America, meet Detroit.
On the same day that the Detroit Financial Review Team declared Detroit in fiscal crisis, President Barack Obama stepped to the microphones to demagogue ANY federal budget cuts as a threat to public safety and the American economy.
Like Detroit years ago, America has charted a course for bankruptcy with unsustainable entitlement spending. Like Detroit, America has planted the seeds of long-term liabilities that will one day swallow its budget. And like Detroit, America’s top Democrats are in denial, using the fiscal crisis as a political wedge for short term political gain.
Detroit’s $14 billion debt, $6 billion in public employee union pension liabilities, and $580 million in debt payments (half the city budget) led the Review Team to declare the city broken. At the federal level, America has amassed a $16 trillion national debt with debt payments at $220 billion a year, and its Big Three entitlement programs due to consume ALL federal revenue by 2045.
President Obama’s response? Demagoguery.
He surrounded himself with emergency first responders and declared that Washington’s planned sequester cuts (an idea he first proposed but now disavows) – a mere two percent of America’s $3.8 trillion federal budget would cripple the country, throw thousands out of work, and endanger public safety and public education.
We’re not making this up.
We’re also not making up the reality of Detroit’s crisis today after making irresponsible spending commitments. Many of Detroit’s political leaders – cue Councilwoman Joann Watson – remain in denial, insisting their problems have been caused by outsiders. Mayor Bing also shrugged off the Detroit’s review team’s findings, blaming the City Charter, labor agreements, impending lawsuits, the weather, and Kim Kardashian for the city’s budget woes.
Significantly, however, Detroit’s media isn’t swallowing the Kool-Aid. The same can’t be said of Washington’s Democratic media which continues to assist Obama’s political gamesmanship. USA Today scare-mongered the consequences of spending cuts to the military on its front page this week. Nowhere in the paper’s coverage was there mention of America’s record deficits, record debt, and record spending.
You don’t need to fly to Greece to see the consequences of irresponsible budget leadership. Just look in our backyard. Detroit, here we come.