Saturday, August 3, 2013

Detroit's bankrupt, Baltimore City Councilman Bobby Curran's bankrupt. Who's next, Baltimore City?

Can A Bankrupt Councilman Be Trusted By A City Facing Fiscal Woes?

Filed by A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.

For the 1.21 to 1.25 million Americans who will file for bankruptcy this year, the move represents a low point in their lives. 

The reasons for filing are as varied as fingerprints; loss of income due to unemployment, unexpected disability and other health issues, and often just poor money management. In this era of frequent downsizing, layoffs, and company closings, there are many Americans seriously hurting.

When a gainfully employed, 18 year Baltimore City Council veteran, -- part of a political family dynasty -- files for bankruptcy, should the public be concerned? Or is it just a personal matter that ought to remain private? 

It's not as if Robert Curran's income was suddenly cut-off one day without warning. The man's enjoyed continuous steady employment for a period of time much longer than the average American.

What's disturbing is by his own account, Councilman Curran's bankruptcy came simply from living beyond his means, aka poor money management. For young people a few years out of college, this wouldn't be alarming. But for a 63-year-old man sitting on a 14 member council, responsible for administering literally billions of dollars of the people's money, you have to wonder how much of his financial acumen (or lack thereof) carries over to his work.

As every fee, tax and miscellaneous form of revenue that can be wrung from the wallets of citizens continues to increase, Baltimore residents are told it is because the city is out of money. They tell us the city needs more in order to be effective and provide essential services. This may be true, but how did this happen? Could the same type of financial irresponsibility -- likely going on for years -- causing Curran's dilemma, be what has been going on for at least the last 18 years, and it's now all coming to a head?

Average citizens who spend and live beyond their means have few options when they can no longer keep up the facade of their fantasy lifestyle. Tough choices have to be made, as reality demands action. For government on the other hand, they can always force citizens to pony up the buck to make up for mismanagement of money. After all, it's not their money anyhow.

Originally published in The Baltimore Spectator
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