What do these U.S. locations have in common: Central Falls, RI; Detroit, MI; San Bernardino, CA; Mammoth Lakes, CA; Stockton, CA; Jefferson County, AL; Harrisburg, PA; and Boise County, ID? Well, each has filed for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy since 2010.
What these cities and states share, along with their financial challenges, is that the Democrat Party controls nearly every one of them; sometimes, it has for decades.
Consider Detroit, which on July 18, 2013, became the largest U.S. city ever to seek bankruptcy protection. No Republican has been mayor since January, 1962; the City Council has not had a Republican majority or plurality since the 1950’s. Democrats have run Detroit for more than a half century…into the ground.
As for the last Republican mayors in the other bankrupt locations:
• Central Falls – 1930,
• San Bernardino – 1993,
• Stockton – only one since 1990,
• Birmingham, Alabama, Jefferson County’s seat – 1975,
• Harrisburg – 1982, and
• Boise County, Idaho’s Commission appears majority Republican of late, bucking the trend.
Among the troubled, but not (yet?) bankrupt cities:
• Baltimore last elected a Republican mayor in 1963,
• Philadelphia – no GOP mayor in more than 60 years,
• Pittsburgh was last run by a Republican in 1934, and
• Miami has never had a Republican mayor.
• Atlantic City’s last Republican mayor was black; James Usry ended his term in 1990,
• A Republican last served as mayor of Camden, NJ from 1935 to 1936,
• Chicago’s last Republican mayor served in 1931, and for 43 of the last 82 years, the Democrat running the city was named Richard Daley, and
• Los Angeles boasts one Republican mayor since 1961.
There is more. In a report that identified 20 U.S cities that could go bankrupt after Detroit, at least 15 of them are Democrat-run. Of the 10 US cities with the highest percentages of residents living in poverty, Democrats have run them for decades. The point is hard to miss.
Turning attention to states with financial challenges:
• California: 4 Democrat and 4 Republican governors since 1959. However, since 1992, Democrats have run the State Assembly for all but 4 years, and the State Senate for all but 2,
• New Jersey: Since 1990 – 4 Democrat and 3 Republican, administrations. Since 1992, Republicans ran the Senate for 10 years, there were 2 years of shared control, and Democrats ran it for 10 years…the last 10 years; in the State House, Republican control for 10 years, followed by Democrat Control for the last 12, and
To be “fair”, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are troubled states under Republican control. Ohio has 24 governments and 6 school districts plagued by pension funding issues and an unwillingness to cut spending despite declining revenues. Pennsylvania has $47 Billion in unfunded pension liabilities and no political will to address the problem. Michigan halts between dealing with rising healthcare costs, or kicking that can down the road.
However, the political scales may not balance as much as some might believe; the policies at the root of these financial ills have a decidedly liberal Democrat aroma.
The problem of unfunded pension liabilities traces back to President Kennedy’s desire to grab union votes for Democrats. Both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and former AFL-CIO president George Meaney considered collective bargaining for public employees bad for taxpayers. However, when Kennedy saw that New York City Mayor Robert Wagner built a reliable Democrat voting bloc by granting collective-bargaining rights to the city’s public employees, he put his party’s good ahead of taxpayer benefit and issued an Executive Order in 1962, granting those rights to unionized federal employees. The practice spread across the nation. Now, governments have collectively bargained themselves into more than $4.5 Trillion in unfunded pension liabilities.
Problems with healthcare costs trace back to the 1965 origination of Medicare and Medicaid under President Lyndon Johnson. Government socialization of medical costs is now a financial disaster, with Medicare facing $38.6 Trillion in unfunded liabilities, according to its Board of Trustees. Also, Medicare heads for bankruptcy in 2016 or 2024, depending upon what is true about Obamacare.
It took 17 years for all 50 states to “voluntarily” participate in Medicaid, and 11 more for President Clinton to announce Medicaid was bankrupting them. Add the fact Obamacare makes Medicaid more costly for states, and that uninsured patients often have better medical outcomes than those using Medicaid, and one wonders how Medicare, Medicaid, or Obamacare benefit the nation. However, despite poorer health care and worsened state balance sheets, liberal Democrats use the programs to show themselves as “caring”.
More often than not in the U.S., when governments have financial trouble, Democrats are at the helm of government and, even when not in charge, policies originated and associated with Democrats cause the problems. For example, Democrats portray Social Security as an effective and successful program.
However, it is hard to imagine how a program, short nearly $10 Trillion over the next 75 years, and facing massive growth in the number of beneficiaries, meets any reasonable success criteria…until you consider how it delivers the senior vote to Democrats.
To their credit, Democrats convinced the nation that they care about the people, even as they devastate them financially. By the time Democrats finish showing their concern for people, no government anywhere is likely to have a dime to spend on them.
Perhaps it is time for a real change?