Detroit: “Bailout Would Have Been Better”By: Erika Watts - September 28, 2013
Back in July, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. To help matters, the Obama administration made a pledge this week to send $300 million to Detroit. Considering that Detroit has $18 billion in debt, some residents aren’t exactly thrilled with the pledge and wish the government would have bailed them out instead.
Make no mistake–the $300 million isn’t a bailout. After the bailout in 2008 and the stimulus plan that followed in 2009, that’s the last thing most people want to hear about. Instead, what some are calling the “Detroit bailout” is federal aid that will go towards improving transportation, tearing down old buildings and paying for more police officers. The Obama administration is not bailing out Detroit, as none of the funds will go towards erasing Detroit’s debt.
Many residents wish the government would have given Detroit a bailout, though. Bridgette Shephard, a social worker from Detroit commented on the federal aid. “Something is better than nothing. A bailout would have been better, but if we can sustain some of our needs with grants, that would be a start,” Shephard said.
While $300 million doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan thinks the federal aid will help Detroit have a comeback. “We all believe this will be one of the great comeback stories in the history of American cities,” Donovan said.
There have been some discussions in Washington over whether to give Detroit a real bailout, something Kentucky senator Rand Paul is vehemently against. Paul, the son of former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, said that Detroit would receive a bailout “over my dead body because we don’t have any money in Washington.”
Fortunately for Detroit, the $300 million in federal aid is just the first step in the plan the government has for helping the city. Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council, called the federal aid “unlocking money” and said that more help will be on the way. “We’re in the second inning,” Sperling said. “This is just one step along the way. We don’t expect this to be easy, we expect it to be successful.”
Should the government bailout Michigan? Respond below. Many Twitter users are against the idea, especially at a time when national debt is as high as it is.