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Sell Puerto Rico
March 21, 2016
by William P. Meyers

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Cut the Deficit and Pay Down the National Debt

In case you have not been paying attention, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is essentially bankrupt. Under U.S. law it can't declare bankruptcy, but it can't pay its debts either. It ran up the debt under the idea that by borrowing and spending enough, the island's economy would get built up. That bigger economy would then support the tax burden needed to pay off the debt.

Sound like a familiar economic plan?

The U.S. is essentially bankrupt too, but people keep lending us money. We owe about $20 trillion, give or take a couple of trillion dollars, depending on exactly how you want to define the word "owe." We'll keep borrowing as long as the saps, I mean investors, keep buying the bonds the Treasury sells.

Puerto Rico is not a state. It is most accurately described as a conquest. Not that the rest of the U.S.A. was not conquered from the natives. I should say it is a relatively recent conquest, taken during the Spanish-American War, by the Treaty of Paris in 1898. Theodore Roosevelt and his ruling-class friends had decided the contintental U.S. was not enough of an area to exploit, and so started a war of conquest that gave us Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and some smaller islands.

We also grabbed Hawaii, despite treaties with the natives and with other world powers, most notably Japan (the largest ethnic group in Hawaii was Japanese). We later gave Cuba "independence" under a series of U.S. approved dictators, as long as American organized crime families and Citibank were allowed to run the economy.

Instead of pouring more taxpayer money into the island, we should know when to quit, and sell the pest hole. Like it didn't have enough problems, now it is being invaded by Zika, which means there are going to be a bunch of pinhead babies on welfare and Medicaid for the next hundred years.

It may not bring much at auction, but as the pawnbroking and ebay communities can tell you, any little bit helps in a pinch.

Maybe the Spanish would want it back, though they are pretty broke right now. Maybe the Japanese and Chinese, or even Saudi Arabia or South Korea, would get into a bidding war over it.

Even if the United States gets just a fraction of a trillion dollars for Puerto Rico, it would be good riddance. Don't get me wrong, I like Puerto Ricans, at least the ones I've met. I'm even willing to let the government declare bankruptcy as a parting gift. Screw the bondholders, I always say, as long as I'm not one of the bondholders. Be more careful who you lend to. The lesson is worth its weight in gold.

Like the idea? I think we should Sell Alaska too. But I'm for keeping Hawaii.

Donald Trump could do the deal if he became President. He knows all about bankruptcy.

Disclaimer: I can't tell if this is satire or my real opinion. Let me think about that.

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