The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Detroit Shoots Itself in the Foot

Somehow, Detroit always manages to find new forms of self-sabotage, even as it’s set to run out of funds before the end of the year. The state government has promised to send the city $30 million in installments over the next few months, but only if Detroit agrees to take steps to get its finances in order. But yesterday, the City Council voted against hiring a legal firm to assist with the city’s financial stability agreement.

Mayor David Bing has already condemned the decision, warning that it threatens to push the city toward bankruptcy. Reuters reports:

The rejection “means the city will not receive the first $10 million scheduled for release today,” said Mayor Dave Bing in a statement issued right after the vote.

Mayor Bing said the rejection of the contract will make it more difficult for Detroit to maintain positive cash flow.

“It will be more difficult for the city to maintain its liquidity until the receipt of property tax revenues beginning in January. Today’s vote is one more example of how city council has stalled our efforts to bring financial stability to the city of Detroit,” the mayor said in the statement.

It is likely far too late to return the city to anything resembling its former glory, but it should be possible after decades of decline to staunch the bleeding and salvage what can be salvaged. Unfortunately, the city’s political class is as incompetent and corrupt as ever, and even the very near threat of bankruptcy isn’t enough to shake it out of its complacency.

This is the sad result of decades of blue politics.

Published on November 21, 2012 12:49 pm