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Joe Milligan, Fundación Libertad: Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Crisis

May 23, 2017

The Puerto Rico government owes creditors over $70 billion in debt! How can free-market policies save the people of this tropical paradise?

In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, Heartland Institute research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Joe Milligan, executive vice president of Fundación Libertad, a Puerto Rican nonpartisan think tank dedicated to protecting the economic and personal freedoms of territory residents, about Puerto Rico’s $70 billion bankruptcy filing—a filing worth over five times the size of Detroit, Michigan’s bankruptcy filing in 2013—and how the territory’s lawmakers can help pull the Island of Enchantment out of its financial death spiral.

Economic prosperity has been declining in Puerto Rico for nearly a decade, and about 11 percent of its population are jobless, Milligan says, and it’s time to make Puerto Rico a place where people want to work and live.

On May 17, the largest municipal bankruptcy proceedings in American history will begin in federal court, and Milligan says it’s important for lawmakers to reduce the size and cost of government to get the territory out of its nose-dive and back on its feet. Taxes and regulations are crushing people on the island, he says, causing them to choose to leave for the mainland.

If Puerto Rico does not make significant reforms to the way the government treats business owners, Milligan says, the problem will only continue to go on harming people and crushing dreams.
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Jesse Hathaway is the managing editor of Budget & Tax News, a publication of The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH
Joseph Milligan is a senior policy advisor to the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce. @Joe_W_Milligan ‏