Bankrupt Cities

Economist Calls Potential Detroit Bailout a Bad Idea

It would subsidize irresponsibility while leaving creditors and taxpayers on the hook

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The man who headed the 2009 Obama administration's bailout of the U.S. auto industry says the federal government should step in with taxpayer money and give Detroit a boost.

On July 19, Steven Rattner wrote a column in the New York Times calling for U.S. taxpayers to bail out Detroit.

But a respected economist and former senior vice president at Detroit-founded Comerica Bank says in the bluntest of terms that it would be a big mistake and even if a bailout came to pass, Rattner is the wrong man to lead it.

"Rattner's nothing but a paid hack," said David Littmann, who retired from Comerica and now is senior economist at the Mackinac Center, a free-market think tank in Michigan.