Puerto Rico’s financial crisis is largely due to a combination of cronyism, reckless government spending, and harmful federal policies. Any quick fix, including federal bailouts, will not solve the underlying problem. It needs to be addressed at the root, starting with the Puerto Rican government making tough choices – even at the risk of political repercussions.
Various options have been set forth to address the crisis, and Congress must consider this question carefully – including moral hazard and the precedent that may be set. The U.S. territory can rise above its financial crisis, but it will come through careful consideration, tough economic choices, and a willingness to work with the federal government to address its economic challenges.
Last month, the NY Times reported on the billion dollar hedge fund and Koch led lobbying campaign to prevent Puerto Rico from receiving fair access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything. For months, the Kochs have been using several organizations, including Main Street Bondholders, a so called “concerned retirees” front group to get congressional Republicans to block the passage of legislation in the best interest of the American citizens in Puerto Rico.