July 19, 2013
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Obama To Detroit: Drop Dead.
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.
Progressive politicians, wonks, and activists can only blame big corporations and other liberal bogeymen for so long. The truth is that corrupt machine politics in a one-party system devoted to the blue social model wrecked an entire city and thousands of lives beyond repair. The sooner blues come to terms with this reality, the greater chance other cities will have of avoiding Detroit’s fate.
Yep. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.