Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

As Detroit Drowns, GOP says: 'Bailouts For Banks, Not People'

With fangs out, Republicans push to codify national abandonment of the city

Sarah Lazare

The Obama administration is making no sign of helping Detroit as its emergency manager and republican governor steer the city towards bankruptcy proceedings.

Yet, that is not enough assurance for some in the GOP who are pushing for passage of a law explicitly banning the bailout of Detroit, and any other municipality for that matter.

At least five republican senators have recently proposed tacking language onto spending bills that would broadly prohibit municipal bailouts.

These proposed measures, which would have far-reaching implications for towns and cities across the US if passed, are aimed towards preventing any federal aid to Detroit.

GOP leaders are attacking the city with notable venom at the moment its 700,000 residents—80 percent of whom are African-American—must contend with deepening crises of poverty and privatization.

Rising numbers of Republicans are declaring that the city has dug its own grave and does not deserve federal help. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) declared Thursday that Congress must not, under any circumstance, "bail out Detroit or any American city that mismanages its public finances."

Yet, when Wall Street took a hit from its self-made 2008 financial crisis—which devastated towns and cities across the US, including Detroit—Republicans and Democrats stood behind a massive federal bailout of big banks, pushed forward under George W. Bush, with President Obama picking up the baton.

Today, there is little interest from either side of the aisle to extend a helping hand to the largest city to file for bankruptcy in US history.

Unions appealed to members of Congress not to turn their backs on the city. In a statement Thursday, AFSCME Detroit Local 207 president Lee Saunders declared:

The whole country is watching how this crisis gets resolved. As the nation emerges from the worst of the Great Recession, it is time for Congress and the White House to make it clear they will not turn their backs on our urban centers.

Nearly 60 percent of Detroit children live in poverty and 33 percent of all land sits vacant. Half of all streetlights are non-functional, and a majority of public parks have shut down.

_____________________


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Urged to Fire Covid Response Chief Over 'Damning' Failures

"Zients has failed to provide the materials necessary to improve the U.S. response, or the guidance necessary to keep the pandemic under control," argued one critic.

Jake Johnson ·


As Sinema Defends Filibuster, Progressives Say 'Vote Her the Hell Out'

"The filibuster is a meaningless Senate rule. It's a remnant of slavery used to block civil rights for generations."

Jake Johnson ·


Poor People's Campaign Readies 'Massive, Nonviolent' Effort to Save Democracy

"We are not in this for a moment, but for a movement," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. "Our deadline is victory."

Jake Johnson ·


Tsunami Triggered by Huge Volcanic Eruption Hits Tonga

The undersea volcano's eruption also sparked tsunami warnings for Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, and the West Coast of the United States.

Common Dreams staff ·


Sanders Says Manchin and Sinema Are Imperiling US Democracy

"It is a sad day when two members of the Democratic Caucus are prepared to allow the Freedom to Vote Act to fail and undermine the future of American democracy."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo