Town Square

Post a New Topic

Detroit bankruptcy approved; IL passes pension reform

Original post made by Joe on Dec 3, 2013

Odd that both these occurred on the same day. The federal bankruptcy judge ruled that Detroit's bankruptcy can proceed. The city is $19 billion in debt due mostly to public employee pensions, granted over time and approved by the politicians at the time. With the population of the city shrinking to the 700,000 level, there simply isn't enough incoming revenue to continue running the city and paying the pension obligations. Everybody gets a haircut on this one.

The bankruptcy judge said that Detroit could have, and should have, filed for BK earlier.

On a more positive note, the Illinois legislature passed pension reform, lowering the cost-of-living increases for state public union workers, requiring them to pay more into their pensions or swap to 401K-type plans, and retire later. The measure is designed to reduce the $100 billion debt that Illinois has due to public worker pensions.

Not surprisingly, the unions in both Detroit and Illinois are threatening to appeal and sue.

The Illinois measure does nothing for the city of Chicago, which must pass its own set of pension reform measures to avoid the same fate as Detroit.

Here in CA, the pension reform measure proposed by San Jose mayor Chuck Reed has been opposed by a consortium of mayors, including, if you can believe it, mayor Jean Quan of Oakland. If there was any city that could benefit by diverting some of the money now going to pensions to its police department, it would be Oakland.

Comments (6)

Posted by Union death, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm

What do all of these cities have in common? Democrats in power for years. No one else to blame but the foxes guarding the henhouse.


Posted by Bill Lambeer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Give me but one reason, one reason I ask you, why on earth the good people of Detroit or Chicago would want to vote for a Republican -- other than that they could have a political representative who lives in the suburbs, travels into the city for sports events, to use the public library, to attend cultural museums and events, and who then complains about state taxes used to subsidize the city. Short answer: None of the above, as there is no good reason for urban dwellers to vote Republican (and which is born out in election results). Reason? Urban dwellers have begun to figure out what parasites Republicans and their wealthy puppeteers actually are. Republican response? Do everything possible to suppress the vote; for Republicans see the democratic masses as a threat to their wealth and control.


Posted by Relevance, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

What on earth is Bill L rambling on about ??? Totally Irrelevant to this discussion. The all democrat city of Detroit has been totally sucked dry by all the democrat 'patronage' boards and commissions nursing at the public trough. The same 'public patronage' types are sucking the life out of Chicago and Oakland as well. Union 'demands' is all they know. Ignorance and greed rule.


Posted by Bill Lambeer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

In other words, Relevance can only tell u Dsems are bad (really bad). Any antidotes? Any Republican policies? Nope. Has he acknowledged the idiocy of his inability to read or get past Obama/Dems/Unions are bad, really bad? Simple is as simple does.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Detroit's bankruptcy could have been caused by the collusion of the labor unions and the Republican party. The fact of the matter is that it wasn't -- it was a collusion of the unions and the Democratic party. In return for what we now know to be unsustainable pension promises, the unions delivered the vote for the incumbent Democratic party. It's a fact that during the 40-year period starting in 1955, when the pension system and its obligations were incurred, Michigan's lawmakers were largely Democratic. It's only been since they year 2000 or so that there has been more of a balance of Democrats and Republicans in Michigan politics.

It was a grand machine while it lasted. In this game of musical chairs, the music has finally stopped, and current pensioners are the ones left without seats. Detroit is a real example of what happens when a financially unsustainable infrastructure collapses.


Posted by Bill Lambeer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm

I don't feel sorry for any of the bums still left in Detroit. They don't deserve even a minimum wage as far as I'm concerned.

The ones I feel really sorry for are the auto manufacturers who were forced by the all mighty powerful unions to move their operations across the globe to 3rd world countries where they don't have to be as concerned with labor laws, minimum wages, fair hiring and firing practices, workers' pensions, workplace safety rules, and other terrible, terrible things that have been inflicted upon these exploited companies by the big bad union meanies.

Say a prayer for our poor manufacturers who care so much for Americans that they move their operations to the 3rd world in order to give Chinese women and children an opportunity to work without the excessively harsh restrictions of minimum wages, health and safety. I'm so torn up by the plight of American corporations, I lose sleep at night and can't fall asleep until I resolve to send a few CEOs a personal check for $100 just to show my sympathy.

As for Republicans coming up with superior policies Detroiters might benefit from? When, give me time. Cuz there must be one or two, I just can't think of any right now; and Detroiters haven't been able to think of any since the 1950s.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

PG&E: How does the piper pay?
By Tom Cushing | 11 comments | 742 views

Getting rid of an old toilet
By Roz Rogoff | 13 comments | 661 views

More changes coming to ValleyCare
By Tim Hunt | 17 comments | 649 views

Take Full Advantage of Free Standardized Testing Opportunities
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 558 views