Has Puerto Rico found the “sweet spot”?

by 1389 on May 12, 2012

in 1389 (blog admin), economy, government regulation, government spending, taxes

Afterburner with Bill Whittle: The Sweet Spot

Published on Mar 16, 2012 by Pajamasmedia

Bill Whittle returns from Bangkok to bring you the truth about world poverty. From prostitution, to the crumbling infrastructure, hear the lessons Whittle learned on his trip to the third world. Notwithstanding the poverty, could the Thai people be experiencing a freedom long lost in the United States? Find out.

John Stossel: Failed Federal Government Fiscal Policy & Gov. Fortuño


Published on May 12, 2012 by TheJeffSoares

Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño discusses how the territory revived its economy. A US territory can do this but the Fed and California cannot? Pathetic.

Notes from an earlier John Stossel show on Luis Fortuño:

Puerto Rican Reforms

Posted by John Stossel | June 10, 2011

The media spent so much time covering union protests in Wisconsin, that I mostly missed a much bigger protest over much bigger (17,000 government workers fired!) cuts in Puerto Rico.

When Luis Fortuño became governor in 2009, Puerto Rico’s economy was a mess.

Or, as he told me:

“Not just a mess. We didn’t have enough money to meet our first payroll.”

But he avoided bankruptcy by getting an emergency loan, and immediately cutting Puerto Rico’s government. For once, government shrank. Fortuño and the conservative legislature:

  • Laid off 17,000 government workers
  • Froze all salaries in government
  • Cut government spending by 20%

The changes were more sweeping than any state’s, so it’s no surprise that the protests were also more ferocious. Demonstrators clashed with the police in front of the governor’s mansion. Some carried signs calling him a fascist and a Nazi. One poll shows that if an election were held today, Fortuño would lose, 47 to 25%.

But the benefits of Fortuño’s small government policies are only starting to be realized. It wasn’t until this January that Fortuño used the savings from his cuts to reduce corporate taxes from 35 to 25%. He also cut state income taxes in half (a change that will be phased in until 2014.)

600 construction permits were issued in last few months. Wal-Mart, CostCo, Coca-Cola, and pharmaceutical companies are moving to or expanding in Puerto Rico. Soon, they will provide thousands of new jobs.

Once people notice that, Fortuño may become popular again. Ronald Reagan, Gov. John Engler of Michigan, and Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico all suffered drops in public support when they pushed for small government – but won re-election when people realized that the cuts helped the economy.

Many of those government workers who were laid off in Puerto Rico now do productive things. In my special, Mayra Gonzalez says she’s now GLAD she was laid off because it got her to start her own company. She named it “Law 7” – after the law that fired her.

Good things happen when the government gets out of people’s lives.

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