The Word - Autocratic for the People

  • Aired:  05/09/11
  •  | Views: 78,814

Michigan's emergency financial manager strips elected officials of power so they don't oppose his ideas to save money. (6:03)

AND FOLKS, WE NEED, WE NEED

ECONOMIC HELP.

LUCKILY IT IS A STORY THAT

BRINGS ME HOPE AND TO

TONIGHT'S WORD.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

AUTOCRATIC FOR THE PEOPLE.

FOR EXAMPLES, AMERICA IS

STRAPPED FOR CASH AND PRETTY

SOON CHINA IS GOING TO START

SCREENING ITS CALLS.

AND RECENTLY, STANDARD &

POOR'S THREATENED TO

DOWNGRADE AMERICA'S AAA BOND

RATING.

AT WHICH POINT THE DOLLAR'S

VALUE WOULD BE MAINLY AS A

SOURCE OF FIBER.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: FOLKS, THIS IS

NOT JUST A NATIONAL PROBLEM.

STATE AND CITY GOVERNMENTS

ARE IN TROUBLE TOO.

AND YOU CAN'T JUST BURN DOWN

A PLACE LIKE DETROIT FOR THE

INSURANCE MONEY.

AND IT SEEMS--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: NO ONE KNOWS

DEBT LIKE MICHIGAN.

WHICH HAS BEEN BROKE SINCE

THE LAST DODGE POLARA ROLLED

OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINE AND

STRAIGHT INTO A SINK HOLE

THAT USED TO BE A PUBLIC

PARK.

MICHIGAN HAS COME UP WITH A

GREAT WAY TO HANDLE THE DEBT

CRISIS IN BENTON HARBOR, A

PREDOMINANTLY

AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY

THAT IS THE POOREST CITY IN

MICHIGAN.

WHICH IS LIKE BEING THE

OLDEST MEMBER OF "60

MINUTES."

NOW--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: TO MAKE THE CITY

SOLVENT THE STATE OF

MICHIGAN APPOINTED A GUY

NAMED JOSEPH HARRIS TO BE

SOMETHING CALLED THE

EMERGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGER.

OR EFM.

WHICH I ASSUME IS PRONOUNCED

EF-EM.

AND FOLKS, I GOT TO TELL YOU,

DID HE EVER.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: JIM?

>> ON FRIDAY THE 8

COMMISSIONERS AND MAYOR

WILSEY COOK EVED A COPY OF

THIS ORDER FROM JOSEPH

HARRIS THE STATE APPOINTED

EMERGENCY MANAGE NEVER

CHARGE.

WITH GOVERNOR RICK SNIDER'S

SUPPORT, EFFECTIVE

IMMEDIATELY, THEIR POWER AND

AUTHORITY WAS STRIPPED.

COMMISSIONERS WOULD ONLY BE

ABLE TO CALL MEETINGS TO

ORDER, APPROVE MINUTES AND

ADJOURN MEETINGS.

>> Stephen: THIS TAKES ALL

POWER AWAY FROM THE LOCAL

ELECTED OFFICIALS.

BUT HARRIS IS STILL WILLING

TO LISTEN TO ALL THE VOICES

IN CITY GOVERNMENT BECAUSE

THEY ARE ALL NOW HIS VOICE.

>> SO THE FACT OF THE MATTER

IS CITY MANAGERS NOW GONE, I

AM CITY MANAGER.

I WILL TAKE-- I'M THE

FINANCE DIRECTOR THE CITY

MANAGER, THE MAYOR AND THE

COMMISSION.

AND I-- .

>> Stephen: OR AS HIS PRESS

SECRETARY LATER CLARIFIED --

>> I AM THE LAW!

HARRIS HAD TO STRIP THE

ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF

THEIR POWER OR THEY MIGHT

HAVE OPPOSED HIS IDEAS TO

SAVE MONEY LIKE MERGING THE

FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS.

BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT

CHEAPEST WAY TO GET A CAT

OUT OF A TREE IS YOU JUST

SHOOT IT DOWN.

FOR SOME REASON, THE LOCAL

OFFICIALS DIDN'T ENJOY THIS

ELECTORAL CASTRATION.

SO LAST WEEK CITY

COMMISSIONERS PASSED A

RESOLUTION RESCINDING THE

EMERGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGER.

BUT HARRIS IMMEDIATELY

RESCINDED THEIR RESCINDING

ON THE LEGAL GROUNDS THAT

THEY CAN KISS HIS ASS.

I SAY-- GOOD FOR HIM.

BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OF BENTON

MARBER BROUGHT THIS ON

THEMSELVES.

A CITY OF 10,000 PEOPLE,

SADDLED WITH $6 MILLION OF

DEBT.

THAT'S $600 PER PERSON.

BENTON HARBOR'S ELECTED

OFFICIALS ARE INCOMPETENT,

THEREFORE BY ELECTING THEM

THE VOTERS ARE INCOMPETENT.

SO THEY SHOULD LOSE THEIR

DEMOCRACY.

NOW--

(APPLAUSE)

DO NOT GET ME WRONG.

DON'T GET ME WRONG.

DEMOCRACY WORKS SOMETIMES.

JUST NOT, JUST NOT TO SOLVE

A FINANCIAL CRISIS LIKE

THIS.

NOW SOME MIGHT SAY YOU ARE

ONLY SAYING THIS BECAUSE

BENTON HARBOR IS 9 O-- 90%

BLACK.

WRONG.

I DON'T SEE RACE.

BUT I DO KNOW THAT CERTAIN

PEOPLE DON'T PUT ENOUGH

THOUGHT INTO VOTING FOR

THEIR LEADERS.

I'LL GIVE YOU A HINT.

A LOT OF THEM ARE UNEMPLOYED.

THEY'RE REALLY INTO SPORTS.

AND THEY LOVE WHITE WOMEN.

YOU KNOW WHO I AM TALKING

ABOUT.

AMERICANS.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: OUR NATIONAL

DEBT--

(APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: FOLKS, FACE IT,

OUR NATIONAL DEBT IS 14

TRILLION DOLLARS.

TO DIVIDE THAT BY $300

MILLION AND EVERY AMERICAN

OWES 47,000 OR 80 TIMES AS

MUCH PER CAPITA AS THE

PEOPLE OF BENTON HARBOR.

SO CLEARLY WE'RE NOT GOING

TO VOTE OUR WAY OUT OF THIS.

AMERICANS HAVE PROVED THEY

DON'T KNOWS WHAT'S GOOD FOR

THEM.

SO I AM NOW CALLING CAN FOR

THE APPOINTMENT OF A

NATIONAL EMERGENCY FINANCIAL

MANAGER.

HE OR HIM WILL BE GIVEN

TEMPORARY ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY

TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS LIKE

SHOULD WE PUT OUR SENIORS ON

TO ICE FLOES OR IS IT MORE

COST-EFFECTIVE TO JUST TURN

THEM INTO SOIL ENT GREEN.

NOW I'M-- SOYLENT GREEN.

NOW I'M SURE THAT SOME

PEOPLE WILL COMPLAIN, BUT IF

PEOPLE TAKE TO THE STREETS,

CAN DISPERSE THE CROWDS WITH

HIS NEW POLICE FIRE VEHICLES.

OF COURSE, CRUSHING CAN

DISSENT WILL BE A BIT OF A

DOWNER SO THE NATIONAL EFM

WILL HAVE TO BUILD NATIONAL

MORALE WITH THE MILITARY

PARADE.

PEOPLE LOVE MISSILES.

AND THEY'LL GET TO SEE THE

PROGRAMS THAT WILL NEVER BE

CUT CAN.

AND IF THERE SHOULD COME A

DAY THAT THE EFM HAS

OVERREACHED AND COME TO

POWER TOO LONG WE CAN RISE

UP AGAINST HIM, UNITED BY A

COMMON GOAL.

TO END TYRANNY AND INSTALL A

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT OF THE

PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND

FOR THE PEOPLE.

AND YOU CAN BET WE WILL MAKE

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