Detroit’s filing for bankruptcy on July 18 was the culmination of decades of “Progressive” politics and brazen corruption. “Detroit is a very high-profile example of some of the challenges our cities continue to face, but it’s by no means unique,” said Kil Huh, an analyst who tracks local finances for Pew Charitable Trusts. “Detroit is indicative of governments living beyond their means — and they are going to eventually have to pay the piper.”
The time to pay the piper has indeed finally arrived for Detroit. The question is: How will the piper be paid? Some are calling for another federal bailout. But President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, sensing that the American taxpayers are in no mood for more mass payouts for deadbeats, have declared there will be no bailout for the beleaguered city. At least not a direct bailout. However, the plan seems to be for Detroit (and other cities in the same predicament) to obtain an indirect bailout by transferring their bloated and unfunded public union pension plans to ObamaCare.
This would mean, of course, that the taxpayers would be stuck for billions of dollars that the city’s Democratic politicians promised to the union activists and welfare drones, in exchange for their votes.
There is another alternative poison pill that is being promoted as a magical panacea: Let China buy Detroit — and all the other bankrupt U.S. counties and municipalities. With hoards of cash and more than a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury securities, Communist China’s State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) can scoop up big chunks of distressed American real estate for pennies — literally; many of Detroit’s 78,000 abandoned buildings can be had for a single dollar.
The firesale has been underway for some time now, and the Beijing regime is already a major buyer. “Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry,” the New York Times reported on May 12. “Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers,” the Times article continued. “While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States.”
Of course, Beijing has far more than car sales in mind; far more important, in Beijing’s eyes, is the political leverage that will come from having thousands, then tens of thousands, and then millions of American workers, suppliers, and subcontractors (and voters) dependent on Red China’s SOEs for their jobs and livelihoods.
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Photo of Detroit skyline: AP Images