July 21, 2013

Schultz One-ups Harris-Perry’s Detroit Delusion: Motor City’s Bankruptcy Is ‘Thanks to a Lot of Republican Policies’

Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry blamed Detroit’s bankruptcy on “government (that) is small enough to drown in your bathtub,” and claimed that it reflects “exactly the kind of thing that many Republicans would impose on us.”

Nothing can top that, right? Wrong. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz did, by more directly blaming Republicans. With an accompanying graphic containing photos of current Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, former President Ronald Reagan, and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney above the words “Conservative Utopia,” Schultz claimed that the city’s failure is “thanks to a lot of Republican policies” and “is exactly what the Republicans want.” The relevant transcript follows the jump (video is at RealClearPolitics; HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):

ED SCHULTZ: Michigan used to be a symbol of industrial strength in manufacturing in this country. But thanks to a lot of Republican policies, the city is now filing for bankruptcy. Now, it’s the largest public sector bankruptcy in U.S. history, and the consequences could be devastating if you care about people. The already small force of police, firefighters and EMTs are in danger of future layoffs, that’s only going to make it worse. Roughly 30,000 retired workers are concerned about their pensions. You know, what they’re counting on.

Make no mistake, Detroit is exactly what the Republicans want. They outsourced manufacturing jobs, attack unions, cut public services, and this is the result. Now they can wipe the slate clean because now they can start privatizing city assets.

Schultz employed a fake southern accent when he said “privatizing.”

Schultz also said: “The template I think is being set by the conservatives, that if they can get Detroit to go through this, it won’t be as hard for other cities to do the same thing, and the road to privatization starts.”

The nine-minute video at RCP — not for the faint of heart — includes a guest appearance by Vermont independent and declared socialist Bernie Sanders.

Sanders transitioned to discussing the state of the economy, including youth unemployment, without implicating the role which he and others on the left, certainly including the policies of the Obama administration, have had in making the situation so miserable. After complimenting Obama on his Trayvon Martin speech, he said:

I hope he now begins to talk about what’s happening to millions of African-American kids and young people in general in this country who as a result of this disastrous economy are unable to even get entry-level jobs.

The problem, Bernie, in case you haven’t noticed, is that Obama’s Keynesian template has been in place for 4-1/2 years, we have what we have, and he has no intention of changing.

Naturally, Schultz and Sanders believe that yet another federal program to “put people back to work” would be a great answer. Sanders bragged that he’s already done that, getting a $1.5 billion youth jobs program into the immigration bill the Senate recently passed. That’s on top of the over 40 such highly duplicative federal job training programs the GAO found earlier this year.

It’s never their fault, is it? And more of what hasn’t worked always seems to be the answer.

I don’t suppose it’s worth pointing out that Ronald Reagan, one of the three “evil” conservatives pictured, against his better instincts, arguably saved the Big Three auto companies and the Metro Detroit economy in the early 1980s when he imposed quotas on imported autos. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the quotas encouraged Japanese companies like Honda and Toyota, and then several others from Japan and elsewhere, to build autos here. As I wrote in 2005:

… the quotas ended up being a classic case of “be careful what you wish for.” Honda’s, Toyota’s, and then Subaru’s and Nissan’s decisions to build plants in the United States were direct results of those quotas, because those companies did not want to have their unit sales in the biggest vehicle market in the world constrained by quotas in the next domestic auto crisis (and you’ll note, they haven’t been). I believe the Japanese companies’ entry into American manufacturing would have come much later without the quotas, and conceivably may never have happened at all.

So in return for the breathing room, the Big Three eventually got fiery competitors right at their doorstep with huge built-in competitive advantages. The Japanese (and then the Germans) have been able to build brand-new ultra-efficient plants in relatively low-cost areas, hire fresh, young workers at near-UAW wages, provide very generous (but nowhere near UAW-level) benefits, and, perhaps most important, don’t have The Big Three’s UAW pension and retiree health-care baggage from the 1960s and 1970s or an aging workforce to worry about.

After their Reagan-driven reprieve, the Big Three and their unions returned to a modicum of sanity for a while, and then, especially at General Motors, fell back into their bad habits. Unfortunately, the City of Detroit never improved its governance.

Yet all of this is the fault of Republicans and conservatives, according to Ed Schultz and Bernie Sanders, and there actually people who take them seriously.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.



  1. This is beyond delusional, it’s flat out lying. This is how liberals work, when confronted with a blatant left wing failure like Detroit, they blatantly make up crap instead of facing the facts.

    “They outsourced manufacturing jobs,”

    Bullcrap. Detroit has been run by Dems for years not Republicans, and it’s Detroit who “outsourced” manufacturing jobs, by imposing ridiculously high taxes and regulations on the companies in the state forcing them out, and by bailing out and subsidizing the “Big Three’s” failures instead of leaving it up to them to change and adapt with the times.

    “…attack unions,”

    More BS. It’s the other way around, unions are dedicated to attacking and destroying conservatives. What we conservatives “attack” is not unions but their increasingly outsized power, increased corruption, and their continual and rapid metamorphosis from being organizations supposed to help workers to partisan political machines that serve mainly their fat cat “leaders.”

    “cut public services,”

    Yeah, right. Detroit spends more on public services than almost any other city and any “cuts” have been shallow and inconsequential. This is pure numbers that tells us that and can’t be argued against. The problem was that these “public services” were shoddily run (aka typical Government quality), and people got tired of paying all that tax money to fund “public services” that sucked. Services didn’t get “cut”, they ran out of money to blow thanks to their waste and inefficiency.

    “and this is the result.”

    No, this is a result of left wing brain dead minds. And this blatant fantasy that “Republican” policies caused Detroit’s bankruptcy is the result of being two faced liars. And God forbid we force Detroit or any other city to actually solve their problems instead of bailing their lame butts out. Wiping the slate clean and privatizing assets is the best thing that could happen to Detroit, but the liberals don’t want results and policies that work, they want socialism and liberalism always in place despite the fact they don’t work. God Himself could come down and say so to their faces, and liberals would first say they don’t believe and/or like Him and then say He’s wrong!

    Oh, and nice divisive regional stereotyping there, Schultz. Once again, liberals are exposed for the hatemongers that they truly are.

    Comment by zf — July 22, 2013 @ 5:58 am

  2. [...] who believes that Detroit’s problem was “small government,” and Ed Schultz, who says that the Motor City’s bankruptcy occurred “thanks to a lot of Republican [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — July 22, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

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