First, bankruptcy should be accelerated for a class of communities that clearly have demonstrated an inability to govern themselves.
Detroit had Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr appointed by Michigan governor Rick Snyder. His appointment usurped all the authority that previously resided in Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council.
Communities that are clearly on a path to collapse should have help accelerating that path. They should get into bankruptcy, reshape unsustainable pension liabilities, health-care premiums for retirees and bond creditors that will never be paid.
They must be prevented from continuing to dig a deeper hole.
Second, identify that second tier of communities that still have time to be saved from the path to collapse. As Americans, let's provide them the talent, structure and resources necessary from the financial calamity of bankruptcy that disrupts the lives of retirees, investors and residents.
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Within 120 days of his first day on the job, Orr had taken the City of Detroit into bankruptcy. If we take the five largest municipal bankruptcies in American history, add them together and double it, we are not to the size and scope of the Detroit bankruptcy. If the emergency manager had four years rather than four months, there's a reasonable expectation the calamity of bankruptcy could have been avoided.
These tier two communities can still be saved but action must be taken in short order to prevent them from slipping on to the certain ramp of financial collapse.