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Detroit Says "Thanks Joe" by Ripping Off Biden

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

It’s a good thing that Joe Biden and Barack Obama saved the car company that saved Detroit.

Some Detroiters were so thankful that they stole some Biden gear that was headed down to the Democrat National Carnival. A U-Haul with Biden’s VP accoutrement was jacked over the weekend from the Westin hotel according to the Secret Service.


“Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the USSS,” reports ABCNews blog The Note “told ABC News the truck carrying equipment was stolen between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning at the Westin Hotel in Detroit. He would not specify what kind of equipment was in the truck.”

The truck was later recovered.

No word if Hillary Clinton has a solid alibi, but I’m presuming that she’ll say she’s been out-of-town.

Even as the White House struggles answering the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Detroit serves as the counterpoint to the Obama claims that they tried his plan and it worked.

I think that we can all agree that as cities go, Detroit is a failed state.

The only thing missing is the oil-rich despot. But if you count the unions as a corporate person- and I do- they even have a tyrant too.

Despite unprecedented federal money funneled to Detroit though the auto bailout -a total of $100 billion in both public and private “new” money went to the automaker now known as Government Motors - the city is still struggling. Detroit has 300 fewer cops on the street than they did in 2010, says its police chief. And although homicides are down, serious crime is up, according to the Huffington Post.

CBSNews reports that a suspected murderer had to show up at a fire station twice before the police agreed to arrest him. Detroit cops blame the snafu on overburdened personnel attending to “high priority runs.”

Apparently in Detroit, there are higher priorities than arresting murderers.

Like union bonuses.


Detroit public schools are operating under emergency management provided by the state because their fiscal situation is so dire. The district laid off 422 teachers this year to make up the shortfall, yet still managed to give union teachers a 2 percent bonus recently, even though the district is still in the hole by $75 million, says the Detroit News.

This year, GM gave its union workers a record $7,000 bonus, as the company reported record profits for 2011.

“Now they are getting a bigger share of the recovery,” says labor economist Donald Grimes of the University of Michigan, about the state according to That’s because Michigan got a greater share of the stimulus and TARP funds than any other region.

But don’t count Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, as amongst the beneficiaries of the so-called recovery. The city is operating under a consent agreement whereby the state allows it some autonomy although the state still holds the purse strings. Tax revenues in Detroit have seen sharp declines and currently the city owes about $2,000 per resident in debt interest and principle, says the Citizen Research Council of Michigan. The city council just rejected putting a property tax increase on the ballot to hire 500 new police officers while the mayor has struggled to cut the city’s deficit.

And while Michigan’s economy is no doubt growing, the results must be unevenly felt judging by the poll numbers. According to a Real Clear Politics average of polls, Michigan is only giving Obama a 1.2 percent election edge in what should be the most grateful state in the nation.  


Thanks to federal intervention, GM has record profits and its workers got record bonuses.

Under Obama’s theory of economics shouldn’t Detroit, if nowhere else, be prospering?

No, actually.

“I have not gotten one call ... that says you better put this [tax increase] on the ballot so I can pay more money for more police officers,” Councilman Kwame Kenyatta told members of the city’s police commission and Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr, who strongly backed the proposal, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I’ve gotten plenty that say I can’t take anymore.”

They can’t take it because Obama’s economic theory includes shared sacrifice for the most of us so the some of them favored by the government can take home record profits and record bonuses.

In other words, the people of Detroit- and the rest of the country too- just spent three-and-a-half years getting ripped off. And when Biden comes a calling telling them how grateful they should be, there’s only one answer to give.  

On behalf of the rest us, thank you Detroit for at least letting Joe Biden know how most of the rest of us feel.    

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