Liz Harrison did a great job of documenting why Detroit filed bankruptcy. She says, “Detroit has been in a state of decline for many years, primarily due to residents and businesses moving out of the city – migration to the suburbs. To make up for shortfalls in revenue, the city has been borrowing not only for day-to-day operational expenses, but also to meet pension and health care obligations for retirees.” What Harrison says is true – its tax base moved away, but Detroit city officials continued their lifestyles, borrowed, borrowed, borrowed.
Who could ever forget, on December 5, 2012, Detroit City Council member JoAnn Watson saying that support of Obama in the presidential election was enough reason for him to financially bailout the struggling city. But guess what. Obama will NOT bail out Detroit, in spite of the fact that Obama and Democrats often said during the 2012 presidential election that “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.” The clear implication was that GM’s survival meant Detroit’s survival.
On July 19, 2013, Melissa Harris-Perry, on MSNBC’s program Now, said, “But this lack of tax base is also exactly the kind of thing that many Republicans would impose on us, even when our cities have sufficient populations, even when our communities have sufficient populations.” Knee-jerk reaction: blame Republicans. Harris-Perry is suggesting that Republicans would shrink the tax base by lowering taxes, and thereby worsen the problems of governments that cannot/will not cover their own expenses, live within their means. Oh, no! Never once did she mention that the Detroit government might have downsized due to a smaller population, that it could have reduced expenses. Never once did she mention that city’s financial troubles occurred while Democrats (like JoAnn Watson) were in power. Nor did she mention that the tax base reduction just may have been caused by the fact that crime (Detroit ranked No. 2 in crime), or that its median income, 46% below the national average, may have something to do with the bankruptcy. Nor did she mention the overwhelming retired city employee pension problem. Nor did she mention that citizens just might have used more private-sector, free-market means rather than look to government, thereby being able to reap the benefits of the subsequent economic growth. Don’t address those issues, just blame Republicans – that’s a lot easier. And it’s a way to deny the reality of what Democrats have done.
Additionally, never did Harris-Perry offer any substantiation of her statement. She just blamed Republicans. Was her statement challenged? On MSNBC? Not gonna happen.
I hope that Howard Dean, former Vermont governor, former DNC chairman, and former presidential candidate, who was seated beside Harris-Perry, was embarrassed by her remark.
But that’s just my opinion
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