May 27, 2013
“The situation is severe. It’s worse than we originally thought. It ain’t good.” So says Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency financial dictator. Yet he puts the city’s debt at 15 billion dollars, the same amount everyone has known about for some time now.
Orr went on to say, “This is truly a financial emergency and we need to move with speed because frankly, we can’t be here in the same position next year.” This is nothing but propaganda aimed at convincing the city’s population, which practically has nothing left to give, to pay the banks and other creditors the money the city owes. Orr and the creditors hope to avoid, at all costs, a bankruptcy in which the creditors might stand to lose.
He says the city’s problems are caused by “mismanagement.” If he really meant what he says, he would force corporations that got big tax breaks, and the banks that made predatory loans to the city, to pay the money back.
Instead, Orr openly points to his powers to “reject, modify, or terminate” collective bargaining agreements to make clear that he expects further concessions from city workers – in addition to those they have already given. His report leaves those concessions vague, but makes clear enough that he will likely cut pensions, make both active and retired workers pay a greater share of health care costs, and lay off more city workers based on a “City-wide evaluation system” that will supposedly identify “high-performing” individuals.
Clearly Orr still hopes to make city workers pay for the city’s debts. Workers have given up too much already. It’s time to make the corporations and the banks clean up their own financial mess!