Sunday, November 25

Detroit bankrupt but politicians still refuse to acknowledge reality

Predicting the future--at least in terms of major trends--isn't that hard. Reason is that Big Numbers have considerable inertia and are hard to deflect.

So...would you like to see the future of the formerly-great United States?

Consider Detroit: That city is bankrupt in all but formal declaration. Trying to avert disaster, the state of Michigan sold bonds on the city's behalf, with the provision that the city could immediately tap $30 million in cash, on one condition: The city had to hire a specific law firm--large, respected, competent, not a brother-in-law deal--to guide it thru compliance with a fiscal reform plan created by the state's treasury department.


Can you guess what happened? Of course you can: The city council voted NOT to hire the firm. By an 8-to-1 vote.

According to the CS Monitor council members nixed hiring the firm "because it presented a conflict of interest, as the firm was hired by the state to write the agreement that the city is now tasked to follow." Some members said they "deserved more time to seek other bids."

Yeppers. The city council of Detroit bankrupted the city, looted everything in sight, but now they whine that they *deserve* more time to...loot some more, apparently.

And why not? Have any of you ever heard of a corrupt or merely incompetent pol being punished in even the slightest way for any level of corruption or incompetence? No? Well then why pick on the Detroit city council? It's simply raaacist!

"Reality? Never heard of it!"

"We deserve more time! Because...because...raaaacism!" And now, having mismanaged the city into financial disaster, the council is absolutely f*ckin' *indignant* that the state government would have the gall to attach a modest condition to giving the city $30 million guaranteed by state taxpayers.

Surely you see how this will play out: The state government of Michigan will get a letter from some low-level GS-14 in the Obama administration, warning them that the EPA (or another of a score of alphabet regulatory agencies) is reviewing their compliance with Regulation XYZ, and that a finding of Noncompliance will result in the state losing $100 million in federal (i.e. taxpayer-supplied) funds.

The state will call feds asking for details, clarification--at which point some low-level as*hole will casually mention that the scheduled review might go much better if the state would just fork over the $30 mill to Detroit without insisting on so much nitpicky oversight. State will do the simple math and realize that standing on principle is a losing proposition.

Following pic shows spectators at the city council meeting, encouraging them to vote against hiring the law firm.

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