America’s 10 largest cities drowning in debt

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The coming dark age: According to a new report [pdf] from an independent government watchdog, the United States’ ten largest cities are all deep in debt, with taxpayer burdens for that debt ranging from $119K to $13K per taxpayer.

Almost all the cities on this list are and have been run by Democrats for decades, with Democratic strongholds Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia holding the four top spots. Nor have the Republicans been innocent or responsible. In cities where they had some control, such as New York when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, little was done to rein in spending. Still, Democrats have held the bulk of political control in big American cities for the last century, so much of this debt comes from their policies.

The watchdog group that issued the report, Truth in Accounting, also focused on the dishonest accounting practices used by all these cities to hide their debt.

“The largest cities in the U.S. issue so-called ‘Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports,’ but most of them aren’t so comprehensive,” Bill Bergman, Truth in Accounting’s director of research, told Fox News via email.

The report questioned if cities’ annual financial reports “comprehensively track municipal accounts such as school districts, transit agencies, utility systems, etc.” Annual financial reports “for a city doesn’t present the full picture of their fiscal position, and is deceptive to the public,” the report said.

None of this is news. Politicians of all strips at every level of government have been faking their accounting for decades to allow them to spend more money than they have. The result is debt across the board, at every level of American government, with the worst debt held by our out-of-control federal government.

Are the politicians to blame? Yes, but the source of their corruption really falls on the voters, who have favored such politicians because they have been giving money away to those taxpayers. Rather than be responsible citizens, Americans for the past half century have been greedy and selfish, using their governments to get as many free handouts as possible. Or they have been willing to countenance big payouts to unions and others, sometimes for naive idealism, and sometimes because of pure laziness to pay attention to such matters.

Can the U.S. clean up this mess before the whole house of cards collapses? That remains unknown. Trump’s election hints that the voters might be willing to try, but then, Trump is no budget-cutting hawk. He believes in lots of government spending as well, from NASA to infrastructure. It remains to be seen whether the American public has begun to recognize this unsustainable situation. My sense is that they have become aware, but are still unwilling to make the hard sacrifices necessary to fix the problem. For example, the worst political offenders here remain the Democrats, and there is absolutely no indication of them losing power in the big urban cities named in this report. The debt grows, but the voters continue to support them.

Until we see a full house-cleaning in the Democratic Party, the situation is simply not going to improve.



  • Cotour

    To your point both in the proposal for the political class to control 85% of the solar system and in the 10 major city debt situation, this is their self proclaimed spokes person.

    “There is plenty of money in the world, its just in the wrong hands”. Pandering to the masses.

    (Yeah, in the hands of the people who made the money. Maybe there is an instructive John Gault moment in the future of NYC and the country should this baffoon or the likes of AOC become more empowered than he / she is currently. This is one of the problems with NYC, all of that dirty filthy capitalist money that flows into the governments coffers. A very bad situation)

    DeBlasio had a pre presidential “Green New deal” announcement the other day at of all places, Trump Tower. The symbolism was disrupted by management turning way up the sound system to drown him out and there were many there with very negative DeBlasio posters.

    This is the one poster that was missing:


    I heard some interesting analysis the other day regarding many of the presidential hopefuls in the presidential race, maybe Wayne might comment on it. Especially in the DeBlasio instance. He understands that he will never be the president but his position as the mayor of NYC combined with his soon to be announced presidential run will result in his political PAC being filled with cash from developers and Wall Streeters. And these probably millions of dollars will be able to be retained by DeBlasio and any other politico into the future as long as they say they are intending to run for something and these funds can be used for overhead and travel etc.

    Parasites in other words.

  • wayne

    I’ll trying really hard to not pay attention to any of these dem presidential wanna-be’s! (I wouldn’t let any of them feed my cat, much less hand them the keys to the car.)
    ((In the Alternate Universe, they’d all be rendered off-shore & disappeared.))

    Referencing the profit-motive (i.e. ‘fundraising’) you bring up— depending on how one structures a presidential run (there are FEC guideline’s, rules & regs involved) one can expense darn near everything out of that money. Don’t quote me, but its initially done with an “exploratory committee,” which allows you to raise & spend certain amounts with much less scrutiny than when you actually declare and file the paperwork.

  • Cotour

    Plenty of in$entive to “Run for president”.

  • wayne

    It’s a complicated web, ‘running for president.’ And, each Party has there own internal requirements which must be met.
    (Political Parties are private entities but they have institutionalized a lot of rules/regulations under the color of law. Ballot-access for one, is an effective duopoly, enforced by both the DNC & GOP at any chance they can get.)
    Referencing the dem-party; because of all the funny business with HRC and Bernie, the DNC re-adjusted their rules about who can qualify to run in the dem-primary’s. I believe, if you can get 65K individual donations (any amount) they will consider your application. (When you are a sanctioned candidate, by either Party, at whatever level, you get automatic ballot-access. It’s a bit harder for 3rd parties.) And you get access to DNC money and “back-office” administrative infrastructure.)
    [Interestingly, Bernie is always an “Independent,” except for a brief period when he registers as a dem, and tries to run as a dem on a national basis.]
    Back to the money–a lot of these people undoubtedly will be accruing war-chests for future elections, for a less lofty position. –A favorite tactic to “keep the money in the family,” hire all your family members to work on your campaign, and rack up some debt. You are allowed later on, to fundraise, to clear your debt.

  • Cotour

    And that is the Dems entire MO, create debt that other people are responsible for or pay for and whack up the expenses.

    Sounds like the Dems like debt just as much as Trump likes debt. And we all know that there is good debt and bad debt, the only thing that differentiates the Dems is that they do not care about any of it because they are always spending other peoples money.

    AOC gave a speech the other day (God, she just gets better and better, cuter and cuter. I still fully support her repping the Dems) she is very, very concerned about and will not back down on her New Green Deal and the FACT that we only have I guess about 11 years before we are all dead or dying.

    (Aprox. 3.5 billion years of life in some form or another and it all comes down to the next 11 years?)

    Her concern of course is for the future generations, the children, but she has no concern about the outrageous debt that all politicos on both sides seem not able to detect that will for certain destroy and kill the economy that feeds and houses them all resulting in a Venezuela effect.

    So concerned about the children. Sound familiar? 2:47 seconds of your life that you will not ever get back.

  • F16 Guy

    The people IN POWER will never do anything to reduce that power. Political reform must come from outside the political arena. Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments are a great example of what the states can do for themselves legislatively.

  • pzatchok

    Why do Leftists who live in those cities think they are funding the rest of the red states when they can’t even balance their own cities books?

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