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Statehood Would Be a Step Down for Puerto Rico – Ep. 257

Summary:

In Puerto Rico’s  recently held non-binding referendum on statehood, just 23% of the eligible voters who actually voted overwhelmingly chose statehood.  This would mean that Puerto Rico would keep its current debt and take on the $20 trillion U.S. national debt. This would offer the moral hazard of offering Puerto Ricans additional welfare benefits. The last thing Puerto Ricans need is to be in a situation where it is more attractive not to work.

  • A lot of people are asking me abo0ut the recent non-binding referendum in Puerto Rico on statehood
  • 97% of the people who bothered to vote voted for statehood over independence or maintaining the status quo
  • Only about 23% of the eligible voters actually voted
  • So most people who objected to statehood boycotted the election
  • So most of the people who voted were predisposed to vote for statehood
  • The last statehood referendum held in 2012 was even more in favor of statehood
  • Nevertheless, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló is going to go to Washington demanding that the will of the Puerto Rican people be addressed
  • If you do not know by now, I am Puerto Rican
  • I am an American citizen residing in Puerto Rico so I vote in Puerto Rican elections I do not vote in U.S. National elections, but I am away from Puerto Rico at present
  • Had I voted, I would have voted to maintain the status quo
  • I don’t want Puerto Rico to become an independent country, but the last thing I would want is for Puerto Rico to become a state
  • That’s why I am doing this podcast
  • Most of the articles I’m reading on this issue address the idea that state will somehow benefit Puerto Rico, because they have been in a recession for 10 years, they have high unemployment
  • They have a lot of debt and somehow they see statehood as a solution to this problem
  • Statehood for Puerto Rico is like throwing a drowning man an anchor
  •  The worst thing that could happen to Puerto Rico is for it to become a state
  • If Puerto Rico becomes a state, every person who lives in Puerto Rico, who is currently exempt from paying Federal income tax will now have to pay it
  • The IRS doesn’t exist in Puerto Rico
  • Puerto Ricans also do not have to deal with Obamacare – it doesn’t exist there
  • Each Puerto Rican currently owes about $20,000 in debt
  • American citizens per capita owe $61,000 in debt
  • That’s just the $20 trillion national debt
  • That doesn’t include all the other unfunded liabilities
  • Right now, Puerto Ricans do not share in the U.S. national debt
  • If Puerto Rico becomes a state, the per capita debt goes from $20,000 to $80,000
  • Because they inherit a share of the U.S. national debt
  • Why would they want to sign up for that?