Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló is coming to the mainland to stump for statehood for the territory on the basis of the just completed referendum on matter. The referendum had only a 23% turnout after heavy boycotting by several other interests; the last referendum had a 78% turnout. That tiny turnout, though, voted strongly for statehood rather than the status quo or independence, the alternatives on the ballot.
Rosselló’s effort should be strongly rejected.
There can be no question of Puerto Rican statehood until the territory has demonstrated stability in a responsible spending and taxing régime that also excludes outlandish debt. This demonstration would require at the least first finishing the territory’s current bankruptcy proceedings and its recovery of its economy to a stable low debt and low taxation condition—a stability that can only be demonstrated across a generation or two.
We have enough States already with out of control spending, taxing, and debt—beginning with California, Illinois, and New York, but not ending there—and that are risks to the national weal without adding another profligate and irresponsible state government to the mess.
Despite boycotts by opposition parties that depressed voter turnout, Puerto Rican voters delivered “a clear rejection of the current colonial status and a path forward through statehood,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Never mind the questionable validity of the referendum from the boycott. Take the referendum’s outcome as a rejection of “colonial,” of territorial, status, at least; it certainly has seemed that or nearly so across the several referenda. Another way to end that status is to become an independent, sovereign nation.
Of what are the Puerto Rican elites so afraid about independence? Oh, wait—those elites wouldn’t have such ready access to OPM to support their virtue signaling and the spending on pseudo-welfare that supports it.