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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Paul Ryan: Puerto Rico Bailout is not a Bailout

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan adopting Bill Clinton's word-manipulation-logic?  Remember, "It depends on what the definition of is is?"

When is a bail out not a bail out?

According to Ryan, when establishment politicians say so.

Ryan says that the "bailout" label is the fault of Wall Street investors, who have been speaking out against the bailout of Puerto Rico, the U.S. island territory that is billions in debt, and in big trouble after a long history of liberal left Democrat-style leadership.

According to Ryan, a bailout will be inevitable if the not-a-bailout-that-looks-like-a-bailout bill before Congress right now does not get passed.

Why would Wall Street be against bailing out Puerto Rico?

Ryan's office in a statement said, "Many big-money interest groups on Wall Street know this and have put a lot of money toward sabotaging this legislation in order to force a last-minute bailout upon Puerto Rico, putting U.S. taxpayers on the hook for their bad loans.  They call this a bailout, because they know it is not. And a bailout is what they want."

Conservatives are not necessarily hip with the bill (calling it a bailout), but GOP party-good-ol'-boys support is largely there, along with Democrat Party support. . . with a few changes regarding the powers the bill would give to an outside fiscal control board.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Ryan: Don't Call Puerto Rico Bill a Bailout - The Hill


JASmius said...

As I read this, the bill Ryan is touting would (1) make Puerto Rico eligible for bankruptcy protection as States are and (2) put their bankruptcy proceedings under strict federal supervision (the "fiscal control board"). The island commmonwealth's Wall Street creditors oppose Ryan's bill because they want ALL their money back rather than just a portion of it.

So Ryan is actually correct that his bill is not a "bailout". His argument is that the choice is between allowing Puerto Rico to "renegotiate" their $72 billion debt now and having to genuinely bail them (which is to say, their Wall Street creditors) out later. What conservatives are objecting to is allowing San Juan to escape accountability for its fiscal incontinence at all.

That's the issue from which your fixation on the term "bailout" is a needless distraction.

JASmius said...

The big picture danger in the Ryan bill, it seems to me, is that it unwittingly builds the case for Puerto Rican Statehood, since they'd be being given part of the benefits of same but placed under the "humiliation" of "strict supervision" from a Washington, D.C. in which they have no representation. And I really don't think we need an extra two Democrat senators and half-dozen Democrat representatives befouling Capitol Hill any more than it is already.