WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) published an opinion piece Wednesday morning (April 20) in The Washington Post’s PowerPost section. The piece focused on the debt crisis facing the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, America’s national debt, and lessons learned from Arkansas’ own debt crisis during the Great Depression.
“How do you ever pay down a debt that is more than your GDP?
“Like Arkansas did, slowly and methodically, but first, you have to institute discipline and accountability, stabilize the situation, agree to a plan to repay your creditors, put government on a diet, and free the private sector to create jobs and growth. Including its debt payments, the government cannot spend more than it collects.
“Democratic forms of government require checks and balances. Puerto Rico is a territory owned by the United States government. If it were a city or county, then a state would be responsible for oversight. Since Puerto Rico is an American territory, the Article IV constitutional responsibility of oversight falls on Congress. Congress answers to the people.
“… Bailing Puerto Rico out with U.S. debt would only kick the can down the road, doing nothing to fix the territory’s underlying problems, and making America’s worse.”
Westerman’s complete article may be found at WashingtonPost.com.