Senate Democrats ignore free market, want government to “fix” Flint water

posted at 7:21 pm on January 28, 2016 by Taylor Millard

Senate Democrats are rushing to the government to “solve” the Flint water crisis. Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow are going to try to get Flint addressed through the energy bill. National Journal reports details are a little sketchy, but Stabenow is obviously blaming Michigan’s Republican governor for the failure (emphasis mine).

Peters de­clined to give de­tails Wed­nes­day even­ing, say­ing it was still a “work in pro­gress.”

Aides said spe­cif­ics of the amend­ment would be re­leased Thursday.

The amend­ment is meant to ad­dress the drink­ing wa­ter crisis that’s en­gulfed Michigan and been linked to ser­i­ous health prob­lems in thou­sands of Flint res­id­ents.

Peters and Stabenow, along with Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee, an­nounced sep­ar­ate le­gis­la­tion Wed­nes­day that would re­quire the EPA to no­ti­fy res­id­ents of any danger from lead in their wa­ter sys­tem and to re­lease res­ults of any lead mon­it­or­ing con­duc­ted by pub­lic-wa­ter sys­tems. The bill, Stabenow said, would give the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment “clear leg­al au­thor­ity to provide no­tice to the pub­lic when a state is not tak­ing ac­tion on a pub­lic-health-safety crisis.”

So Stabenow’s bill is purely political and meant to hurt Republican Governor Rick Snyder, even though he’s in office for another four years. Stabenow is probably hoping the Flint water situation will switch the Michigan Legislature back to Democratic control. Stabenow and the rest of the Democrats can try to make this all about Snyder and the GOP, but she’s failing to tell the whole truth. Michigan isn’t just a megapolis, with a bunch of different neighborhoods run by administrators, it has different cities with their own elected government. Flint’s government is run by Democrats and Shikha Dalmia from The Week has a detailed listing of what the local government failed to do.

Residents started complaining about the taste and color of the water right after the switch in April 2014. The city denied anything was wrong, but later discovered that the water contained a higher-than-recommended concentration of TTHM (trihalomethanes) — a byproduct that is generated when too much chlorine is required to disinfect the water. This, along with some other issues, prompted General Motors to quit the Flint water system after its auto parts started corroding. Yet Democratic Flint Mayor Dayne Walling was still telling residents the water was safe, even advising them that buying bottled water would be “wasting their precious money.”

It’s also very important to note the failure of federal and state agencies in the water crisis. Dalmia points out the EPA and its Michigan counterpart decided to investigate what was going on, instead of listening to people who knew how to solve it. They also went with standardized testings, instead doing what normal people do to get water. This shows the problem with government agencies and how their workers can go from thinking like people to just becoming a bureaucratic drone only concerned with their own position (to be fair, humongous corporations can have the same problem). The drones decide to ignore the obvious solution and go through “the process” and waste more and more taxpayer money.

The good news is help IS coming to Flint, but it’s not the government on a white horse. Private corporations (including *gasp* WALMART) are donating bottled water to public schools so kids can drink clean water. They’re also partnering up with local charities to help others, and asking people to do the same. It’s amazing how quickly businesses and people can move quickly to help out in a crisis without the role of government. That isn’t sitting well with those on the Left how believe government is the savior. David Graham at The Atlantic believes it’s awful Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi are the ones stepping in to solve the problem (emphasis mine).

Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Pepsi aren’t just charitable organizations that might have their own ideologies. They’re for-profit companies. And by providing water to the public schools for the remainder of the year, the four companies have effectively supplanted the local water authorities and made themselves an indispensable public utility, but without any amount of public regulation or local accountability. Many people in Flint may want government to work better, but with sufficient donations, they may find that the private sector has supplanted many of government’s functions altogether.

Yeah…and? This is where those on the Left (and some of the Right) lose me when it comes to government involvement. There are private companies involved in utility work, including power and Internet (thanks Net Neutrality), which are doing things just fine. The times when things appear to go wrong are when the corporations and the government get too chummy with each other, or when the government decides to keep certain controls in place (see California’s energy crisis). Coca-Cola and Pepsi aren’t just corporations, they’re competitors. If people in Flint don’t like how Coke’s bottled water tastes or the price, they can go to Pepsi and vice versa. Flint’s public utility monopoly didn’t allow anyone to do this. If it were deregulated, then it’d give individuals more power to decide who they’d get their water from. Flint is a governmental failure, not a failure of one particular party. The fact Leftists are annoyed the private sector is helping out, instead of the government, shows they need to get their heads on straight.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Maybe we could get union carbide to head up the free market efforts. I hear they know a thing or two about man made disasters.

Tlaloc on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

I like your broadening horizons, Taylor. Not one anti-trump remark, and a good bit of realistic analysis up there.

Kudos.

LegendHasIt on January 28, 2016 at 7:35 PM

Somebody mentioned Hooker Chemical Company but Shrillary thought they meant Bill’s favorite brothel…

viking01 on January 28, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Any chance we can get some private sector donations of tar? And feathers?
I believe Michigan has a few mayors, and clearly some elected folks in Congress who are feather-deficient. And need a private sector solution to their problem.
Scumbag Democrats. A verbal redundancy that I can accept.

orangemtl on January 28, 2016 at 7:42 PM

Maybe we could get union carbide to head up the free market efforts. I hear they know a thing or two about man made disasters.

Tlaloc on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

There’s a river in Colorado the EPA -who knew about Flint for half a year- would love to sell you.

M240H on January 28, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Oh, and f*ck Flint.

M240H on January 28, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Maybe we could get union carbide to head up the free market efforts. I hear they know a thing or two about man made disasters.

Tlaloc on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

96%

CWforFreedom on January 28, 2016 at 7:45 PM

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

-phuck off Tialoc.

CWforFreedom on January 28, 2016 at 7:46 PM

How about the ignorant, sh*t-for-free residents of Flint who voted themselves into this mess, pay their own god*man way out of it?

M240H on January 28, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Anyone know of a group that is taking donations for the people in Flint?

I think my company might be interested in participating.

lineholder on January 28, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Tlaloc on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

Tell me again what FEMA’s response time has been to emergencies?

lineholder on January 28, 2016 at 7:48 PM

And, in point of fact, W helped far, far more with Katrina than Obama has with Flint.

Skywise on January 28, 2016 at 7:49 PM

Magicjava on January 28, 2016 at 7:45 PM

Yep.

And Harry Reid is negotiating a trade of some of the Nevada desert he controls for it, AND a sale to China of the 0regon land, at the same time.

LegendHasIt on January 28, 2016 at 7:54 PM

Flint never should have bought that cutting edge Cuban water filtration system Michael Moore sold them.

viking01 on January 28, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Why is the Flint mayor being allowed to skate on this? Wasn’t this a city decision? Isn’t this the Flint water supply? Isn’t this pipes that belong to the city of Flint?

I realize some of it is homeowner’s pipes, but how is that the problem of the state or federal government?

huckleberryfriend on January 28, 2016 at 8:12 PM

Here’s a Democrat Government Water Story for ya, Democrat Cultists!

In the Democrat town in Hawai’i where O’bama just spent his multi-million dollar 2 week vacation, there is a park fountain built in the 1950s that degraded to the point where it needed major repairs. The Democrats in charge got their repair bill estimate, and it was for $40,000.

However, a private group in town decided to get their own estimates to repair the fountain as completely as the Democrats’ $40,000 repair job.

The result?

The private group completely repaired and restored the fountain for just over $4,000.

Del Dolemonte on January 28, 2016 at 8:21 PM

Why is the Flint mayor being allowed to skate on this?

huckleberryfriend on January 28, 2016 at 8:12 PM

Because she’s Female, Black, and a Democrat. The Daily Triple!

Next question?

Del Dolemonte on January 28, 2016 at 8:22 PM

Maybe we could get union carbide to head up the free market efforts. I hear they know a thing or two about man made disasters.

Tlaloc on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

If only government were in charge, we wouldn’t have had this water problem in Flint….

Jeff Weimer on January 28, 2016 at 9:10 PM

And don’t forget the Gold King Mine. Your tax dollars at work. Good old government interceding on your behalf, to the tune of three million gallons.

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 10:04 PM

And don’t forget the Gold King Mine. Your tax dollars at work. Good old government interceding on your behalf, to the tune of three million gallons.

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 10:04 PM

Let’s not forget the millions of gallons of water being dumped in California to try to save the delta smelt when there’s no significant evidence it will make a difference, or trying to reintroduce salmon when there’s no evidence that works either.

itsspideyman on January 28, 2016 at 10:18 PM

Maybe we could get union carbide to head up the free market efforts. I hear they know a thing or two about man made disasters.

Kenny Bania on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

LOL! You’re even more clueless than we thought…

Bhopal.com…Choke on It, Comedy Gold.

The design, engineering and construction of the Bhopal plant was a UCIL project from beginning to end. The project took eight years to complete (from 1972 to 1980). It involved hundreds of Indian engineers and designers from UCIL and major Indian engineering firms, dozens of Indian subcontractors and thousands of Indian construction workers. UCC did not design, construct or operate the Bhopal plant. All of the decisions with respect to the plant and its design, construction, and operation were made either by UCIL or mandated by GOI policies and directives.

Your Clueless Hatred of the US is duly noted, Komrade! Why not blame Bhopal on the country whose “most talented people” actually caused that disaster?

Because that would utterly destroy your entire Lie, turd by turd.

(Raises fist in salute)

F-

Del Dolemonte on January 29, 2016 at 2:02 AM

As an engineer…I can tell you that “fixing” Flint’s water will take decades. Another democrat slush fund coming right up.

trs on January 29, 2016 at 7:10 AM

I like your broadening horizons, Taylor. Not one anti-trump remark, and a good bit of realistic analysis up there.

Kudos.

LegendHasIt on January 28, 2016 at 7:35 PM

Actually we got a gratuitous and irrelevant dog-whistle to the Statist Millennial demographic

(thanks Net Neutrality>

– sort of like seeing a “John 3:16” placard in the End zone seating.

Then this truly brain dead idea of deregulating water. How exactly would that work with a generations old public water system? Will customers have multiple pipelines running to each house with different grades, sources and pay structures of water available from within?

There will be a “Pepsi” water for showering, clothes washing and toilets, “Evian” water for drinking and cooking and “Coke” suitable only for irrigation and hosing bugs off the window screens?

Reuben Hick on January 29, 2016 at 7:36 AM

Everyone leaves out Anheuser-Busch donating water to Flint. I guess that sends an odd message.

LoganSix on January 29, 2016 at 7:37 AM

Looks like Flint lead levels were going down. Many other cities in Michigan have the same problem but you don’t here about it.

The test results

plutorocks on January 29, 2016 at 8:52 AM

What did the Dept of Public Works spend their money on all these years when they could have been upgrading pipes in the city? I’ll bet the mayor drinks bottled water and puts it on an expense account.

Kissmygrits on January 29, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Looks like Flint lead levels were going down. Many other cities in Michigan have the same problem but you don’t here about it.

The test results

plutorocks on January 29, 2016 at 8:52 AM

People in Ohio have been telling you people to excise Michigan from the Union for centuries. Or just glass the whole state and start over.

Maybe now you’ll listen.

#1525DaysSinceMichiganLastWonTheRivalry
#9:58AmAndMichiganStillSucks

The Schaef on January 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Leftists complaining that private firms are stepping in to help……
Isn’t that what being a good corporate citizen is all about? They just can’t say one nice thing!

k2comp on January 29, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Pepsi aren’t just charitable organizations that might have their own ideologies. They’re for-profit companies. And by providing water to the public schools for the remainder of the year, the four companies have effectively supplanted the local water authorities and made themselves an indispensable public utility, but without any amount of public regulation or local accountability. Many people in Flint may want government to work better, but with sufficient donations, they may find that the private sector has supplanted many of government’s functions altogether.

This was a complaint???

The residents of that leftist utopia are not required to take one drop of free water from these private corporations. They are perfectly free (oops, for the price of their water bill) to use the government provided water.

Oh, wait….

runawayyyy on January 29, 2016 at 10:13 AM

If it were deregulated, then it’d give individuals more power to decide who they’d get their water from.

Really? Taylor, do you have any idea how the heck water gets to your house? There is no way that you will ever be able to choose the source of your water as an individual, unless you sink a well (or can learn to shower using bottles).

There are private companies involved in utility work, including power and Internet (thanks Net Neutrality),

You really don’t get the whole “internet provider” thing, either, do you?

GWB on January 29, 2016 at 10:34 AM

People in Ohio have been telling you people
The Schaef on January 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM

You people? Like I like Michigan and there politics and issues?

Who are ‘you people’ you so generalize?

plutorocks on January 29, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Who are ‘you people’ you so generalize?

plutorocks on January 29, 2016 at 10:36 AM

I mean, “you people“.

The Schaef on January 29, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Maybe we could get union carbide to head up the free market efforts. I hear they know a thing or two about man made disasters.

Tlaloc on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 PM

Tell me again about the sterling work the Dept. of Interior did in allowing BP to “do their own inspections” of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

I mean, “you people“.

The Schaef on January 29, 2016 at 11:43 AM

The Chinese’s?

GrumpyOldFart on January 29, 2016 at 1:07 PM

The Chinese’s?

GrumpyOldFart on January 29, 2016 at 1:07 PM

I’m glad someone’s taking my Ohio/Michigan rivalry in stride and not fishing for butthurt.

The Schaef on January 29, 2016 at 1:44 PM