Jim Martin: “Chapter 9 unfairly changes the rules for millions of senior citizens with their life savings on the line!”
(Alexandria, Virginia) — The 60 Plus Association, America’s largest right-leaning seniors organization representing more than 7.2 million older Americans, today launched an educational awareness campaign urging Congress to reject the $164 billion bailout for Puerto Rico.
60 Plus Association has taken out a full page advertisement in Politico that calls Chapter 9 a “bad deal for seniors” and a “bad deal for U.S. taxpayers.” The advertisement goes on to further state that extending Chapter 9 for Puerto Rico would “unfairly change the rules in the middle of the game for millions of senior citizens and other pensioners and investors who have their life savings on the line.”
Said 60 Plus Chairman and Founder Jim Martin in response:
“Congress must not ask U.S. taxpayers and retirees to bail out Puerto Rico. It is not only unfair but also unnecessary. A declaration of bankruptcy would mean significant losses for senior citizens, pensioners and hard-working Americans looking forward to retirement. Instead of rewriting U.S. law to make it easier for Puerto Rico to unilaterally walk away from its debt, Congress should insist Puerto Rico use options it already has to pay its bills and get its financial house in order.”
Puerto Rico has options. For starters, Puerto Rico could negotiate with its bondholders, municipalities and hotels could pay for their electricity use and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) could take advantage of the fall in oil prices, which saves it $1 billion per year. Over the long-term, imposition of a control board, similar to the one created for the District of Columbia 20 years ago, could propel governmental reforms and impose fiscal discipline to Puerto Rico that is long-overdue.
“We hope Congress puts the brakes on any plan to saddle American taxpayers and senior citizens with Puerto Rico’s bills and instead moves full-steam ahead on how to impose comprehensive changes in how Puerto Rico is governed and manages its finances. A $164 billion bailout is not the answer.”