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A Call For Puerto Rican Statehood

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 09/26/17 05:34, Edited: 09/26/17 05:35

by Dave Mindeman

Puerto Rico is being abandoned.

There are 3.5 million US citizens on the island of Puerto Rico. It has been a tropical paradise and an excellent vacation destination for mainland citizens. But Puerto Rico has been devastated by a hurricane...and devastated is not even the proper vocabulary for this. All of this comes on top of a financial crisis that Puerto Rico was already trying to deal with...massive, unpayable debt.

How are they ever going to recover from all of that?

The debt load would have a solution for citizenry on the mainland. There would be a bankruptcy declaration and a restructuring of the debt. But Puerto Rico cannot do that - only STATES can do that. Thus, Puerto Rico is at the mercy of the US banking system.

Now, after Maria, Puerto Rico not only faces a financial disaster, but their very survival. People are suffering right now. No power. Minimal shelter. Even food and water are in doubt.

Unlike the devastation in Houston and Florida, the governmental response has been muted. Yes, the logistics of an island make things more difficult...but that is why the response should be the same as if we had American citizens trapped anywhere else in the world - every piece of military hardware and civilian medical and emergency efforts should be brought together in crisis mode.

The idea that 3.5 million American citizens can be left in such circumstances cannot be acceptable. Trump seems to be too busy chastising football players to get his attention diverted to the island devastation - but once again the American people must force him to listen.

We have taken Puerto Rico for granted for far too long. They are US citizens but with no representation in our government.

That is flat out wrong. Maybe instead of tea being thrown in the harbor, we can change it to rum - because this is every bit of a "taxation without representation" problem that we fought a revolution over, 250 years ago.

Listen to our citizens in the Caribbean. They need our help immediately for their current situation and our support for granting them statehood later.
comments (3) permalink
09/27/17 17:41
...deserve? Outrageous!

We need to have a realistic discussion in this country about what constitutes a viable location for a home. Seriously! Rebuilding over-and-over makes no sense. PR is one of the poorest countries around. If global ocean rise is inevitable, with-or-without Paris, then should PR be rebuilt or vacated? Should Florida be rebuilt or Vacated? Should the 9th Ward of New Orleans been rebuilt or vacated? I have stood on the street in the 9th Ward and looked up at the passing barges. Beautiful public housing just waiting to be flooded again.

Should it be appropriate to park the poorest of the poor in harm's way? What is it about that picture that you find OK? It's almost as if you think the poor deserve this!

09/27/17 14:58
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. But your post almost seems to indicate that PR is getting what they deserve.
09/27/17 12:56
Reality is a pain Dave. Puerto Ricans do not pay federal income tax. The tax they collect from their people, they keep. As a Minnesotan who pays federal taxes and only gets back 70% you should be demanding some representation yourself.

There is a nice article on wikipedia on the topic. Check it out "Taxation in Puerto Rico."

The poor do not pay federal income taxes. Quite the contrary, they received refundable credits. Most of those credits are paid by DC but not in Puerto Rico because Puerto Rico does not extend those benefits to their own people. So they do have representation.

Social security and medicare taxes on payroll and self-employment are dedicated to funding our social safety net.

US citizens are required to file federal tax forms under some circumstances (we tax worldwide income remember?) but are given a tax credit for taxes paid directly to Puerto Rico.

Although the lefty media is attempting to hang trump as being inconsiderate or uncaring for reasons that are clearly political, the USS Comfort was many days away. The camera crews are rightly stuck in airports and unable to witness delivery of planes loaded with cargo, having 10,000 federal response people on the ground create a logistical problem by just being there. What good are 10,000 federal employees when there are 3.5 million volunteers standing in line already?

Statehood would not fix puerto rico. As in many parts of the world, evacuation efforts due to global warming creating weather problems should be an effort to getting the population to vacate permanently if they are unable to provide for their own hardened infrastructure. Think vacate, not evacuating.

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