Iowa should learn from Puerto Rico’s crises

What’s the matter with Puerto Rico, and why should Iowans care?

It’s become increasingly clear that Congress will soon need to provide some sort of assistance to the U.S. Territory. The island has weathered a decade of recession, holds $72 billion in debt it cannot fully repay, and its pension plan verges on bankruptcy.

Widespread agreement exists that something must be done, but no easy fix has emerged. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, sits at the epicenter of this crisis. Iowa taxpayers should closely watch how Congress resolves this issue because it could end up worsening the state’s finances.

Puerto Rico wound up in its fiscal predicament by borrowing money to postpone tough tax and spending decisions whenever possible—a strategy Iowans would recognize as bond measures have ballooned state debt in recent years.

Read the full piece at the Quad-City Times:

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