More than 3 weeks after Maria more than 80 percent of Puerto Ricans are still without power and 40 percent do not have potable water
Puerto Rico is not one of our states, but the island is a territory of the United States and its people are considered citizens of this country. On September 20, Puerto Rico was devastated when it took a direct hit from Maria, a category 4 hurricane.
Today, more than three weeks later, over 80 percent of Puerto Ricans are still without power, 40 percent do not have potable water, and three million Puerto Ricans are in dire need. While FEMA and the U.S. Army are doing their best to aid the stricken island, vital aid is still not reaching many people because towns are isolated by landslides that have destroyed roadways. The ineptness of local governments is also impeding the distribution of supplies to the local populace. Thousands of Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island to take up permanent residence in the U.S.
Our government is already spending billions of dollars aiding Hurricane Irma victims in Florida and Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas and Louisiana. And the government will be expected to aid the wildfire victims in California where over 5,00 homes have been burned to the ground so far.
All of this aid is being provided with money the government does not have. The national debt is now more than 20 trillion dollars. This begs the question: Should we taxpayers bail out Puerto Rico? Should we add billions of dollars to the national debt by aiding the Puerto Ricans?
My answer is yes. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and therefore no less deserving than our people in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and California.
If we do not want to aid Puerto Rico, then we should up and grant the island its independence, just like we did with the Philippines in 1946..
That’s my take. What’s yours?