This article first appeared on The Globalist.
In many ways, the case for Puerto Rican statehood is equally compelling as that for Washington, D.C.
1. Puerto Rico’s population is comparable to Iowa and exceeds that of 20 states.
2. Puerto Ricans already participate fully in social security and Medicare programs and pay an array of usual U.S. business, estate and gift taxes. They would increase federal tax revenues as a state by also beginning to pay income taxes.
3. With a per capita GDP comparable to Kentucky or Oklahoma, Puerto Rico would pay more in new taxes than receiving from federal programs.
4. Puerto Rico has sacrificed like any state in service to the nation. It suffered more casualties in the Korea War than 35 other states and suffered more casualties in Vietnam than 16 states — comparable to New Mexico or Kansas.
5. Like Washington, D.C., local laws and ordinances enacted by voters or elected leaders in Puerto Rico can be vetoed or modified without appeal by Congress.