Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Detroit Bankruptcy - No Bailout?

There is no question that The City of Detroit is bankrupt.  Sadly, there may be many more cities making trips to the Federal Courts with the "we are broke" paperwork.  The ink is barely dry on Detroit's paperwork and many in congress are using more ink on a bailout bill.

Let's be clear, I do not favor a bailout program for Detroit.  Even if I did support a bailout, there is no question that members of congress should first determine how much is needed to bailout the city before they rush to pass a bill with a "fill in the blank" amount.  After all, the amount that will be filled in will add to the national debt.  Here we go again, rushing to spend money the country does not have.

That makes about as much sense as someone with a sexting problem entering the race for Mayor in New York City.  Thank God, that would never happen in America.  Silly me for mentioning that, but it is the only thing I could come up with that is as outlandishly crazy.

The federal bankruptcy laws need to apply to Detroit.  It is time for politicians to stop arguing for equality under the law, except when they do not want equality to apply.  Let the bankruptcy move through the court system and work within the law to do what is best for Detroit.  It will move the city further down a road to fiscal responsibility in the future.

Much of Detroit's problems relate to millions in unfunded pensions.  How did the city manage get by with failing to fund pension plans?  There needs to be a law in place that requires all municipalities to fund pension plans before it pays for any other goods and services.  This will force city officials to address problems before they reach the magnitude of the problems now facing Detroit.  It will force city leaders to look at places to cut expenses that will not effect employee pensions.

Will it force them to layoff some employees.  Possibly, but now they have to tell employees the time they spent working for the city leaves them with no retirement benefits for their years of service.  Perhaps it would have been better for some of those employees to have changed jobs years ago.  Would those people be better off now?  I am certain many of those people are now asking themselves that very question.

Remember, we taxpayers bailout the automakers.  Even President Obama claimed that move would bring prosperity to Detroit.  For some reason, it did not.  Now, the city needs another bailout?

Online Majority believes there is no valid reason to bailout Detroit with taxpayer dollars.  This is yet another reason why American voters must fight for the right to have online voting.  We must have a Constitutional Amendment that requires an online vote of the people approving congressional legislation before that legislation is enacted.  A majority of American voters must vote to bailout Detroit before it happens.

This is a concept that should be supported by every member of congress.  After all, they use the internet to campaign, raise money for campaigns and stay in touch with their constituents.  We live in an era that allows us to do most everything online.  Congress is .0000004% of all American voters.  Why not give 100% of American voters the opportunity to cast a vote on laws that affect their lives, before those laws are enacted?  Let the majority decide.

Perhaps a majority of voters would approve a bailout for Detroit, but the polls do not indicate it, and congress is not inclined to listen to a majority of the people who cast votes to re-elect them.  Voters can go to the polls and vote members of congress out of office at election time, but that is too late.  The damage is already done.  We are closing the barn door after the the horses are out.

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