10 F*CKED UP FACTS ABOUT PUERTO RICO
The economic crisis isn’t the only thing we should care about
By Gabe Gonzalez Posted on March 31, 2016
Puerto Rico is an island rich in history, art, and culture. It’s where my family grew up and it’s a place near and dear to my heart. While the economic crisis affecting the commonwealth has raised awareness about one issue facing the island, there’s a bit more to it than that.
I’ve compiled this list not to focus on the “negative” aspects of the realities that face Puerto Rico, but rather, to share some challenges Puerto Ricans overcome every day.
These might come as no surprise to those living on the island, but here are ten f*cked up facts about Puerto Rico:
Puerto Ricans pay more and get less in social Security benefits
The US military used Puerto Rico as a bomb testing site
Puerto Ricans pay insane utility rates
While Puerto Rico’s homicide rate is falling, it’s about 5X higher than the US average
Doctors are leaving Puerto Rico at an alarming rate
Puerto Rico is running out of money to pay for public school necessities
In 2015, ten business people were arrested for bribing the government and embezzling money
The CDC expects 80% of people in Puerto Rico will contract the ZIKA virus
A US District judge upheld the ban on gay marriage in Puerto Rico
CFIF Launches National Media Campaign to Oppose House “Super Chapter 9” Bankruptcy Legislation for Puerto Rico
According to Sunlight Foundation’s Political Ad Sleuth tool, a 501(c)(4) dark money group called the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) has purchased at least $200,000 in ads in the Washington, D.C., market, an attempt to influence lawmakers crafting economic legislation to assist Puerto Rico’s dire financial situation.
The territory is currently struggling under enormous debt obligations and is seeking help from Congress and the federal government.
I read a post in my Facebook feed a few days ago. Something about a Powerball winner in Puerto Rico. This is something that I don’t really pay attention to. Lucky those who win. I don’t even play and don’t care too.
However, this graph came along yesterday and the Puerto Rican in me, once again, was bothered, quite bothered. However, it once again showed me that there is a sector in the American public who haS no clue about geography, social studies, politics or history. Those that dare spew foolish posts in the social media are only confirming the fact that some Americans haven’t left their neighborhood even past their street corner. I feel sorry for those Americans.
Well, if some don’t know anything about their own country, how can anyone expect them to know anything about a little island in the Caribbean which has been a possession of the USA since the Spanish-American war in 1898.
I know, that’s asking too much!!
~PUERTO RICO IS A US TERRITORY~
US postal system
Federal employees and military pay taxes to the US government
Call by dialing area code (787) and the phone number
1,150 miles from Florida … not the other side of the world
The US has “taken” plenty of “things” from Puerto Rico (google and research)
~~ANGRY WHITE PEOPLE SPEWING~~
Do we detect a tint of jealousy?
A Winning Powerball Ticket Came From Puerto Rico @PuertoRicoSerio @latinorebels @jayfonsecapr @pollomaldonado
Yes, we pay taxes, are Citizens since 1917, and we fight in the battle field and play the lotto too, so what?!
USA HISTORY 1:1 Oooops
Puerto Rico Powerball Win Draws Offensive Tweets
News that one of the three Powerball winning tickets was bought in Puerto Rico elicited offensive tweets questioning why island residents – who are born U.S. citizens since Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth – had the opportunity to buy tickets.
It’s completely outrageous someone from Puerto Rico won the powerball, thought this was America!
Colin Ryan (@CTJR7) February 12, 2015
As Latino Rebels first pointed out, the news brought out Twitter responses such as “I thought this was America!” and others with language too offensive to print, but including “How is the place that doesn’t even pay taxes eligible for powerball? “
So we all spent money to buy powerball tickets in America and someone in Puerto Rico won it …. what is wrong with that picture?
R Taff (@rtaffofficial) February 12, 2015
Puerto Ricans pay federal taxes including Social Security, payroll, import/export taxes and Medicare. While most Puerto Ricans who live year-round in the island do not have to pay federal personal income taxes, those with income sources from the U.S. as well as those working for the U.S. government or the military do pay them.
Puerto Rico in an American gold mine. The US controls Puerto Rican trade and commerce. The US government makes 74 billion dollars from Puerto Rican production and sends back 3 billion dollars a year. Really?!
Who’s the welfare state? But the mainstream media does not report the actual facts.
In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt declared that the United States had to intervene in the internal affairs of Latin American. In his own words: “if any South American country misbehaves it should be spanked.” All US presidents that succeeded him have, in lesser or greater measure, continued to exercise their perceived right over a region often known as “America’s Backyard”.
After more than 400 years of Spanish colonial domination, in 1897 Puerto Rico was given the right to govern over its affairs. only five months later, Spain and the US went to war over the last Spanish colonies in the region. American Forces occupied Puerto Rico. The Treaty of Paris clearly established that all Puerto Rican affairs were to be decided by the United States Congress.
President Theodore Roosevelt recommended that Puerto Ricans become U.S. citizens. Despite the overwhelming opposition from the Puerto Rican legislators, in March 1917 the US Congress decided that all Puerto Ricans were now US citizens; butonly to be ruled and not be given the rights.
Many Puerto Ricans were forced to fight in the America’s wars and many died.
Up to this day not much has changed, as that Treaty of Paris is still valid.
I have been in a very committed relationship for 19 years now.
We both met while in college and when we were still very young and inexperienced. Life happened and we were separated for 24 years.
We reconnected in 1996 and have been together since. There was never any doubt about where we wanted to be once we reconnected.
It was where we wanted to be when life happened.
Life stops for no one.
Therefore we are not getting any younger. The wear and tear of our years are catching up and our bodies are telling us so. The things that concerned us when young have taken a back seat to the things that are concerning us now as senior citizens.
The issues concerning us now are not only physical.
They also have a legal background.
I never thought that this would be a reality in my lifetime.
Hence, the demand to have the same rights as heterosexual marriages.
Let’s face it – most of us don’t get married because of the legal recognition and benefits of the institution. We get married because we love each other and want to express that love. But, like it or not, the federal government uses marital status to determine lots of benefits, rights and privileges that aren’t afforded to those who are prohibited from marrying the person they love. In fact, as of 2004, there were 1,138 such benefits, rights and privileges specifically defining or including marital status as a factor contained within the United States Code.
(Jenn and Santos)
Social Security and Related Programs, Housing, and Food Stamps
This category includes the major federal health and welfare programs, particularly those considered entitlements, such as Social Security retirement and disability benefits, food stamps, welfare, and Medicare and Medicaid. Most of these provisions are found in Title 42 of the United States Code, Public Health and Welfare; food stamp legislation is in Title 7, Agriculture.
Veterans’ benefits, which are codified in Title 38 of the United States Code, include pensions, indemnity compensation for service-connected deaths, medical care, nursing home care, right to burial in veterans’ cemeteries, educational assistance, and housing. Husbands or wives of veterans have many rights and privileges by virtue of the marital relationship.
While the distinction between married and unmarried status is pervasive in federal tax law, terms such as “husband,” “wife,” or “married” are not defined. However, marital status figures in federal tax law in provisions as basic as those giving married taxpayers the option to file joint or separate income tax returns. It is also seen in the related provisions prescribing different tax consequences, depending on whether a taxpayer is married filing jointly, married filing separately, unmarried but the head of a household, or unmarried and not the head of a household.
Federal Civilian and Military Service Benefits
This category includes statutory provisions dealing with current and retired federal officers and employees, members of the Armed Forces, elected officials, and judges, in which marital status is a factor. Typically these provisions address the various health, leave, retirement, survivor, and insurance benefits provided by the United States to those in federal service and their families.
Employment Benefits and Related Statutory Provisions
Marital status comes into play in many different ways in federal laws relating to employment in the private sector. Most provisions appear in Title 29 of the United States Code, Labor. However, others are in Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining; Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters; and Title 45, Railroads. This category includes laws that address the rights of employees under employer-sponsored employee benefit plans; that provide for continuation of employer-sponsored health benefits after events like the death or divorce of the employee; and that give employees the right to unpaid leave in order to care for a seriously ill spouse. In addition, Congress has extended special benefits in connection with certain occupations, like mining and public safety.
Immigration, Naturalization, and Aliens
This category includes federal statutory provisions governing the conditions under which non-citizens may enter and remain in the United States, be deported, or become citizens. Most are found in Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. The law gives special consideration to spouses of immigrant and non-immigrant aliens in a wide variety of circumstances. Under immigration law, aliens may receive special status by virtue of their employment, and that treatment may extend to their spouses. Also, spouses of aliens granted asylum can be given the same status if they accompany or join their spouses.
The indigenous peoples of the United States have long had a special legal relationship with the federal government through treaties and laws that are classified to Title 25, Indians. Various laws set out the rights to tribal property of “white” men marrying “Indian” women, or of “Indian” women marrying “white” men. The law also outlines the descent and distribution rights for Indians’ property. In addition, there are laws pertaining to health care eligibility for Indians and spouses and reimbursement of travel expenses of spouses and candidates seeking positions in the Indian Health Service.
Trade, Commerce, and Intellectual Property
This category includes provisions concerning foreign or domestic business and commerce, in the following titles of the United States Code: Bankruptcy, Title 11; Banks and Banking, Title 12; Commerce and Trade, Title 15; Copyrights, Title 17; and Customs Duties, Title 19. This category also includes the National Housing Act (rights of mortgage borrowers); the Consumer Credit Protection Act (governs wage garnishment); and the Copyright Act (spousal copyright renewal and termination rights).
Financial Disclosure and Conflict Of Interest
Federal law imposes obligations on members of Congress, employees or officers of the federal government, and members of the boards of directors of some government-related or government chartered entities, to prevent actual or apparent conflicts of interest. These individuals are required to disclose publicly certain gifts, interests, and transactions. Many of these requirements, which are found in 16 different titles of the United States Code, apply also to the individual’s spouse.
Crimes and Family Violence
This category includes laws that implicate marriage in connection with criminal justice or family violence. The nature of these provisions varies greatly. Some deal with spouses as victims of crimes, others with spouses as perpetrators. These laws are found primarily in Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, but some statutory provisions, dealing with crime prevention and family violence, are in Title 42, Public Health and Welfare.
Loans, Guarantees, and Payments in Agriculture
Under many federal loan programs, a spouse’s income, business interests, or assets are taken into account for purposes of determining a person’s eligibility to participate in the program. In other instances, marital status is a factor in determining the amount of federal assistance to which a person is entitled or the repayment schedule. This category includes education loan programs, housing loan programs for veterans, and provisions governing agricultural price supports and loan programs that are affected by the spousal relationship.
Federal Natural Resources and Related Statutory Provision
Federal law gives special rights to spouses in connection with a variety of transactions involving federal lands and other federal property. These transactions include purchase and sale of land by the federal government and lease by the government of water and mineral rights.
Miscellaneous Statutory Provisions
This category comprises federal statutory provisions that do not fit readily in any of the other 12 categories. Federal provisions that prohibit discrimination on the basis of marital status are included in this category. This category also includes various patriotic societies chartered in federal law, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the Gold Star Wives of America.
This is why same-sex couples need your help.
We need equal access to the law in order to protect our families, just like you!
THIS IS WHAT WE FIGHT FOR … THIS IS WHAT WE DEMAND
Maureen Hennessey lived with the love of her life, Mary Beth McIntyre, from 1984 until Mary Beth’s death on May 18, 2013, at the age of 55. Together they raised three children in Philadelphia. While Mary Beth was suffering the physical and emotional pain of end stage cancer, she had the additional burden of worrying about how Maureen would manage financially after she was gone.
Because their marriage is not recognized in Pennsylvania, Maureen must pay a 15 percent inheritance tax on half of their shared property, including their home. And unless their marriage is recognized in Pennsylvania before Maureen turns 65, Maureen will not be eligible to receive Mary Beth’s Social Security benefits.
I remember as a young teenager, I started having the odd job here and there. Of all the monies I earned, a portion would go to my Social Security account. Up until my last day of work in February 2013, I was contributing a portion of my salary as insurance for my “golden years”. The money that is in my account is money that I saved.
There is absolutely no reason at all for ANYONE to say that this is an “entitlement” and that it has to be amended or “cut”. Now that I am in my “golden age”, it’s time to draw from my personal savings account.
You keep you greedy hands away from MY social security!
In the United States, Social Security is primarily the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) federal program.
The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs. Social Security is funded through payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) and/or Self Employed Contributions Act Tax (SECA). Tax deposits are collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund which make up the Social Security Trust Funds.
With few exceptions, all legal residents working in the United States now have an individual Social Security number.
Indeed nearly all working (and many non-working) residents since Social Security’s 1935 inception have had a Social Security number, because it is required to do a wide range of things including paying the IRS and getting a job.
Born in 1941 in Brooklyn, Bernie was the younger of two sons in a modest-income family. After graduation from the University of Chicago in 1964, he moved to Vermont. Early in his career, Sanders was director of the American People’s Historical Society. Elected Mayor of Burlington by 10 votes in 1981, he served four terms.
Before his 1990 election as Vermont’s at-large member in Congress, Sanders lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Hamilton College in upstate New York.