Throwing money at Detroit only diverts leadership from its core problems.
That's the upshot of Kathy Hoekstra's superb report Wednesday about the latest round of taxpayer millions aimed at "fixing" Michigan's largest urban eyesore. Hoekstra's gumshoe work tracks whether the $47 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program monies targeted to stem foreclosures and stabilize housing values has been wasted. The camera tells the tale.
But it's worse than wasted dollars. Fittingly, Hoekstra's investigation comes on the same day that The Detroit News reported a staggering 45 percent - 45 percent! - of Detroiters are unemployed.
This after Detroit has been at the receiving end of billions of federal welfare dollars over the last 40 years. Take a look at Kathy's video. Take a look at those unemployment numbers. What has it bought?
It has bought a taxpayer investment in failure. Indeed, it has bought more problems at worst - and complacency at best.
The Great Society's welfare billions seeded the disaster that is Detroit today by spawning 85 percent illegitimacy rates that leave kids fatherless and feed the vicious cycle of illiteracy, unemployment and crime. Today, "stimulus" funds like the NSP monies only divert politicians' attention from the fundamentals at the root of these pathologies
Until the federal government stops patronizing cities like Detroit and politicians wake up to the fact that no money can fix a broken family culture, American taxpayer money will be wasted.