I saw a clip of Ed Schultz on “The Ed Show” on MSNBC that was so utterly and completely wrong, that I wanted to take a chance and go through why line by line.
Under the banner “Conservative Utopia”, Ed Schultz says that “But thanks to a lot of Republican policies, the city is now filing for bankruptcy.” Let’s stop there for a moment. First of all, this isn’t because of “Republican policies”, for instance the mayor of Detroit has been a democrat for the last 51 years. There have been more democrats than republicans on the city council for the last 58 years. There has been only one republican (Keith Butler) for a single term in the early 1990’s on the Detroit city council in the last 40 years. It wasn’t Republicans who issued the City of Detroit’s $18 billion in debt.
Now let’s go back to Ed Schultz: “Now, it’s the largest public sector bankruptcy in U.S. history, and the consequences could be devastating if you care about people.” He is right that this is the “largest public sector bankruptcy in U.S. history” but it isn’t the people that this bankruptcy could be devastating for, it’s the public sector unions.
Ed Schultz: “The already small force of police, firefighters and EMTs are in danger of future layoffs, that’s only going to make it worse.” Currently police, firefighters, EMT’s have been cut DRASTICLY because the city could no longer afford to pay its debt and city services. For instance the average police response time for 911 in Detroit is 58 minutes; the national average is 11 minutes. And to keep paying that debt rather than city services puts those “police, firefighters and EMTs” in much greater danger of future layoffs.
“Roughly 30,000 retired workers are concerned about their pensions,” Ed Schultz said. Yes its true, there is a danger to the pensions of retired workers. But we are talking about a city which was clearly way too generous with their pensions in the first place, that’s why the city is in the trouble it’s in! And the pensions won’t be eliminated, although they will likely be cut drastically. That’s the result of union policy’s that kill the golden goose.
Ed then goes on to say “Make no mistake, Detroit going bankrupt is exactly what the Republicans want.” No what “Republicans want” is a well-run city in which people can get jobs, city services give us the most benefit for the least cost, and a city that balances its books and doesn’t load up on debt. Bankruptcy is the inevitable eventual result of the city choosing to not do what “Republicans want”. As Margaret Thatcher once said that “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Clearly Detroit has run out of other people’s money.
Back to Ed: “They outsourced manufacturing jobs, attack unions, cut public services, and this is the result.” Remember DEMOCRATS controlled Detroit, it wasn’t the choice of republicans to choose to outsource manufacturing jobs. It was the choice of those companies who looked at Detroit with its high taxes and decided to create jobs where it was more profitable. That’s not republicans fault, that’s democrats fault for creating an environment where companies didn’t want to go there. Clearly republicans “attacked unions”, but in the end republicans have now been proven right in their “attacks”. The public sector unions have drained the city dry until there was nothing left. As to “cut public services”, again republicans didn’t control Detroit, that was democrats. Those democrats didn’t start cutting city services until they couldn’t afford them, and people stopping loaning money to Detroit. At that point the democrats had no choice but to cut city services or go bankrupt. That’s what debt does, eventually it catches up with you, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a republican or a democrat, it’s just a fact.
Ed Schultz: “Now they can wipe the slate clean because now they can start privatizing city assets.” It was democrats who racked up the debt, not republicans. Eventually you either pay your debts, or you lose your assets. You can’t really expect to borrow money to buy a $2.5 billion dollar art collection, refuse to pay back those debts, and expect the creditors won’t try to repossess your art collection right? The same is true with other city assets, if you take out loans to pay for them, expect the creditors will look to repossess them if you don’t pay up. That’s now debt works. And it isn’t the evil republicans who are the creditors, it’s those public sector unions and the public sector retiree’s that are the creditors who are going to force the city to sell its assets.
In the end, it would have been better had Detroit been run well, and without debt. Unfortunately because of democrat control that didn’t happen and this is the result of that democrat stupidity. After bankruptcy it’s possible for Detroit to recover and rebuild. It will no longer be weighed down by debts it can’t possibly repay, and can actually increase city services. The long term effects of this are still uncertain, if Detroit goes back to its old ways of doing things, everything will go back to the state it was in. But at least now Detroit has a chance.