The municipal water supply in Flint, Michigan has been toxic to its citizens since the city switched water sources from Lake Huron water provided by Detroit to Flint River water. Elevated levels of lead have been found throughout the city including in its schools. TTHM levels have exceeded government guidelines forcing the city to mail notices to its citizens. The outcry from citizens, activists, college labs and hospital staff have finally forced the Governor of Michigan to act and approve the switch back to Detroit supplied water.
As you would expect, there is quite a bit more to the back story surrounding the water in Flint. I don’t wish to rehash what is easily available on the web here. The bottom line is it is all about money. The city is broke and was operating under the direction of an emergency manager when the decision was made to switch water sources. Why? The lease agreement with Detroit was set to expire and Flint was fed up with the ever increasing fees. They made the decision to join in with other neighboring communities to and build their own pipeline to Lake Huron and cut out the middleman. The day after they made that decision Detroit informed Flint they would no longer sell them water as of April, 2014. So when it comes to finger pointing some can say Detroit is to blame. Had they continued to sell water to Flint for the 3 year waiting period for the new pipeline to be finished (mid 2016 is the projection), Flint wouldn’t have ever switched to the river as its water source and avoided the toxic water issue altogether.
But they did and the emergency manager put in place by the state made the decision to make the switch and save the city millions of dollars in fees over the next 3 years. This is where the left is jumping in with both feet. Michigan has a republican Governor and the left seized upon the opportunity to blame the state for its water woes.
Fixing the problem will require many millions of dollars and many years to accomplish. Pipes with lead are still in use all across the city and must be replaced to permanently cure the problem. The finger pointing is just the very tip of the iceberg for the years of legal wrangling to come over who will pick up the tab.
But what gets lost in the debate is the true cause. The city of Flint has been under decades of control by the progressive left. The socialist experiment has failed miserably. Crime is horrific. The city has huge swaths of decrepit housing and abandoned buildings. Manufacturing is just a shell of the heyday of last century. School enrollment and finances are in disarray. And the current citizens and taxpayers are left with the tab. Mainly a massive pension obligation as these socilism experiments always rack up. The tax base is nowhere near deep enough or wide enough to ever catch up. Thus the need for an emergency manager.
So the editor of the Flint Journal and a conga line of local hack politicians are jumping onboard to tell all who will listen that the fault lies with the state for instituting the water supply switch. But when you ask why the emergency manager was ever put in that position you find a half century plus of liberal policies are the root cause. That’s not to excuse the emergency manager for making an unwise decision, which it was, only to point out that blaming the response as opposed to the cause is typical of the left.
Now the scars of failed policies are sure to live on for an untold amount of time as the vulnerable will suffer the effects of toxic water. The blame game is simply posturing to lobby who will have to pay. However, the discussion won’t even venture into why it all went down the way it did. And that’s just the way the left likes it.