9 Aug.(LPAC) The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), has proposed that the city of Detroit receive federal disaster aid like that given to cities that have experienced a natural disaster.
In an Aug. 6 statement, Fudge chastised members of Congress who oppose federal aid for Detroit, but have no qualms requesting federal assistance when natural disasters of all types hit their communities. What is required now, she said, is an “immediate infusion of federal assistance for Detroit that creates new economic activities,” that would mitigate the effects of fiscal austerity, while maintaining critical city services and preserving “the livelihood and retirement security of the city’s residents.”
Of course, what is urgently required is the passage of Glass-Steagall.
The CBC chair debunked the idea that Detroit’s crisis was caused by its residents, municipal workers, or retirees, charging that “much larger economic forces” were the cause, “including the deindustrialization of our cities, and specifically the decline of the Detroit-based auto industry; a deliberate policy of the state of Michigan to suburbanize the Detroit metro area…[and] pervasive poverty. Detroit’s per capita income is 60% less than the per capita income of the state as a whole.”
It is unfair “to make city workers and their pensions the scapegoats,” Fudge warned. “They are not the problem.” In fact, since 2012, she added, the pensions of non-uniformed workers in the city have been reduced by 40%, and the average pension is now just $19,000 a year.