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alstry (< 20)

Is Detroit/Politicians INSANE?



August 25, 2009 – Comments (17)


Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's top financial and administrative officers today are laying out for City Council the city's bleak budget status.

Charles Beckham, Bing's chief administrative officer, said the city is operating with a $60-million to $80-million cash shortage -- one that could implode come October -- on top of the $275-million to $300-million overall deficit.

“All of our revenue projections have been off in the wrong direction," Beckham said.

Beckham said the Bing administration has taken these emergency measures to address the budget shortfall:

• This morning officials held their first Operation Restructuring — or O.R. — meeting to discuss what city departments and services will be consolidated and eliminated. “The pun is intended because we are going to have to provide surgery on the city of Detroit,’’ Beckham said.

• As of July 1, all discretionary spending, such as that for IT equipment, travel and ongoing improvement projects, was frozen.

• Requesting that all vendors who provide services to the city agree to a 4% reduction in what they city will pay them.

Effective Friday, 113 bus drivers will be laid off if the city does not call back their layoff notices. “We don't like that -- that's difficult to do,” Beckham said of the issued layoffs. “We feel transportation is a core service.”

"Every day we don't lay off people ... we're spending money we don't have," he said.

Norm White, Bing's chief financial officer, said there is no question that cuts across city services are coming, but the administration is trying to be mindful of what is appropriate during the first phase.

“If we don't do anything, we're going to have a problem,” he said.



Detroit Public Schools will rebuild or completely renovate 18 schools as part of the $500.5 million bond proposal that will go to voters in November.

Something is very wrong in our country folks....we are firing bus drivers who take people to and from work in a city on the brink of finanicial collapse.......and politicians are requesting voters to approve a $500 million dollar bond to build new schools?

Reminds me of someone trying to reform health care when there is not enough money to pay for health care in the first place.

Soon this ponzi scheme will come to an end....the only question now is how?

The greatest superpower in the history of the world simply can't tell its citizens their hopes for retirement were a fleeting must create an environment where giving up retirement dreams are a satisfactory trade off for a greater the question is what will it be?

17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 25, 2009 at 11:25 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Is anyone in Washington paying attention to what is going on around the nation?

Detroit is on the brink of collapse....Chicago shuttering city offices for days.....California furloughing 200,000, Maryland 70,000....Philadelphia shutting down and Alabama can barely afford to feed its elderly, hosptitalized, and prisoner population.

Jefferson County averted a food shortage at the county nursing home and other county-owned facilities this weekend by cutting checks totaling $103,000 after a food vendor threatened to withhold deliveries, a county finance official said Monday.

The tab was paid with an $80,000 check from the sheriff's office and $23,000 from the county's general fund, said Danny Panos, the county's assistant finance director.

Sysco Food Services Co. last week refused to make deliveries to the Jefferson Health and Rehabilitation Center, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and the Birmingham and Bessemer jails if the county did not make a series of back payments.

"The whole deal was the nursing home, they were running out of food," Panos said. "We offered to pay the nursing home part and asked could they ship to the nursing home. They said, 'No we want everything. We're not going to ship to anybody until we get everything.'"

Commissioner William Bell, who has responsibility for the hospital and county home, said none of the patients went without food but, "It was a very touchy situation."


And we are being told the recession is ending....while the consumer is being assaulted with higher interest rates, tighter credit, job cuts, higher health insurance rates and massive wage reductions.

Anyone feel like the turkey just before the farmer walks in smiling on Thanksgiving Day?



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#2) On August 25, 2009 at 11:40 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

With Mall Retail now in a Depression...this certainly will not help with government sales tax revenues.......

From Westfield Properties report:

U.S. retail sales on a per square foot basis declined by 6.2% from $437 to $410 just over the past six months, and by 10.8% from June 2008: the worst deterioration of any of the company's regional properties.

Clearly the trend is deteriorating......not much of a support that the recession is ending.....unless we are preparing for the Depression.....or something else?

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#3) On August 25, 2009 at 11:53 PM, angusthermopylae (37.87) wrote:

I apologize for the off topic, but I can't help it:  The judge in the BAC case gave the SEC and Bank of America until 9.09 to explain how and why BAC shouldn't get hammered for filing disclosure statements that were "materially false and misleading".

...funny that he should choose that date...

Back on topic:  I'm up in the air over your point (municipal funding collapse) or dwot's idea (commercial real estate) that will cause the next hard downturn....although it might be chicken-or-egg stuff.  Commercial activities (and real estate) are what really feed the municipal coffers....

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#4) On August 26, 2009 at 12:04 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

It is all part of the same crash.....

Right now servicing debt is consuming spending and causing the values of all asset classes to crash as debt defaults at increasing rates....spending drives the economy.....but for Obama spending Trillions that don't exist......the entire economy has crashed or is crashing simultaneously.

Unless we restructure debt....practically the entire economy will shut down....and if Obama keeps spending by counterfeiting, currency will be worthless resulting in the worst of all possible scenarios.....a hyper inflationary depression where everyone goes broke.

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#5) On August 26, 2009 at 2:05 AM, APJ4RealHoldings (44.60) wrote:

Hah, too bad I had to wait to the end of your blog post to read the absurdity of the push by politicians for Detroit to borrow $500million to buid/renovate schools! 


Detroit crashed hard 2 years ago where you could easily pickup a single family home for under $5,000, yup cheaper than a car.

Just for kicks, I decided to pull up detroit on zillow today, still can buy a whole neighborhood for the price of a new car. 

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#6) On August 26, 2009 at 2:06 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

It appears furloughing 70,000 wasn't enough....

More than 200 state workers will lose their jobs as Gov. Martin O'Malley tries to close a nearly $740 million budget gap amid the national recession. Affected employees are being notified today.

The director of the largest state worker union, which has been negotiating with the governor's office on changes affecting 70,000 state employees, said he was "surprised that (layoffs) had occurred.",0,7212620.story

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#7) On August 26, 2009 at 6:24 AM, JerseyShoreGirl (< 20) wrote:

Glenn Beck's opening comments last night .... Glenn as done tons of research and is exposing the truth, like Alstry.  Glenn is stressing that even though the truth can make us uncomfortable, we have to hold to it!  We must ask our govt BOLD questions, hold to the truth, and speak without fear! 

All the President's Men

August 25, 2009 - 23:39 ET

Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

This is probably the hardest week of broadcast in my life.

I have been trying to figure out what's going on with my country since President Bush argued — with a straight face — that he could protect America while keeping our borders wide open. You and I both knew at the time that was a lie. You were angry, but you also had a life (family, job) and probably didn't start watching things closely. Because of my job, I did.

Over the last few years, I have come to believe things that I don't want to believe. They are uncomfortable and have made me — much to the aid of Jon Stewart's wallet — weep for my country.

I told you on Monday that there are three principles this show will drum through:

Question with boldness

Hold to the truth

Speak without fear

Let me focus on the second one for a bit.

If you truly ask what Jefferson called honest questions, with a sincere heart, the answers may take you to very uncomfortable places.

Nobody wants to think our president is a bad guy; President Obama actually seems like a likeable guy. And he may be the greatest guy ever. But is he in step with you and what you believe this country is?

When you hear the evidence, you have a decision to make: Will I bury my head in the sand, refusing to believe because it doesn't fit my agenda or my comfort level? Or will I hold to the truth whatever it is, so I may be a part of the solution and not an enabler to the problem.

On Monday night's show, I asked the tough questions on the president's special advisers — his "czars." They have the ear of the president of the United States; we should know more about them. What are they telling him? Does he listen to them? Who are they?

The first one we talked about was Van Jones — a self proclaimed radical, revolutionary communist; a man who co-founded an organization, whose own concluding documents said:

"Mobilizing young people of color into militant direct action — and combine it with more deeply-rooted organizing in our communities."

When we asked the White House if they knew about Jones' radical roots and if it gave them pause to make him a special adviser, the White House told us he was "focused on only one issue."

That is not an answer to the question. And beyond that, he's a communist… focused on job creation? What jobs does a communist create?

Let me continue to ask: Who has the president surrounded himself with?


THEN PRESIDENTIAL-CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.


We already know of at least five radical leftists currently advising our president — and these are just the ones who are open about their radical beliefs and far-left ideas:

Van Jones, green jobs "czar" — admits he's a communist

John Holdren, science "czar" — proposed "compulsory sterilization" and forced abortions to control population

Cass Sunstein, regulatory "czar" — proposed bans on hunting and eating meat and proposed that your dog to be allowed to have an attorney in court. And a fairness doctrine for the Internet, which he has since stepped away from

Carol Browner, global warming "czar" — was part of Socialist International, a group for "global governance"

Ezekiel Emmanuel, health care adviser — proponent of the Complete Lives System, which puts values on lives based mostly by age

How many Marxists, communists and anti-capitalists do you have around you on a daily basis?

But President Obama doesn't just have socialists and communists advising him. On Monday night I told you about the people who helped write the stimulus: the Apollo Alliance.

Jeff Jones, one of the leaders of the Apollo Alliance, may or may not have ever advised the president — we don't know because we can't get the entrance records at the White House.

But we do know this: Jones' organization, which he chairs in New York, had a lot to do with the stimulus bill — according to Harry Reid:

"This legislation is the first step in building a clean energy economy that creates jobs.... The Apollo Alliance has been an important factor in helping us develop and execute a strategy that makes great progress on these goals and in motivating the public to support them."

Does the president know he's had two pretty big encounters with the founders of the Weather Underground? A group that bombed government buildings?

We asked the White House — we are still waiting on a response.

By the way, we've also told you that the White House has tried or wanted to go around the FBI to have vetting done by the White House. I would think that based on what's happening here at the White House, it's pretty important to have an outside eye vet some of the people who may be advising our president.

How many times do we have to find a Marxist, communist, socialist, a revolutionary or, what seems amazing to me, a simple anti-capitalist near, around or advising the president of the United States before we ask the question, when he promises this:


OBAMA: We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.


Is he promising to transform us into something unrecognizable to most Americans, but not unrecognizable to Hugo Chavez: "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right!"

Is it un-American, hateful or outrageous to sincerely and honestly ask this question when the communist president of Venezuela says that?

• Is Beck right? Click here to sound off

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

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#8) On August 26, 2009 at 8:12 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Sacramento County needs to cleave another $54.5 million from the $2 billion general fund budget the Board of Supervisors approved barely two months ago.

This means even less service at community health clinics, a popular local park could close and the main county-run psychiatric hospital could eliminate its crisis unit and half its beds.

In all, county staff members are proposing to cut almost 370 jobs, or about 3 percent of the work force. Most of those positions, which include 343.2 general fund jobs, are now filled. The county has laid off about 400 workers since the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

One County...over 750 workers.....this does not include state and city employees.

It appears things are getting worse......even though Bernanke says things are getting better...

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#9) On August 26, 2009 at 8:50 AM, russiangambit (28.97) wrote:

I think the politicians and media took the "mind over matter" idea too far. They believe that if only they can instill confidence into the population, all the broken things will fix themselves. They might 've been. But the population doesn't have the tools and skills to fix broken things, even if they suddenly get a burning desire to do that. Without the fixing skill, they can only break things even further.

As for what ignoring the truth and living in denial leads to, just look at Detroit. Detroit is the result of 30-40 years of denial. US, as a whole is porbably only 10-20 years down on that path. Perhaps, we still have 10 years before the complete collapse of the structures of our country. There is still a possibility to reverse the course.

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#10) On August 26, 2009 at 8:53 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


They know broken things CAN"T fix themselves.

The question is what else do they know?

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#11) On August 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM, FSUSully (88.83) wrote:

The schools are crumbling around the kids.  The buildings are unsafe.  Thus the bond issue.  And the bond initiative is tied to federal stimulus funds which will save taxpayers millions when they pay off the bonds over six years.  And taxes won't go "up" because the last bond initiative is just being paid off so it would be seemless in that Detroit would just continue to pay off (new) bonds over an additional six years.  And only eight schools are planning on being rebuilt.  Most of the money will be spent to right-size the school district by closing over 60 schools.  Detroit has a lot of problems but this bond issuance isn't one of them. 

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#12) On August 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


I am not sure if you have noticed......Detroit is broke.  Taxes must go DOWN or no one will be able to pay any taxes.

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#13) On August 26, 2009 at 1:03 PM, FSUSully (88.83) wrote:

I live in Detroit.  I realize better than most that they are broke.  In fact, if the unions don't give a little I imagine that Bing will send the city into receivership/bankruptcy sometime after the election this fall.  However, unless you are proposing the school system revert to the Little House on the Prairie days with kids attending school under the old oak tree, the schools need to be usable/fixed. 

Finally, while I am sure the tax burden on residents is not helping matters, it sure as heck is not the main driver of Detroit's problems.  Those are deep and numerous and I am pretty sure cutting the tax rate to zero would not solve most of them.

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#14) On August 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

So you propose burdening taxpayers with a $500 million dollar bond will help?

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#15) On August 26, 2009 at 4:14 PM, FSUSully (88.83) wrote:

Do you have kids?  What if their schools were unsafe and you lacked the resources to move?  Would you still oppose the bond issue? 

Also, no one suggesting raising taxes to pay for the bond initiative.  It has been floated that the school district can pay for this with the same level of taxation that is currently in place.  So you would not be burdening the taxpayers.  You would be burdening the school district.  Obviously, it remains to be seen if the school district can keep making the payments on these bonds so future tax increases cannot be ruled out but for now Bobb seems to think he can swing it as is.

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#16) On August 26, 2009 at 4:25 PM, russiangambit (28.97) wrote:

> Do you have kids?  What if their schools were unsafe and you lacked the resources to move?  Would you still oppose the bond issue? 

If one is lacking the resources to move , where would that person get the money to pay for the school bonds? It seems obvious that theat person is hoping someone else to pick up the tab. I don't think that is sustainable path. If money is needed for schools, it has to be cut elsewhere or schools should be consolidated to reduce the expenses.

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#17) On August 26, 2009 at 5:32 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


My wife is a first grade school teacher in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation.  I used to pre reveiw bench warrants for crack raids across the street....routinely.  Finding bullets or syringes on the playground is about as routine as jd or awa making an alstrybater post on my blog.

The answer to your question.....YES!!!!

Right now we must restructure debt....DEBT IS DEFAULTING......not create new debt.  Once that process is completed....we can consider spending proposals. 

You have the cart and horse backwards...but I can relate to your goals.

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