Puerto Rico: Obama’s perfect 51st state

Poverty, government reliance make welfare island liberal ideal

Last November 6, in a non-binding statehood referendum, a majority of Puerto Rican voters — 61% — indicated they want the island to become the 51st U.S. state.

And the Obama administration is all too happy to comply. In fact, White House spokesman Jay Carney called on lawmakers to take action. “Congress should now study the results closely, and provide the people of Puerto Rico with a clear path forward that lays out the means by which Puerto Ricans themselves can determine their own status,” Carney said after the vote.

More than 809,000 predominately Spanish speaking Puerto Ricans said they want the commonwealth to become a U.S. state. And why not? According to this report from CNS News THIRTY-SEVEN PERCENT of the island’s population already receive over $2 billion in food stamps — courtesy of U.S. taxpayers!  Previous elections indicated the Latin American nation supported independence from the United States. A poll released last month, conducted jointly by Suffolk University and the Puerto Rican University of Turabo shows 70% now favor statehood.

What’s changed?

Puerto Rico has a yearly median household income of $19,122, with the current unemployment rate exceeding 14 percent. Instead of operating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Puerto Rico administers untraceable block grants, within which 25 percent of a person’s benefit can be paid in cash, making it impossible to track how the generous American money gift is spent.

A law passed in 1917 made Puerto Ricans U.S. citizens. But the Caribbean island’s approximately 4 million residents cannot vote for president. Under its status as a commonwealth, residents are exempt from paying federal taxes. Puerto Rico sends Pedro R. Pierluisi, a nonvoting representative known as a resident commissioner in Congress.

During the 2012 election a new Governor was chosen. In an exhibition of erratic behavior the incumbent, pro-statehood Gov. Luis Furtuno of the “New Progressive Party” was ousted by Alejandro Garcia Padilla a member of the “Popular Democratic Party.” The party names tell the rest of the story.

The name by which Puerto Ricans identify the island on which they live is “Borinquen” — often  referred to as la isla del encanto, meaning “the island of enchantment.”

There’s no disputing the feeling of “enchantment” knowing that this impoverished, Obama supporting island is costing us a fortune and now wants statehood.

We urge you to read this older but fact-filled report from the Economist, detailing the widespread dependency it refers to as “Crutch Disease.”  Pass on it if you already have elevated blood pressure.  This information could bring on “the big one.”

 NOTICE:

In response to those who have inquired, Seeing Red AZ took the unusual step of closing comments to this post late Monday night because the arena for normal discourse had been hijacked by a rabid intruder who had written countless comments, jamming the inbox. The section is now open and the comments sent by that person will not appear again.

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31 Responses to Puerto Rico: Obama’s perfect 51st state

  1. Westnash says:

    Right…it is an old article. In the past, most Puerto Ricans did not want to become a state because they already get the benefits without the strings. There is a small capital gains tax there and the residents are not subject to income tax. There are now huge benefits for businesses that set up there. PR has been a Commonwealth for a long time and there should probably be a decision on its future. These will likely become voters for the Democrats but bringing the residents under our tax system might save money. I am not sure. I doubt a state would be allowed in unless there were two and the American Virgin Islands or other territories in the Pacific dont seem to be in line. Why not turn it into a totally free port like Hong Kong was w/ no tax based upon no more welfare payments from the US Taxpayer.

    • Maggie says:

      You begin your comment with “Right…it is an old article.” That was the last article, which was added at the end of the post. This proves to me you didn’t even bother to read then entire report or you would have realized it was based on a very recent CNS article in the first link.

      Hong Kong is prosperous. Puerto Rico is a third world dependent island, filled with takers.

      • Westnash says:

        Not only takers, and big government allows others to take. They are citizens of the USA and legally can come and move next to you. The fact that Republicans allow this is no surprise as the Republicans of the George Bush and Tom Delay era used their power to grow and grow government…it is wrong no matter who does it.

        Cut government so small that it cannot take over the people.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Right, Westnash, it’s no surprise that Republicans allowed this to happen and it is wrong. I agree completely.

      • Luis Arroyo says:

        Have you ever been to Puerto Rico?(of course you did, right…) Puerto Rico is not third world! Have you even bothered to fly over it on Google earth satellite view? You won’t see miles of shantietowns like Haiti, Brazil, or Venezuela, or even the Dominican Republic.

        You will be disapointed. Instead, you will see a modern Metropolis with miles and miles of neatly lined suburbs of USA cul de sac design. Neatly arranged single family homes with modest front , side, and rear yards, just like Hawaii, or any US state. All inspired by Puerto Rico’s first suburb,” Levittown”. Neighborhoods like Caparra hills, Country club, San Patricio(saint Patrick). Destroy all 3rd world myths. The island has as many malls per people as perhaps New Jersey.

        Puerto Rico has been under the USA flag since 1898, US osha, niosh, and other safety and building standards are in effect in PR as if it were a state. If you insist on calling it third world, it’s ONLY because you are biased and feel like it.

  2. Sgt. Preston says:

    THIS IS THE REASON for the liberal bonding. Watch Florida Puerto Ricans for Obama. There was a method to Obama’s Puerto Rican campaign trip madness to territory that can’t vote for Presdient…yet.

  3. Ray says:

    By the time the Democrats finish giving amnesty to all of the Mexicans. Central and South Americans and give statehood to Puerto Rico, the Republican Party will be dead. That’s the point.

    Hasta la vista.

  4. Javier Arvelo-Cruz-Santana says:

    Just as an appetizer: Did anybody commenting on this story know that Republicans controlled the Governor’s mansion and the Legislature (House and Senate by super majorities both) until last election, and still control the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico? Americans in Puerto Rico are more conservative than those living on the mainland on every major issue to the Conservatives.

    Also, it would be nice if people talked about Puerto Ricans as who they are: Americans. Like it or not, we are Americans!

    This is about equality. If we want to talk about poverty, then lets talk about Mississippi … or any of those states that take more than they pay (a majority of states … probably your own.) Should your state be a territory?

    Puerto Rico is not too poor to be a state; Puerto Rico is poorer BECAUSE it is not a state. Territorial status is what keeps the island in its current economic status.

    • Observer says:

      Is this line a joke? “Puerto Rico is not too poor to be a state; Puerto Rico is poorer BECAUSE it is not a state. Territorial status is what keeps the island in its current economic status.”

      Did you make the same claim about statehood for Hawaii? Of course not! It would not have been true there either.

      You mention Mississippi. It’s clear what the problem is there. More illiteracy, more poverty, more squalor, more out of wedlock births with absentee fathers who are replaced by welfare checks initiated by LBJ‘s not-so-Great Society. What exactly is the benefit of adding another indigent, undereducated, leftwing state to our nation?

      If Puerto Ricans actually valued America, and wanted statehood, why don’t they show it by speaking English? I’ve been there and couldn’t wait to leave. Since over half of Puerto Ricans are fleeing to the US mainland what exactly is the benefit of granting statehood?

    • Sam Aritan says:

      Garbage! Conservatives are not on the take. They get or create jobs. They educate themselves and they work! 98 percent of Mississippi’s blacks supported Obama. In the main, they are uneducated, which equates to poverty. Poverty is commensurate with education levels. What a pathetic argument.

  5. Ajo Joe says:

    Wasn’t it a couple of Puerto Ricans who attempted to assassinate President Harry Truman? They obviously have no loyalties. Truman was a Democrat

  6. Orion says:

    The Popular Democratic Party (that its name, not my view) organized a protest vote, telling voters how to vote weeks before election day. Voters were instructed to leave the second question in blank as a protest vote, since the electoral law in Puerto Rico counts blank ballots. Just more liberal sheep being led by their noses.

  7. Luis says:

    The 61% you mention is only one part of the story but it is not the full story. Since Puerto Rican electoral law allows blank votes to be counted, the present ruling party (a party that is anti US annexation and pro Puerto Rican nation) organized a boycott and told their voters to leave the ballot in blank as a protest vote and 25.7% of the voters did just that. 24.5% voted for some type of independence called free association (similar to the one Republic of Palau achieved) which is also very popular within the present ruling party while 4.1% voted for the puerto rican republic (similar to the Republic of Costa Rica). So, if you add 25.7 plus 24.5 plus 4.1 you have 54% against statehood.

  8. East Valley PC says:

    Jeff Flakes’ radically liberal congressional chum Luis Gutierrez is Puerto Rican. He owns a home and rental property in Puerto Rico, frequently visits there and has expressed a desire to retire in Puerto Rico.

    So not much of a surprise, that Jeff Flake is for statehood for Puerto Rico…which means 2 more Democrat Senators. Add those in with his amnesty plan which will bring in at least 30 million more Democrats, and it should cause us all to wonder why he even bothers to run as a Republican.

    Speaking in Congress, loyal American citizen (that’s sarcasm, folks) Luis Gutierrez said could support statehood if Puerto Rico still could field it’s own Olympic team, (you know, kind’a like Arizona and the other 49 states have) and keep Spanish as its main language (!!!!).

    “Maybe these 4 million American citizens don’t want to become a state because they love their language; because they love their culture; because they love their idiosyncrasies; because they love applauding their own Olympic team…because so many Miss Universes come from Puerto Rico.”

    It’s clear all they want is economic bolstering. They clearly don’t long to be Americans.

    • Luis Arroyo says:

      Luis Gutierrez is a lifelong independence supporter. He only said what he said, to anger Americans into forcing independence.His statehood talk was facetious.

  9. Kent says:

    Obama in Puerto Rico:

    • Army Of One says:

      Of course they love him. He speaks a few words of Spanglish. He gives them things and he’s not white.

      • Luis Arroyo says:

        For your information ( Im trying to edify you)
        * 38% of Puerto Ricans are on “welfare”/poverty(US definition= meaning cars, Xbox, publiic housing) PR is NOT THIRD WORLD. Everything built there is US building code.
        * 61% ARE NOT ON WELFARE OR IN POVERTY. Why focus on the 38%,yet ignore the better off working clases of lower middle class? US per capita income in the 1980s was about $10,966 ( NJ example) WAS THE US THIRD WORLD IN 1980?
        * As long as PR is not a state, it will NEVER have the economic tools of statehood.The security of American economic stability and growth is absent in PR. Because its not a state. If it were at least incorporated into the US proper, non hispanics and companies looking to tap latin America would make PR a US latin hub, just as Hawaii is an Asian hub for America.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Permit me to share something with you as well, Luis.

        “…becoming a state would allow them to benefit from an extra $20 billion a year in federal funds…”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/07/why-does-puerto-rico-want-statehood-anyway/

        I would say that makes the case that, as the SRAZ article states, Puerto Rico would be “Obama’s perfect 51st state”.

  10. eubykdisop says:

    Ah! Scenic Puerto Rico! Lovely little island!

    “Puerto Rico Leads U.S. in Public Corruption Cases”

    “The U.S. Attorney’s Office brought 130 prosecutions for official corruption in 2011, more than any one of the country’s 92 other judicial districts, according to a report from the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.”

    “Entrenched corruption is a major problem in Puerto Rico, according to the FBI field office in San Juan, which two years ago arrested more than 100 Puerto Rican law enforcement officers and other public servants on charges of colluding with drug traffickers.”

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/09/20/puerto-rico-leads-us-in-public-corruption-cases/

    Think of Puerto Rico as a tropical version of Obama’s Chicago.

  11. Army Of One says:

    Go edify yourself, Luis.

    • Luis Arroyo says:

      Oh I’m sorry , didn’t realize you were already on you high horse! I edyfy myself daily, it’s called education.

  12. Army Of One says:

    Isn’t it interesting that all of these commenters with Hispanic names who never previously commented here are so vocal today? Someone is monitoring this site.

    • eubykdisop says:

      ROFL! No kidding! OF COURSE this Conservative blog is being monitored AND trolled! What in the heck do you think I’ve been harping on for six months! Wake up!

    • Luis Arroyo says:

      Well, let’s see buddy, when did this article appear? Oh, today. Nah, that just CAN’T be it…………….BTW it’s about time the media caught up to the closet Muslim in chief’s Libyan embassy bengazza cover-up thecoverup of the cover up!!! I can see impeachment in the house, but a wristslap in the US senate.

    • eubykdisop says:

      Oh no! You made THREE comments! That’s one over your limit, LOL!

  13. Night Owl says:

    The academy award winning film West Side Story told the story of Puerto Rican immigrants in this single scene back in 1961 with the song “Everything‘s free in America.” Nothing has changed.

  14. Richard J. Schell says:

    I’d like to clear up on certain points you’ve mentioned in your article:

    1) Although Puerto Rico does receive much in federal monies, these are virtually untraceable once they reach the island. Becoming a state would ensure that these funds are adequately accounted for, ensuring that welfare actually does something. I imagine most of us agree that if welfare must exist, it should be fully accounted for and spent in the most efficient way possible.

    2) Currently, Puerto Rico receives more in federal funds than it pays the Treasury, because the residents of Puerto Rico (this includes anyone who moved from the mainland) do not pay federal income tax. Becoming a state would ensure that Puerto Ricans actually pay their fair share.

    3) The issue with Puerto Rico having a GDP of less than $20k is rather nebulous. The island has a huge black market, which is not reflected in official government documents. This is such because the great majority of all taxation is handled by an ineffective state government. Were Puerto Rico to become a state, the IRS would have jurisdiction over island taxpayers, and would be able to start going after tax evaders.

    4) Puerto Ricans in the island are much more different than those in the states. The ones from West Side Story are the trash that were kicked out, because the government deemed them to be too much of an economic burden. The ones remaining in Puerto Rico are more like a typical middle-class American in attitude and lifestyle than to a Harlem gangbanger (most Puerto RIcans actually despise their stateside counterparts and do not consider them Puerto Rican). In fact, Puerto Rico actually has a relatively high rate of Bacherlor’s degrees per capita compared to most states.

    5) It’s impossible to judge Dem-GOP party affiliations in Puerto Rico. Both national parties are nonparticipants in local election. However, Puerto Rico is very socially conservative. In fact, months ago a decision came down from the state’s Supreme Court denying a lesbian couple’s petition for a join adoption.

    6) It’s also short-sighted to assume a certain region will become a blue or red state upon statehood. Hawaii and Alaska are the best examples: originally, Hawaii was thought to go GOP and Alaska, Dem. It’s the complete opposite these days.

    7) Obama’s really not popular at all in Puerto Rico. Most people are absolutely ambivalent towards him and really don’t care. Mitt Romney, however, had an extremely warm reception when campaigning during the Republican primaries. The only president in recent history Puerto Ricans really like is Clinton. That’s only because the guy had FEMA fully deployed within a week of getting hit by a rather devastating hurricane.

    8) Were Puerto Rico to become a state, it would help the GOP above all. The island would receive 5-6 Representatives and 2 Senators. Regarding the House, redistricting after the 2020 Census would mean that the most populous states would cede seats to PR, these being California, Texas, and New York. The electoral math means that more Dem than GOP seats would actually become competitive since CA and NY would lose more seats than TX.

    9) With regards to economic development, Puerto Rico is most definitely lagging behind the rest of the country. However, so were Hawaii and Alaska before becoming states. Both states have been able to turn themselves around, becoming much more productive, because they have the ability to affect national policy in their favor. Puerto Rico merely has one congressman, whereas it should have 7-8 including Senators, who’s not allowed to vote.

    • eubykdisop says:

      1) There is no guarantee that federal funds would be accounted for if Puerto Rico became a state.

      2) If Puerto Rico became a state it would get $20 billion extra in federal funds.

      3) There is no guarantee that the IRS would go after tax evaders in Puerto Rico.

      4) It’s irrelevant how many Puerto Ricans have Bachelor’s degrees.

      5) The issue isn’t social conservatism, it’s that Obama would implement more of a welfare state in Puerto Rico as he is seeking to do in all of the current fifty states.

      6) The inconsistencies you point out mean that it is short sighted to assume Puerto Rico will become Republican.

      7) It’s irrelevant if Obama is popular in Puerto Rico or not as regards whether Puerto Ricans would elect Democrats or Republicans to Congress.

      8) States don’t cede House seats to other states. Changes in population in a state cause states to gain or lose seats. There would have to be population movement from existing states to Puerto Rico for Puerto Rico to cause states to “cede” House seats.

      9) Puerto Rico is Puerto Rico not Hawaii or Alaska.

  15. Central Phoenix Republican says:

    The GOP platform supports Puerto Rican statehood, should that political status be the ultimate choice of Puerto Ricans.

    • larroyo@ymail.com says:

      Nothing ‘s stopping non hispanic whites from moving there. In fact, unlike the majority of the stateside Puerto Ricans, who are borderline mediterranean Spaniard white & Quad/Octoroons near whites ( we call them ” Trigueños” in Puerto Rico)

      Most of the poorest have left Puerto Rico for the states in the past 50 years. Most were of this colored group, developing the common association of Puerto Rican with non white racial value. But a visit to Puerto Rico reveals a majority mixture of Spaniards, Portuguese,Corsicans,Italians,Irish, Germans. Puerto Ricans with ” Carlos” as a first name and ” Benedetti/O Malley/Sulivan/Kiernan/Power/Maldonado/D,Amato/Fiore, many are accompanied by brown to ash blonde hair, greenish hazel to occasional blue eyes. They are 80% of the Island Population. Puerto Rican birthrate on the island is less than 2.0 births per woman. Well below replacement and in line with other European and northeast asian societies. Its also the same as non hispanic white Americans.

      If statehood or EVEN incorporation as a federal income tax paying territory arrives, thousands of non hispanic Americans will flock there to invest, build homes, start busineses. The economy will improve, so will per capita income. Non hispanic whites and blacks Americans are already quite numerous aroud the western part of Puerto Rico. But at present are less than 3%. They have their vacation homes, but as long as statehood or US incorporation isnt there permanently, neither are they.

      PR is where it is because congress has NEVER stated iits goals, conditions, standards. For too long UNCLE SAM looked the other way while the PPD party pretended they were running an independent nation that ” somehow ” surrendered all its powers to become a mere territory. ” Thats absurd. Texas went from Nation to state. So did the Republic of Vermont. Even California was independent briefly between the defeat of Mexico and the arrival of US troops to occupy it as part of the Mexican cession.

      Indeed, Ford, Nixon,Reagan, GH/GWBush all have stated support for STATEHOOD. The only democrat that did was Truman as a HI/AK/PR statehood trio. But the absence of a large Anglo American community in PR allowed the ” popular democrats to BAMBOOZLE the population into a Commonwealth that benefits the Island Elites, The pharmaceutical companies in PR, both foreign and Domestic, local restaurant chains and special interest groups looking to avoid US income/profit taxes. All about money.

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