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Detroit’s long-term debt is not a current fiscal crisis

By John Henry

One doesn’t have to be an accountant to understand that long-term debt by definition is not current fiscal stress. (“Fiscal stress” is an accusation that can lead to imposition of an emergency manager/dictator).

Some recent monopoly media stories have made a lot about Detroit’s long-term debt, implying it contributes to current immediate fiscal stress for Detroit. But by definition, long-term debt is not a stress on the city’s current fiscal status because the payments are not due until the future.

Millions owed 20 years from now are not a reason to cut public workers or public health, welfare and safety services right now. Use of the long-term debt to pressure more cuts in the present is a fraud and blackmail on city workers. Current public jobs and services must have priority over future debts owed to rich financial institutions.

Who knows what economic development might happen in the longer run. The Ilitch family has announced a new hockey stadium. There are reports of influx of businesses into Detroit recently.

Chrysler, just two years ago, announced adding 1,000 jobs to Detroit’s Jefferson Plant. Maybe the city can persuade Chrysler to build a green plant on the site of the old Jefferson plant south of Jefferson. There might be some changes in the Detroit economy due to automobile company recovery in two or three years.

The point is it is a fraud to cut Detroit’s city workers and give away assets based on long-term debts because long-term revenues may increase. It’s a fraud to do it based on long-term debts, period.

The governor is responsible for fighting to bring back Detroit’s economy. He should spend his full time trying to figure out how to get private corporations to invest in Detroit. He is the governor of Detroit and responsible for working hard for Detroit’s economic, business and job creation comeback. The EM will do nothing to bring back Detroit’s economy.

The governor is responsible for promoting and protecting the health, welfare and safety of Detroit. Those are the sole purposes of government in America. EMs cut public workers and services (see Highland Park, Flint, Pontiac), giving priority to paying debts to Wall Street banks and other private corporations.

Michigan EMs have a history of harming the public health, welfare and safety, while failing to solve debt problems. An EM has just been reappointed for Hamtramck, demonstrating the failure of the past EMs there.

One end result in Highland Park after years of EMs is DTE shutting down the city’s lighting; this is the long-term effect of EMs and privatization.

Thus, the governor has the responsibility not to impose on Detroit an EM, who will harm the public health, welfare and safety.

The governor is perpetrating fraud and theft on the people of Detroit and city workers. Vote against Snyder on Aug. 6.


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