22.1.16

DETROIT IS WHAT DEMOCRATS DO.

Flint is a corollary, argue National Review's editors.
Flint’s Democrat-dominated government did what Democrat-monopoly governments do in practically every city they control: It spent money as quickly as it could while at the same time carpet-bombing the tax base with inept municipal services, onerous regulations, high taxes, and the like. As a result of this, a bankrupt Flint entered into a state of receivership, meaning that an emergency manager — or emergency financial manager, depending upon Michigan’s fluctuating fiscal-emergency law — was appointed by state authorities and given power to supersede local elected officials in some matters, especially financial ones. The contamination happened while Flint was under the authority of an emergency manager who, though a Democrat, had been appointed to the post by Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder. He was, in fact, the most recent in a long line of emergency managers, Flint having failed for years to emerge from its state of fiscal emergency.
And the water troubles might go back to ghetto politicians taking umbrage at being dissed.
Before the appointment of the (Democratic) emergency manager, Flint’s elected mayor and city council (Democrats) had decided to sever the city’s relationship with its drinking-water supplier, which was at the time the Detroit water authority. Flint intended to join a regional water authority that would pipe water in from Lake Huron, a project that was scheduled to take three years to come online. In a fit of pique, Detroit (a city under unitary Democratic control) immediately moved to terminate Flint’s water supply, leaving the city high and literally dry.

At this point, somebody — no one will quite admit to being the responsible party — decided to rely temporarily on the Flint River. The Democrats in the city government deny responsibility for this; so does Darnell Earley, the Democrat who served as emergency manager. Earley says that the decisions to terminate the Detroit deal and rely temporarily on the Flint River “were both a part of a long-term plan that was approved by Flint’s mayor, and confirmed by a City Council vote of 7–1 in March of 2013 — a full seven months before I began my term as emergency manager.”

Meanwhile, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality — no hotbed of covert Republican activity — seems at the very least to have suppressed worrisome findings about Flint’s water supply, and may have done worse than that. The federal Environmental Protection Agency — whose Democratic chief was appointed by our Democratic president — knew for months that there were concerns about Flint’s water, and did nothing.

In sum: The Democratic government of a Democratic city destroys that city’s finances so thoroughly that it must go into state receivership; a Democratic emergency manager signs off on a consensus plan to use a temporary water source; the municipal authorities in that Democratic city responsible for treating and monitoring drinking water fail to do their job; a state agency whose employees work under the tender attention of SEIU Local 517 fails to do its job overseeing the local authorities; Barack Obama’s EPA, having been informed about the issue, keeps mum.
Research opportunity: why weren't the new Lake Huron crib and mains part of the stimulus? Sounds like these could have been shovel-ready public investments?

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