Argument: Puerto Rico statehood will benefit US economically

Issue Report: Puerto Rico statehood in America


US Council for Puerto Rico Statehood: “Based on studies conducted by noted economists, it is projected that Puerto Rico as a state will actually contribute to, rather than be dependent upon, the U.S. taxpayer. Here’s why. Under the current system, Puerto Rico costs the U.S. over $9.7 billion yearly. Why? Because that’s what we lose from a combination of federal taxes forgone from large corporations doing business on the island as well as from individuals, together with grants-in-aid and transfer payments to the island. Puerto Rico gets significant amounts of federal grants-in-aid and transfer payments to individuals, such as veterans benefits, and welfare payments, which are not off-set by taxes collected on the island. (Puerto Ricans also draw Social Security, but they pay into it like everyone else.) These payments are in large part “needs tested.” In other words, they support people who are elderly, poor or disabled. Nothing wrong with that, except that no income taxes are being paid in. Part of the reason there are so many poor people in Puerto Rico is that the economic system in place under Commonwealth just doesn’t work well, creating a situation where many people are out of work; many underemployed.”

United States Council for Puerto Rico Statehood: “Why should the U.S. want Puerto Rico as a state? We would benefit from it. Puerto Ricans have brought much to our society; politically, economically, culturally.”