Detroit emergency manager: We dug this hole, we’ll dig out

Updated
By Michelle Altman
A vacant, boarded up house is seen in the once thriving Brush Park neighborhood with the downtown Detroit skyline behind it in Detroit, Michigan March 3, 2013.
A vacant, boarded up house is seen in the once thriving Brush Park neighborhood with the downtown Detroit skyline behind it in Detroit, Michigan March 3, 2013.
Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Detroit isn’t waiting around for help.

“We’ve created this problem, we’ve got to work our way out of it,” Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr said on Thursday’s Morning Joe. “We have a plan to do that.”

Detroit has been struggling for decades—the city has lost 60% of its residents and thousands of acres are in ruin, further degrading land values and eroding the city’s tax base. Though the auto industry was saved in no small part thanks to two federal bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors, Detroit doesn’t think it will receive state or federal aid.

“We’ve designed our plan without the expectation that we’re going to get any help from the federal government. Because we’ve been told, ‘Detroit dug this hole,’ and just as a matter of policy and good practices, we need to dig our way out of it,” he explained. “Make no mistake about it we’ll take whatever help we can get.”

It’s why in July, Orr made headlines when Detroit became the largest municipality to ever file for Chapter Nine bankruptcy. A trial is currently deciding on Detroit’s eligibility for bankruptcy, but if it moves forward, it will be the first step of Orr’s plan to restructure the tax code, cut spending from three billion to $125 million annually, and enlist investors to help rehabilitate the city.

For more on Detroit’s plan to rebuild, watch the full discussion here.

Detroit emergency manager: We dug this hole, we’ll dig out

Updated