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Rick Moran


March 3, 2013 - 5:36 am

The city of Detroit, threatened with the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, is slowly becoming resigned to a state-ordered rescue by an Emergency Financial Manager.

The action by Governor Rick Snyder to empower the EFM to take over the city’s day to day finances is a blow to Mayor Dave Bing, former Detroit Pistons NBA star, who claims his “plan” to save the city was never allowed the time to work. And the city president is warning citizens that the road back to solvency will be long and hard.

CBS Detroit:

Is the governor caving to pressure from the suburbs? Detroit City President Charles Pugh said that’s a fact, as Rick Snyder on Friday declared a financial emergency in Detroit, setting the stage for a state takeover.

Pugh said, however, while there is pressure from outside the city, he’s certain there are people within Detroit who would welcome a state-appointed emergency financial manager.

“Because they’re tired of it lingering. They want to get it over with,” Pugh told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting.

But what those people don’t realize, Pugh said, is that an EFM won’t just be in and out. ”It doesn’t work like that. And if it doesn;t work like that in smaller cities, why in the hell would they think it would work in a city as complicated as Detroit?”

Pugh pointed out that emergency financial managers were appointed to oversee the Detroit Public Schools, and, years later, the second EFM there is still on the job.

Also among those who oppose the EFM move is U.S. Congressman Gary Peters, who said he’s “deeply disappointed” in the governor’s decision.

“All of us agree that the city has serious financial challenges which must be addressed, however I fundamentally disagree with taking measures that disenfranchise the families I represent in Detroit,” Peters said, in a statement.

City leaders have 10 days to appeal Snyder’s ruling, before a manager is put into place — but it wasn’t immediately clear if Detroit Mayor Dave Bing would do so.

Said Bing on Friday, “The governor has made his decision, and it was his decision alone to make. While I respect it, I have said all along that I do not favor an emergency Manager for the City of Detroit. I will look at the impact of the Governor’s decision as well as other options, to determine my next course of action.” (Read his complete statement here).

Former city council member Sheila Cockrel said she realizes it’s a tough pill to swallow, but she believes an emergency financial manager is a necessity for Detroit.

Cockrel said a financial manager can do the job without the same constraints as local elected officials. However, she said an EFM can’t do it alone.


The question isn’t so much what can be done, but rather can anything be done? Once the fourth largest city in the US, Detroit now ranks 18th — and falling. The city can’t even fix its street lights, which gives criminals a comforting darkness to carry out their crimes. Public services like police, firefighters, public transportation, and schools have all been cut to the bone. What good could an EFM do in this situation?

Some believe, not too much:

The major issue with implementing these measures in Detroit is there is very little left to cut. They have already slashed everything, including the size of the city. Trash doesn’t get picked up, police spread thin, some areas of the city don’t have access to electric light. There is no way around this, the city needs money to correct the financial instability, and they need a vast amount of it.

As proof, one needs only look to the 1975 fiscal crisis in New York City. After Gerald Ford famously told mayor Abe Beane to “Drop Dead,” the New York State government stepped in. The state along with the federal government infused cash and created the Municipal Assistance Corporation, which generated ten billion in bonds by the time of its dissolution. New York created a Renaissance that lasted two decades, including Rudy Giulliani’s giant investments in the police department.

Detroit needs a bailout. A reliable source of funding is required to invest in the “New Detroit” project, which will turn the city into an oasis of urban farming and renewable energy. Mayor Bing has to swallow his recalcitrance, take off his hat and put it in his hand. He should beg for investment. It might cost him the election, but this is what must be done.

If Detroit is going to get a bailout from the Feds, it certainly won’t be to fund “urban farming” and “renewable energy” boondoggles. But Washington, with the assistance of the state of Michigan, may have no choice but to step in if the EFM fails. There are 700,000 people living in near anarchic conditions now. You can’t simply move them all out and leave a shell of a city. Some effort must be made to save what’s left and help the city transition to a smaller, more manageable civic entity.

Detroit may have to trade sovereignty for survival, if it comes to that.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (13)
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Detroit is obama's vision for America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If Detroit is going to get a bailout from the Feds, it certainly won’t be to fund “urban farming” and “renewable energy” boondoggles." Actually, under the Obama administration...?
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
There was an article recently pointing out that the majority (yes, majority) of Detroit homeowners are delinquent on paying their property taxes. The backlog of unpaid bills is so large that the municipal office in charge of enforcement cannot keep up with the backlog. If there is, effectively, no consequence for welching on taxes then you would be a sucker to pay them. There is no possible way any city can function in such circumstances. The only option is, in all honesty, disincorporation. If individual neighborhoods feel the need to institute their own services at a municipal level they can re-incorporate as smaller towns and cities. Those that cannot, especially those areas infested with crime and violence, should get military occupation courtesty of the MI National Guard and imposition of martial law.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
It is sad to say but a full on liquidation bankruptcy is needed. All of the former labor contracts need to end. Yes the pensions will need to be paid by Uncle Sam thru the PBGC but it has limits on what it covers. Possibly the National Guard will need to be the police and fire force for a period as something new is started.

What a mess the libs made with this city.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
It has been reported that Camden, NJ is just as much a basket case as is Detroit, MI..if not worse.
Maybe the following report may shed some light on the fact unemployment is highest amongst Obama's major supporters...the Black-bloc voter!
"Close to 100% of the time, the murderer is another black person.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Though blacks are 13% of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50% of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites."
This is from the Bureau of Justice's own Statistics. Unemployed Blacks prey upon other unemployed Black neighbors AND THEIR SIBLINGS. Deterioration of a Black neighborhood, where crime is rampant, can only force an inner city to be vacated...after all, this is where low income tenements are located. Pray. Amen. Can't blame this on Capitalism! Blame it on Keynesian Obamanomics. How's "redistribution" working for the unemployed masses???
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
In a way Camden is even worse because there is almost nothing salvageable. There is no longer a police department in the city from what I understand. I don't know your age and it's unimportant really but for 50 years now we've been listening to socialist-progressive solutions being bandied about in so many American cities, almost always resulting in failure, especially in the school systems. The only thing we ever hear these left-of-center say is, "we need more money." Never, and I mean NEVER, will these folks admit to the abject failure of the program/s employed. F.A. Hayek, in his classic, "The Road to Serfdom", states that one of the roads that leads to totalinarianism is "the end of truth." We are seeing now every day in the United States.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Back in the 70s, we thought Baltimore was a basket case. It was falling hard on Johnson's Great Society boondoggle. Folks did not go into the inner city after dark. The business district boarded up the windows at night. People of means were moving to the 'burbs in massive numbers.

Somehow, they figured it out there. Harbor Place, the new stadiums, the museums, better roads into town all helped. Hopkins stayed as did many of the marquee businesses. It still has lotsa bad slums, hon, but they manage. Get over yurselves! Not everybuddy can be rich like you!
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
socialism, communism, fascism, marxism, alinskism, whatever ism you give it, always fails. the really sad part is that the useful idiots have been so indoctrinated into it that they refuse to surrender or even compromise, and thereby destroy everything around them. this is not history's first lesson on this, and it will not be its last. misery truly does love company.

best thing to do: be ready, its coming soon to a berg near you. kypd
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
In answer to the title question, NO. With an almost gutted tax base, a pension-legacy system that refuses to be compromised with intelligence, and left-of-center politicians clamoring for more state funds which will only be spent on the aforementioned, Detroit hasn't got a chance. Detroit 1950: Fourth largest American metropolis. Detroit 2020: Abandoned. Frightening to say the least because Detroit may not be the last US city to face this fate.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Bring in Romney to fix it, and then watch what happens.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Nothing can be done. Though Democrats are fond of saying this is mostly a series of unfortunate economic events, the truth is that Detroit is an example of the fundamental difference between pragmatic conservative thought and progressive liberalism.

Since the Civil Rights era, Democrats, rather than enjoying a bright new day, have turned to blame and recrimination. They did this in order to pander to the black vote, and to explain away the failures of those same groups.

Meritocracy vs. racism became the fundamental divide. Racism won, Detroit lost. The racism claim is without merit. Liberals are fond of saying there's still racism in America and it's a huge problem but they can't quantify it. They use statistics that could just as easily mean a dysfunctional value system rather than white racism. People in Detroit fled from very real violence which was fed by a value system that was endemically criminal and sociopathic.

Meritocracy vs. racism. I keep thinking of this quote from Ray Bradbury: "The library was very important. After high school, I went two or three nights a week for nearly ten years. The library is all the education you need. When I married Maggie in September 1947, I figured I was done. I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven."

Copy and paste that onto Detroit in lieu of blame and excuses and "someone give me a job" and there's no problem.

Liberals won, and so lost.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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