Can we just stop fucking around and admit it already? Puerto Rico was in an economic crisis before Hurricane Maria, and now it's confronting a humanitarian catastrophe. Before the storm, PR owed $70 billion to Wall Street and $50 billion to its own citizens. Three weeks after the storm, PR is facing massive food shortages, 8% of its roads are passable, and only 16% of Puerto Ricans have power. Republicans have the #HottestTake, of course. Let's lend Puerto Rico some more money! That will totally work!

Paul Ryan, that "limpdick motherfucker born in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation," is taking a field trip to PR on Friday to figure out which tools from his bag of market-based magic tricks will produce hundreds of thousands of meals a day out of thin air. Luckily, he's taking Cathy McMorris Rodgers, so she can comfort them as a mother who appreciates that all life is sacred. The rest of you whiners can bootstrap yourselves out of this mess, but Puerto Rican fetuses -- she is THERE for you!

The problem for Republicans is that Puerto Rico proves that every single piece of GOP orthodoxy is utter bullshit. Small government can't rebuild the electrical grid for 3 million people. Cutting taxes will not put food in Puerto Rican grocery stores. And the free market is how Puerto Rico got $70 billion of bond debt in the first place.

A real free-market economist would say, "Well, we clearly intend to cook the planet with carbon emissions, so Puerto Rico is facing an eternity of supercharged storms. We just have to evacuate most of the population to the continental U.S." But that would require Republicans to acknowledge man-made climate change and allow all those brown-skinned Democrats to turn Florida blue (and Spanish-speaking). Which is right out.

So Republicans have gone to Plan B.

Yeah, they're going to do nothing and hope no one notices. AGAIN.

Oddly enough, the one person who seems to get it about Puerto Rico is Donald Trump. Mr. Bankruptcy can spot when it's time to hit the reset button and stiff your creditors.

We have to look at their whole debt structure. They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out. That's gonna have to be, you know, you can say goodbye to that. I don't know if it's Goldman Sachs or whoever it is, but you can wave goodbye to that. But we have to do something about it, because the debt was massive on the island.

But then the GOP tackled him and reminded him that this ain't that kind of party. And isn't it more fun to shit tweet at that nasty mayor and brag about your super wonderful recovery efforts, Mr. President?

That's the spirit, Papi!

So now we're back to loaning Puerto Rico money and hoping that charities fill in the gaps to prevent starvation for long enough that the public loses interest. And, hey America, look over there! California is on fire!

Which is all very gloomy, of course. But don't despair, Wonkers! If there's one thing that will save this country and fund all our disaster relief efforts, IT IS A MASSIVE TAX CUT FOR THE WEALTHY.


[The Guardian / NYMag / Politico]

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