Puerto Ricans aren't able to vote in the presidential election, but they do get to decide another pretty major question on their Nov 6 ballot. The US territory will vote on its relationship with the US, for the fourth time in 45 years.
Two questions are on the ballot:
1. Do Puerto Ricans believe the island should continue as a US territory? 2. Do Puerto Ricans prefer statehood, independence, or sovereign free association (regardless of how they answered the first question)?
Currently 48% favor statehood, 41% favor sovereign free association, and 6% independence from the US, according to a poll cited by Reuters. Any change in status must be approved by the US Congress.
The Caribbean island is officially the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, granting the island many of the rights of US citizens save for the right to vote in a presidential election or to have a vote in Congress.
P.R is a beautiful island that I have visited many times since my wife is from P.R. I hope they remain a Commonwealth. The US has too many problems now that will never be solved. Better to remain with their own local government than to have Washington ruin this lovely island.
Puerto Ricans have voted against statehood 4 times in 45 years.
Statehood for Puerto Rico will mean higher U.S. debt for more people on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, welfare and other benefits, and more Democratic legislators in Congress.
Stop Liberal Lies - Apr 28, 2010:
Puerto Rico Democracy Act – Legislation Biased in Favor of Statehood
According to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House will vote on H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, later this week. The legislation provides Puerto Rico a two stage voting process and makes some non-resident Puerto Ricans eligible to vote on Puerto Rican statehood. This legislation has rigged the process in favor of making Puerto Rico the 51st state and is not a fair way to force statehood on a Commonwealth whose people may not want it. Furthermore, this may be an expensive proposition for the American people who are already on the hook for approximately $12.9 trillion in national debt.
This bill attempts to rig the voting process and denies the American people a real say on the issue of whether they want to allow Puerto Rico to be granted statehood. The fact of the matter is that Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood numerous times and this bill seems to have been written in a way to fast track statehood without a majority of Puerto Ricans favoring the idea. Furthermore, the people of the United States should be allowed a vote on whether they want to admit Puerto Rico as a new state. If the people of Puerto Rico can vote, the people of the United States should have a vote.
Though the Commonwealth government has its own tax laws, Puerto Ricans are also required to pay most U.S. federal taxes, with the major exception being that some residents do not have to pay the federal personal income tax. In 2009, Puerto Rico paid $3.742 billion into the US Treasury. Residents of Puerto Rico pay into Social Security, and are thus eligible for Social Security benefits upon retirement. However, they are excluded from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the island actually receives a small fraction of the Medicaid funding it would receive if it were a U.S. state. Also, Medicare providers receive less-than-full state-like reimbursements for services rendered to beneficiaries in Puerto Rico, even though the latter paid fully into the system.
@earl And that is still isn't fair, at least to me. I coughed up 28% fed + 7.5% state + 5% local (to two cities) in income taxes last year. Puerto Rico needs to pay up. Sorry. They need to be a state or be an independent country and go at it alone. I am a maker and I pay the price for it and so should everyone else. Just my 2 cents on it.
If I was a Republican I would probably be against it. If I was a Democrat I'd say, "Come on board. The more the merrier". Since I am an Independent, I do not care. But like Earl up a few posts, I am thinking PR might want to keep their politics separate and as far away from ours as they can. We are pretty whacked and it appears we are headed even further down Loonie Lane than ever before. But then I really do not have enough information to form an opinion one way or the other. So I figure it is up to them. Always trust the vote. ;)
@earl My brother worked in PR for quite a few years for Texaco. My family visited often. It was my impression PR was no different really than the demographic split of say the LA area or maybe Miami. You had everything from rich to poor. The island was vibrant and busy. Seemed normal to me. well my Spanish was awful, but that was my problem, not theirs. Great place, always enjoyed myself there.
I think its time for our 51st state! They should approve statehood, and get voting representation in congress! They pay most if not all taxes so give them full voting rights in the house and the senate.
Their national debt is 68 billion. I'm not sure they will want to assume part of our 16 trillion. My in laws who live there tell me it will be a closer voter than the other 4 times but they believe that they will not vote for statehood.
@Kptpredsfan I don't know for sure if our enormous debt is the reason for the previous no votes. There is tremendous national pride and that is probably the driving force. Under normal times, I believe statehood would be beneficial to both countries but these are not normal; times by any means.
I am Puerto Rican by blood (both of my parents were born in Puerto Rico ) and me bring born in New England (Connecticut) I'm an American. I personally think Puerto Rico should remain a common weatlh or become independent.
@earl Not all of them see it that way. Some believe they're not American. So that's in correct. My cousins husband is an ignorant ass hole born on Puerto Rican soil he believes the Ricans like myself are inferior.
I am capable of transferring thousands of dollars from one bank to another with my I phone. I have an app that allows me to watch my house in real time. All of this technology and we are still forced to cast votes in a voting booth?
This isn't the first time they've voted on becoming a state, and they never vote to become one. If Puerto Rico were a state, they'd have to pay taxes. Those who live in the U.S. would not be able to fly (for free) once a year back and forth from Connecticut to see their families, and it would be a lot harder for them to get welfare.
No! We have seen these people on our streets and they refuse to learn and speak English, they are of no use to my country, unless they want to do manual labor and they don't have to be citizens for that task.
Ignorance! These "people" protect our borders and fight for this country! Their languages on the island are spanish and ENGLISH. So before you assume that every Spanish person is the same get educated. And ignorant people like you are of no use to MY COUNTRY!