Michigan's Tough Nerd's Over-Clever Bailout Plan for Detroit

After swearing that there would be no bailout for Detroit, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, aka Tough Nerd, announced, guess what yesterday? A bailout!

It doesn’t sound like a lot – only about $17 million every year for 20 years – about a third of the annual subsidies that fat-cat Hollywood producers receive from the state currently.  The money will be given to the Detroit Instiute of Arts to give to Detroit's pensioners.

In return, public unions would presumably have to forego litigation to extract more money, allowing the city to exit bankruptcy ahead of November when Snyder faces re-election. And Democrats would have to agree to some longstanding item on the Republican wish list. (Some ideas rumored to be under discussion include slashing the income tax or converting the school pension system from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan.)

So what's not to like?

You’ll have to read my Washington Examiner column this morning to find out.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Can someone translate the headline?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Maybe "Over Clever" should be hyphenated. That would make it coherent.

  • Shikha Dalmia2||

    You're right!

  • From the Tundra||

    How about:

    Michigan's "Tough Nerd" Coughs Up an Over-Clever Bailout Plan for Detroit

  • Almanian (yeah, I said it)||

    I vote for "overly-clever"

  • ||

    Why am I suddenly reminded of North Korea?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe it's becasue they also have a tough nerd there as a leader?

  • Almanian (yeah, I said it)||

    Because Eight Mile Road is like the Korean DMZ?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm trying to decide whether Detroit should focus on becoming the Robocop distopia or The Crow distopia.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oops, dystopia.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The Crow.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The original movie or the TV series with the Iron Chef America Chairman?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Original movie. Mostly because I never saw the series, but it appears to be on Hulu.

  • ||

    Walking Dead Season 1 dystopia.

  • RBS||

    Terminator dystopia.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's Los Angeles, you fool!

  • RBS||

    Hey, I was closer than KK.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You have my proxy to abuse her.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The most practical thing to do is wall the city off and turn it into a national prison?

    It's Escape From Detroit.

    Call me snake.

  • John||

    Watch that reality show Hardcore Pawn sometime. It is about a giant pawn shop in Detroit. Judging from that show, I would say The Crow with a bit of the Warriors thrown in.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Was Detroit 187 the amount of money left in the municipal piggy bank?

  • creech||

    I thought these tit for tat offers only happened in New Jersey? This is what bi-partisan compromise looks like!

  • John||

    It is hard to imagine a situation where you would not sympathize with pensioners who say their pensions looted by various crooks and political cronies. But Detroit, like in many things, manages to do the impossible. The public pension holders in Detroit knew their union leaders were crooks. They knew the political system in Detroit was destroying they city. They knew their pensions were so lavish that it was going to bankrupt the city. But they didn't care. They did nothing to clean up the system figuring that even if the city did go bankrupt the state or the feds would make good. Well, fuck them. Put the city through bankruptcy and walk away from those pensions and set the city on a decent financial foundation so it can start to become livable again.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yeah, but John - what about the Social Contract? Huh?

  • John||

    Yeah what about that. How about we create a new one with new people who are willing to work instead of loot?

  • From the Tundra||

    Whoa, now. Let's not get all crazy here!

  • John||

    PJ O'Rourke has it right. Turn Detroit into Hong Kong. It will never happen because the resulting economic "miracle" (as if such a thing would be in anyway unexpected or inexplicable) would be a mot in the eye of progressive state governments all over America. And we can't have that. Better to let it burn than that.

  • From the Tundra||

    You know damn well that there would be massive investment in Detroit the minute that they cut off the leeches. Wasn't there some talk recently about creating economic free zones to stimulate growth? Well, here's the perfect laboratory. But you are 100% right. No way the statists let it happen.

  • Almanian (yeah, I said it)||

    Yeah, I read the proposal with an open mind, kind of even thought "maybe" initially. Upon further reflection...uh, no. No fucking bailout.

    The state already spends an inordinate amount of my and every other taxpayer's money on the city. They went bankrupt even with that help. Fuck the DIA, fuck the retiress - none of that shit is my problem, and don't make it my problem.

    I voted for Snyder, because the alternative was more of the genius espoused by the Team D successors to that whiz bitch idiot Granholm, who never met a problem she couldn't walk away from or kick down the road. Worst. Governor. EVER.

    So, while I appreciate what Snyder's done overall for the state, fuck this one. No.

  • John||

    It would be one thing if a bailout would fix the problem. Even then it would be wrong but it at least would have some merits. But you and everyone who knows anything about that city knows it won't.

    The city and its pensioners are like crack addicts. They will blow any bailout money given to them and eventually be right back in the situation they are in now. The only way to fix the problem is to let them hit rock bottom and face the consequences of their actions. Do that and going forward city employees will be a bit more interested in making sure their pensions are actually reasonable enough not to bankrupt the city.

  • Ken Shultz||

    How bad do things have to get before they're willing to make the necessary concessions?

    Look around Detroit, and the answer is that they will never make the necessary concessions until they have no other choice.

    So, the only long term solution is to give them no choice other than to make concessions. And bailing them out is the opposite of giving them no other choice.

  • John||

    They have to run out of money. Make no mistake, they will totally shut down the city government and turn Detroit into a city without any public services but outrageous taxes that go to support pensions. They really don't care.

    So any money you give them they will steal. Sure, they will pretend like they are going to change things when doing so is necessary to get the money. But as soon as they get the money, all of the money that was supposed to be spent on city operations will go right into the pensions and the unions' pockets.

    Giving them money is like giving a drug addict money to turn the heat on. The only way to fix this is let the parasites finally kill the host and then start over.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The money will be given to the Detroit Instiute of Arts to give to Detroit's pensioners.

    Wait, what?

    Let them eat still lifes.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    whiz bitch idiot Granholm, who never met a problem she couldn't walk away from or kick down the road.

    *outright, prolonged laughter*

  • John||

    But she went to Harvard Brooks. That means she is erudite and nuanced, something a racist tea bagger like you wouldn't understand.

  • John Thacker||

    I like the citywide visa plan he announced the other day, though. Seems better than H1Bs, because it's not tied to a specific employer.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement