The more things change, the more they remain the same. Detroit has barely entered bankruptcy, but Michigan’s business and political elites are already cooking up new crony capitalism schemes to cripple the city yet again, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in the Washington Examiner. The latest example is the new $450 million Red Wings arena which is being sold to residents as Detroit’s ticket to economic nirvana. Aided by a credulous local press, Ilitch’s friends in state and city government are spreading the notion that the bulk of the tab for the arena will be picked up by Ilitch himself with taxpayers facing no new additional costs.
Delving into the details of the proposed deal, Dalmia found the exact opposite to be the case: Taxpayers will not only foot nearly the entire bill, but they’ll also assume all the risk -- even as Ilitch gains monopoly rights to the revenues generated by the arena. Ilitch even managed to write the deal so as to avoid any new taxes, undercutting the main rationale for the arena: rebuild the city's tax base. "The deal Iis a body slam for Motown and a hat trick for the Red Wings owner, billionaire Mike Ilitch," she notes.
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