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Greg MacMaster: United we stand, divided still a preferable way to go

by: Eric B.

Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:16:09 AM EDT

The dumb, short-sighted out-state attitude towards Detroit distilled.

State Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, is among those questioning the bailout package. MacMaster said he isn’t against helping Detroit out of its financial hole, but he won’t do it with more state money, especially if the city and employee unions don’t do their part. 

"They've been rewarded for decades with contracts that have favored them," MacMaster said. "It wasn't the taxpayers of Michigan that put Detroit in this position, it was Detroit's inability to administer their funds properly."

Many thanks, Detroit, for all the wealth you funnelled into the state as home to the auto industry, and by a matter of osmosis into northern Michigan through vacation homes and during deer camp. Now, in your hour of need, we the residents of northern Michigan say ... go screw yourself.

Seriously, this is a nihilist's attitude. The entire point of having governments at the state level is to pool resources from among many communities and devote them to the overall betterment of everyone who lives under that government, the same way that the federal government is intended to exist to better everyone in the United States and your local city exists to improve the lives of people living within its boundaries. If your attitude towards bd times in another part of the state is, "Well, you got yours when things were going well, but now that things aren't, you're on your own," then it's not a big leap to arguing that we might as well dissolve the state of Michigan and let its composite communities go their separate ways.

Update! ... Jack Lessenberry writes more about this.

Speaker of the House Jase Bolger says he won’t even consider letting this come up for a vote, unless the city unions are willing to kick in some money as well.

Bolger, who is from Marshall, clearly feels no connection to or love for Detroit, and less for unions.

It isn’t clear if the city’s battered unions even have that kind of cash. What is clear to Republicans, of course, is that every dollar the unions have to give up is one less dollar they can conceivably donate to political campaigns.

Keep in mind that this isn't just a state donation to bailout the city of Detroit. It's one component in a complicated machine intended to resolve Detroit's bankruptcy. It's not just about saving the unions. It's also about protecting the Detroit Institute of Arts. And, the House Speaker wants his due ... getting something to protect his legislative majorities. In other words, the city's pensioners stand at risk, as does a regional cultural gem (one that brings important works of art to a part of the state otherwise bereft of it), and by extension the rest of us because we're all tied to Detroit's fate, because Jase Bolger wants a partisan advantage.

Eric B. :: Greg MacMaster: United we stand, divided still a preferable way to go
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