I’ve Seen America’s Future in Stockton, Detroit, and Chicago

News of Stockton California’s bankruptcy shouldn’t surprise us or the dismal economic conditions in Chicago and Detroit. The entire state of California should be in bankruptcy considering that it’s $127 billion in debt and nothing on the horizon to stop the plummet into the void.

Stockton’s municipal government is a microcosm of our national government except that it can’t print money to keep its government going. If we keep printing money at the national level, we will have lots of cash, but it won’t be worth much.

Bob Deis, the city manager of Stockton, “slammed the decision to provide free healthcare to retirees as a ‘Ponzi scheme’ that eventually left the city with a whopping $417 million liability. America’s national problems are Social Security and Medicare and the newly implemented ObamaCare.

“As the 2000s advanced, Stockton continued to spend freely with the support of voters, politicians from both parties, employees and bondholders. Rating agencies were quiet about any risks and only started to downgrade the city’s creditworthiness two years ago.”

Then there’s Detroit, Michigan:

“In 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation. It was the greatest manufacturing city the world had ever seen, and the rest of the globe looked at Detroit with a sense of awe and wonder. But now the city of Detroit has become a bad joke to the rest of the world. Unemployment is rampant, 60 percent of the children are living in poverty and the city government is on the verge of bankruptcy.”

It gets worse. A report found that Detroit faces a cumulative cash deficit of more than $100 million by June 30, 2013 if “significant spending cuts” are not made. Coming up with $100 million is easy when compared to the city’s retirement and pension obligations. “Detroit has $14 billion in employee retirement liabilities and unfunded pensions, and will need $1.9 billion over the next five years to pay off other long-term liabilities.”

Can anyone say “bailout”? Detroit does not have an economic base to dig itself out of the pit.

Now we come to Chicago, the murder capital of America, run by one of President Obama’s political surrogates, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Chicago Public School (CPS) officials announced that they would be closing 54 elementary schools “located in poor, mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The move represents the largest mass closing of schools in the nation’s history.”

These neighborhoods voted in large numbers for Obama. They have consistently voted for Democrats. The political chickens have come home to roost.

Chicago Public Schools are “facing a projected budget deficit of $1 billion in 2014.” Disregarding the financial crisis, the Chicago Teachers Union and many parents are furious and vow to fight the school closings and moves of nearly 30,000 students.

The Unions will call for more taxes, and the parents are clueless about who’s really at fault.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis placed all the blame on Emanuel. “Look at the murder rate in this city. He’s murdering schools, he’s murdering good jobs. He’s murdering housing. I don’t know what else to call him. He’s the murder mayor.” The truth is, Emanuel inherited a broken system:

“Chicago’s murder rate is 15.65 per 100,000, almost four times the American average, and almost 80 percent of shootings and murders in the city are gang-related, according to police. Furthermore, there may be as many as 68,000 gang members in the Windy City, quadruple the number of cops.”

To take Emanuel’s side for a moment, Chicago violence is the fault of the parents who don’t have control of their children. In addition, the majority of Chicagoans voted for the policies that got them into this mess.

Lewis, who is black, added this racial element. “I don’t see any Caucasians being moved, bussed, or murdered in the streets as they travel along gang lines, or stand on the steps of a CPS school.”

It should be noted that most of the murders are blacks killing blacks.

More money won’t fix these cities. There is a worldview crisis in America that’s infecting the entire nation.