John Stossel explains in this short video how Governor Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico showed political courage and reduced public spending and debt.
Here are the main points of the video:
Our politicians won’t stop spending. Puerto Rico was in the same boat as us. Businesses fled because of the high taxes. When the current governor, Luis Fortuño, was elected, there wasn’t enough money to pay the government workers. John Stossel interviews Fortuño in this video.
Fortuño cut spending and lowered taxes. In three years, they cut their deficit by 90%. The governor cut his own salary by 10%. He froze everyone else’s salaries. He severed government contracts. He merged agencies. He fired government workers. In three years he reduced the government headcount by 39,000. Some of the displaced workers started their own businesses. He helped them start businesses by streamlining the permit process. Instead of 28 permits to open a store, you go to one office and can do it online.
Businesses have returned and are expanding, such as Walmart and Coca Cola. They had two toll roads that were poorly maintained and lit. They provided a 40 year concession to a private company. Now the toll roads are properly maintained and functioning. They are going to do the same thing with their airports and the penitentiaries, even school construction and maintenance.
What is the lesson for us? Government spending can be cut. Puerto Rico did it. Private enterprise can be restored.