Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 1/22/16
I have two questions. First: when is the last time you had even the slightest concern about filling a glass with water from your kitchen sink and drinking it?
Second: can you name a city in America under Republican leadership that is broke and dysfunctional?
If your answers to question number one is, “never” and your answer to question number two is, “no,” here’s a third question. Can you name any cities under Democrat control that are broke and dysfunctional?
The answer to that question should come more easily to mind. Choices include Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark and now, as we are hearing recently, Flint, Michigan.
Flint, Michigan is one of the most liberal cities in America. Even though under its current city charter the office of mayor is officially non-partisan, the fact is that Democrats have had monopoly control of local government in Flint for decades. The last Republican mayor of Flint left office in 1975.
Democratic stewardship of the city has not yielded good results. The city is so financially desolate that the governor of Michigan, for the second time since 2002, appointed an emergency manager to operate in place of the local elected government.
To be fair to Flint, it was devastated in the 1980s by the disinvestment of General Motors. Auto manufacturing employment in Flint fell from over 80,000 to fewer than 8,000 workers. But it’s not entirely clear as to whether GM’s departure hastened a rise in crime and corruption in Flint or whether crime and corruption hastened GM’s departure.
Either way, when a major employer abandons a city, it calls for the best possible civic leadership and Flint hasn’t had it. Instead, in recent years, Flint has earned such dubious honors as being named “Most Dangerous City in America” by the magazine Business Insider, which compiled statistics from the FBI.
All of this leads us to the news that the public water supply in Flint is dangerously contaminated with lead. In 2014, Flint stopped buying treated water from Detroit as a cost-cutting move and instead started tapping the Flint River. However, river water is corrosive and the city did not treat the water sufficiently to keep it from leaching lead out of older pipes.
Flint residents began complaining about bad tasting water almost immediately but for 18 months they were assured by city officials – who had done no valid testing – that the water was safe. Thus without their knowing it, Flint residents began drinking and bathing in dangerously contaminated water.
Democrats everywhere want you to believe that government is good, that government has your best interests at heart, that government knows best and that government is done best under Democrats. But when it came to that most basic of municipal services – delivering safe water – the Democrats running Flint, Michigan failed and in so doing, put citizens in danger.
And yet, actual experience aside, Democrats like Hillary Clinton say with a straight face that they should control the entirety of the nation’s health care.