B²: Puerto Rico

Thanks to Puerto Rico’s fiscal mess, Washington continues to live La Vida Loca at $19 trillion in debt.

On Thursday, President Obama signed a bill to bail out the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. And on Friday, Puerto Rico defaulted.

With so many large numbers and wonky terms floating around, messaging on this debate might cue a snooze fest. Sad! But it’s important to talk about the default and the U.S. government’s response as it’s no longer Puerto Rico’s problem – it’s now the problem of every American family.

So, what’s the best way to communicate why this bill matters to every voter?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “Isn’t the bipartisan bill that President Obama signed to bail out Puerto Rico something we owe them as a U.S. territory?”

B²: “As Washington steps in to bail out Puerto Rico, states like CA, NJ, and IL will look for the same favor. With the U.S. at $19 trillion in debt…<insert talking point>…”

Wherever you take the conversation next, break down the impact this bill has on the average American family. At $19 trillion in U.S. debt, bailing out Puerto Rico not only makes that (already) astounding number larger, but sets a dangerous precedent that could have dire consequences. If Washington ignored the rules to help Puerto Rico, what’s to stop them from opening the wallet for other states that have failed to spend within their means?

The issue is no joke, and this new law only continues to grow our debt.