The Democrats have found an end run, a flanking maneuver, a game changer.
PR comes with two Senators and seven electors. All of them permanently Democrats.
This Sunday Puerto Rico goes to the polls to decide upon the question of statehood. Normally how this goes is 48% for statehood, 48% for status quo and 4% for outright independence. Usually the the Status Quo vote could be called independence light. Statehood had a few advantages.
But the downsides were a little too obvious.
First and foremost Puerto Ricans would have to pay federal income taxes. They don't now. That was usually the kicker. The other reason they didn't want to join the USA was Puerto Rican nationalism. They felt...rightfully so I feel...that they would lose their own cherished sense of identity.
However the upside to territorial status was obvious as well. Anybody who tried to screw with PR was going to get the unholy fuckity fucking fuck beaten out of them by the huge guy up north. Being a US territory carried with it a pronounced feeling of security.
So why give up this happy medium?
The answer in a nutshell is that they got greedy. PR municipal bonds were one of the most sought after items in any long range portfolio because they were for all intents and purposes tax free. They were also quite solid. In fact there was a time and not that long ago that PR Munis were pretty hard to come by. There was a limited number of them and they were quite sought after.
Yeah...about that limited part. That changed.
Okay my readers are smart to know about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. The average Puerto Rican on the street has been hit pretty hard by it. Enough so that the unthinkable suddenly has appeal. Joining the USA as a state.
Democrats love the idea for obvious reasons. Republicans dislike it for equally obvious reasons. The problem is that the Republicans have a severe weakness.
If they are accused of racism, they will shriek in horror and vote for the admission of Puerto Rico to avoid all the bad feelz of being called names. There are a few GOP members that will hold firm but will they be enough?
Yeah, I know. Your US flag with fifty stars is about to become an antique.