That's right: Chrysler took $15 billion from taxpayers, to which it wasn't entitled, and at an industry convention its CEO calls taxpayers a word that is defined as "someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical, or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law, politics and used car sales." But then it turns to America to say that because Detroit has been "through hell and back" it has endured the "hottest fires which makes the hardest steel," and that the reason people don't know that is because newspaper reporters "don't know what [people in Detroit] are capable of."
A few things about that.
One: Chrysler didn't go through the hottest fires. Unless, of course, "hottest fires" means "skipping bankruptcy" and asking for a handout to protect union pensions, which it got. And when Fiat was able to take control of Chrysler, it was because of a heavily politicized deal facilitated by the president's auto task force. It even got $6.6 billion in exit financing by Uncle Sam. Most failing businesses have trouble finding buyers. Not Chrysler.
Two: Detroit may have been through hell, but it certainly hasn't come back. Budget numbers still show Detroit's books in the red, despite Mayor Dave Bing's best efforts to rein in spending. And Pew reveals that Detroit residents spend more for their municipal legislature than any other major city in the U.S.
Three: We know what Detroit is capable of because we saw it in the 1960s. We still see potential, too -- Michigan economist David Littman told The Examiner last year that there was plenty of reason to be optimistic:
"We're not even on the map," Littman notes. But the opportunity is there. "We have bargain basement prices on everything -- from water properties, which are a hallmark of growth, to infrastructure. And this is tied together with a large and progressive highway system. We also have the largest underground gas reserves in the nation."