Detroit Residents of Every Color Should Pay Their Water Bills

There's nothing in the United States Constitution stating Americans have the right not to pay their bills. In fact, the Declaration of Independence, which gave birth to our nation, notes the only unalienable rights we have are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Yet thousands of Detroit residents think they have the right not to pay their water bills and demand their water remain on. About 80,000 residential water accounts are past due to the tune of $43 million. The audacity of freeloaders!

Detroit is an $18 billion bankrupt mess, struggling quite literally to keep the lights on and provide basic services to residents like police protection and emergency services. A year ago, about 40 percent of the cities 88,000 street lamps didn't work and half of the cities 78,0000 abandoned buildings were declared dangerous.

All this thanks to decades of liberals mismanaging the city, growing its debt but not its revenue. Clearly, every penny the city's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr can find is critical.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department shut off service to a fraction of the non-payers, about 7,000, triggering hoards of protestors to storm Detroit declaring the shutoffs racist and that "water is a human right."

Having access to water in your home, like owning a home, is only a right when you pay for it. It's not a human right; neither is owning a car or a cellphone or having Internet access. But it's no surprise under the presidency of President Barack Obama that many Americans feel entitled not to pay their bills. Since his election in 2008, Obama has engaged in class warfare, vilifying the rich and people who work hard to pay their bills so others don't have to.

The most obnoxious and ridiculous response has been from the attorney who filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of freeloading residents who haven't paid their bills and the NAACP. Both cry that the water department is racist because mostly black people have been affected.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Veronica Joice cried the shutoffs "are being done in a discriminatory fashion; and they should at least take a look at whether there's a better way to do this that doesn't affect the most vulnerable citizens - the majority of whom are African American here in Detroit."

The class action lawyer, Alice Jennings, took things a step further and alleged white owned companies owing huge water bills weren't paying their bills either but also didn't get their water cut off. Contrary to this race baiting bluster, according to Detroit's water department, corporations like Chrysler received shut off notices and ponied up "millions in overdue bills."

If more blacks aren't paying their water bills than whites, how is it racist for the water department to demand the bills be paid? Sounds to me like black residents of Detroit expect to be treated differently when they break the rules solely because of their race. How is this fair?

Many black liberals are taking their cues from President Barack Obama and his US Attorney General Eric Holder who always seem to blame racism on the president's inability to work with Republicans in Congress and get his agenda done. They think, "If it works for them, it can work for us."

Obama's policies also have eviscerated any notion of personal responsibility or self-reliance. From mortgage forgiveness programs to student loan debt, if Americans have a financial obligation they don't want to pay, Obama seems to have a program for it. Policies like these encourage irresponsibility and the idea the government is always there as a backstop to walking away from one's obligations. That isn't the American way, where we all are created equal to have equal opportunities, not equal outcomes.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department was forced to increase the water rate by 8.7 percent due to customers refusing to pay their bills. For those people who genuinely experience financial hardship, the Water department offers a Water Affordability Program to help them pay their bills.

I bet the majority of people in Detroit not paying their water bills aren't delinquent on their cable and cellphone bills. It's called priorities. The cold hard truth is someone always has to pay for the people who don't. That's what a government subsidy is, money taken from working taxpayers to support others who don't work as hard or not at all. Compassion and charity should be reserved for people who truly need it. Not every Tom, Dick or Harry.

Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C. Some would say she is a triple minority: woman, black and a Republican living in a Democrat dominated city. By day, Crystal is a communications consultant and editor and publisher of the new website, Ms. Wright holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgetown University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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