The corporatist network is now circling the wagons around Michigan Governor Rick Snyder over his administration’s poisoning of Flint’s drinking water. This time it’s none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council. It’s not the Snyder administration that’s responsible, they say, it’s the retired city workers and their blood-sucking union pensions that are to blame:
— ALEC (@ALEC_states) January 22, 2016
From the ironically-named Reason article linked in their tweet:
Let’s not forget the reason why local authorities felt the need to find a cheaper water source: Flint is broke and its desperately poor citizens can’t afford higher taxes to pay the pensions of city government retirees. As recently as 2011, it would have cost every person in Flint $10,000 each to cover the unfunded legacy costs of the city’s public employees.
The #FlintWaterCrisis is not a blueprint for what would happen if libertarians abolished government and let poor people drink poisoned water, as some enemies of free markets are no doubt claiming. Instead, it’s a great example of government failing to efficiently provide even the most basic of public services due to a characteristically toxic combination of administrative bloat and financial mismanagement.
But as long as the media is tossing out blame, perhaps Flint’s public employees—who cannibalized a dying city’s finances—deserve more than just a drop?
See? Rick Snyder is just a victim of the leeches on the jugular vein of society: retired city workers. The fact that his administration has failed the city on nearly every level and at nearly every juncture is, according to these corporate titans and saviors of society, irrelevant.
Their article, by the way, is titled “The Government Poisoned Flint’s Water—So Stop Blaming Everyone Else” and has the subtitle “A failure of local government, brought on by public employee pensions.” It’s a catchy title because it says government is responsible, which it is. But the government they are talking about is the one that had no political power at the time the events leading to the poisoning of their drinking water were happening: local Flint officials.
I frankly don’t think these people believe their own rhetoric. They’re just paid very well to espouse them.
One more thing: Reason magazine is funded largely by the Koch brothers and has connections to ALEC itself.