In an ideal world, Puerto Rico would be bankrupt. Instead, it is sliding
toward something far more dangerous and uncertain -- and President
Barack Obama and Congress need to intervene.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is taking up a long-shot
bill to allow the island's public-sector corporations to declare bankruptcy.
Providing these protections isn’t any kind of a bailout. It will just help
Puerto Rico’s government begin to ease a debt-servicing burden that
consumes 16 percent of its budget. It will also ensure that not just the
biggest or loudest creditors get paid.
This crisis has been a long time brewing. Since 2006, Puerto Rico's
economy has contracted every year but one. Its unemployment rate of
13.7 percent is double that of the U.S. mainland; its poverty rate is twice
that of Mississippi. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico's population and tax base
have aged and shrunk...[CONTINUE READING]