According to Bloomberg, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello requested that federal taxpayers pay $94 billion towards a federal aid package to help the territory recover from the devastation it suffered due to Hurricanes Maria.
When the federal aid package was first put together in November, it was estimated that $31 billion of the funds would go toward rebuilding homes and $18 billion would go toward repairing electric utilities.
However, Rossello turned around and spent $100 million on government employees’ Christmas bonuses!
Oh, but all is well, because according to a Washington Times report, Rossello’s aides say the budget for the bonuses had been approved before Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, so…you know…
Nevertheless, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), a member of the House committee with oversight over Puerto Rico, told the Washington Times, “Puerto Rico has demonstrated time and time again that its government is incapable of responsibly handling its finances. This is yet another such instance.”
Additionally, Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board, which was established by Congress in 2016 to bail the territory out of defaulting on its debt, is of the same opinion as McClintock and those of us who actually have hearts and brains. The board issued a letter on Nov. 27, signed by Chairman Jose B. Carrion, stating that the bonuses were “imprudent” and said Rossello should rethink his allocation of government funds.
“While the Oversight Board shares in your desire to recognize public employees who have gone above and beyond in aiding recovery efforts across the island, to do so in a way that increases the liquidity strain on the commonwealth at this time puts the public at risk and demonstrates a lack of fiscal discipline,” the board said in its letter.