Bankruptcy in Birmingham
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  • Anthony

    WRM, as politics is the realm productive of public policy, the troubles of the county trace back inevitably to politics. Where we find inadequate officeholders chosen by…on the basis of largely irrelevant criteria. Thence, you end up with both pensioners and bondholders concomitant with hapless citizens in a parody of governmental responsibility (fiscal, budgetary, service delivery, etc).

  • justaguy

    One issue about state and municipal debt that intrigues me: because most long-term-debt has to be approved by a bond procedure (often with voter input) can’t the long-term pension debt be wiped out by court or state action?

    One legislature normally can’t bind a future one, absent following very well defined debt procedures, but the pensions have not followed this procedure. Politicians and unions have gleefully flowed through this crack in the system, ammassing trillions in debt from under-funded public union pensions with completely indefensible and crazy goodies such as pension spiking and adding the value of saved leave and sick leave to last year pay for even more spiking. Some public union penions end up more than the annaul salary of employee, and too many minor functionaries end up with pensions multiple times the mean or median income of the public they serve.

    How long before the public says enough and disclaims these ill-gotten gains? It seems that with the exception of a few states that have put pensions in their constitutions, most localities could disclaim their pensions as illegally constituted debts and leave only the existing pension funds to payout a fraction of the pensions.

  • Kris

    “boring machines were entombed in half-completed tunnels beneath the river”

    Despite the ill will I bear them, I am nonetheless saddened by the fate of so many of my former professors.

  • Jones

    Birmingham has……40 years of an yet unresolved county personnel lawsuit,- 5 years sewer project unresolved, – 5 years sewer debt unresolved,- 22 people in prison for fraud. Unaudited books: the county was three years behind with its auditing.- First remember this sewer project was an unfunded mandate put on the county by a federal judge. Politicians love unfunded mandates, no voters, no oversight. -The county tax income in 2010 was 282 million but they spent 3 billion for a sewer plant? The job could have been done for $1.5 billion but shouldn’t have cost 3.2 billion. And we are told it will cost billions more to fix it ? – The highest sales taxes and the highest water bills in the state but no money to pay for law enforcement? – This area has the best and latest health care facilities in the country but the county owns a nursing home and a hospital ? We are refusing more taxes utill spending is under control.
    I saw this with a friend and his son : You cannot bail some one out who has spent themselves bankrupt – because they will just do it all over again

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