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Detroit Ironies

Detroit, Michigan, is a failed city. In recognition of this, its government went to court yesterday to beg for bankruptcy status, and the protection that implies — mainly, the legal ability to force the re-prioritization of its $18 billion debt: In his opening statement, attorney Bruce Bennett said he “could

Twinkies in Zombieland?

Hostess is dead. The bakery company stopped production in November, and has been trying to sell off its divisions since. Lucky for folks like Twinkie-obsessed Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson in Zombieland (2009), the much-beloved synthetic pastries may again appear in stores this summer. And not as a zombie product,

Bankruptcy, Not Bailouts

America’s bailout economy started many administrations ago, but really went Big Time under President George W. Bush . . . and then went Enormity Time with President Barack Obama. The Washington Post provides the latest in bailout news by noting an inter-departmental squabble: The Special Inspector General for the Troubled

The Stockton Bust

Stockton, California, had seen a flurry of new home projects right up till the mortgage market crash. But, boy, did that come to a screeching halt. The crash led to foreclosures, which led to lower revenues from property taxes for the city. And though the city tried some spending cuts,

Bankrupted by Cushy Pension Contracts

Central Falls, Rhode Island, is not a large city. It is a town of under 20,000 people. And its government is broke, facing likely bankruptcy. Municipal bankruptcies are not common. But they might become so. Why? The blame is easy to place: the proverbial gun-under-the-table contracting foisted on small localities

Pension Tsunami

A humungous national debt. Growing state federal government budget deficits. Social Security and Medicare, running out of funds. All very frightening. But look out: The costs of public employee pensions are walloping city and state budgets — pushing a number of California cities into bankruptcy. Though the stock market tumble

March to Bankruptcy

I have warned, before, about the upcoming double-barrel crisis aimed at the U.S. financial system: The insolvency of the U.S. government itself, as entitlement debt can no longer be kept afloat by FICA withholding, and as Treasury debt can no longer be maintained on a monthly basis simply because it

Good Guys and Bad Guys

There are two types of people, those who divide people into wicked capitalists and saintly victims, and those who don’t. The folks at ACORN, a lefty activist group, see only evil capitalists and downtrodden everybody-else. Columnist Michelle Malkin reports how ACORN champions the cause of homeowners crushed by the credit

Microcosm Out West

The Wahkiakum County Eagle covers one of the smallest counties in Washington state. Last issue’s big story was about the county’s finances. The large picture on the front page shows county officials conferring how to lay off employees. A smaller picture features a note pinned to a wall. The note

A Question Worth Asking?

The presidential candidates talk about leadership and change. What’s the one question that combines both, but is not asked? Simple: What happens if it all comes crashing down? After the worst stock market drop since 9/11, the question doesn’t seem so out of place. Our federal government’s debt is rising

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