They’re trying to pretend it’s not a bailout since they’re not actually asking Congress for money and instead using grants and money from cuts to other programs. That’s all well and good, but it’s still a bailout.
U.S. President Barack Obama is committing at least $320 million to revive bankrupt Detroit, primarily through grants and other programs, to raze blighted buildings, hire police and firefighters and improve transit.
A delegation from Washington led by Attorney General Eric Holder, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will meet with Michigan and city officials today.
“We’re going to continue to support the efforts under way in Detroit and ensure the federal government is an active partner in supporting the revitalization of the city,” Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and head of an interagency working group on Detroit, said in a statement.
Detroit, once an auto-manufacturing powerhouse, declared the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history on July 18 after years of decline in which its population fell by more than half, to 700,000 from 1.8 million. The city has more than $18 billion in long-term obligations and is plagued by unreliable buses, broken street lights and long waits for police and ambulances. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr took over city finances in March.