Gov. Snyder Is Right

'Don't Give Detroit a Bailout'

The May 5 edition of Forbes magazine contains an interesting quote from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, taken from a March 27 speech at the “Reinventing America” summit in Chicago:

How can we bring people to our state? Don’t give Detroit a bailout. Give us 50,000 green cards for people with STEM degrees. Let them come here and work.

It is hard not to agree with him. Detroit should not get a bailout. Not by the federal government, to which Gov. Snyder was referring, but Detroit shouldn’t get a state bailout either, for all the reasons listed in previous Mackinac Center blog posts (here, here and here). His ideas for immigration reform are solid, but should be expanded.

The governor was no doubt referring specifically to a federal bailout, but it could easily be extended to state bailouts and rewritten to say, “How can we bring more people to the Motor City? Don’t give Detroit a bailout. Give them the opportunity to solve their own fiscal problems: reform government, decrease taxes, reduce costly regulations and provide better services. People will come from all over to work.”

In July 2013, appearing on "Face the Nation," Gov. Snyder said "I do not view that as the right answer" when asked about a bailout. "The right answer is, bankruptcy is there to deal with the debt situation."

The governor is right that the federal government should not bailout Detroit. But as long as he has decided to use that word, he should apply it to state government as well.