This morning, a federal judge declared the city of Detroit eligible for bankruptcy, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
The city, which has $18 billion in debts and long-term liabilities, will now be able to shed its debts and put forth a restructuring plan to present to the court.
For months, unions and pension funds have been aggressively challenging attempts by the city to cut pension payments. Today in his decision, Judge Steven W. Rhodes ruled that the city could in fact cut city pensions. One city union has already appealed the ruling.
On Tuesday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (D) joined NOW with Alex Wagner to discuss the bankruptcy decision, Detroit’s decline and its capacity for a comeback.
“It’s not going to be an easy problem for us to solve,” Bing said of his city’s fiscal woes, “because it goes beyond emotionalism; it’s financial.”
Commenting on Detroit’s decline – high unemployment, violent crime, lack of public services – Bing said, “it took us 50 to 60 years to get where we are and it’s going to take us some time to get out of this.”
Ultimately, though, Bing said it would be the resilience of the people of Detroit who would bring the city out of decline. The citizens of Detroit, he said, have “gone through hell more than once and they understand that we’re going to have to fight and that fight has to be together.”
You can watch the discussion here.
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