US Prepares To Provide A Billion To Ukraine As Detroit Plans Mass Water Shutoffs Over $260 Million

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago the CBO released its estimate of what S. 2124, aka "Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014", better known as the "Payment of Overdue Gazprom Invoices Act" - here is the verdict: "CBO estimates that enacting the bill would decrease direct spending by $373 million over the 2014-2024 period. S. 2124 would achieve that decrease mostly by rescinding funds that were provided as an emergency requirement. Certain sanctions, if enacted, would affect revenues, but CBO estimates that those effects would not be significant. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. CBO estimates that the statutory pay-as-you-go effects of S. 2124 (which, by law, do not including the effect of rescinding funds provided under the emergency designation) would be to increase the deficit by $320 million over the 2014-2024 period." Of course, the total amount authorized is substantially higher at $1.3 billion, and will be met through various loan guarnatees, and other US-backed promises, which the CBO is assuming right now, will not result in outlays (they will).


Either way, one thing is certain: in order to enforce the fading Pax Americana in the Ukraine, and to keep the funding to the otherwise insolvent Ukraine flowing, which as everyone knows will be first and foremost used to pay Russia's Gazprom, the US is about to send lots of money abroad. As in, not in the US.

So when it comes to priorities, whom does Putin have to thank for the billions in Western funds he is about to receive? Maybe he can start in Detroit, where the local utility is planning mass water shutoffs over $260M in delinquent bills.

In other words, while the US is enforcing some odd international law, according to which a democratic vote is not credible but a violent coup is, US citizens are about to have no drinking water over a paltry $260 million. From Detroit News:

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has a message for Detroit residents and companies more than 60 days late on their water bills: We’re coming for you. With more than half of the city’s customers behind on payments, the department is gearing up for an aggressive campaign to shut off service to 1,500-3,000 delinquent accounts weekly, said Darryl Latimer, the department’s deputy director.


Including businesses, schools and commercial buildings, there are 323,900 Detroit water and sewerage accounts; 164,938 were overdue for a total of $175 million as of March 6. Residential accounts total 296,115; 154,229 were delinquent for a total of $91.7 million. The department halts cutoffs through the winter because of complications associated with freezing temperatures, such as damaged pipes. But this spring, a new contractor has been hired to target those who are more than two months behind or who owe more than $150 — twice the average monthly bill of $75.


The department says it’s now ready to “catch up” with cutoffs halted because of the unusually harsh winter weather. DWSD is looking to show there are consequences associated with not paying water bills, Latimer said.


“Not everyone is in the situation where they can’t afford to pay,” he said. “It’s just that the utility bill is the last bill people choose to pay because there isn’t any threat of being out of service.”


People pay up more when they see the department out cutting off water to neighbors, and the statistics bear that out, officials said. In July, for example, before contractors started on the shutoffs, the department cut off 1,566 customers. That month, it collected $149,000 in water bills. Extra contractors started working on cutoffs last summer. Attheir peak in October — before cold weather caused a halt to the disconnects — 3,700 cutoffs occurred. The department collected more than $350,000 in overdue bills that month. That number of cutoffs translated to more than double for warm weather months compared to last year.


We’re trying to shift the behavioral payment patterns of our customer base right now,” said Constance Williams-Levye, DWSD commercial operations specialist. “And so aggressively we’ll have a team of contractors coming in, in addition to our field teams.” Up to 20 additional contractor crews are expected to be employed working on the cutoffs, DWSD officials said.


The department bills monthly and sends out notices when bills are overdue. When an account is more than 60 days late, a notice goes out saying service could be cut, Latimer said.


Residents don’t necessarily have to move out but Latimer said there were instances, in the case of households with children, where the department of social services will come in and say the kids will be removed from the home if water is not restored.


“Usually folks will then come in and make some kind of arrangement,” Latimer said.

While we respect the DWSD's "behavioral" experiment at making Americans accountable and taking responsibility for their action, such as paying for services rendered, it is far too late - the entire fabric of US society would tear apart, with disastrous and deadly consequences, if such an approach was taken at the wholesale level. Confused why? Just look at the $17.5 trillion in public obligations the US government is on the hook for, and which it will never repay, aka the "Minsky Moment" with the only footnote that for now the US is the world's reserve currency, so the Fed can always print more $ and monetize even more debt. Sadly, this always ends in tears.

In the meantime, since everyone in the US is merely living from can kicking to another can kicking, one wonders: wouldn't the $373 million in funds destined to pay off Putin's oligarch buddies not be better used to pay overdue DWSD bills, which would then allow several tens of thousands of Detroit residents to have running water for a few more months?

Not that we advocate either course of action, but we do wonder: just who sets capital allocation responsibilities at the White House. Because last time we checked, Russian billionaire oligarchs don't even vote in the US.

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mumbo_jumbo's picture

well now we know what the US government really cares about

BaBaBouy's picture

Hey, In The usA Whats' Fair Is Fair...
Now, Pay Your OmaboaCare Bill And Run Along Nicely...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Maybe they'd get some cash if a phone call was leaked of Detroit's mayor threatening to nuke Windsor.

NoDebt's picture

For those who are used to living out in the country (or at least in the burbs where burning is allowed), you know that it's best to let your burn pile dry out for a few months before lighting it.  Then all it takes is one well-placed match.


James_Cole's picture

wouldn't the $373 million in funds destined to pay off Putin's oligarch buddies not be better used to pay overdue DWSD bills, which would then allow several tens of thousands of Detroit residents to have running water for a few more months?

Nothing new there.

Within the last month, the Defense Department announced that it would be purchasing over $700 million dollars worth of aircraft for the Afghan armed forces. 

The Russian helicopters were ordered despite a specific ban from the Congress on buying from Rosoboronexport so long as the Russian company continues arming the Syrian government. However, the Pentagon determined that there was a vital need for the helicopters, justifying the purchase through using funds allocated to the 2012 fiscal year, rather than the 2013 funding pool to which the ban applied.

Vital no doubt, particularly considering Afghanistan doesn't have an airforce lol

Whatever you do, don't cut that gawddamn defence budget! Every cent counts. 

johnQpublic's picture

per detroit water shut offs

harbor freight sells the water main tool for under twenty bucks, and its nice and long to reach the recessed city mains


anyone in the area who wants to start a little cottage industry turning back on shut off water, you're welcome

and dont over charge these people frikkin darkest africa in the US these days turning off peoples water

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Should we take bets on how many "fiscally responsible" tea-baggers jump on board with Ukraine payoffs?

chumbawamba's picture




Oquities's picture

fuck you with your morally relative blame game.  "i fucked my neighbor's wife, but at least i didn't fuck my wife's sister."  your sissy-ass liberal skirt is showing, dumbass!

chumbawamba's picture





TahoeBilly2012's picture

Just don't shut the Natty Ice off and my EBT!

0b1knob's picture

I don't know about Michigan, but in many states it is illegal to cut off the water to an occupied house.   The occupants have to be evicted first.  I imagine some of the homes are rented to people who aren't directly responsible for paying the water bill.   

macholatte's picture


Has any Detroit politician, at any time, ever said anything remotely close to resembling this:

"My fellow Detroit residents. I apologize to you for being a complete fuck-up as a representative of the people and am guilty of negligence as well as malfeasance. On the other hand, I have an ego the size of a Cadillac, am completely self absorbed and at the end of the day, you dip shits voted for me, three times. Not only that, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and got the complementry cocaine & Crystal with my hooker. Adios suckers. I'm off to WashingtonDC where I'll be on the government payroll as a consultant. BRAA HA HA HA"

waterwitch's picture

I'd like to think that a few of the $65B/month  Benyellen the Felon  spends each month bailing out the banksters would be money better spent.

Rafferty's picture

Wouldn't the $373 million in funds destined to pay off Putin's oligarch buddies not be better used to pay overdue DWSD bills, which would then allow several tens of thousands of Detroit residents to have running water for a few more months?


That's just kicking  the water can down the road as well.  Fact is the free shit army that makes up 90% of Detoilet's population don't believe in payin' for nuffin'.

TruthInSunshine's picture

FSA wants free water to their taps in their ObamaHomes (to compliment their free heat, free electricity, free cell phone service & free EBT/SNAP Cards - now accepted at Starbucks).

Obama, his "leftist friends'" along with JohnMcCainus/NancyLindseyGraham & their "right wing" friends (Red Team/Blue Team paradigm), want 1 billion USD "liver eater" loan for Ukraine.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Americans still working in the private sector - the new slaves.

And since the majority of middle class taxpayers are White...

Say, that's just a coincidence, I'm sure!

Massa got me workin' Massa got me picken'; someday Massa set me free!

max2205's picture

No one, I mean no one shuts off the FSA's water or anything else

Rafferty's picture

I think that as well but at some stage the printers will go on fire.  And then sit back and enjoy the greatest chimpout the world has ever seen.

toady's picture

No shit. See the harbor freight comment above, or any half-assed plumber. I'm surprised they haven't nigger-rigged bypasses on the gallon counter already.

They will be now!

I can see cottage industries popping up. It's free enterprise at its finest!

DelusionalGrandeur's picture

A good buddy of mine lives in Jacksonville, Fl. He just posted on crapbook that there's a store around the corner from his apartment that accepts food stamps for edible underwear. LMFAO...where exactly would you file that under for the fsa? Hilarious and sad all wrapped up in one. Fucking ludicrous!

waterwitch's picture

do the underwear have usda stickers on them for nutritional content?

Pool Shark's picture



Hey, Williambanzai7:

Time for a poster advertising free "ObamaWater"®

The free bottled water for embattled Detroit welfare recipients...


TruthInSunshine's picture

Not until a teleprompter tells you that you're thirsty.

Big Corked Boots's picture

Ukraine = white people

Detroit = brown people


Winston Churchill's picture

I saw a white there once.

He was running like hell.

kaiserhoff's picture

Hellstheproblem?  If Detroit burns down frm a lack of water, we'll label it urban renewal,

  and MOVE ON, BITCHES.  Lean Forward!

TruthInSunshine's picture

"Every night sounds like the 4th of July in Detroit."

--Anonymous 10mm semiauto owner

p.s. The same shit (failure to pay utilities) is going on in ever growing numbers across the USSA. Recovery Year Number 5, bitchez.

waterwitch's picture

Lean forward. Shit. Bend over!

trader1's picture

racial jokes are so 20th century.

stop showing your age and a disregard of determinism.

Winston Churchill's picture

Really. We have a racial joke as president right now in the 21st century,

or hadn't you noticed ?

trader1's picture

i don't judge a president by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character and actions.



chumbawamba's picture





Winston Churchill's picture

His actions, and his character just happen to perfectly  fit the worst rascist stereotypes.

Maybe its an act to generate tension.

And no ,I'm not a rascist , far from it.

chumbawamba's picture



MeelionDollerBogus's picture

oh shit, you're not!

I remember, you're that guy from youtube who replied on a bunch of coryc videos. Goatee and all, most comments were racist and all your videos were yelling.

Right here under my nose the whole time.

Your other ZH account with the same nickname from youtube went silent.

Years ago.

Well how about that, you've been here all along.

I know who you are, you're not CHUMBAWAMBA.


I remember you.

mayhem_korner's picture



Barry wants to be "judged"...or rather "accommodated" based on the color of his father's skin.  Not his mother's.  Just sayin'...

Rafferty's picture

You assume he knows who his father was.........

LooseLee's picture

Very well put. So the current and past 8-9 presidents were what?

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Hey Chumbawamba what are you trying to say?


I am not familiar with that word. Based on my genetics I can not say it. Other people based on their gentics can say it so many different ways you need "Jive Talk Dictionary" to understand the meaning.

Rafferty's picture

i don't judge a president by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character and actions.


Yeah, right.  The only time skin colour seems to matter is when it comes to affirmative action.  Then race is no longer a social construct.

Blano's picture

He's a pathetic stupid fuck both ways.  Case closed.

Nue's picture

Ukraine = One of the most agricultural fertile places on earth.

Detroit = cars that catch fire when you crank them.

trader1's picture

you're a big picture kind of guy.