WWL>Topics>>Think Tank 1110am, Puerto Rico Debt

Think Tank 1110am, Puerto Rico Debt

May 3, 2016|

If Puerto Rico is bailed out of bankruptcy will other cities whose finances are in trouble ask for the same treatment? Isn’t America already trillions of dollars in debt? This hours guest: Garrett Graves - U.S. Congressman & former chair of La. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Dr. Walter 'Dub' Lane - Associate Professor of Economics & Finance @ UNO

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Along with the usual job come on bingo like cold accidental readings. To. Redeem for most of the she knows. As you're bound from one web site through via of these others or it's introducing a little bit of and over the last couple weeks I've seen a lot of and read a couple of broad program of Puerto Ricans that prices. There about seventy billion dollars and the concern there gonna ms. payments in particular this summer go and a two billion dollars in payments in his armor. And ever done Barbara did I had thought for some wall. Not gonna do a show ordered nobody in the region would be intrusive and number two. Of one blind it's is such a big story and again your commercial. Station and others stations. That said the bankruptcy. Puerto Rico could be. A problem for weeks via. And it says that important bridge Puerto Rico goes and what called children chapter nine approach. It could've seen yours and sabres. Retirement say being there. Tensions. Boss and so forth and so on and they even made in that is way for over liberal states like New York. All so color bankruptcy. And end the last thought was. Entries borrowing cost for weeks here in the states when I heard that and said well that ends in the belief that. That would interest people in that so. As often duo called Jared graves are those columns and former teacher and coach protection and restoration authority. Garrett I appreciate it's time to call. Yeah it. Seems come. I'm undisclosed. Number of your plants give give me a room you'd you'll explode and shouldn't. She's in Puerto Rico was actually territories as it is not a stated that an apple states that the citizens poor Rico. Do not pay federal income taxes. Over the last ten plus years they have made a number. Of irresponsible financial decisions. That has ones that territory in to do that is is you know. Paid nearly two billion dollars over two billion dollars. Just yesterday. They missed a payment of 400 billion dollars. That they. They were supposed to beat day in and later this summer there are additional payments that are going to be do. And so. It is realism and using what's going overall Soviet 400 billion dollar dispute yesterday. Two billion dollars due this summer and overall as you noted. Over seventy billion dollars by the territory. That ought is that there's an effort right now to try to prove that two or a fork state humanitarian crisis where the situation now. Which there clearly is the financial crisis. We're trying to prevent a situation where federal tax. Like you and I people in the state of Louisiana. Would have to use our federal taxpayer dollars to bail out Porta Rico by paying their debt and so instead of doing that there's an effort think congress right now. It's designed to number one. Structure in negotiations whereby. That the creditors and then in the territorial government can get together and try to negotiate. Some type of payment plan. For the outstanding debt number two. To install a financial oversight sports similar to ones done. In Washington DC fifteen years ago when the district was being responsible and number eighty. Looking at ways to. Really excite the economy Puerto Rico to where daycare and who are old revenues and ultimately pay off these debts and so what we got to count right now it's an attempt to perfect. A bail out rather than. I really do anything that would cause subtle taxpayer dollars to pay off partly goes dead and it sparked student. Them but every beer cars jurors secretary Gibbs certainly warned that a US taxpayer. Funded bailout. May become the only two legislative courts available. Wind when you say in Puerto Ricans don't pay eighty income taxes as a butcher says. That they don't. Federal income taxes is that correct. How are we end up potentially possibly. On and on and on the U responsibilities. And what they've done. Well I think what sectors losing. Is that if this legislation is being discussed right now legislation that put control board in place. Legislation which structured negotiations with debtors to do the creditors and in the territory. It's something needed to reignite the economy if that's not the and I think secretary Lew was warning. That takes financial bail taxpayer funded bail out. May be the result so so I think what he's saying is that if we don't take action now would be somewhat proactive. We could find ourselves that territory could find themselves in the humanitarian crisis not an actual crisis anymore. The that would evolve into humanitarian crisis where where federal taxpayer funds would be needed and that's something outlook does one avoid. We're trying to prevent a penny tactic federal taxpayer dollars. From being spent the regard. Make sure that we try and turn this ship around and get them in morsel financial course. All right Craig may have club got the wrong but I think I remember reading. When Washington got into their financial trouble federal control board was put in place so while. But it turned up for good obtained their bond ratings today York. Very hot. But when Detroit declared bankruptcy. They still haven't recovered from the if you have bench correct it would seem like the federal control board. It's a no brainer. Why is that just not implemented the creditors against it. You know goes the police situations where. If you have billions of dollars you can spend it in you can stay in this thing and create. Just a complete misinformation campaign which is exactly what's going on right now. There's an organization called the center for individual freedom band. Effectively acting as a shield organization right now. Oh they're the ones doing the commercial. And. That that correct and so that they basically from what we understand. There are billionaire hedge funds that are out there funding. Did these these efforts by DP dads to try to. Really did this inform the public school. But what's happening here from what we understand. Is that you had from school out in Dubai a Puerto Rico bonds and junk bond status so let's say they paid fifty cents on the dollar for the on. There they'll try and began a dollar. And in use are similar efforts in police in Argentina. And other countries when they were definitely crisis where folks were coming and buying. I'd get a jump on. In making literally millions of dollars off that it. Obviously to the detriment of those countries into it looks like there's a similar play. Being done here right now and by those books that are trying to profit to the millions or billions of dollars. They're funding misinformation campaigns. And they truly do this bill and obviously that's something world astute. And again. A look at the center for individual freedom Wikipedia says the baby have bled leopards. Do duke beat efforts to compelled dark money groups like hit from being forced rubio their donors so of course. This is what computer you were in about a can put anything hundred usually put them and crew it's taken all pro quo. So if if it's being funded to duke beat efforts to compelled darn many groups. Being revealed to the public. That would suggest what your saying is this is buried. Likely what school well. Well that that's what appears to be going based on research basically commission we've been given. We actually. Sent letters to allow this group can testify at congressional hearings on Puerto Rico invited them can testify to come present their case. And they refused to show up. We've referred press calls to them they've refused to respond. And they refused to disclose. Who responding to campaign. But but again and according to that. It provision is received. Did it appears that that they do which you have these folks that bought these these bodies these billionaires bought the bonds to junk bond status. In trying to make an extraordinary amount of money that is what's awful is that you have so. That that truly do. You know just the response years ago would mean apple. As part of their retirement pension programs that they did it years or decades ago. And goes to the ones who were ultimately going to be hurt here vs the ones that are trying to make quick buck. Again to the detriment of. Territory to the debt and the federal taxpayer. Aren't going to limit big breaker one would come back let's talk about does this could this is should this have pegged to the we Zia and hold on cute. Little caught off of will move back a week ago now and end. Digg tend to have the number open to a bug directing California in New York other state for retirement saving seniors. Stay Brothers double ago. Go ahead of some big motor problems and so like didn't think that would threaten. Could be. Two billion dollars in the hole by this somber. Overall in their seventy billion dollars in dissent. This morning it was revealed the government's main bank failed to retreat almost 400 million so about Scotland. And our congress. Is now trying to figure out what to do and to avoid a humanitarian. Crisis so they're talking about. I've ever milk scales for police cars limited booed at that point. What we think they're commercial from a group called Souter for individual freedom. Running on this station and others saying yeah. Puerto Rico get what's called a super chapter nine bankruptcy. It also could be a problem or Louisiana. Or of the unit's senior bondholders. Could victors say didn't. Turner dragged their retirement. To even claimed that over liberal states like California New York could be. Also picked it. We have grown congressman will there is Garrett is Grady. Derek do you see in the champs from the sued for chapter nine bankruptcy at this point. You know that the terms for chapter nine doesn't really exist and I think that's what is going to and so confusing people have been using this term. The doesn't really exist in bankruptcy law the concern expressed by state that it if you allow Puerto Rico effectively to declare bankruptcy. That that you could cause an incentive for other states. To begin spending responsibly thinking if that didn't come bill now is is obviously something that would be concerned. If you think the unique here at one. Puerto Rican territory all of this is being proposed on the territorial club in the constitution. That the United States has supremacy it it. Actually in charge of Puerto Rico effectively. And so it's different in its rule in the relationship between the United States and individuals states. I think the concerns. That this president could be easier to import trusted to keep in mind we don't want to step in and have to bail out. I get a little Californians and states could have been spending responsibly. It's that we need to be careful about that that the I think in that situation quote so important if you look at the alternatives if we do adopting right now. The Puerto Rican government appears to be on a trajectory for humanitarian crisis it wants. I think you will see a call for not tomorrow as that from other people I think he would keep growing call for federal tax. Taxpayer bail out paying off their debts but that's what we need to avoid it weakened slightly to do that without setting a bad precedent. And that we can put that Rico from from going to Jewish humanitarian crisis that's a goal that wheelchair. We'll bring women seeing the ball and a preview federal oversight board that that wouldn't commit to use yours Shakespeare poem. What creditors. Are against that because. Via leads existing contract and take some ways their labor and. I think that's exactly what's going on in and mentioned earlier which you have a group of troops that. It bought bonds to junk bonds that is they paid pennies on the dollar and they're the ones who were trying to make it killing off this thing. Of course on the backs of the of the Puerto Rican territory Puerto Rican citizens and ultimately. Which would increase the likelihood. Our pressure on United States accurate or federal taxpayers including people Louisiana. Definitely bill. And I'm opposed to a federal bailout using the federal tax dollars and Louisiana citizens and others. To pay Puerto Ricans debt and to reward their financial responsibility. And that's what we need to find solutions like a control board financial oversight board. To prevent that from ever happen. We needed partly government as temperatures over the last ten years. There were unable. Two or unwilling to make the right financial decisions the last governor was one term governor discovers one term governor. The legislature adjustment in the past few months. Passed the law that says that. The that they will not pay any debts moving forward I mean just all those lazy irresponsible. Actions by their government and they need grownups effectively to step in and in mutual predictably critical decisions moving forward. To prevent this from coming in worked crisis. Final good albeit babies chilling question but debris concern most about a humanitarian. Crisis. Since it's it's a common well. It's not a state while wooden we've treated like Katie do you oral or some other country would be a humanitarian. Crisis shows. Red Cross food workers. Chara new agents access. The up and and suitable one. This is a territory United States rather than rather than another country. Number two I think it's important to recognize that. These are American citizens so what's happening is that we were already. Seeing this mass exodus a Puerto Ricans to the United States to demean it coming here and so if if there are jobs that there's not economic activity in Puerto Rico they're gonna talk year. Not to the United States that mainly it. And they are either in the become dependent upon our social programs are welfare programs or there will be looking for jobs. But the more we can do to stabilize in in reignite their economy the better off it's going to be for the united. And a a lot of them. A lot of the wrong thing to deal that saved from breed or the rich at the bridge to leave they lose their tax birdies. Potty shore of something we you don't have the taxes and secure Google. Well you know Puerto Rico's make a number of the government in a number of very bad decisions including the fact. Activist of some the most expensive electricity rates in the United States to where industry doesn't wanna be they give them local governments free. Free electricity which which causes rates to be driven out by. Regular rate payers in some areas they have over 40% of the population it's employed by the territorial government. They need fundamental reform in the country in order to the economy and lure industry in jobs there or to generate the revenue they need to pay back these debt. It will you'll follow up on that hopefully will stoop to mourn your time have good day. Heard Greg euros congressman come eventual talked to in the woman's. Trying to get I guarantee it handled this as Wilma out of public Louisiana Bob Dole may be saved wilders. Questions comments it was called tootsie juror 187. And preparing probe shows. That's all we had lung and so on a regular basis. Ordering from bankruptcy. In port royal clothes debt crisis. And many concerns. But. The ultimate so doesn't affect us in the that we've been running commercials. Program called seller for individual freedom that plane and see if there is a chapter nine bankruptcy. For. Puerto Rico. It could be a problem rove would be a problem for Louisiana could connect seniors could perspectives savings could affect retirements and and the commercial was even claim we could pave way for a over leveraged aged like teleport New York too old Cho. Declare bankruptcy and get bailed out. Veterans and all this has said well we'd better talk to one month favored economist beat cause. When I woke up to its morning Wall Street Journal Puerto Rico and stood crisis deepens as government measures it payment. They missed a 400 million overpayment. They could ms. about two billion dollars with the payment subdued this summer. And overall. There seven billion dollars in debt than a bread. That letter to congress our Treasury Secretary yesterday. Said that the US taxpayer funded bail out may become the only legislative. Course available. Very complicated blood if it has. The ability of affecting wouldn't think about it. I believe doctor Walter doubling. Professor of economics for an answer duel of Georgia's doctors always I appreciate Inco. So before we get into his help me adopt you didn't do burn well in school or draw about now. And that were challenged in Puerto Rico. Whose. And a and I'm not not eighties to eight. It exactly why or today and in how they relate to us they don't need. Federal taxes is that Cora. I think that's true there they receive a lot of but noted that you know there and as a separate into the obviously. Most politically these can borrow money Puerto Rico can do. And and of course they've been our goal off there. They're debt as in you know we've been seeing what happen in the Obama ministry in terms of the US debt increasing. There during the first five years of Soviet ministry did it started slacking off well well. Puerto Rico's. Have been going up since 2000 they've crippled their total debt. In the last fifteen years so they've been good all whole lot. And once things I don't quite understand. Washington. Number of years ago may have been decades ago. Got into Congo's civil war problem and marked congress still big crew of federal control board. Better over a long curative tongue worked on it and everything are read their bond rating today is really good did it. On the other hand declared bankruptcy. And they've they were able to pay a little bit to some of their creditors. But no companies won't go back in big called edge of the bankruptcy. Why don't we just put federal control board and Puerto Rico. And take care of the problems are role on terrorism to them. Well that would be part of I think most people feel today that would be part of the solution. You know what they're asking for it. That all of the municipalities. Within the within 48 state that existed at that time. We're given. And opted to do what's called chapter nine bankruptcy. And to restructure their debt and so we're seeing places like you know Illinois in Chicago and several cities that have you don't have that ability. Puerto Rico just because I guess they were a problem when that was created. We've outlawed greed was exempted from that that that access to that restructuring of their debt. So yeah they've been asking you know that the that the chapter nine extended but the there's a lot of people that that there are wanting to do that. It appears politically. That one of the reasons that the congress is again it is that there are trying to protect the people with a lent him money. Which is suspect a lot of these big hedge funds. And so there's that that part of the political aspect that most people feel like we need to do something and I think almost everybody agrees that whatever. You know it out restructuring we ought to do with it control board that would have some ability to. You know govern what happening. There because clearly Margarito is. Paper at some problem that they have 45%. Up poverty rate in the country. So you know we we think we're back part 24%. Poverty rate Puerto Rico quite as bad as we. And so so that part of their problem is it's hard part to raise a lot of money more people. And so but that the property is endemic but build more grated upgraded by port sources of the upgraded. By again our federal government you know allowed him to do a lot of thing that most other people don't viewed it that led to bury port choices so there are a lot of they're locked up on there. Aren't limit limited Brinker. And no one would come back. I wanna as skewed his super individual freedom do in the commercials here. Everything every day in and talked and Barbara congress is suggests that. Abrams present the biggies that mutual funds hedge funds bond insurers. That that don't want. Their ability to get as much money out of that is they can't they don't want that impacted. But on the saying on the other hand. When we come back wanna have you bet what ever happened does it have been put to central. To affect Louisiana in particular. Louisiana's senior Louisiana and investors come in right back. And can drugs relations scoring Newegg shows 150 dollar Gibson Tippett could prompt and its camera. Everything photograph have been thirty to thirties or burning them really lose tomorrow would given of the chancellor Greg give for your mom from double BO and we are a thing good about headlines talk about Puerto Rico pace and parts of them with a few bankruptcy. And that elicit that Blanco a lot of blog comments like so why. Well we've been commercials here for him and organization called separate individual freedom. And make clear if that bankruptcy you Kurds could affect the bond market would have picked seniors here who museum of the retirement savings pensions. And all too low. Could pave the way April over elaborate states like cal boy and New York. To declare bankruptcy on their own. So I called doctor Walter doubling from cultural economic finance and you know. Better understand this doctor does it threaten Louisiana. Retirees. Pensioners. California. New York the United States. I bet major current concern that I have Garland. I mean it's really what I think looked as though argument is that domino theory that it Porter legal ball that make it easier for all these other companies. Other municipalities and state to declare. A bankruptcy of which is if you get a lot of that happening in the bond market could be in big trouble. In that way I think if Puerto Rico because. They do not operate under the same rules as the representative municipality and state United States. I think it should be considered as separate cases there. They're probably not the best example would be the first domino to fall so that's not something I have a lot of concern about. And go one final court shouldn't. I I've read that they need to shore up their tax bodies aboard the problems they have been as the pew ridge they had hoped or leaving. Of what happens if they lose to that there are 1% 1%. And and their tanks based roads are even more is it sure Leah humanitarian. Crisis. Yeah Padilla indictment earlier the poverty rate in orbit are very high and and money that happen is they're been number pharmaceutical companies. And other places that we've really gotten tax protections. It set up business there and some of those act protections have been taken away a lot of companies are leading. Which is which wider their crisis Galactica. Deep into your particularly so we're Rico but you're very very concerning. And again they are US protectorate. And the congress you know it does have a constitutional obligation. To protect those people so we we will which is not hearing about what re. Well dunks like a big worry is that small order in the near future for Weezer and New York child porn New York country. Thank you doctor is always did and education you have agreed to. You are covered in Dutch were good read talk about some fuel eve Darrell pot is that the answer. To stop most of the illegal immigration to this country we're gonna get educated stay with. Ready dual goal way it would come right back Lincoln about two.