State Number 51?

PUBLISHED: 7:03 PM 25 Sep 2018

President Trump: Administrative ‘Incompetence’ Justifies Firm Stance

Puerto Rico won’t be promoted to statehood until they address the rampant incompetence that plagues the territory’s leadership. Corruption and impotence existed long before Hurricane Maria struck the island and still limits recovery.

Most of the people who have been administering the island’s territorial government are totally ineffective, at all levels, and have been – for who knows how long.

President Donald Trump delivered shocking news on Monday to those in Puerto Rico hoping to become citizens of state number 51. Trump declared an emphatic “absolute no” when asked. Not while bungling officials remain in office, he asserted, including the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Geraldo Rivera started a new Radio show in Cleveland, Ohio, with President Trump as his first guest. “With the mayor of San Juan as incompetent as she is and as bad as she is, Puerto Rico shouldn’t be talking about statehood until they get some people [who] really know what they’re doing.”

Cruz has been running “a horror show” while being “so disrespectful” to efforts at assistance by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Liberal media was quick to twist the President’s words. The media wants the world to think Trump blames his decision entirely on Mayor Cruz, simply because she “criticized” the President. However, that’s not completely accurate.

She’s not the only “incompetent” prompting Trump’s ire. The President insists that most of the people who have been administering the island’s territorial government are totally ineffective, at all levels, and have been – for who knows how long.

One other person who has attracted considerable criticism is Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello. Washington Times reports his complaints about the “unequal and colonial relationship.”

Of course, most people believe that probably the best thing for the nation is their independence, not more hand outs.

“The president said he is not in favor of statehood for the people of Puerto Rico based on a personal feud with a local mayor. This is an insensitive, disrespectful comment to over 3 million Americans who live in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.”

As thousands of citizens were kept in the dark without power, necessary parts and supplies were rat-holed in a power company warehouse until the Army Corps of Engineers stumbled on them and “liberated” the parts for use.

A few weeks ago, Governor Rossello was a no show for a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee. Roll Call reports, the Governor “will skip an oversight hearing on ‘mismanagement and disarray’ at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the island’s sole energy provider.” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) scared him off with a twitter post.

“What takes place in Puerto Rico with utilities, with power is really atypical of anything else we have in any other state,” he told reporters later.

Just last week the public learned that millions of bottles of drinking water went to waste, sitting on an airfield instead of being passed out to those who needed them.

Now may be the time to sell the asset off. It’s our property and we can do whatever we want with it.

“Congress can give Puerto Rico away, sell it or set it on fire without asking anyone’s opinion,” Hector Pesquera assured Puerto Rico Report. Pesquera is a former Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police and the Puerto Rico Commissioner of Safety and Public Protection.

Most people recognize President Trump isn’t about to let the mainland taxpayers pick up the tab for decades of wasteful mismanagement and corruption. Not when Saudi Arabia or one of the other Mid-East countries might find our territory attractive as a global oil transfer facility.

The U.S. desperately needs a loading port specifically designed to load the huge “very large crude carriers” needed to open up the Asia trade market for U.S. oil suppliers.

America could get cash in exchange for a huge liability, while the Mid-East investors have the mountains of money laying around doing nothing to not only build the shipping infrastructure, but rebuild the civic infrastructure, too.

The U.S. may decide to hold on to the property. That will mean rebuilding the entire island from the mud up, and cleaning up the mountain of debt, which crippled their economy long before Hurricane Maria hit last September.

One way to do that is to sell things off piece by piece. Privatizing nearly everything, starting with the power company, is something local officials are already working on.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June of last year, before the hurricane struck, “the troubled U.S. territory is preparing to seek bids in coming months from private companies willing to operate or improve seaports, regional airports, water meters, student housing, traffic-fine collections, parking spaces and a passenger ferry, according to a government presentation.”

What happens in these types of deals is the government, “allows private firms to lease and operate public infrastructure for decades in exchange for upfront cash or a promise of long-term improvements.”

Three months earlier, in April, Reuters reported “bankruptcy for Puerto Rico is looking ever more likely as the clock ticks down toward a May 1, deadline to restructure $70 billion in debt, ramping up uncertainty for anyone betting on returns from the island’s widely held U.S. municipal bonds.”

Even before the devastation, Puerto Rico’s administrators couldn’t stick to a plan.

Over two years ago they were expected to submit a five-year financial plan to the Oversight and Management Board. “Unfortunately,” Forbes writes, “the plans have become somewhat meaningless and are increasingly ignored by investors.”

“From the start, the plans have been, to varying degrees, difficult to follow and deficient in supporting information and assumptions.” In other words, some would say, the people in charge are either incompetent or trying to cover something up, which would make them corrupt.

“To make matters worse, when the Board requests explanations of or clarity about certain items in the plans, their requests sometimes go unheeded.” This isn’t a stale report either. It is dated September 24, 2018.

“Problems cited by the Board included what it viewed as erroneous projections for the commonwealth’s sales tax, which is a major revenue source for the commonwealth… Excessive payroll costs were another item that the Board questioned…”

The bottom line, Forbes assesses, “poor planning and budgeting are two of the biggest reasons for Puerto Rico’s current problems.”

They only want the U.S. to make them a state so President Trump can do what their incompetent leaders can’t do, make their problems go away.