The United States may be following in the footsteps of Puerto Rico — a territory that has had its credit rating cut to “junk bond status” and is defaulting on its $70 billion debt — if it doesn’t balance the budget soon Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) warned Wednesday.
Brooks took to the House floor to issue his warning as part of a continued series of floor speeches highlighting “bad example” countries who are reaping the consequences of financially irresponsible leadership.
“Puerto Rico, like America, suffers from a bloated central government, welfare programs that undermine the work ethic, decades of financial mismanagement by elected leaders, and a resulting anemic economy and shrinking job market that causes roughly 7,000 citizens to flee Puerto Rico each month,” Brooks said on the House floor.
Brooks continued, “Puerto Rico’s debt defaults and resulting economic morass have forced Puerto Rico to delay tax refunds, fire public-sector workers, raise sales taxes to a record 11.5%, and close over 100 schools. Unfortunately, these austerity measures, and more, are inadequate because Puerto Rico’s self-serving and financially irresponsible elected officials waited too long. Puerto Rico still cannot pay its bills or creditors.”
The Huntsville Congressman explained America is on the same path of fiscal irresponsibility as Puerto Rico, having blown through the $19 trillion debt mark and is rapidly approaching on the $20 trillion debt mark.
“Who will bail out America when America defaults on its debt?” Brooks asked on the floor.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office America faces an unending string of trillion dollar a year deficits beginning a mere six years from now and that America’s debt will blow through the $29 trillion debt mark in a decade.
“If voters do not elect financially responsible officials to Washington, America will endure the same debilitating bankruptcy and insolvency that wreaks havoc in Greece and Puerto Rico — with one major difference — unlike Greece, which has been bailed out three times by the European community, and unlike Puerto Rico, which may yet be bailed out by American taxpayers, there is no one who can, or will, bail out America!” Brooks concluded.
In his first two speeches in the series, Brooks singled out Greece and Venezuela — both countries with massive, unsustainable debt — and addressed America’s growing annual deficits and accumulated debt, appropriations bills to fund the government, the debt ceiling, and how these issues interplay will significantly impact America’s future.
Watch Brooks’ latest speech below: