On his eponymous Sunday program, Ed Schultz blamed Republicans for Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing, implying that the GOP is “happy to see Detroit go bankrupt” and that Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) is “swindling public workers out of their hard-earned pensions.” Schultz accused Republicans of wanting to “quit” and “surrender” on Detroit, launching into a 13-minute diatribe against Snyder and Republican policies of “free trade and outsourcing.”
The bombastic MSNBC host was also critical of Snyder’s efforts to remove blighted structures in the city, an effort funded by the Obama/Lew Treasury Department. Schultz blasted the federally-supported undertaking, claiming Snyder “wants to spend money to destroy the city”:
This is the beginning of privatization, my friend. You call in your local buddies when it comes to the construction and have all those local bulldozers knock it down, with federal money I would imagine. He wants to bring in bulldozers and knock down great parts of an American city, destroy a tradition, and kind of start all over with privatization.
Schultz doubled down on his criticism later in the segment, scolding Snyder for “demolishing a city” and treating the people of Detroit “like they are just numbers on a balance sheet.”
Big Eddie then announced his plan to “save Detroit here in the next few minutes.” Of course, for a liberal like Schultz, it was all about government spending:
I’m going to do it with federal dollars. You know why? Because we did it to Baghdad. We did it in Kandahar. We did some nation-building. We got to do some nation-building right here. And the first city on the map is going to be Detroit.
Schultz’s plan included “thousands more police officers and firefighters,” even though Snyder assured city residents that basic services would not be affected by the bankruptcy filing. Suffice to say, Ed also didn’t explain how his prescription – hiring more taxpayer-financed jobs – would actually grow the private sector (that element of the economy which fuels economic growth and, with it, expands the tax base).
Finally, Schultz addressed the Republican claim that Detroit’s bankruptcy is the result of decades of Democratic rule in the city. The left-wing host refused to even acknowledge that claim, though, implying that it was Democrats who were saving Detroit from its ultimate fate:
And this idea that, well it’s been under Democratic rule and Democratic city leaders for years, that is true. That is very true. That is why there were good wages, there were good pensions, there were good health care programs. There were things that people had earned.
Schultz concluded his opening segment by baiting his viewers with a question: are Republicans happy to see Detroit go bankrupt?
In a later segment addressing the George Zimmerman verdict with Michael Eric Dyson and Joy Reid, Schultz brought up Republican policies and Detroit once more:
See, I think their narrative of black-on-black crime [after the Zimmerman verdict] is connected to letting Detroit go bankrupt. That it’s just a bunch of black kids doing it on one another. And that it’s really slowing down society. I think it all ties in together. I really believe that.
Apparently, the Democratic errors behind Detroit’s bankruptcy – including decades of Democratic leadership in Detroit that ballooned annual deficits, and the president’s taking credit for Detroit’s recovery in 2012 – is too inconvenient for Schultz to consider in his war on Republicans.
See the full transcript below:
The Ed Show
July 21, 2013
5:01 p.m. Eastern
ED SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching. The keyword tonight is surrender. In this broadcast, I want you to take away that word tonight. Because I’m going to show you how Republicans quit, they give up, they don't believe, they surrender. And this man, right here, he is the former CEO of a computer company. And today he is the governor of Michigan, with all kind ever excuses. Lots of misinformation surrounding the story. I'm setting the record straight here tonight. Unfortunately, Rick Snyder is running his state like a corporation. It’s all about the bottom line, not the people. He thinks that he can reinvent Detroit by making it a better place, by putting the city through bankruptcy – which of course is in legal challenge. I'll tell what you he is really doing. He’s swindling public workers out of their hard-earned pensions. And today he came up with a new grand idea for the Motor City.
GOV. RICK SNYDER [on Sunday’s Meet the Press]: One thing I'm proud of, that we’re partnering with the federal government, city and the state working together is blight removal. We’re going to be starting to implement a $100 million program to remove some of those 78,000 blighted structures in Detroit, hopefully within the next 30 days. That’s one of the positive steps.
SCHULTZ: Did he say a hundred million dollars to tear down the city? That's his idea of investment? Rick Snyder will not invest a dime to help the people of Detroit. Instead, he wants to spend money to destroy the city. This is the beginning of privatization, my friend. You call in your local buddies when it comes to the construction and have all those local bulldozers knock it down, with federal money I would imagine. He wants to bring in bulldozers and knock down great parts of an American city, destroy a tradition, and kind of start all over with privatization. Make no mistake – Detroit, like every other city in this country, I believe this exemplifies just how great this country can be. You see, when Henry Ford started the automobile industry, he made sure all of his workers made enough money so they could afford what the heck they were making. When we were attacked during World War II, what did Detroit do? Well, they made a shift and became the arsenal of democracy.
SCHULTZ: The city has s a culture of mobilization when called upon. The people of Detroit not only saved America from the Axis of Evil, but they helped free millions of people across the world from the oppression of Hitler and Mussolini. I do believe that back then, they were Americans. And I know damn well today they are still Americans in Detroit. You may say well, wait a minute Ed, that's about war. Hey, wait a minute. We have a jobs crisis in this country. If we care about black youth, if we care about people of color, if we care about our economy and growth, we need to care about Detroit and not bring in the bulldozers. And just a refresher course, after World War II, Detroit became the economic engine for the middle class in this country. Cars rolled off the assembly lines like never before. And you know what people had? A good-paying, union, middle-class jobs.
Wait a minute. It’s that damn word in there again, union. Oh, that's always the problem, isn't it? This went on for decades, until Republicans decided that the best policy for the country was free trade and outsourcing of manufacturing. Outsourcing of manufacturing.
SNYDER [on Sunday’s Meet the Press]: This is 60 years of decline. This has been kicking the can down the road for 60 years. In my perspective on it, enough is enough. I think there needs to be more accountability in government. Part of the issue here is let’s stand up and deal with this tragic situation and take care of the citizens.
SCHULTZ: So, he has no responsibility whatsoever in any of this. It’s the last 60 years. Well Mr. Snyder, why in the hell did you run for governor? Why did you tell people before the election that you were going to do something about Detroit? Let me bring it to you this way, folks. When you don’t have a plan, that means you don’t have any guts. Snyder has had no plan for the last three years for the city of Detroit, and now he is blaming everything? Oh, this has been 60 years in the making. I didn’t hear that on the campaign trail.
Now, I have shown you this chart a lot on The Ed Show. When union membership goes down, so do middle class wages over time. That’s the 60 years I’m talking about, governor. Republicans attacking unions. Middle class workers going with the policy of free trade. And course, leaving a great American city, which was the pentacle of manufacturing in America, Oh, just shove them down the toilet – and don’t worry, they’re just a bunch of black folks anyway. This is your America. Meanwhile, instead of saving Detroit, Snyder wants to bulldoze. He want to bulldoze it. He is treating the people of Detroit, Michigan like they are just numbers on a balance sheet. This guy thinks that demolishing a city is reinventing it. And he is dead wrong.
So tonight, okay, enough bitching. I’m going to give governor of Michigan the Ed plan. I’m going to save Detroit here in the next few minutes. And you know how I’m going to do it? I’m going to do it with federal dollars. You know why? Because we did it to Baghdad. We did it in Kandahar. We did some nation-building. We got to do some nation-building right here. And the first city on the map is going to be Detroit.
First, no city will survive unless citizens feel safe. I’m in charge. I’m Ed Schultz. Instead of slashing public services, Detroit is going to get thousands more police officers and firefighters. You know who’s going to pay for it? The American taxpayers, because we are going to reinvigorate the spirit in America that we can get it done. The second thing ruler Schultz is going to do – Detroit needs to make a major investment in education. Every child needs an opportunity to advance. And the only way to do this is through total commitment to education. Don’t shut down schools. Open them back up. Is it going to take money? Yeah, it is. Third, I have a Republican idea here. This is kind of my bipartisan thing here. Should Detroit do this? Should they give any company who relocates to the city a tax-exempt status for the next ten years? Yes. The city knows how to make things. It is in the culture. Manufacturing’s in its DNA. The people of Detroit will be able to reinvent manufacturing for the 21st century. Now, it is going to take billions to do this, to make this happen. The federal government needs to help. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. When did we do it, Ed? Well I’ll tell you, since you’re asking at home.
We bailed out Wall Street after criminal, unethical, and deregulated practices trashed our economy. We saved the automobile industry when they needed help. But it was a loan. It wasn’t a bailout. They are paying it back and the Treasury is making money. And now America’s automobile industry is where? It’s better than ever. You mean we can actually do this? Detroit built this country. And I think Congress needs to step up and cut this city and this state a check and make it a model, so every American knows that this can be done. But instead, what the Republicans are giving us is nothing but surrender. That’s their policy. Every politician who puts their hand on the Bible and takes the oath of office has a duty to this city and to manufacturing in this country. That means you, Republicans. You love to run around and wave the flag and tell us how you support the troops. How about supporting American workers? The GOP loves to talk about patriotism, and just how much they love America. I think it is time Republicans step up and prove to us that they don’t have their head in the sand, and they actually do love this country and they care about all people. Now at the beginning of this, I said that there’s a lot of misinformation. Let me just say this about cronyism. If you want get detailed, you can go find cronyism in any city government in this country.
And this idea that, well it’s been under Democratic rule and Democratic city leaders for years, that is true. That is very true. That is why there were good wages, there were good pensions, there were good health care programs. There were things that people had earned. And city fathers knew that they had earned it. The outside external pressures of outsourcing and free trade brought on by Republicans, and some Democrats, that put Detroit at the pinnacle of this problem in America. It is not the local city government as the fault of what is happening in Detroit. It is an American policy that stopped believing in workers. It is an American policy that said well, manufacturing is really not that important. And Detroit is the first city to pay the price. Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight’s question – are Republicans happy to see Detroit go bankrupt? Text ‘A’ for yes. Text ‘B’ for no to 67622. You can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com.
We will bring you the results later on in the show. Let me just say this. Detroit is the result of Republican policy – when you don’t believe in workers, when you don’t want to invest in communities, and when you start picking and choosing neighborhoods like Rahm Emanuel is doing in Chicago. I offer to you tonight that this is – God dang it, it can’t be the beginning! But I’m afraid it is.
SCHULTZ [to Michael Eric Dyson and Joy Reid]: See, I think their narrative of black-on-black crime [after the Zimmerman verdict] is connected to letting Detroit go bankrupt. That it’s just a bunch of black kids doing it on one another. And that it’s really slowing down society. I think it all ties in together. I really believe that.