Setting aside how obviously bad it would be for the Republican party to add a new center-Left state that would mostly vote for Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House while occasionally sending a Susan Collins–style Republican to D.C., I think it’s worth asking a question that very seldom seems to be asked in Washington anymore: How would this benefit the American people?
Keep in mind that Puerto Rico is extremely poor. As of 2017, the per capita income there is only slightly than half that of Mississippi, which is the worst-performing state in the U.S. by that measure. Moreover, 50 percent of Puerto Ricans live in poverty. It’s also worth noting that the word “bankruptcy” never appears in Sammin’s column. Yet the territory has been incapable of paying its debt since 2017. Put simply, Puerto Rico is an economic sinkhole. The General Accounting Office has estimated that the added tax burden coming along with statehood would cause enormous job losses and damage the economy of Puerto Rico even further. What benefit would the American people get from adding to the union a bankrupt state with a tanking economy?