Treasury Pretends Not to Know What a ‘Bailout’ Is

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article.

By Ike Brannon

Following the reintroduction of the Puerto Rico debt legislation this week, it appears that the battle over how to restructure the insolvent island may soon be headed for a Congressional vote. The basic problems with previous approaches to fixing what ails the island have been papered over, to be conveniently ignored until the bill passes and Congress can move on to the next thing.

The biggest flaw with previous legislative attempts to construct a plan to fix Puerto Rico’s finances is that neither the Republicans in the Natural Resources Committee that have been writing the legislation nor the Treasury Department see any problem with reducing the payments made to the general obligation bondholders to offset funding for other obligations, especially for its hugely underfunded $46 billion pension system.