Detroit is an absolute mess. The murder rate is second-highest in the nation, people are leaving the city, and jobs are disappearing. A government bailout to fix the city would cost the federal government $20 billion — a number than many think is not unreasonable, especially considering the amount we’ve dished out to for-profit corporations. General Motors and Chrysler, for example, received $80 billion in loans, which is credited to the estimated million jobs that were saved. Instead, the city will receive $108.2 million in federal aid in 2014. In contrast to that, there are 32 foreign nations that will receive more aid, despite the huge problems in Detroit. Doubtless, those people are in desperate need as well, but shouldn’t our government take a nationalist approach to aid by definition?
You can find information about federal foreign aid here. As you can see, we have plenty of money to help other countries fix problems similar to those in Detroit — especially consider the $3.1 billion going to Israel. In Detroit, the average police response time is 58 minutes, and the police budget isn’t high enough to deal with the city’s problems. The Huffington Post reports, “Detroit’s murder rate is nearly twice as high as Colombia’s, increasing 10 percent in 2012 to 53 murders for every 100,000 residents — second only to New Orleans among U.S. cities. Despite that sobering fact, the Detroit Police Department is currently eligible to receive just $2 million in funds next year from the feds.”
They also go on to mention the ongoing debate about whether a federal bailout should be considered:
Facing down a recession, the federal government also invested over $700 billion in troubled banks and financial companies through The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), more commonly known as the Wall Street bailout.
Johnson said the sort of financial protection and help that has been extended to Wall Street, foreign nations like Colombia, and other multinational companies should also be available to ordinary Americans.
“The real question is, once again,” he said, “who is in and who is out of the kind of guarantees and assurance that our society provides.”
At a time when we’re handing out the better part of a trillion dollars to businesses that screwed the American people by forcing them to pick up their (now socialized) private losses, we should certainly at least consider a push for helping Detroit. There is, of course, a case to be made for the fact that such legislation would likely never make it through a bitterly divided Congress. Also, there was all of the people with money in the banks and jobs at the businesses bailed out, so there was justification to a point there as well — but that’s the exact point, as well. We cannot stand by and watch a city crumble this way.
- 32 Countries Get More Federal Money Than Detroit – Is That Right? (INFOGRAPHIC) (addictinginfo.org)
- Report: Detroit has higher homicide rate than Colombia, gets less aid from fed (mlive.com)
- Infographic: Detroit v. United States (hotair.com)
- Detroiters Should Move To Israel (dish.andrewsullivan.com)