“Detroit Turnaround” Farce: Crumbling Black City Propped Up by Federal Tax Money

The much-vaunted “Detroit turnaround”—where the majority black Midwest US city was supposed to “recover” from total collapse—is a farce maintained only through massive federal subsidies, while the city’s population has contributed nothing to rebuild the once-thriving metropolis.


The “turnaround” program was announced in 2013, when the state of Michigan stepped in to try and rescue the majority black city which had turned into America’s largest ruined city and criminally-infested slum. Almost all white people had fled the city center, unable to live in the middle of the Third World chaos.

An “emergency manager” was appointed from outside, and the city was put into formal bankruptcy when it became apparent that its debts far outstripped its ability to raise money from its population.

The bankruptcy was ended in late 2014 to much media fanfare—but the city’s latest official Financial Report has revealed that this deal was struck only by creating further debt, rather than actually raising new funds.

As the city’s report revealed, the bankruptcy ended on December 10, 2014, when, “in accordance with the Plan, the City issued $1.3 billion of debt, of which $1.1 billion was delivered to various classes of creditors in satisfaction of their claims. . .”

“Included in the $1.3 billion of debt were the City’s Financial Recovery Income Tax Revenue and Refunding Bonds. . . Also, the City has remaining proceeds available for reinvestment and revitalization initiatives from the $120.0 million of the 2014 Financial Recovery Bonds (Quality of Life) that was refunded with this new debt.”

In other words, the debt has merely been moved around, not cleared.

Even the widely publicized “improvements” to the city’s infrastructure are all, without exception, funded by grants from outside the city. These “improvements” have been listed as a new bridge over the border with Canada, the M-1 rail project, a new fleet of buses, the upgrading of utility infrastructure, the installation of state-of-the-art LED street lighting, and “blight removal” initiatives.

All of these “improvements” are being funded from outside the city.

– The new border crossing into Canada, dubbed the “New International Trade Crossing” (NITC) is being paid for by the Canadian federal government and the State of Michigan, according to the Detroit city financial report. The Canadian federal government is funding the bridge construction, land acquisition in Michigan, and the construction of ramps from Interstate 75. It has already allocated $25 million to begin land acquisition on the Detroit side.

 -The M-1 Rail project is a new 3.3 mile streetcar light rail line which will run along the City’s famous Woodward Avenue. The $179.4 million project is, according to that company’s website, being built with the financial backing of outside private philanthropists (the largest of which is the Troy, Michigan-based Kresge Foundation), state, and federal government agencies.

– In addition, the Michigan Department of Transportation has committed $59.2 million in state and federal funds to concurrently reconstruct Woodward and two overpasses for the M-1 system.

 – The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) is a Michigan state-created authority tasked with installing 65,000 LED lights in the city. These LED lights are being paid for by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which “awarded” the city of Detroit a $400,000 grant “from unspent federal funding.”

– The 50 new buses which the Detroit Department of Transport (DDOT) have put into service are the result of a $25.9-million grant given to the city by the US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and is being partially matched by the Michigan state government to produce a total subsidy of $32.375 million.

– The “blight removal” initiatives—actually just the demolition of houses trashed after years of “Devil’s Night” fire-bombing and related black lawlessness—is also being subsidized by Federal money, according to the city’s Financial Report.

– The utility infrastructure improvements are also federally subsidized, and users are being subsidized by a charity called the Detroit Water Project, which has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to help residents pay their water bills.

– All the other “improvements” announced in the city are also the result of outside federal subsidies. For example, US Vice President Joe Biden recently announced during a visit to Detroit that “federal money will help finance an institute in the city’s Corktown area where engineers will develop alternatives to steel for building cars.”

In addition, the state of Michigan has taken over Detroit’s income tax collection system completely, and has been forced to appoint a “Detroit Financial Review Commission” which consists of a chief financial officer and a nine-member commission independent of the city government to monitor the city’s finances.


The problems which caused Detroit’s original collapse—the ethnic cleansing of its white residents—have not gone away, and will inevitably bring down these outside subsidized “improvements” as well.

As the city’s Financial Report confirmed:

The City’s economy and tax base continue to struggle under the weight of property valuation declines, a stubbornly weak demographic profile, and a dwindling population, all of which are impediments to the City’s efforts to revitalize its economy and shore up its revenue base.

The persistently high unemployment rate is also a contributor to the high concentration of residents below the poverty level. Approximately 39.3% of the City’s residents live in poverty, according to US census estimates from 2009–13, compared to the US official poverty rate of 14.5% for 2013. While Detroit is the eighteenth largest US City and still boasts a large economic base even after years of decline, the City reports a very low $21,889 full value per capita, well below the US city median of $89,356. This statistic illustrates the difficulty of funding services for a population of this size using the resources available.

In other words, nothing has changed in Detroit. The “improvements” will last only as long as the outside subsidies continue, and when they come to an end, the city will once again regress.

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  1. What this story does not say is there are already a bridge and a tunnel between Windsor Ontario and Detroit Michigan. It is a very busy route for American and Canadian trade. Both were very busy crossings with big line ups but the American owner of the existing bridge fought to prevent the Canadian government from paying for another bridge. Other border crossings to the USA such as Buffalo New York are doing well and have embraced the trade that brings there city prosperity. Buffalo New York has reinvented them selves , repurposed their former steel mills lands to more profitable usage. Buffalo has a progressive mayor. Detroit Michigan has no such leadership and continues to circle the drain. Not surprised that Obama would throw good money after bad. No leadership there either.

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