The media has recently been having another round of hysterics over the Trump administration suspending or reducing various forms of aid dollars to Puerto Rico. It must because that mean ol’ Trump just hates Hispanics, right?
Well, not exactly. A little-noticed editorial in the Washington Examiner brings to light yet another facet of the corruption plaguing the island’s government:
For decades, and governor after governor, Puerto Rico has failed to govern and deliver an economy that actually allows people outside of the governing elite to become wealthier. Instead, Puerto Rico’s leaders have been more interested in short-run gimmicks and crony giveaways, like the Whitefish debacle and other sketchy contracts, than the long-run fiscal health of their own economy.
However, the real issue is that Puerto Rico has failed to produce audited financial records for decades. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, tried to address these concerns back in 2016, requesting “updated, verifiable information” on the finances of Puerto Rico, to no avail. And, 18 months into their tenure, the oversight board tasked with remedying this has failed to bring any clarity to the island’s financials.
Worse, in December, Puerto Rico “found” more than $6 billion. This isn’t a simple oversight. And, given the state of Puerto Rico’s finances over the last few years, this is very tragic. And, at a federal court hearing that was only in November, the oversight board asked for a moratorium on debt-service payment for five years, to be included in the plan to reduce what it owes through bankruptcy.
If there’s no money for debt-service, they must have no money, right? We now know this is wrong given the December revelation of more than $6 billion. Yet, the funding was never mentioned when the governor and members of the fiscal oversight board testified before Congress and the court that Puerto Rico’s liquidity was in a dire state.
Was this a cover-up? We don’t know, but one thing is for sure — the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico hasn’t changed its ways. And, now they’re asking President Trump to loan them billions despite their unscrupulous ways. In fact, Washington is poised to give the electrical utility another $2 billion as a result of the budget deal.
I regularly search for information on how things are going in the territories, and this information honestly shocked me.
The fact that the Puerto Rican government is unable to produce audited financial statements and has not been able to do so for decades is both shocking and appalling, and a clear sign of financial mismanagement that is likely criminal. The oversight board also needs a slap on the wrist for not being able to produce this critical information after two years of work.
It is also pretty understandable why the Feds want to cut aid off to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico may very well not need it given the government magically “found” $5 to $6 billion dollars that had been “missing” in various bank accounts. The government has been pretending complete destitution for more than two years, and because the government is run by leftists, the media has been more than happy to parrot this line uncritically and help these criminals cover it up.
How much more cash are the crooks running Puerto Rico’s government hiding? Between this and the shameful disgrace of the government utility PREPA stealing reconstruction materials, I can absolutely understand why the US government doesn’t want to throw any more money into this black hole. The Puerto Rican government will simply steal it and then claim Trump is not giving them enough money anyway.