Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Puerto Rico as the 51st state?

Current opinion: none

Over the years, Puerto Rico has been talked about as our next State.

Puerto Rico has been 'part of the U.S.' since it was ceded by Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1898.  Since that time, Puerto Ricans have fought in every American war since that time.  Puerto Rico pays Federal Payroll Taxes (but not Income Taxes), Social Security Taxes and other taxes, are under U.S. military protection, and, as of 1941, are natural born citizens of the United States.  They also have non-voting representation in Congress.

Puerto Rico has almost 4 million people with a literacy rate of over 94% (the United States is 99%).  President George H.W. Bush, in his first State of the Union address, said he believed that Puerto Rico should become a state, as long as it's citizens voted to do so.

What would becoming a state mean to Puerto Rico and the United States?

First, Puerto Rico would have allocated funds given to them as other states do now.  The standard of living in Puerto Rico is lower, and with additional funds, this could increase.  But they would also begin to pay Federal Income Taxes which could offset this.  They would also have voting Representation in Congress (six seats in the House of Representatives).

New Opinion: Puerto Rico should remain a protectorate of the United States since there is no big advantage to either Puerto Rico or the United States to change the status quo

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