Tag: Hurricane Maria

Trump and DeSantis May Do Well by Doing Good [Updated 1 Sept.]


After Hurricane Maria fully exposed the extent of Puerto Rican public corruption and incompetence, President Trump allowed his supposedly expert professional advisors and disaster response agency leaders to drive the pace of response. As a result, Puerto Rico is still in significantly worse shape than Texas. Also as a result, Puerto Ricans, who are all American citizens, moved in large numbers to Florida, where they may well flip the state to the Democrats in 2020.

It is in President Trump’s and Governor DeSantis’s interest to very publicly show what a difference Republican leadership makes in response to a hurricane. President Trump took the first right step by canceling his trip to Poland. He is sending Vice President Pence in his place to commemorate Poland’s valiant struggle against the Germans and Russians, a place they find themselves in again today on the economic level. President Trump has communicated to the public and the government where his priorities lie.

President Trump addressed the American people on August 29th in a 90-second video, and had his team build in satellite time-lapse imagery of the approaching storm, to make the point of how serious it seems:

This week on Banter, Andrew Biggs joined the show to assess the House Republicans’ recently released Tax Cuts and Jobs Act plan and to debunk the myth of the “retirement crisis.” He also discussed his work on the The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico to develop the island’s economy. In addition to his role on the board, Biggs is a resident scholar at AEI whose work focuses on Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public-sector pay and benefits. He participated in a seminar at AEI that analyzed the economic prospects of Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria. The link below will take you to the full event video.

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On this AEI Events Podcast, Jose Carrion of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico spoke at AEI about Puerto Rico’s challenges after Hurricane Maria and the actions that the board has undertaken to lead the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Mr. Carrion underscored that the board remains hopeful for Puerto Rico’s future despite the devastation from Hurricane Maria.

Following Mr. Carrion, Anne Krueger of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies discussed several recommendations to improve Puerto Rico’s economy, including introducing an apprentice wage and other measures to increase the labor force participation rate. She also advocated against abolishing the Jones Act, which increases the island’s shipping and energy costs. Cumberland Advisors’ John Mousseau pointed out the extent of losses in Puerto Rico and highlighted the need for a Marshall Plan–like program for improving Puerto Rico’s economy. Following Mr. Mousseau, AEI’s Andrew Biggs highlighted the problems with Puerto Rico’s educational and pension systems, which perpetuate Puerto Rico’s economic problems. Lastly, AEI’s Desmond Lachman discussed the humanitarian crisis on the island and stressed the importance of an International Monetary Fund–style plan, in which Puerto Rico would receive substantial support from Congress contingent upon substantial reforms.

Question of the Day: Trump’s Twitter Storm on Puerto Rico


President Donald Trump was roundly criticized this weekend for negative tweets about the situation in Puerto Rico. That quickly turned into criticism about the entire recovery operation. The Question of the Day: How do you judge President Trump’s handling of the hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico?

The Ricochet Question of the Day poses a question about the news, then at the end of the day, we’ll post the best comments. Join the conversation!