The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Editorials

July 31, 2013

Editorial: Detroit's pensioners should be priority

Detroit was once a city of dreams. The anchor of the U.S. auto industry, Motown was the fourth largest city in the country with a large and growing middle class based on auto-worker wages. There were world-class sports teams, museums and, of course, Motown records where icons such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye got their start.

The Motor City had it all. Now there’s nothing left except the sports teams. Two weeks ago, Detroit announced it was filing bankruptcy, the largest government entity in the U.S. to take such a move. But with $18 billion in debt, the city’s unelected manager, Kevyn Orr, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, felt bankruptcy was the only way to get out from under such a crushing debt burden.

The sides are being formed. Who will lose the most money: bondholders, who invested with the city on the safe assumption they would get some profit on their investment, or workers who are due pensions after a career in public service? Pensions make up about $3 billion of the debt.

It will be up to a bankruptcy judge to decide, but Orr says he wants to spread the pain. Retired workers are furious about pension cuts and have already filed suit to block the bankruptcy. Retirees claim that any cut to pensions violates Michigan’s constitution. According to the New York Times, the state constitution says contracts between the employees and the government “shall not be diminished or impaired.”

Snyder and Orr think federal bankruptcy will supersede Michigan’s constitution, which surely begs the question of what Michigan’s constitution is actually worth. No, the state constitution should take precedence and retirees’ pensions should be given priority.

In a similar (but smaller) bankruptcy in Central Falls, R.I., a state law gave bondholders preferential treatment, according to the Times.

Text Only
Editorials
  • OPN - HB0802 - hp photo with editorial - SU Editorial: Dan Patch Invitational brings national focus The Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park on Aug. 8 brings some of the best standardbreds into the state and brings the local track into a national spotlight. This is a great chance to support the effort to keep the city on the map and a big crowd helps add to the atmosphere.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0728 - World War 1 Local Bob Quinn 2 Editorial: WWI commemorated at 100th anniversary On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. There was overwhelming support. Neutrality was no longer an option. The sinking by Germany of the British ocean liner, the Lusitania, further committed Americans to the cause. Madison County answered the call, too.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editorial: Ring the bell! School is back in session Whether it’s the first first day of school or the last first day of high school, a multitude of unknown obstacles, achievements and milestones await. Enjoy every single one.

    July 30, 2014

  • Editorial: City overzealous in calling for Chamberlain probe In the aftermath of The Herald Bulletin's recent news report that City Councilman Rodney Chamberlain had been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in relation to basketball league funds, one question stands out.

    July 30, 2014

  • Editorial: Plan to attend reservoir session As discussion on the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir moves along, there have been strong voices concerning both sides of the project.

    July 29, 2014

  • You Said It: About graffiti, electric bill and Dr. Mares Each Monday, The Herald Bulletin publishes “You Said It,” a compilation of readers’ comments from www.theheraldbulletin.com coupled with responses by the newspaper’s editorial board.

    July 28, 2014

  • Editorial: Prison behavior reflects inappropriate culture If the Pendleton Correctional Facility is still rife with a sexualized climate, then it is time to clean the place up. It would be wise to reiterate and enforce the workplace ethics. And if one lesson is learned, it is to seriously consider staff complaints about inappropriate conduct.

    July 26, 2014

  • Editorial: Animal ordinance first step in fighting abuse, cruelty Laws like Alexandria’s new animal ordinances are a first step toward ending animal abuse and cruelty. Hundreds of scared and hurting animals are waiting for us to take the next one.

    July 25, 2014

  • Editorial: County needs preschool funding Five Indiana counties received great news this week from Gov. Mike Pence's office. Madison County was not one of them.

    July 25, 2014

  • Editorial: Celebrate students' progress but don't think work is done For too long now, there has not been a high enough value placed on education. There were always other options. The working world, however, has evolved, and so must this community’s attitudes about preparing our young people for the future.

    July 24, 2014

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

How many Dan Patch races have you attended?

None
1-2
3 or more
All 20
     View Results