Wrong Way! Why Would Puerto Rico Want to Become a State?
By The Daily Bell Staff - June 10, 2017

Secession has been a hot topic lately from Brexit, to Catalonia, to California; so why is Puerto Rico voting on statehood tomorrow?

It is a non-binding referendum which asks Puerto Ricans if they would rather the territory remain as it is now, become an American state, or go entirely independent. But some say the election has been rigged for the pro-statehood group.

And indeed, they seem to have the most power right now. The big fish in a small pond are seeking to form a delegation of two “Senators” and five “Representatives” in order to lobby Congress to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st American State. Puerto Rico already has a Congresswoman who goes to DC, though she is not a voting member. Go figure she supports statehood, as someone who has the most to gain from it.

But the real reason many Puerto Ricans see statehood as appealing: the territory is bankrupt. Somehow it only took $73 billion in debt (about $20,000 per capita) to bankrupt Puerto Rico, as opposed to close to $20 trillion in debt (over $60,000 per capita) the U.S.A. holds. (Puerto Rico cannot simply print more money to pay their debts in inflated currency as the U.S. does–a back door tax.)

Yet becoming a state would give Puerto Rico access to federal cash, since the federal government hands out funds to states in order to manipulate their policies, and gain allegiance.And why shouldn’t a government with triple the debt per citizen help out Puerto Rico? America has a magic protective shield around its finances; America’s chickens will never come home to roost. Totally makes sense to bring more bankrupt states into the fold, why the hell not?

And why shouldn’t a government with triple the debt per citizen help out Puerto Rico? America has a magic protective shield around its finances; America’s chickens will never come home to roost. Totally makes sense to bring more bankrupt states into the fold, why the hell not?

Some claim that Puerto Rico becoming a state would make it a better place to invest, as Americans wouldn’t see it as scary and foreign. They are wrong. Puerto Rico becoming fully subject to the taxes and regulations of the U.S.A. would absolutely make it less appealing than it is currently. Puerto Rico currently has a 4% income tax rate, and most investment income gets a full exemption from taxation.

If the Puerto Rican people were smart, they would vote for independence. Why would you subject yourself to a higher tax rate, which would only hurt the already touchy economy? Why would you scare away investors and businesses, and submit yourself to an even more debt-riddled government, with more restrictions on the freedom to live, work, and earn how you choose?

At a time when territories are rightfully asserting their independence from larger imperialist governments in order to have more control over the local issues which affect them, voting for statehood is a step backward for Puerto Rico.

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  • Anon.

    I have to disagree with this. Currently Puerto Rico is 100% under federal jurisdiction. States are only under federal jusistiction in the (originally) narrow cases given by the Constitution. The commerce clause being the source of almost all their powers in the states. And, the states regularly forfeit their rights for Federal fiat just like people do when they participate in Federal programs or accept Federal benefits/franchises.

    And in theory they would operate in common law as defined by the Constitution not Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) which was passed individually in every state to give the appearance of Federal power.

    • Otha Melton

      I Iike the way you explained how the relationship between the Federal Government and the State Government is supposed to operate under the US Constitution. I totally agree that becoming a State of the Union is essentially becoming an independent country bound together under a treaty (the US Constitution) with 50 other countries but surrendering some of its sovereignty to the Federal Government in certain areas such as foreign affairs with foreign nations outside the Union, currency, Interstate trade, etc. When the United States was first established after gaining independence from Great Britain, the 13 original colonies became 13 independent, autonomous states (or independent nations) but who later agreed to form an Union. The first contract, the Articles of Confederation, which ultimately failed because the States’ power was much greater than the power of the Federal Government under that system. When the Founding Fathers of our Nation realized this system of government was a total disaster, the Framers decided a system of Federalism where the sovereign rights of the States are protected while giving up some of their rights to the Federal Government in order to create the Federal Republic of the United States of America.

  • Laura Amanda Allen

    Guvmints always take more than they give. Puerto Ricans, don’t ask for one bigger than you are; you’ll get taken….

  • Goldcoaster

    so they get bailed out, obviously.
    I always chuckle when I see a car with the PR flag hanging from the rear view, and I think to myself if PR is so freaking great, what you doing here?

    • rsanchez1

      Any time I see them competing in an international sporting event, I think to myself, if they want to keep pretending to be an independent nation, why not grow a pair and finally just do it?

    • Scotty158

      LOL, I say the same thing. I have PR friends that don’t speak about it at all, but their parents and grandparents that don’t speak English are here to have benefits and housing and medical and……..

  • bbenhamid

    Adding another Star to the flag would make every U.S. banner on this planet obsolete. Call it a big Cash Cow for all major Flag Companies.

  • aj54

    would PR having statehood status disallow some of the more egregious financial exploitation that takes place now? Would lenders then fall under the umbrella of US laws that might not allow things like a refusal to renegotiate bonds that are at 14%; would it stop the vultures? Is this maybe why they would contemplate statehood?

  • Doug1943

    Why doesn’t the United States have a referendum on whether it wants to keep Puerto Rico? Then they might find themselves independent whether they like it or not.

    • bouf

      We are keeping the navy base regardless. Could be the answer to your question…

  • Rosicrucian32

    I used to travel on business to PR a few times a year in the 90’s. There were opportunities back then to become a state as well. The PR citizens I spoke to back then have no interest in that. They have many benefit$ in their current $tatu$ that they would not necessarily have the same access to if they were beholden as part of the republic. I don’t see them ever going through with it.

  • Delwingoss

    Has anyone ever thought about asking the other States citizens if they are intersted in Puerto Rico becoming a state? The last thing I want to do is be paying off some one elses debt.

  • rsanchez1

    They have these referendum votes every few years and the result is always the same: maintain the status quo. If Puerto Rico were smart, they would vote to keep themselves as a territory. They could still get bailed out by the US government and fall under the largest military spender in the world, instead of being forced to make a budget for themselves and factoring their own military costs into that budget.

    Puerto Rico has not been responsible with their finances at all, and they sure as hell won’t vote for independence to make themselves even more accountable for their public debt. They definitely won’t vote to subject themselves to the full taxes of the federal government either, so they’ll just vote to maintain the status quo yet again.

    • slv

      Isn’t status quo remaining a territory?

  • Doc

    Why the complete allegiance to the territorial government model where it has to be this or that for everyone? Why frame the discussion that way?

  • George Ralph

    how soon we forget. the mother fockers shot up the capitol in ’54. they are nothing more than terrorists.

  • shawn lavrar

    “If the Puerto Rican people were smart, they would vote for independence.
    Why would you subject yourself to a higher tax rate, which would only
    hurt the already touchy economy?”

    Why would they want independence or statehood? Right now they get to collect social security and welfare without having to pay into anything.

  • thefinancedude

    PR is the public beach head of a private liquidation in bankruptcy of US Inc…its about to get good b/c there isn’t going to be 50 states left in that Union when the dust settles…kingdom of hawaii has already ascended formally at the international level…America(ns) have a heart attack waiting in its future…

  • Kay Adams

    U.S. should get rid of the money drain. Give them independence,.