Harris-Perry: Detroit is “what it looks like when government is small enough to drown”

posted at 4:01 pm on July 20, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

This cannot be real life. Tell me this is not real life.

We can talk about the microstory of Detroit, but it seems to me that Detroit, as always, is standing for all kinds of things about America. In the case of Detroit, the reason that the tax base has become so small is because a loss of population, right? So folks out, they are not there to pay the taxes on the homes and the kind of deterioration is what you see in the numbers you’ve suggested. But this lack of tax base is also exactly the kind of thing that many Republicans would impose on us, even when our cities have sufficient populations, even when our communities have sufficient populations. This is what it looks like when government is small enough to drown in your bathtub, and it is not a pretty picture.

Okay… so, let’s go ahead and get this straight. Detroit has been a bastion of All Thing Progressive for decades, with the government and its pension funds and etcetera spending themselves into oblivion while residents have been fleeing the accompanying signs of economic and social depreciation — which effectively worsened the problem of too much government spending by shrinking the available tax base and cutting into revenue — all of which has finally led to the inevitable conclusion of Detroit’s fiscal ruin.

Despite this entirely liberal achievement, Harris-Perry tries to use the example of Detroit to criticize Republicans for… wanting to lower taxes? I think? As in, Republicans would shrink the tax base by lowering taxes, and thereby worsen the problems of governments that cannot cover their own expenses, and really what we should be doing is just growing the government and increasing taxes everywhere, all the time. I suppose the idea of — oh, I don’t know — the government spending less, and not making promises that it can’t afford to keep, and people instead using more private-sector, free-market means and reaping the benefits of the subsequent economic growth, isn’t an option, then? Are we not doing that?


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