Michigan Governor: No Federal Bailout Seen for Detroit

Sunday, 21 Jul 2013 03:05 PM

 

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Michigan's governor said Sunday he would not seek a U.S. government bailout for Detroit, saying bankruptcy was a necessary path to rebuild the once great American auto city.

"And I don't expect one. I've said before that the state cannot bail out the city of Detroit," Rick Snyder said on CBS's "Face the Nation" talk show.

"It's not just about putting more money in a situation."

The city filed for bankrupcy on Thursday, saddled with $18 billion in debt and a tax base depleted by decades of population loss and urban blight.

It's the largest US city to declare bankruptcy, and the move set off shock waves even though decades of fiscal mismanagement had made it forseeable.

Nearly half of the city's debt is to underfunded pension plans and retiree health benefits, making current and former city workers potentially the biggest losers in a bankruptcy reorganization.

Steven Rattner, the former investment banker who led the restructuring of GM and Chrysler,this week called on the federal government to step in with financial assistance.

Vice President Joe Biden, however, told reporters this week the administration did not know what it could do.

"I think it's very difficult right now to ask directly for support," Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"They have been helpful, but now that we've done our bankruptcy filing, I think we've got to take a step back and see what's next," he added.

Snyder, a Republican, said he would seek federal assistance for targeted programs like one to demolish some of the city's 78,000 abandoned buildings.

But he said bankruptcy was needed to deal with the city's staggering debt.

"This is 60 years of decline. This has been kicking the can down the road for 60 years. And my perspective on it: Enough is enough," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

© AFP 2014

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