not as favorable to the UAW and Democratic political ambitions.
Gov. Snyder’s office is appealing Aquilina’s decision and no doubt will prevail in the state’s own circuit court, which understands federal precedence in bankruptcy cases. Even if it loses there, the bankruptcy court will decide the case.
For California, this new Detroit drama will confirm that federal bankruptcy courts can set aside state constitutional protections on pensions.
In contrast, lawyers for the city of San Bernardino just asked a bankruptcy judge to set aside the objections of two public employees’ pension funds and rule that the California city is eligible for Chapter 9 protection.
Let’s hope our federal government forces the states to address these cases with sensible bankruptcy plans, and not by printing “Obama Money” to solve a massive crisis decades in the making.DONATE
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