I joined the political on Bret Baier’s Special Report for the first time this week and, among other topics, discussed the roots of Detroit’s bankruptcy with Charles Krauthammer. The conservatives on the Interwebs seemed to enjoy our exchange, since several picked up our conversation. Here’s the gist, in transcript and video:
SALLY KOHN: I think the cautionary tale out of this is that a number of folks will try and use Detroit falsely as an example to push more austerity, to really cram more austerity down the throats of the United States. Look, every study that supposedly said austerity and cutting spending in order to create growth was a good idea has been disproven. It has hurt England’s economy and elsewhere. England, literally, they can’t even save the bath water with the baby. And now they’re going to try and use Detroit as an excuse to do more of this.
You know, look, Republicans unfortunately when the economy is good, they want to cut spending and taxes, and when the economy is bad they want to cut spending and taxes, that’s just their answer everything. Here is where we need spending to help. That’s just the reality.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Sally, Detroit is not really an example of the failure of GOP economic policy. It’s been run by the Democrats for 60 years, and you can cite all the studies about how bad austerity is, all you have to do is look at Detroit and you get an idea of how bad the absence of austerity is, it’s a city in ruin.
I think that the reason that the administration is hesitant to even talk about a bailout is that it understands that Detroit is a precedent. The minute you step into a bailout in Detroit, you’re going to get every city in the country lining up with a tin cup. And that’s why even this administration, even this administration is going to hold back from doing this.
KOHN: I’m not saying that we need to bail out Detroit; I’m not saying that’s the right answer. But look, we have to know that the problems in Detroit are deeper than any party. And I put the blame on Obama too for embracing these austerity politics. But, you know, in the ’60s, 56% of jobs in the Detroit area were in the city and by the ’90s, it was 18%. We have had six decades of divestment in that city that we all are responsible for. It’s all our of economic policies.
Video and transcript courtesy of Real Clear Politics, via Fox News.
Here’s some other links on our exchange: from Fox Nation, The Blaze, The National Review and (as always) Twitchy — which includes some of my (still ongoing) back and forth with National Review editor Jonah Goldberg.
And for those who want to, I dunno, actually try and understand the point that I was making — here’s a brilliant article by Maya Wiley on how Detroit’s problems are rooted in six decades of disinvestment and racial discrimination. Stay tuned for Goldberg explaining to Maya and me why he thinks this analysis is “insane”….
UPDATE: The lede on this response, from the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, takes the cake:
Sally Kohn, an energetic young liberal with a remarkable haircut…
And here’s a great piece from David Sirota on Salon about the other factors that led to Detroit’s demise, including pro-big business trade policy and tax giveaways.
Here’s the full clip of the first segment, including discussing about the President’s upcoming economics speech vs. Do-Nothing-Republicans. Video courtesy of Fox News: