The Motor City Plunges Off the Greek-Style Debt Cliff
Detroit, Michigan has long been known as the motor city due to it’s being the home of the big-three auto-makers ever since the first mass-produced automobiles rolled off the assembly line of Ford Motor Company. As the population of America increased and the demand for more automobiles skyrocketed, along with it came massive doses of wealth and prosperity for the Motor City and it’s home state of Michigan.
Fast forward to the year 2012, and we see the city of Detroit facing Greece-style austerity measures due to a $200-$300-$400 million dollar hole in it’s operating budget. (Depending on who’s numbers you believe) Government services have been slashed, workers laid off and now we see that Detroit May Close Half of it’s Schools. “According to the Detroit News, Detroit Public Schools considered filing for bankruptcy in 2009 but declined. In the past year alone, debt in the district has increased by more than $100 million, brought on by a ‘mix of revenue declines in property taxes, reduced state aid, declining enrollment and an unplanned staffing surge’ this past fall.” That was almost exactly a year ago, and apparently the Detroit Labor Unions are still bankrupting the Motor City today. Add to that past crop of debt-caused austerity measures, the current reports that the State of Michigan will be forced to appoint another “emergency manager with broad powers to cut spending” if city employee unions and the bureaucrats do not reach a deal on major concessions proving that Detroit’s debt problems can no longer be ignored. How can a school system that is millions of dollars in debt, while facing declining enrollment and revenues, justify the above-mentioned “unplanned staffing surge”? UNIONS.
Mike Shedlock sums up the situation as follows, regarding the supposed deals to save Detroit announced by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing:
Mayor Bing is taking his script straight from Greece where a deal has been “close” for days, weeks, and now months.
What’s Best for Detroit?
The best thing for Detroit would be if there is no deal, or the state rejects the deal.
Unions are the problem and the solution is to get rid of them entirely. That will not happen under Bing, but it could happen in a state takeover.
Bing is not interested in what’s best for Detroit taxpayers nor is he interested is what’s best for Detroit school children where shockingly only 25% graduate high schools. Rather, Bing is out to save as much of the status quo as he can, including his own job of course.
Collective Bargaining has Morally and Fiscally Bankrupted Detroit Schools.
In the ultimate example of Mayor Bing proving to be nothing more than a big spending and tax increase [Democrat] denier of reality, last week Bing began firing 1000 of the city’s 11,300 public employees, has proposed a 10% cut in payments to vendors, and wants to double the 1% tax on corporations. He proposes all of this while largely remaining silent about the real culprit that is driving the Motor City off of the debt cliff: Public Unions lavish salaries, pensions and benefits packages.
NOTE: The Detroit Public School System is controlled by a Big Labor Union, resulting in over half of Detroit’s adults being deemed illiterate.
Update: Detroit makes top 10 list of America’s most miserable cities. (again)