Too poor to bail
Graphic by Anne Savage
Not that we were expecting the federal government to do for a failing urban giant like Detroit what they did for big corporations like GM and Chrysler or monstrous banks like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. But this right here? This is dickish:
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is pushing an amendment that would bar the federal government from bailing out any city in America, including Detroit. […]
“There’s no good reason why Detroit or any other American city ought to receive a taxpayer-funded bailout from Washington,” he said. “I hope that the normal bankruptcy process will be allowed to go forward, and I hope that the bankruptcy follows the rule of law, and the Obama Administration resists any temptation to meddle in the process and play politics.” […]
Cornyn is trying to include the amendment as part of a transportation and housing appropriations package the Senate is currently considering on the floor.
The text of the amendment specifies Detroit by name, but would also apply to any other bankrupt municipalities. The amendment would bar any federal financial relief to a struggling city, including lines of credit or other types of financial aid.
The amendment would also go so far as to bar any federal funds from a bankrupt city until local officials have “demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the solvency and generally sound financial condition of the local governmental entity.”
Cornyn’s not the only one, by the way:
Cornyn is one of at least five Republican senators — the others being Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and David Vitter of Louisiana — to propose amendments in recent days to spending bills prohibiting funds from being used to, as Hatch put it, “make sure taxpayers across America are not put on the hook for a bailout of Detroit” or other cities.
I get it that Cornyn and his pals don’t want to help our struggling city, help Detroit has not, in fact, even asked for. If Detroit goes down, it’s not going to affect him or his corporatist pals in any discernible way. It’s not like Detroit fills their campaign coffers like the Big Banks do so there’s no reason to hope they’d give a squat about the city.
But outlawing it?
Yeah. Dick move. Major, major dick move.
Also, barring “any federal funds”? Does that mean all grants and federal funding currently in place go away? Does that mean Detroit can’t avail itself of existing programs designed to help urban areas, struggling or otherwise?
Hell, let’s just put a bullet in Detroit’s brain and be done with it if that’s what you’re all about.
Maybe “dick move” is too nice…