How Much Would It Cost To Solve Detroit's Problems?

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According to City Councilwoman Joann Watson, that number is $1 billion and the administration should cut a bailout check and see what the Motor City does with it. That figure should cover the city's $300 million budget deficit plus the $700 million in petty cash needed to shock a pulse back into the city. However, before you start thinking Watson is just another local politician asking for a bailout using the 'just because' school of thought, be advised, she's got her reasons.

"If the federal government can get a loan from China, if the state of Michigan can get $2 billion in federal stimulus money, why isn't it obvious for the city of Detroit?" she said. "Why not establish us as an important precedent? They've bailed out Wall Street. They've bailed out General Motors. When are they going to bail out the workers? And Detroit's problems are a direct result of the economic meltdown and the crisis in the auto industry"

It's true the bailout express has been all over the place during the past year. But writing a check this size for the city at the epicenter of the auto implosion- does Detroit really deserve something like that?

"And don't tell me we don't deserve it. Of course we do. The city of Detroit has been a leader in industry, in labor. We built the vehicles in World War II. Our unions have helped lead the nation to more humane work conditions, whether it be in terms of sick pay or the five-day work week. We have led the nation, and we've been dependent on an industry that's been hit hard. So if the federal government sees fit to bail out GM -- and I'm not mad about that because I went to Washington to help ask for bailouts for the car companies -- then the government needs to bailout the city that depends so much on GM. You cannot allow this to continue to happen to one of your largest cities."

If $1 billion will actually solve Detroit's woes then maybe it's worth a shot. But companies from Detroit do not have the best track record in coming to the government feeding trough once and only once. There is an argument to be made for "you cannot allow this to continue to happen to one of your largest cities." However, based on last year's performance, "you cannot allow this to continue" seems more appropriate when addressing whether or not to proceed with these types of bailouts.
A Bold Call To Bail Out Detroit [Time]

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