Economic Colonialism of Puerto Rico: A Predatory Contradiction

Puerto Rico has become an unfortunate contradiction. One one end, House Republicans circulated a questionable draft, awarding a federal control board the legal authority to oversee a reduction of the island’s debts, instead of entrusting that power to local officials. Puerto Rico’s debt was sold by different issuers and backed by separate revenue streams or legal safeguards, none of whom are elected local officials, although some would say some of those elected officials are part of the problem. 

Meanwhile, the call for a federal board even made the White House yesterday, when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest called for “independent fiscal oversight:” 

In addition, federal judge José A. Fusté declared unconstitutional a special law established to tax Walmart. Ley 72 (Law 72) taxed the plaintiff 6.5% for business-to-business purchases. Instead of paying their fair share, they sued Puerto Rico and asked for this law to be declared unconstitutional. In an ironic twist Fusté admits: 

“[…] it doesn’t give me any pleasure, under these circumstances, to block any revenue stream that may contribute directly to Puerto Rico’s general budget.” One of the ‘expert witnesses’ stated: “At the end of the day, the government shouldn’t depend on invalid taxes to try to pay for essentials.” 

This argument triggered the aforementioned judge to rule in favor of the non-union megastore, who claimed their business “suffered discrimination,” due to the imposed law. The ruling comes as Walmart prepares to close seven stores in Puerto Rico as part of a plan to shutter 269 stores worldwide. 

- See more at: http://www.latinorebels.com/2016/03/29/economic-colonialism-of-puerto-rico-a-predatory-contradiction/#sthash.lXR177Q0.dpuf

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