Here it comes again
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is the king of the “fake concession” where he proposes (or actually makes) massive cuts of one kind or another and then later dials it back just a bit and takes credit for making a concession. I’ve written about it HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE in the past.
He’s about to do the same thing with the art collection held in trust by the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Last week, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr received fierce and highly negative blowback from his move to put a price tag on the DIA’s priceless art collection. The idea, presumably, is that it could be sold off in part or entirely to pay for the nearly $15 billion in debt that Detroit has. The fact that it was even on the table to be considered is an outrage and the response since then reflects that outrage.
This past weekend at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island, Governor Snyder was asked about the idea. He confirmed to the Detroit News that sale of Detroit’s precious art collections was on the table, saying, “Ultimately, again in the event there was a Chapter 9, it’s a bankruptcy judge that makes that determination.”
Rick Snyder fears a Chapter 9 bankruptcy more than anything else. Why? Because then his business pals would be forced to take pennies on the dollar for the debt they hold from Detroit. By raising the specter of selling off the DIA’s art collection under a bankruptcy proceeding, he’s attempting to freak out Michiganders so much that (a) they recoil in fear of a municipal bankruptcy for Detroit and (b) sigh in relief when he makes some other draconian but very slightly less offensive cuts in other areas.
In other words, it’s another one of Rick Snyder’s fake concessions.
Watch for it. It’s coming.