After many years of lies and denial, the city of Detroit is reluctantly coming to grips with the laws of arithmetic. The Detroit Free Press reports that Mayor David Bing’s budget plans have received the green light from the broke and discredited city’s financial advisory board. The plans are relatively radical, including layoffs for many city workers, salary cuts for others, and reduction of benefits for union members and pensioners—with more to come in the future:
In its first major action on righting the city’s finances, Detroit’s financial advisory board approved Mayor Dave Bing’s plans Thursday for $100 million in cuts to the city’s unionized workforce that his administration is expected to impose without negotiations.Included are a 10% pay decrease, higher out-of-pocket health care costs and limits on overtime.The wage reduction would would apply to police and firefighters, a cut that Bing long has sought. In addition, workers would move into a health plan with higher co-pays and higher costs for prescriptions.
This is what happens to workers when their union leaders make insane demands year after year, and when the corrupt alliance of politicians and union bosses reaches is logical destination: bankruptcy and collapse. Detroit is where the ideas that drive the urban Democratic party had a free hand; it is the clearest example of what happens when political systems reject the implications of the collapse of the old economic model.Arithmetic, when it finally comes into play, is as nonpartisan as gravity. In Detroit, as in many other cities and states facing dealing with the fallout from blue it is Democratic politicians who end up making cuts much more devastating and hurtful than anything Paul Ryan has ever proposed.Procrastination does not pay. If Detroit’s leaders had behaved intelligently, making reasonable and prudent cuts, rejecting over-the-top union demands and laying the economic foundations for the city’s turnaround, nothing as serious as these cuts would have been needed. But a combination of Blue ideology, short term thinking and greed have brought the city to its knees. It will take much more than this to put Detroit back on the right path, but this is at least a step in the right direction.Read more on Detroit.