Puerto Rico is in the middle of a debt crisis, and yet many Americans remain completely unaware of it. Puerto Rico is currently $70 billion public debt. The island now faces a poverty rate of 45 percent, with hospitals and schools shutting down at an alarming rate. The situation is so bad that recently a power company shut off service to a hospital. John Oliver broke down Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, making the case that U.S. policy in Washington D.C. is largely responsible for the island’s hardships.
Alarmingly, there are many legal loopholes that aided in the growth of Puerto Rico’s large debt, including triple tax exempt bonds that help businessmen, but not the island, the fact that Puerto Rico is not able to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy and the removal of tax breaks that caused Puerto Rico to lose more than half of its manufacturing jobs over the past decade.
“The good news here is, Congress is now considering a bipartisan bill that would give Puerto Rico some breathing room to negotiate with creditors,” Oliver added. “While the details are still being worked out, this could be a real help to Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rican citizens are urging U.S. lawmakers to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt. The irony of the situation is that Puerto Rico is a United States territory. So why does it make sense for the U.S. to abandon the popular tourist destination? Puerto Rico Debt Crisis is distressing US Commonwealth. Evidently. government shutdown, tax increases, high unemployment, are concerning the lives of many. What more will it take for Puerto Rico to be heard?
Garofalo, Alex. “John Oliver Blames US For Puerto Rico Debt, Gets Help From ‘Hamilton’ Star Lin-Manuel Miranda [VIDEO].” International Business Times. International Business Times, 25 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 May 2016.