Hurricane Maria was the most powerful storm to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years. It left the entire island without electricity, which may take six months to restore. It toppled trees, shattered windows, tore off roofs and turned streets into rivers throughout the island.
President Trump declared that “Puerto Rico was absolutely obliterated” and issued a federal disaster declaration. But the United States needs to do more. It needs to suspend the Jones Act in Puerto Rico.
After World War I, America was worried about German U-boats, which had sunk nearly 5,000 ships during the war. Congress enacted the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a.k.a.… Seguir leyendo »
Puerto Rico has begun to default on its bond payments, for the first time since it became part of the United States, 117 years ago. If it fails to make interest payments on its $72 billion public debt, pension funds across the United States may be unable to meet their payment obligations. But if it were allowed to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, as cities and counties have done, every state will want that right.
For this reason, the Puerto Rico crisis is a national financial crisis, one that neither President Obama nor Congress has taken steps to resolve. Even a simple debt restructuring — in the unlikely event bondholders agreed to it — would not solve the mess.… Seguir leyendo »