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Ed Driscoll

Obama to Detroit: Drop Dead!

July 18th, 2013 - 5:06 pm


Walter Russell Mead’s headline cried out for a Photoshop updating the infamous New York Daily News headline from 1975, which was certainly fun putting together, particularly trying to make the headline type look like a moldering 38 year old photocopy. In his post, written just before Detroit made its bankruptcy official today, Mead writes:

Buried in the middle of the report is a telling climax to this sorry tragedy:

Any hope of a federal bailout to avert bankruptcy fizzled last week after Mr. Orr spoke with the White House, including Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett, according to city and White House officials.

This is where blue governance has brought Detroit in the end: not even a liberal Democratic administration will step in to save the pensions of thousands of public workers and African Americans, condemning countless innocents to having their pensions and health benefits gutted in bankruptcy court.

Blue model defenders will point to the cruel exodus of General Motors, the unjust outsourcing of American manufacturing, and the general unfairness of life in the big city as the culprits in the slaying of Detroit. But these champions of the marginalized should keep a few facts in mind.

Detroit has been spending on average $100 million more than it has taken in for each of the past five years. The city’s $11 billion in unsecured debt includes $6 billion in health and other retirement benefits and $3 billion in retiree pensions for its 20,000 city pensioners, who are slated to receive less than 10 percent of what they were promised. Between 2007 and 2011, an astounding 36 percent of residents lived below the poverty line. Last year, the FBI cited Detroit as having the highest violent crime rate for any major American city. In the first 12 years of the new century, Detroit lost more than 26 percent of its population.

And now Detroit’s desperate request for a bailout has been turned down by the Obama White House.

Detroit’s woes are a case of blue on blue, all the way down, Erika Johnsen notes at Hot Air:

It’s happened. The long and defiant march of progressive policies has finally succeeded in fully transforming Detroit from a mid-century bastion of middle-class prosperity to one of the biggest and brokest cities in America. After a review declared the city to be in a state of financial emergency earlier this year and Gov. Rick Synder invoked a rule allowing him to appoint an emergency manager to try and pull Detroit back from the fiscal abyss, they’ve spent months trying to negotiate a way out of it — with creditors to accept fractions of what they’re owed, with unions to cut benefits, and etc — but alas, it was too little, too late for the financially beleaguered city.

As Mead notes above, Detroit is the end game for a century of “Progressivism” that’s accelerating in its madness as its approaches the abyss; the rest of America will get there eventually if we continue on our current path.

Update: “Sixty years ago, Detroit was the wealthiest city in the United States.” Today, it looks like this. At Storify, in a series of tweets assembled by Melissa Clouthier, “David Freddoso Documents [Detroit's] Doom.”

Related: 36 municipal bankruptcies in America since 2010, the year Obama declared “Recovery Summer” had begun.

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Top Rated Comments   
I remember a joke Steve Martin made on SNL about Ronald Reagan: "He'll return this country back to what it what it once was: a barren world covered with ice."

Right back at ya, Steve.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just looked at the photos of Detroit today.
It made me think of how liberals love to say to conservatives, "The fifties called and they want you back!" (or some snide version of that phrase).
I think from now on I'll just link to those photos in response.

Wouldn't it be nice to have fifties Detroit back too?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Workers Party leads to a hangover.

Detroit is the symbol of leftist recklessness, mediocrity, and graft.

Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is in a ghost town.

Detroit...too failed to be big. A shell of a city destroyed in a Greek tragedy where the unions sucked out all the greatness and replaced it with a rigged game where everyone loses.

Where patronage is job one.

Goodbye, Detroit. Unsaved, unloved, and unrepentant.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (25)
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Detroit filing for Chap 9 bankruptcy protection...kabuki theatre on steroids.
This is "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING" gone wild!!! Pure and simple.
First of all there was GM's bail-out of some (total)$80 billion dollars. Most of this went to fund UNION "collective bargaing" obligations.
Now, in 2013, GM bailout still owes US taxpayers $20billion dollars. Then there's Detroits demise. See, GM took this pot-of-gold and spent it in overseas "investments!" Yep, some 10,000 (or more) employment jobs were "outsourced" to six foreign countries during the last five years of Obama's Administration...any news in the USA's media???Nary a peep!!! crickets!! Now, here comes the frosting on the cake!!! See, Detroits active work force participation was not only reduced by some 10,000 UNION employees, but was also reduced by all ancillary suppliers labor forces, as well!!!! Add to this madness, total shrinking of both spending on consumer products AND drastic reductions in overall Detroits taxable base...and VOILA!!! The 'Perfect Storm!" Now Obamanation wants We The People (hard working taxpayers all) to shoulder the burden for this wanton mis-managment folly by both city fathers and Obama administration Marxist/Leninistas, too????SAY WHAT??? Sheeple, Economics 101!!!Impeach POTUS! "Hope&Change!" What a joke!!! It's more like "Hope to get more of YOUR Change!!!" Say NO to bailouts!!!!Pray. Amen.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where's the red herring? Surprising the MSM are so slow to blame white men for the castastrophic gov't in Detroit. Surely there's an evil bondholder/banker argument that'll pop up soon, anything to absolve the incompetent, greedy, aimless blacks who drove the city into the ground. Already noticeable that public sector troughers on six-figure index-linked pensions are referred to plaintively as 'innocent pensioners' -- poor old granny in the damp basement desperate to find a rusting can of discarded catfood, right?

Let's hope nobody's counting on the GOP for a robust response. Triangulated siimpering is more their style.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I loved a tweet on this one:

If Obama had a city it would look like Detroit.

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just don't think you guys understand what you are seeing.

Remember Rubio commented that some people just can't make it in today's economy: guess who?

The Left has decided that Hispanics will use the money and advantages available better than local Blacks, which in turn will add credibility to their social theory and win them better allies. Put another way, the Left has decided to quit reinforcing failure.

Obama may be Black, but his father was a very intelligent educated Kenyan, difficult perhaps, but mindful of his opportunities and used them. If other foreign Black, who I have know are any guide, their views can be quite scathing.

We will see continued social programs, but no money for failure.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
This was aired on CBC March 30th, 2009. It shows how bad things are in the city of Detroit right now.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, the laws of unintended consequences, brought to you by the socialist party. The top dogs, having reaped the benefits of getting into and staying in power have no use for the utter destruction left behind in their wake.

The suckers; Those who thought they were set for life, retiring at age 50 and sucking down six-figure retirements are those who also believe that the money supply is fixed and in order to get theirs, have to take it from someone else. Well, it has at least in part, come true.

Their retirements will now have to be re-negotiated and possibly brought into the realm of reality. Some may even have to go get a job in order to make ends meet. Welcome to reality, Mr public sector job-holder with the fifth-grade education who thought stroking the political cat would gain him favor and position.

I doubt there will be much respect or consideration for you in the negotiations. Straight dollars and sense this time, most likely. After all, the city can't pay for something that has no tangible benefit. The city needs water, sewer, electric, gas, trash removal, road cleanup/maintenance, police, schools and so much else to consider. Your pension is at or near the bottom of the list, I'm afraid.

But hey, I hear there's lots of part-time jobs available. And thanks to obamacare, you can get your faulty ticker remedied at near zero-cost to you. Oh...wait. Maybe not. Well, hopefully you're current on your healthcare plan premiums or you'll be out on the street. Then, there's that upcoming fine if you don't insure yourself.

Hmmmmm. So many things to consider now.

You thought you were set for life but now you have to sell the boat, the house in Florida and pull the kids out of college.

Welcome to Obama-ville.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trends that cannot continue....won't.
Herbert Stein

It's only a question of how they end.

If you are not reading Walter Mead everyday....Shame on you.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
There will be a sequel.

Los Angeles 2023.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"not even a liberal Democratic administration will step in to save the pensions of thousands of public workers and African Americans, condemning countless innocents to having their pensions and health benefits gutted in bankruptcy court."

Innocents? The bulk of them are political patronage "workers" and hence "conspirators". They should have no pensions and health benefits at all.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh NO!! Hope and change ... hope and change ... hope?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is hardly a question of drop dead. It IS a question of Mission Accomplished! Anyone who understands the true goals of progressivism knows that the collapse of cities has to happen, and then they will be reshaped in a 'fair/transformation-like' image - whatever that means.
As such, Obama Inc is finishing the job started decades ago, but its effects have resonated on a dramatic scale -

Indeed, the moral decline of America is on schedule, hence, the gutting of DOMA occurred under his 'watchful' eyes, as well as all the (too many to count) criminal scandals! NONE of the above is happenstance.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
A friend of mine who's my age who emigrated from Russia said he passed through Detroit last year and thought he was back in pre-glasnost Russia. The decadence, the destruction, the gutted buildings, all reminded him of the Soviet Union. He said it was scary.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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