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U.S. Food Stamps In Puerto Rico Costing You 2 Billion Dollars

Puerto Rico

image credit
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

More than one-third of the population in Puerto Rico is now on food stamps. American taxpayers are now handing out more than $2 billion each year to residents of Puerto Rico – most of it in cash. Since the food stamps are forked over in cash form, it is impossible to know if the hard-earned taxpayer funds are actually even being used to provide food for the poor.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently admitted that the federal agency cannot verify how the Puerto Rico food stamps funds are being spent, but don’t appear to have a plan to correct the possible taxpayer abuse. Most of the American money is distributed through the Nutrition Assistant Program, also known as NAP. Another portion of the funding stems from the 2009 stimulus package.

The idea of federally mandated charity must end, and end soon, or the greatest nation in the world will be broke and we will be faced with a raging civil unrest scenario. In Puerto Rico, approximately 1.37 million residents were handed food stamps during 2012. The average unemployment rate in the Caribbean nation is 14.2 percent and the median annual household income is about $19,000.

Statistics for the food-based entitlement program in the United States boast a doom and gloom outlook as well. In 2012, approximately 48 million residents were handed food stamps every month. The number of Americans on food stamps represents about 15.2 percent of the overall population. Americans have a long history of setting records, but the new high of one-in-five households dependent upon the government (i.e. taxpayers) to put food on their dinner plates is cringe-worthy and not something worthy of a ribbon or medal.

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In Puerto Rico, the food stamps program does not operate like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States. Puerto Rican officials are permitted to distribute the taxpayer dollars in the form of block grants. Under the reported guidelines of the program, a total of 25 percent of the individual’s “benefit” can be turned over in cash form. The average monthly entitlement amount received by residents is roughly $240.

A USDA report issued in 2010 noted that it is “widely acknowledged” that Puerto Rican food stamps recipients spend their cash allotment on items other than food. For three years the government has been aware of the taxpayer abuse, but has not opted to end the program until the fraud is corrected.

An excerpt from the USDA food stamps report reads:

“Like SNAP, NAP distributes benefits on an EBT debit card. However, unlike SNAP, up to 25 percent of the monthly benefit may be redeemed for cash. When cash is withdrawn from an ATM, there is no way to verify that funds are spent on food; however, the 25 percent provided in cash is designated for food purchases. One of the main reasons that provisions of 25 percent of the benefits in cash was built into the program was to allow participants without access to certified retailers a way to purchase food.”

obama food stampsExtending the food stamps program to Puerto Rice began in 1974. The federal government made the illogical decision to replace guidelines which at least attempted to include a verification process with a block grant system in 1982. Current food stamp eligibility requirements for Puerto Rico residents applying for the taxpayer funded program range from having a maximum income of $2,796 for a one person household to having a maximum income of $12,708 for a seven person home.

The Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act was introduced in Congress last month. The bill was proposed by the island nation’s only non-voting congressman. The Puerto Rico statehood bill has 30 sponsors from both sides of the political aisle. Puerto Rican citizens have benefited from the country’s relationship with America for about a century, but the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act is the first time legislation to make the nation the 51st state has been introduced in the US Congress.

If Puerto Rican voters opt for statehood, the bill requires President Barack Obama to draft legislation within 180 days to create the 51st state. Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi had this to say about the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act:

“The government of the United States is a champion of democracy and self-determination, and it has to adhere to these principles with respect to its own citizens. Puerto Rico has been called the shiny star of the Caribbean, and it’s time that our state shines, together with the other states, on the flag of the United States of America.”

A “two question status plebiscite” conducted in November showed that 61 percent of Puerto Ricans wanted statehood and 33 percent wanted to become a free nation with an “association” with the United States of America. The remaining responders wanted outright independence. In March, the Obama administration added $2.5 million to the budget plan for a vote to be held in Puerto Rico.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the governor of Puerto Rico supports the commonwealth status the island currently holds but does want a final resolution to the status debate. Padilla also stated that he is most concerned with combating the struggling economy in Puerto Rico and battling the high crime rate. Just what America needs—another state with a struggling economy with lots of crime. A presidential task force on Puerto Rico determined in 2011 that the island was “hindered” economically and on a social development platform due to the lack of a resolution on the status question.

The commonwealth status Puerto Ricans currently enjoy means that they are non-voting US citizens who do not pay income taxes but are reportedly required to contribute to Social Security. As American citizens, they are eligible for all welfare entitlement programs.

The massive number of residents partaking of the taxpayer funded social programs has spurred the phrase “welfare island” in some political circles. On average, American taxpayers send $17 billion in welfare funds in Puerto Rico. In addition to food stamps, a multitude of island residents receive housing assistance, medical assistance, and college financial aid. Some estimates put the number of Puerto Rico residents receiving housing assistance as high as 70 percent.

How do you feel about taxpayer funded welfare in Puerto Rico?


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  1. Unbelievable. Look at girl being interviewed. Look how fat she is. PROOF the money is being spent on food.

    • Jeanmarie Cintron

      That girl is not in Puerto Rico.

    • Why fox news don’t mention the corporate welfare in Puerto Rico? Because they support it The American citizen’s of Puerto rico are able to pay federal taxes but the congress keep them segregated from the rest of the nation because if Puerto Rico became en state the US corporation will pay Billions of dollars to the IRS

      • Ryan T McElmurry

        What is wrong with you? Why are you acting like you understand the relationship when you clearly don’t even understand how to compose coherent sentences?

  2. That Picture is not in Puerto Rico.

    • Patricia Mariani

      Absolutely! No tram rails exist in any Puerto Rican city. The picture is absolutely misleading, although I suspect it was used totally on purpose.

      • this article is BS

        this article isnt fact checked AT ALL

        • How about we stop giving PR money period! All the puerto ricans in a city i went to college in were all lazy idiots that lived on every benefit they could get! They were drug addicts, refused to speak english, would sell their food stamps for cash and were 100% disrespectful! A complete disgrace towards the United States! WTF is this country coming to? Oh wait press 2 for Spanish to get this in your language.

          • You are a disgrace of a human racist, I was born and raised in the USA but my parents are puertoricans, they NEVER applied for any government help (like probably your parents) I have 2 Masters Degree (I don’t think you can say that), have my own home, car and a job. Don’t generalize because there are a lot of families that work, pay taxes, social security and Medicare. We are also upset that the people that don’t work gets all the benefits, I get your point but you don’t need to disrespect all puertoricans just because you are an idiot racist. The citizens of Puerto Rico are AMERICANS like it or not.

          • HHey. Something wrong with you. Your commentsno make sensebecause look like a childish from Central or SouthAmerican as an inmigrant apoken wrote it. Your name say it all. In every state of America wesee socialproblens as drugs and same econocs probkems. Sightsand focus on your comments.what I mean your an ingnorant speakno only puertoricanpeople alsoyou do we own latin country whereyour from. Eat your dust.

          • Dear Jenni,

            You really should consider going back to college. The comments you made below this article make you look like dumb ass. Sorry but is the truth. While your back in college you should learn another language, advice if you live in the States you should take Spanish as your second language. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world as there native language. English is 5th. Also while your back there, try learning more of our country the U.S.. The United States of America does not have an official language. The states are the ones who decide if they want an official language. Twenty six states out of fifty have English as their first language. Two states have English and Spanish as their official language. Puerto Rico’s official language is Spanish and English. The Twenty six states that have English as their official language have to provide all governmental documents to whatever language the citizen speaks in order to get federal funds…. Learn not generalize not all puerto ricans are lazy, drug addicts etc. Of we have the states also. That is like me saying that all mainland citizens are ass dumb ass you. bye lol

          • Why are you attacking Jennifer for speaking her mind? She is absolutely right. Puerto Rico is a huge receiver of U.S. taxpayer’s monies. Puerto Rico does not contribute to the U.S. economically or socially in any way whatsoever. Rather, you want to become part of the United States so that you can get even more benefits than you already have. Is there a reason Judy capitalized “medicare” and lowercased social security? Looks to me that you feel you want more benefit in the medicare arena. The only contribution that I see that Puerto Ricans have given to the United States it the Latin Kings and Latin Queens. Need I say more? I was born and raised in the United States, and I worked with the Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services for a year until I had to quit. Most of the benefit recipients were Hispanic, and they had name brand clothing, better cell phones, and yet claimed they had no job and need resources. Now, you tell me how that is possible if they are seeking welfare, have no jobs and have no other legal means of support.

            I also agree with you when you say that you have to press 2 for Spanish. That is so ridiculous. You want to be an American, then speak English. If you can’t, don’t take our money. Donald Trump is right, get rid of you leeches.

          • Um, I feel I should give my opinion as a puertorriqueño. I bet you guys didn’t know about how your country uses us as a tax haven for big businesses that essentially own the government. I bet you guys don’t know about our current economic crisis that our colonial status has caused. This economic crisis will cause the people of Puerto Rico to Los their jobs, pensions, medical plans just so the us government can collect it’s money. This could be resolved with independence or statehood, which is a complicated issue in PR. The fact it that in the 2012 plebiscite the country opted for statehood. The U.S. congress ignored this plebiscite because they were benefitting from Puerto Rico’s colonial status. While I do not favor statehood (because who would want to be part of a nation that opts for a racist for president) I agree that the congress has treated Puerto Rico unfairly and has not shown any interest in helping us. In conclusion: You should really look at how much your country is screwing PR up before talking about how unfair food stamps are. As for your racist remarks: I don’t insult you for that you be unpleasant so I’ll just try to respect your ignorance. Pero en verdad que se joda, mamame la verga pendeja.

          • Why are we supporting PR? They are not a asset to the US. Cut them off and send them adrift.

          • were and why and did anyone have or the right to but out that much money to p.r. why hasnst the p.r. gov. come up witha way to help thair own people when the u.s. has to deal with small probs.of brig.card deleamas at home aswell

    • Of course not. PR residents PAID federal medical programs, PAID federal Social Security, food stamps are given to $2,796 per YEAR income per person or lower, way below poverty standars, 10% of the island is federal military land, and they paid NOTHING…., even when 75% of Vieques population have cancer because of the uranium they use… who write this article? Even Wikipedia have better information about Puerto Rico! A country with 500 years of history… invades 100 years ago by the US. Please research.

      • *invaded* … sooo sorry about my poor english…. my language is the language of Cervantes! 😉

      • Many many likes for your comment!

      • Rafael Asencio Pérez

        I totally agree!!!!

      • Puerto Rican = parasites.

        • @Jose Sadly Jose, it is true 🙁 as a puerto rican, I’ll admit, a lot of puerto ricans are lazy without a job. When being asked, they say “there just isn’t many job here”. NO! the unemployment may be high, but most of them not having a job is just an excuse, and using the unemployment as a tackle works every time. Personally, I’m all up for getting rid of federal aid for any puerto ricans without job. It should be only for the old ones that are retired, not just any puerto rican that feels like being lazy, they are an absolute disgrace and reason why our economy is doing bad anyway. And they also give us bad reputation to other peoples outside of here and even latinos hate us for that. So what is USA waiting for? They should stop giving young puerto ricans federal aid, oh what about ones who can’t find a job? Easy, give them a small amount of money to keep on pushing and actually find a job. If by 2-5 months later he apparently still don’t have a job, then it’s official. That is a slacker and then they get rid of welfare. Next solution is, for the goverment of Puerto Rico, to get us job and less taxes. Now where would be the excuse for welfare and food stamps? Those federal aids should be used as a temporary aid until they get job, not to get lazy and do nothing. So what are we waiting for? They should start doing it. I’m Puerto Rican, and even i know this has gone too far >:(

          • I have lived in PR for about a year now. I work in a big box store.When at the register it turns me inside out when people pay for $100. /$200.00 worth of groceries with there card. Then ask for 2 cartons of cig with cash from the atm.
            I’ve had people tell me that I should not have come down here not being able to speak Spanish! I asked them if they had pasos in there pocket . Yes they are very nationalistic and rightfully so but if it wasn’t for Americans $ $. This island would be in alot worse shape. You know how to except our welfare but not our language.

          • Jose & Anonymous,

            It’s the same story: WELFARE. In Puerto Rico, 37% of residents are on food stamps (the US average is 15%, and that is even too high). I understand the elderly needing help, but when 37% of the population is on food stamps, you have over 1/3 of the population content to continue taking government handouts. That is a recipe for financial disaster. Until there are systemic changes from within, there will always be financial disaster looming for the throngs of lazy people who sit back and collect welfare.

            I like most Puerto Ricans, and PR is a beautiful island, but unbridled government handouts have turned PR into “Welfare Island” now. The government (and its corruption) has to change.

          • ex pat in what you said what are you making out of this 100/200/cigg. money did you work borrow ask for the cash money or pay your bill or did you sail with what you made and is any of the money thats being given out do you think the portion or portions should be paied back so a gov or prive com. will grow or pros.from it and nut just say i billed a life now everyone but the ones who did so live well and sh
            uve it up some more just asking

  3. The video is from Chattanooga, TN. There is, however, no way The Congress would accept PR as a 51st state, since only 5% of the country are native English speakers. It is also, by far, the poorest entity of the US. Would US Congress agree to make PR the 51st state, it would have huge problems on it’s hand. Better to use the people there as cannon food (they can be drafted, but they cannot vote for president) for as long as it takes.

    • Otto, someone has to go and fight the wars since there’s too many cowards like you in this country.

      • FYI, which draft are you referring to?

      • I mean you can be sent out to war as Puerto Rican, but you aren’t allowed to vote for a president. And I am not a coward, I am just not an American Citizen

        • Lets see, we are as american citizen as you are. If by any chance you ome to Puerto Rico and stay in rhe island as a resident yiu will not vote for the president also and if I go to USA mainland, Alaska or Hawaii ans become a resident I will have that right. There is no sense on retaleate on your comment but read this, I am a proud veteran if three conflicts, I did my part ignorant sob.

    • Dude, I’d say English speakers are nearing about 40% already in Puerto Rico. By the way, it’s ironic that I have to correct your English, bro.


      • According to Wikipedia, native English speakers are less than 10%. And it is OK for you to correct my English, since I am not a native English speaker, bro.

        • Most people in PR speak a somewhat functional way of english, kids start learning english in first grade (even younger). Everybody understands concepts in english. We use parking instead of estacionamiento; hamburger instead of hamburguesa, party instead of fiesta, cool instead of buena onda and so on. English is intertwined with spanish in PR. And it’s ok… most US citizens living on the mainland don’t know how to speak or write good english either!!!

        • First thing for all of you….
          Puerto Rico is NOT A NATION.
          Its not foreign. After 400 years as a Spaniard settlement/colony,It was a new province of Spain when Spain ceeded PR to the US. Puerto Rico has been American territory since 1898, US citizens since 1917. No, it was NOT “imposed” ,as some say! Celso Barbosa and Luis Miños Rivera lobbied Congress hard for it.
          You can go to wiki right now,Edit the article to say…
          “100% Speak english”.
          Look up Puerto Rico’s River, RIO GRANDE DE LOIZA” someone erasrd the whole legitimate article and rrplaced it with,…..racist trash. That was last June. Point is, Unless you see links,dont believe wiki.
          5 million Puerto Rican Americans live in the US mainland. 90% Speak english.
          40% of Islanders Speak English.

          Most Puerto Rican Americans like myself Speak Englush altoghether. I seriously dought my English will be “erased” the moment I set foot in PR.
          You also dont realize up to a quarter million non hispanic whites will move into PR. Just as they came to the former Kingdom of Hawaii.

          • pardon my misspellings or run ons riding railroad equipment …very bumby, heh heh.

          • According to the 2005–2009 Population and Housing Narrative Profile for Puerto Rico, among people at least five years old living in Puerto Rico in 2005–2009, 95 percent spoke a language other than English at home. Of those speaking a language other than English at home, more than 99 percent spoke Spanish and less than 0.5 percent spoke some other language; 85 percent reported that they did not speak English “very well.”

            I guess it all comes to a definition of what “speaking English” is. Is it being fluent? Is it being able to keep a conversation in English? Is it to know how to ask for directions?
            (link isn’t working at the moment due to govt shutdown, but eventually it will be up)

        • Wikipedia isn’t a good source to find information. I lived most of my life in Puerto Rico, and the majority of people I know speak English. Nowadays its a must to be able to find a decent job here on the island. I’m sure in about 10 more years over 60% of the population will speak English. On the other hand the author of this piece should really do her research, and if she really wants to “move the people with accurate information” maybe instead of writing that the US spends over $2 billion on welfare in PR, maybe she should dig deeper and write about how our politicians are stealing money that the US sends to help the islanders, how the governor that was in office before was being questioned for it by the president, and all of a sudden the governor started fixing the roads, to his best interest of course. She can also write how the natives are angry with the abuse there is with our government.
          We are US citizens just like yourselves, we have fought in every war, even the civil one, don’t believe me than Google Augustos Rodriguez (the solider) he volunteered to fight, we wasn’t drafted. Now, let me clarify this, it doesn’t matter what race you are, if you are a US Citizen and there’s a huge war that you need to get drafted (and the last draft was Vietnam) you will need to go whether your Puerto Rican, Black, White, Italian, German, etc., as long as your a US citizen. Another quick comment, while I live on the island I cannot vote for president, but when I live in the states I surely can, I don’t vote anyways because all these politicians are lying crooks and you cannot believe none anyways.

    • With all due respect “Otto”, since you bring up a very funny matter which not only Puerto Rico has but also U.S.A. And many other countries, Poverty affects education and not only in Puerto Rico people does not know english, take by example your Country (if you are american you actually look canadian) In United States there are people which don’t even know where in the world or actually point in a map where is United States, which means there is uneducated people everywhere and that doesn’t mean they need to be cannon food or is it? In your country there are several people which are corrupted by hatred, racism and intolerance and actually this is what’s wrong, In Puerto Rico they may not speak english but many are getting educated and willing to learn actually many Puertorricans are Bosses and actually amazing workers in the U.S. By the way not to mention the always present racism to blacks, Latinos, Arabs, hell anything that’s not american! which shows a country low education level toward socialism or tolerance. Many americans are proper people and also respectful and in the Army,Marines, Navy etc,
      . also There are many different races and languages shared and while there are closed minded retards which do not even have an education non other than shoot to kill and don’t ask don’t tell policy many strive to find better jobs and actually protect their freedom and country when there really is a need for it, not by a stupid personal war like Bush only for oil which an uneducated moron should actually know this. My Grandfather served for WW2 and actually I’m damn proud of it while many of his combat latino brothers died beside your american soldiers. Respect was given for them equally because we latinos fight and actually show courage, not to mention how many others americans hid under mud while many other died and loss extremities. Maybe you are right, Boricuas may be “cannon food” but thanks to all of them you breathe freedom too. So everyone deserves a piece of the pie and all americans, latinos, blacks and other races which make many of your products nowadays and actually boost your economy (whether you like it or not) are part of this. So since I think you must have a good education and are not part of the problem which is uneducated poor people which the countries does not help correctly to get educated for better jobs and better lives, you must think and analyze your words before generalizing. in USA there are people that may be cannon food too just like any other country, now the question is would you like if your family where cannon food too or would you educate them and help them prosper for a better education and better economy? And another thing like Javier said; Valiant people must fight because cowards hide, cry, and enjoy the remnants of what brave soldiers of all countries fought with their hearts with blood, sweat and tears… Im a part of a Proud family of soldiers, I am Puertorrican and actually well educated and a worker thank you…

      • I didn’t write my comment in a disrespectful way or intend to offend Puerto Rican people in any way, on the contrary. Let me make it clear: I am not a US Citizen, I am Swedish and Mexican, living in Mexico. I have never lived in the US.

        What I meant to say – and again I am sorry if it came out the wrong way – is that the US would not accept PR as a state, since (I believe) there are several reasons that wouldn’t happen – and I am not saying I agree with the reasons: The Republicans don’t want another 3.5 million Hispanic voters. Puerto Rico would have the lowest (by far) GDP per capita of the US, should they become a state. So what I meant was, it is a tall order to expect the US Congress AND Senate to vote for an inclusion of Puerto Rico. According to Wikipedia, less than 10% of the population speak English natively, which also is a problem for inclusion.

        What I also meant by my comment, is that Puerto Rico isn’t treated as a state (since it is a territory) and that I find it terribly unjust that Puerto Ricans can’t vote for their president (or vote in any federal elections), but can be summoned to go to war for a president and a congress that they never had the opportunity to vote for.

        Again, I understand my wording might not have been great in my original comment, and I am sorry if I offended any Puerto Rican out there. Noone doubts Puerto Ricans patriotism and century long scrifice for the US, except maybe Congress, Senate and the Executive Branch.

        • I am with you Mr.Otto ,read everything you said and there was no intent of offending anybody on your words.

          • If cannon food is not offending then what is? I fought for our freedom don’t go there latino bro. The only real americans are the native mericans anybidy else is an imigrant, educate yourself before replying stupidity.

        • Tiny Puerto Rico’s GDP before Padilla took over,was $101 billion ,same a Mississippi. Yet because its not a state, wages are 1/3,because companies dont have to pay full wages under the unincorporated territory falsely called “Free Associated State”by its self described “popular Democrats”

      • Perfect reply!

        • Thank you, Maria

        • If you say so, but its common in Mississippi to pay people under the counter, below minimum wage, $4 an hour or less. When everyone does this, and there arent any jobs, it becomes your only option to work at such low pay. It all depends on your location ofcourse.

      • I was born and raised in the US. I worked all my life and paid taxes all that time. Now I’m old and retired. A year ago I had three strokes and had so many medical bills as a result, I wished that I had died. Paying those bills and collection agencies took every cent I have and I’m on SS. My sister applied for food stamps for me and I get $28.00 a month. I know a whole family that gets $40.00 a month, so how is it Puerto Ricans get several hundred dollars a month? My $28.00 a month buys Ramen Pride noodles and hot dogs and some milk, but that’s about it. I go to a food bank at a church now. One bright light is I now only owe a thousand dollars in medical bills, which is a far cry from what I first owed.

    • read my comments

    • Want to make clear that my last sentence “Better to use the people there as cannon food (they can be drafted, but they cannot vote for president) for as long as it takes.” were remarks made with great sarkasm, since I find it incredible that you can’t vote for your commander in chief, but can be sent out on a war to protect him.

      • I fully understood what you meant. I must apologize for the other comment. I am not trying to justify their anger but every time some “reporter” publishes a half-researched article like this one, people get their panties in a bunch. The TRUTH is that we are that poor. We have that rate of unemployment. The island is also very violence ridden and our government is not worth a spit upwards. But all of this has a name and a culprit. I urge people like this so called reporter to take a few more minutes to immerse in our culture and history before bringing in Wikipedia half facts to the table.

        Otto your comment was right on. It’s just that people sometimes get blinded by the disgust they feel every time they get ridden by Uncle Sam without knowing facts first.

        • To research facts will never benefit a biased article like this, or a biased journalist like this. It is like she (?) wants to stir up lots of problems, and that she wants reactions. I am not too much for that, but when the article is so completely bogus, using bogus pictures that are changed all the time, you realize that the only purpose of the article is to create anger. And I fell for it.

      • That is an opinion, and PR have the low income because we not are a a state.

      • My respects to you ,most Americans don’t know about the PR relationship with the US the only thing you could learn is that most Puertoricans can understand the English because is taught from from kindergarten
        To high school so I believe the transition wouldn’t be that hard .Also there are more Puertoricans
        In the Us that the ones that live down there 4.6 million according to the last census. This shows that English is not a problem .I agree with you about the Republicans .But eventually they will be a minority.

      • Thank you, I admit I failed yo see the sarcasm right away. Sweedish Mexican eh? Its funny how my fellow americans think that ONLY the US is a nation of immigrants,and every other nation has “identical” populations. According to American Conservatives….Otto,Christina Aguilera,Thalia,Selma Hayek,Vicente Fox,Emilio Estevez and dad and brother Martin &Charlie “Sheen” Estevez, Cameron Diaz,Jessica Alba,MYSELF,Ricky Martin,Vanna White,Raquel Welch,Rita Hayworth, Linda (cordova) Carter aka WONDERWOMAN…..don’t exist because in the US.Spanish speakers CAN’T BE WHITE! Only black,brown and “Mexican” US definitions of Mexican…
        1. Any nonwhite or nonblack adult on a bicycle.
        2. Anyone hanging out at the Dunkin Donuts or 7Eleven lot.
        3. Any spanish Speaker not Puerto Rican or Cuban.

        This stereotype is enforced invHollywood.
        White Latinos like Charlie Sheen,Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz. are given mainstream “white” roles. While stereotupically brown folks like George Perez, Machete, or black latinas such as pretty Zoe Saldana are given “latino/hispanic roles”.

    • I’m also against statehood, i don’t believe we can make much progress or the welfare and food stamps stopping there. Unless the US do something about it the only way we can all stop welfare and food stamps would be independence. To be honest, Independence would get us nowhere if our politician are still corrupted. If not, we can become the singapore of the caribbean (although it can be achieved with this status too) But we are in latino america, one of the places with the most corrupts politicians. What i think Puerto Rico needs badly is not statehood, this status, or independence. It can do fine with all of these status (the latter, depending on the politicians) what it badly needs, is education. Yes, Puerto Ricans in general may seem like people without matters, and it might be true. Last i saw, three puerto ricans killed a american in texas and then asked for the police in jail when they are getting out and saying “in my country, for killing a man under an argument you can get out in a few days” and then got surprised when the police said he could be in jail for life. So we also need a better justice system. I’m tired of Puerto Rico in a way getting all its food stamp and welfare and in a way, not giving a crap about crime activity here. If we want to be a state, we have to be better than that, if we want a better place with the status quo, we have to be better than that too, as for independence, i don’t think we would ever become one, but if we did, then we would have to be a millions of time better than that. Luckily, all of the savage puerto ricans are getting out of our island and going to US, so in a few years, we probably won’t have a lot of crimes so there’s that. I don’t care about the Puerto Ricans that don’t want to be the change of their island and still go to the US. The savages one can stay in bronx, we just need a better education and that’s it. With only that, we can become respectful members of the society instead of being hated. Anyway, as a puerto rican, i don’t really support statehood, americans don’t care about us, so i wouldn’t want to be part of the members that hate us in general. PS.Out of all US territory, Puerto Rico is the only one that qualifies for statehood. Just saying.

    • F.Y.I.
      The United States does have an official language is unconstitutional. The states decide if they want an official language. Twenty six have English as there first language. In two states the official language is English and Spanish the same as in Puerto Rico wich is a “free associated state”. The rest of the states don’t have an official language. Those states who have an official language have to provide any state and federal documents in whatever language the citizen speaks in order to receive federal funding. Thank You.

  4. Some serious factual flaws in the article – calling Peurto Rico an “Island Nation” is one. Peurto Rico is a US Territory – like Guam, the US Virgin Islands, Marianas ISlands, etc. Yes , Peurto Rico Citizens are US Citizens with the same rights and responsibilities as those living in Illinois, Texas, Alabama, etc.

    • You are so so wrong. For starters, it is Puerto Rico. And it IS a NATION according to the word meaning, that being, and I quote:
      “nation (ˈneɪʃən)

      — n
      1. an aggregation of people or peoples of one or more cultures, races, etc, organized into a single state: the Australian nation
      2. a community of persons not constituting a state but bound by common descent, language, history, etc: the French-Canadian nation
      3. a. a federation of tribes, esp American Indians
      b. the territory occupied by such a federation”

      Even though we don’t have a defined status as an independent country or a state, we do have a different culture from US, different language and different history. Yes, we are part of the US but our citizenship is different from those who are born in the US. We have a Second Class Citizenship, according to the Johnes Law from 1917. We don’t have the same rights nor the same responsibilities. You might ass well define our status as a colonial one, where the US has always deprived Puerto Rico from it’s right to auto determination and independence. Please, review your sources of information since the flaws come from there.

      • Puerto Rico is not a state, nor in the sense of a sovereign nation state or of a state of the Union. Puerto Rico is a nation in the sense of a nationality. It was annexed by the USA in 1898; the island is US territory and shares the last 115 years of its history with the USA. It is an organized self-governing territory as per laws approved by Congress (the last one in 1952) and ruled by SCOTUS. Federal laws adopted by Congress and signed by the President apply, unless explicitly stated by the statute. Puerto Ricans are born American citizens since 1917, but cannot elect voting members to Congress nor take part in the election of the President. Last November, Puerto Ricans voted to reject the present territorial colonial status and favored incorporation as a state above other two non-territorial non-colonial options: independence and associated sovereignty.

      • We are a nation in term of culture but not in politic. Usa have many nations and country like Canada.

      • Yan TL

        You need to review the definition of nation, which P.R. does not fit into that category. It is not represented at the UN nor has it been recognized by any nation in the world as a sovereign nation. It has no consular affairs or Embassies abroad as this is done by the U.S. Puerto Ricans are US citizens and can only vote if they have a permanent residency in any one of the states of the union. But not while residing on the island.

        In 1952, P.R. with the consent of US Congress drafted and finalized what is known as the ‘Free Associated State’ (not nation) aka commonwealth. That does not furnish independence to the island but more so a formal association w/ the U.S. that is considered a territory. US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Mariana Islands, etc., all have different associations with the US and not one of those are a nation.

        Moreover, any Puerto Rican wanting to renounce US citizenship can do so w/a federal court order. The Commonwealth’s Sec State will then issue a certificate of PR citizenship but no PR passport given at all. The first Puerto Rican to do so was Juan Mari Bras who supported full independence from the U.S.

        Also, the Constitution of P.R. is NOT older than that of the U.S. So, Mr. Alberto Soto suggest you read up on US history and its independence from UK well over 200 years ago. P.R. constitution of 1952 is not even close.

      • You are obviously pro independence,and thats fine.
        HOWEVER,its obvious the article keeps refering to PR as a caribean “NATION” on purpose to imply we aren’t Americans!

        If you deny this, you’re simply disingenous.

    • and not to mention the FACT that the Puerto Rican constitution is OLDER than that of the U.S by twice or even more.
      So maybe if you’re little soldiers(all IMMIGRANTS) hadn’t marched into my country through the Guanica Bay, Puerto Rico would have dealt with the Spanish and would have been settled as its own independent nation. We did not ask for your citizenship, it was given to us. Our flag flies alone. One star, not dulled by another fifty now or ever.

      I’d suggest you start a campaign to change your school’s textbooks which show one side of the Hispanic-American War and how the U.S came to possess Puerto Rico and other territories.

      • You forgot to mention that over 90% of the people of the island is in favor of being in a relationship with the US ( ELA or Statehood), so please stop talking like you are a majority because that is not the truth. You are giving a wrong impression.

        • you are stupid.

        • It’s more than 90%, Pedro. Actually, in the latest referendum of Nov. 2012 Independence only got 5%. As a matter of fact, independence always gets less than 3% every 4 years in the general elections. Governor Garcia Padilla is a moron who just insulted the Puerto Rican people calling the island a “ghetto state”, on CNN En Español, the idiot doesn’t speak English. Eventhough, he’s a lawyer. He loves the american money, though. I’m Puerto Rican and I feel embarrassed by him. He doesn’t represent the more than a million voters who favor statehood. His party, PPD, does anything to stop statehood, even insulting us in national tv and portraying us as murderes, uneducated savages, freeloaders who don’t speak the language, with the collaboration of Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velaquez, two legislators in Washington,DC , of Puerto Rican descent, and lobbyists for the PPD. I live in the island and believe me the English speaking people is higher than 10%.

          • F.Y.I

            There is no official language in The United States of America is unconstitutional. The states decide if they want one, 26 have English as there first, two English and Spanish and the rest don’t have an official language. In order to receive federal fund the state has to provide federal and state documents in whatever language they speak. When is every U.S citizen going to understand this and yes I leave in P.R. and also in D.C..

    • The mere fact that you have to point this out means thar Puerto Rico is a nation with the same rights an responsibilities as Argentina and Sweden. No one ever says this about Delaware or Texas.

      • José R. Nevárez

        You’d be surprised. Texas has a large secessionist movement, much larger than Puerto Rico. And so does Alaska. They would beg to defer.

  5. Unbalanced article prepared to create hatred on the “right” inclined that respond too well too intolerance and fear mongering. Picture is not in PR, there are no ghettos like that. PR workforce pay the same percentage of social security tax out of their paychecks (7.5%) as US mainland citizens and serve and have died in the armed forces under the US Flag but even being US citizens we cannot even vote. PR has been used by the US as a laboratory for drug trafficking and chemical experimentation, money laundering under the 963 section and who knows what else since the first day and yet the resulting feeling here is not hatred towards the american people but resent to the government actions. True, there are way too many people here on food stamps, and that is a shame but it is part of the social experiment, and the same problem can be found in many states of the US.

  6. The day when I see Puerto Rico , like the picture exposed , I will move out. This picture is not from Puerto Rico. Even the most “purgatoriest” area of Puerto Rico does not look like the picture established. Apparently this righty oriented site is presenting misinformation at the maximum stage. It’s important to mention that the native people of Puerto Rico have a notorious characteristic not founded in the mainland , is “mental elasticity ”.

    • Tara Dodrill, the author of this article, should visit Puerto Rico and see for herself what a beautiful island PR is and how nice and sophisticated its people are. But, I recommend she does it soon before the actual government turn the island into a ghetto latinoamericano.

      • Eric it seems ypu live in the moon, the ghetto latinoameicano, refering to the latinamerican coutries in general have signed treaties with the USA that lets them get better economic treatment that Puerto Rico receives. Almost all latinamerican countries economies are in positive numbers while the economy in Puerto Rico has been suffering a depression that started more than ten years ago. Your comment mislead the puertorican reality. We are a COLONY, one that was created and still funded by the US Goverment. Forget about the local goverment, all of them where put in power by people like you that believe what the say no matter what side they are. The reality is if you do not have power over your house, then you own nothing and what you have is a fantasy.

  7. Tara, please inform yourself before you commit another act of intellectual whoredom like this one. American multinationals extract more than $38 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR in profits out of Puerto Rico. Out of a territory where the per capita income is roughly $17,000 a year. Placing a picture from Chattanooga and trying to pass it for Puerto Rico was dishonest enough. It is diatribes like this one that feeds my contempt and hatred towards jingoistic Americans who consent to milking a colony dry and then verbally abuse its people. As a Puerto Rican pro-independence supporter, I need statehood like anyone here needs a tumor.

    • Dile más Fiqui Miau. 😉

    • Boricua En La Distancia

      Atúkitiiiiiiii! Así se habla, Carlos Yunque, hay que tener dignidad! Me indigna que haya puertorriqueños tan arrastrados, que permiten que nos insulten por andar mendigando la estadidad para Puerto Rico.

      • Mala suerte si te “indigna”.
        Mas indignan ustedes que parece que se juntaron todos aquí tratando como siempre da hablar por la mayoría y tratando de dar la impresión incorrecta de que lo que la inmensa mayoría de los puertorriqueños quiere con relación al estatus de la isla.

        • It’s a relationship of convenience. Most Puerto Ricans in the island do not really follow the issues of the States. We are not real Americans here. But we do consider ourselves helpless without the US. Most of the arguments in favor of statehood are something like: “Imagine how poor we would be without the US (and their money)”. That is totally sad, even if 90% of the people agree with this most undignified line of argument.

  8. The pro-statehood movement has been using food stamps and other federal funding to gather support for statehood among the poor. During the campaign leading to the Nov 2012 vote, the pro-statehood message was: “if you don’t vote for statehood, your food stamps will be taken away”…also, your 14% unemployment numbers are not really accurate, since it only reflects the people who are actually looking for work. The labor participation rate of Puerto Rico (% of people actually working) is 40%…so 60% of the people are not really working! No coincidence that 60% voted for statehood. The pro-statehood movement may want to build support based on government dependence…but there is the 40% who want to work and build a productive Nation’

    • You should also mention the mutually beneficial arrangement between US multinational corporations that uses Puerto Rico as a tax shelter and the scant local oligarchy. Sure, that can only result in impoverishment for the many and the American taxpayer picking up the bill to keep them under the US poverty level.

    • I’m sure it was the pro Commonwealth party the ones who brought to PR the federal aids.

      • That is very true. That was a long time ago. 1970’s. Now “welfare” is a campaign issue of the pro-statehooders who love to strike the fear of losing federal welfare among the poor. This dirty electoral tactic aimed at scaring the heavily dependent and uneducated is the exclusive province of the pro-statehood movement.

        • Gentlemen It seems that you 2 don’t know anything of Puerto Rico. It was the US Congress that authorized the extension for the US Food Stamps system into Puerto Rico no one in Puerto Rico has the power to do anything in the Island. And by the way if it was “done by the commonwealth party” then why Carlos Romero Barceló a statehood looking, ex Congress Commissioner, and Ex governor has always said the HE was the one who changed for cash the Food Stamp welfare system for Puerto Rico. Yes for CASH! Years later it was changed to a ATM Card that allowed only 25% in cash and the balance be used in groceries which is the way is used today. You don’t know anything about Puerto Rico. From 1898 without any consent from Puerto Ricans the US Congress have issued laws in one good way or in a bad way that affects all Puerto Ricans without us to have any vote on them, including to have our sons go to war without having us the opportunity to elect the officials who declared them. Funny thing is that the US Revolution for Independence was based in a similar situation. On those days it was a tax imposed on TEA By Great Britain without any voice be heard from the Colonies in the GB Courts that started the US Independence War.

  9. Hey Tara Dodrill, do your homework and yes, we have people that pay federal taxes, did you know that we pay more taxes than the state of Vermont? Just go and look for the data and you will see. It’s a an article whith with a lots of misinformation.

  10. Very clever from the journalist to place a picture of a depriment and filthy town from some country that is NOT Puerto Rico so that the article could have more effect. Don’t be such a sensationalist and change that fake picture to one that belongs to Puerto Rico. Ok? Ok.

  11. Where Tara Dodrill found that picture? Did you come to Puerto Rico and took this? I am very sure you that you do not know where is Puerto Rico and went to other land. Please verify the things that happen in the island. It is true that many people is living with food stamps, but is not the most. Here the people worked, we have excellent hospitals with the better doctors, nurses, etc. We have universities, colleges ranked with tops of lists, the best chefs, best designers, best models, best all. As all states of U.S. we have the same problems or more than in other countries. I do not know exactly how many soldiers died to protect the nation United States, but I am sure are more than in other states. Find the records. We have people that live in a poor situation, but many, many worked hard and have their excellent houses, some more expensive other more cheaper, but they have. And the per cent you have about the persons who talked English is incorrect. Maybe you read it in 1950-1960 reports. Now it is different. Please, read again the history. Maybe you will find errors in my writing, but I can express my feelings in writing English . And better in Spanish. Thanks.

  12. There’s one word that describes this kind of misguided journalist : Racist. It is as simple as that. Just so you know a lot of your fine soldiers of the US Army are proud hard working puertoricans. Also we are not stupid the world’s most powerful nation doesn’t give anything unless it is receiving something in return. You should consider another career where you might do a better job than just printing lies and creating hate between humans.

  13. This is the origin of the picture: It’s a Philippine Railway in MANILA… I have nothing more to add than the comments above except to please stop spreading lies like this.

  14. If you are a journalist I am the queen of England! You really think the United States is giving PR all this money because of their good heart. They’re obviously getting more in return. Do your research you moron and go back to school to see if you can at least try to be a real JOURNALIST!!

  15. If americans believe this article they are really stupid

  16. This article is a big lie. US makes way more money than what they hand out to PR.

    • Ustedes siempre con la misma mentira… Ese dinero que según tu “se llevan” los americanos de PR, no tiene nada que ver con el estatus politico de PR. Tiene que ver con comercio y economía. Son compañías multinacionales que se establecieron en la isla a hacer negocios y es obvio que lo hacen para obtener ganancias. Pero quien crees que los auspician…nosotros mismos. Me imagino que hablas tanto pero te pasas la vida en Walmart, Sears, Costco, etc.
      Que crees que pasará si PR se independiza? Pues nada, esas compañías se quedarán y seguirán haciendo dinero y “llevándoselo” a EU. Acaso no has ido a México? Allí hay Walmart, Sears, Autozone, Burguer King, Costco, Mcdonalds, están todos allí haciendo negocio y “llevándose” el dinero a EU como dices. Es México un territorio de EU? Por supuesto que no!
      Es comercio y economía que nada tiene que ver con estatus político. Así que ya deja la retórica estúpida y sin sentido y busquen algo nuevo con que debatir.

      • Pedro, if you can’t write in English, don’t write any comments. Go to a Spanish speaking site.

      • De hecho si tiene que ver, en Mexico hay Sears, el cual es propiedad de mexicanos y es independiente a Sears de EEUU, y todas las demas empresas que mencionas y muchas otras estan obligadas por ley a pagar impuestos en Mexico, ha dejar 10% de las utilidades a los empleados mexicanos y a estar constituidas bajo leyes mexicanas, muchas de estas que mencionas estan en sociedad con empresas mexicanas, starbucks con alsea (tambien burger king, dominos, etc.) Otro ejemplo Office Depot en Mexico es propiedad de grupo Gigante, que solo paga el derecho de marca a Office Depot en EEUU, el dinero que sacan las empresas extranjeras en mexico por porcentaje es poco, un 10% máximo, ya que hay muchas cuestiones legales y fiscales que retienen el dinero en el país. Entonces por qué invierten en México? Algunos lo hacen devido a que los convencen socios mexicanos, otros porque ese 10% es mucho dinero, considera que Mexico tiene 120millones de consumidores

        {In fact if you have to do, in Mexico there is Sears, which is owned by Mexican and U.S. independent Sears, and all other companies you mention and many others are required by law to pay taxes in Mexico, has left 10% of the Mexican employee profit and be organized under Mexican law, many of these you mention are in partnership with Mexican companies with alsea starbucks (also burger king, dominos, etc..) Another example Office Depot in Mexico is owned by Giant group , you only pay the right brand to Office Depot in the U.S., the money you take out foreign companies in mexico by percentage is not enough, a 10% maximum, as there are many legal and tax issues that hold the money in the country. So why invest in Mexico? Some do devido convinced that Mexican partners, others because that 10% is a lot of money, consider that Mexico has consumer 120millones}

  17. Puerto Ricans are Tax payers too!!!! and in the military who fight for The US which is our country too!!!!!

  18. Tara Dodrill, if you have any professional self respect as a journalist, you MUST DEMAND the site takes the picture and the video out of your featured article. It does not support the data you presented and immediately makes the reader question: “if the video covers Tennessee, and the picture is NOT PR, then what else is wrong on Tara’s article?”.

  19. That indeed is a picture of PR…after the US grant us our independence.

    • Pedro, if you do not know politics and economy don’t make stupid comments like that.

      • I know politics and economics more than you, believe me, and that will be PR once the US is gone from the island…and BTW I believe that the stupid person is you…idiot.

        • The independence is the ONLY salvation to our Island! Not only our economy will prosper bur our society will heal.

          • If you want independence then prove with facts and figures that it will be the best for the island and stop your eternal rhetoric and misleading words.

          • HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!Really!!!!How will that work? “With Independence the economy will prosper “. Pleaseee!. Don’t get me wrong I’d like PR to be independent but for different reasons. It’s the only way that 60% of the welfare recipients will learn that if you don’t work you don’t eat, like in every other banana republic of Latin America…They need to suffer to learn to appreciate what they have. If PR becomes independent in less than a year it will be another Haiti and another Cuba. Puerto Ricans have shown they can’t govern themselves. It’s the only place on earth where the goverment has bankrupted a monopoly, the AEE, the electric company and the AAA, the water company due to corruption and plunder. As a matter of fact, all of the public agencies are bankrupted. But, with statehhood and the right people in charge we can change that. Throw out the thieves.

    • I had to become independent once…from my parents. It kinda sucked in the beginning and I was kinda poor for a while. It all turned out OK in the end. NO FEAR!

    • You are a blithering idiot who is blinded by colors and an antiquated idiosyncratic belief. Wake up and smell the coffee you are letting go to waste.

  20. That picture is not Puerto Rico. Wrong Information!!!

  21. And what about the $34 billions dollars that U.S. take from us? People before you talk or make a stupid comments or news like this, Get FACTS then talk. Even this PICTURE is not in Puerto Rico. OTTO You said that P.R. is a POOREST country in U.S.? JAJAJAJA GET FACTS My friend.

    • PR is the poorest territory in the US, that is a fact. Even Mississipi ( the poorest US state) has twice the GDP of PR.

      • This line of argument has been used extensively by the pro-statehood movement. We ought to become a state because we are really poor and would be much poorer as an independent country. While this very sad and defeatist argument may be true, it is far from heroic or US patriotic. Do not expect many Americans to be moved by this rhetoric.

      • José R. Nevárez

        If Mississippi’s GDP is only twice of Puerto Rico it’s a disgrace. Considering the size of Mississippi, their wealth of natural resources and the fact that Puerto Rico, having only 100 miles long and 25 miles wide makes have the GDP of Mississippi. Which speaks volumes of Puerto Rican productivity.

    • I said that PR has the lowest GDP per capita of the US

    • I said PR would be the poorest state in the US, should it be welcomed as one. I never said it was a country.

  22. Tara, don’t you know that journalists are supposed to do some research before writing an article? I can’t believe how stupid this article is. Please, inform yourself!

  23. My brothers and sisters, this argument Ans all the counter argument is the product of trying to merge to different cultures. The relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States will transcend only when both nations treat each other with respect.

  24. You dumb f*cks. That’s not Puerto Rico in that photo. Is the Philippines

  25. It’s easy. Just get out of Puerto Rico, why don’t you? You’ll have one less problem to take care of. If you are giving us all that money there must be something you are getting back. I don’t think you are that dumb.

    • It’s not that simple. Telling someone to “just get out of Kansas” or something equally inane on the mainland is ‘easier’, right? So why don’t more people do it? Because it’s not that simple. And since PR is an island, that just makes things even more difficult. If people could “just get out of PR”, I’d have done it 9 years ago.

      • I don’t think you uderstood what I said. If PR is such a load for the USA, then why don’t they just let PR be independent? Why did they ever come hereand invade in 1898 to start with? If there is so much interest in keeping PR a colony that means that PR is valuable to the US. Otherwise they would have let us go a long time ago. We are a separate nation. We are not Kansas City. Excuse me.

  26. Well! Puerto Rico’s economy and high crime rate started in 1898, when the US military invaded us as part of one of your famous wars: the Spanish-American War. So, you guys WERE NOT INVITED TO PUERTO RICO. If you don’t want to share you money with a bunch of Caribbeans, Spanish speaking, black people who you consider inferior, then help us to GET RID OF YOU and GET THE HELL OUT OF MY COUNTRY… please! Oh! I almost forgot. Do not forget to take your stinky citizenship with you, thank you.

  27. Why not talk in the article about the thousands of Puerto Rican soldiers who have died in wars declared by Presidents and Congress by which Puerto Ricans can not vote. That’s enough for two or three dollars shipping in food assistance. They have polluted our lands. I think in the balance of the debt, the U.S. still owes money to Puerto Rico.

  28. Now you guys changed the picture!!! That’s not going to change anything. The lack of true journalists, the mediocre work you do, and your racism is more than evident. You should all go back to school.

  29. Many have posted about Puerto Rico being a nation or a territory but the reality is that in the 70’s the United Nations declared Puerto Rico to be a colony of the United States.The article for starters shows no pictures of Puerto Rico,forgets to add that at least 8 out of 10 high school graduates go on to graduate from college,that the island 137 x 35 in miles and that most citizens speak English as well as Spanish since the Department of Education demands both languages be taught starting in kindergarten. The island has wealth of its own but as a colony it is not permitted to trade with neighboring countries that would bring up the economy in a big way.Our sons are drafted,volunteer and fight and die in every war since the WWI. Talk is cheap specially when you are not informed.

    • 1. Ms. Brock, could you provide the UN document that “declared Puerto Rico to be a colony of the United States.”?

      2. “A “two question status plebiscite” conducted in November showed that 61 percent of Puerto Ricans wanted statehood and 33 percent wanted to become a free nation with an “association” with the United States of America.” Not true. This is based on a manipulation of the plebiscite formula. Statehood got 45%.

      3. “A USDA report issued in 2010 noted that it is “widely acknowledged” that Puerto Rican food stamps recipients spend their cash allotment on items other than food.” Why do Americans think K-Mart (and others like it) are making like bandits in PR? PR is a captive market. A colonial-mercantile system where the Democrats can guarantee a market for American labor and capitalists and what they produce. Which in turn serves as a source for funding Democrats and their campaigns.

    • I’m with you 100%!

  30. It is clear by the lack of facts on this article that the intentions of Dodrill was to write drivel about Puerto Rico to create the myth that Puerto Ricans are a bunch of foreign Third World moochers. Thiis further perpetuates the ignorance some Americans have no idea about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans

    FACT: The federal government spent $80 billion on SNAP last year! Dodrill only gives you one tree instead of the forest to prove her point that Puerto Ricans are taking away “American money.” But wait, Puerto Ricans living on the island, ARE American citizens (something Dodrill’s tends to brush aside until the very end), So the 2 billion “American money” accounts for 2.5% of the entire 2012 SNAP budget. 2.5%.!!!!! And those American citizens living on the island can’t even vote for President or have representation in Congress!! This story could have easily have read, “U.S. Food Stamps in California Are Costing You 5.6 Billion Dollars,” or ”U.S. Food Stamps in Texas Are Costing You 5.5 Billion Dollars,” or ”U.S. Food Stamps in New York Are Costing You 4.9 Billion Dollars.” Instead Dodrill makes this illogical but xenophobic assumption that Puerto Ricans are not “American” and have no right to the same programs that are offered other U.S. citizens. Currently, more than 10,000 active duty military personnel from Puerto Rico serve across the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, Since 1917, more than 200,000 American citizens from Puerto Rico have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving in every conflict since World War I. That’s “American” blood that was shed for your right to publish trash about Puerto Rico “taking” “American” money! SHAME ON YOU!

    • We can’t vote for the President, yet we are expected to fight in his wars.

      Articles like this do indeed continue to fuel stereotypes and misconceptions about Puerto Rico. But I guess the ignorant will be ignorant.

    • Please. Stop it with the drivel about how Puerto Ricans serve in the Armed Forces. Many Americans serve in the Armed Forces, especially those from the poorer states. The fact that Puerto Ricans serve in the armed forces has more to do with poverty and a patent lack of options than with patriotism and commitment. The pro-statehood movement love using the poor in this way. But we can see right through that!

      • I guess that my grandfather’s and uncle’s life is worth less than a mainland soldier’s life because according to your erred retort, “your people are pure patriots and our people are seeking personal gain”… or did I misunderstand?

      • Landers Puerto Ricans have been fighting in all US Wars, not out of poverty as WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam many were drafted and many volunteered like myself. I had no need to go in the Army just a desire to continue the Patrotism that was part of the family. During Vietnam Puerto Ricans made a bigger contribution than 3 States of the Union. During the Korean War it was the 65th Infantry Regiment who charged against the Chinese giving this soldiers much pride, many who still alive today, the contribution of the 65th is of such nature that the government of South Korea send a television crew to interview some of this Heroes a month ago. They would make a special Documentary and play both in South Korea and US. Also the government of South Korea is naming a school after MSG Vergara a Puerto Rican who was wounded 3 times during the war. If you are going to talk about poverty for a reason to join the service make sure you include the mainland, I know I am a Veterans Advocate and have provided service to many mainland service members. I lives in the mainland for 38 years and travel frequently. Do not insult our service to our country. On another subject we are good to vote in primaries but not in the real thing, how about that, plain wrong. We are also behind in services for our Veterans. Wipidea is not the place to fat check details about PR they are as behind as a paper encyclopedia.

        • It should be no surprise that poor jurisdictions contribute a disproportionate amount of their sons and daughters to the US Armed Forces. This is just a fact.There are not that many soldiers coming out of the rich neighborhoods of America. That’s all.

      • José R. Nevárez

        Landers, I think you missed the point. It’s undeniable that other states send their boys to war. The difference is that those states can have a congressman, senator and get to vote for the president. Puerto Ricans fulfill the same duties as citizens as other states, yet they don’t have the same rights. ¿Comprende?

        • Joining the Armed Forces is an option, not a duty. It should be no surprise that this option seems increasingly attractive to the inhabitants of an island that has been impoverished by a regime that fosters government dependency as a way of life.

  31. Puerto Rico has more than 100,000 residents who are veterans of the U.S. military forces, more veterans than Alaska, Rhode Island, DC, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Vermont and Delaware.

  32. I don’t support this lifestyle, however, that being said let’s say things the way they really are —

    US do not “give” food stamps to Puerto Ricans. We, all the working Puerto Ricans pay for those taxes. — About $9 billion of them yearly (we don’t pay income taxes, all the other ones we do). That’s without counting the other $1.5 billion in cabotage laws and the more than $65+ billions that we send to mainland in profits for US corporations.

    So, all in all, it’s not really a given. Just wanted to leave that very clear.

    That’s speaking just in money terms. If we start getting emotional about all the Puerto Rico born soldiers that have defended the same ideals alongside ‘regular’ Americans.

  33. 1. “A “two question status plebiscite” conducted in November showed that 61 percent of Puerto Ricans wanted statehood and 33 percent wanted to become a free nation with an “association” with the United States of America.” Not true. This is based on a manipulation of the plebiscite formula. Statehood received in reality a 45%.

    3. “A USDA report issued in 2010 noted that it is “widely acknowledged” that Puerto Rican food stamps recipients spend their cash allotment on items other than food.” Why do Americans think K-Mart (and others like it) are making like bandits in PR? PR is a captive market. A colonial-mercantile system where the Democrats can guarantee a market for American labor and capitalists and what they produce. Which in turn serves as a source for funding Democrats and their campaigns.

  34. This article is rife with factual inaccuracies, blatant cultural bias, and good old fashioned ignorance.

  35. What about the billions the US takes out of PR? What about that? You obviously think that everybody in the island ate getting food stamps and live out of the government. WE DON’T! This article is disgusting. You have to be very dumb to overlook what PR gives to the US without us having any say to what the government makes us. Get the facts straight.

    • As a Puerto Rican citizen, it pains me to see all these ignorant Americans say that PR is sucking money of their “great” country when in reality what you say is true, Americans take home $4.30 for every $1 dollar they spend. That may not sound like much but what that means is that for those 2 billion they gave PR in aid they got 8.6 billion. So yeah don’t talk without knowing both sides of the story. I applaud you Adriana Patton for telling the truth


  36. I actually feel flabbergasted by the whole sense of the article and pictures. They where all thrown around, deleted, changed, etc. All was fake from the beginning… How in the hell can you try to be serious when you change pictures and text “as you go along”? shameless…

  37. José R. Nevárez

    I find this article unresearched, misleading and racist. The US will never let go Puerto Rico. The US makes way too much money out of Puerto Rico. The US sends to PR about 13.5 billion a year. Out of which, about 9 billion is money Puerto Ricans paid throughout their lives out of their checks for social security, unemployment and medicare and the other 4.5 billion is for welfare, medicaid and grants to the government for roads and other public projects.
    The US in turn makes 71 billion a year out of PR. PR spends 22.6 billion in US merchandise, since it imports 86% of everything they consume. That also means those products come with the US tax added, so Puerto Ricans pay that US tax. US companies also make 34 billion in capital gains in PR. And PR, by federal law, can not import or export ANYTHING, without being the only US territory or state forced to use the US Merchant Marine only, which is the most expensive in the world. That’s 1.5 billion more PR pays the US. So 4.5 billion the US spends vs. 71 billion the US makes out of PR, hmmm… They will never get that kind of return anywhere else. It also means that if they let PR go, millions will loose their jobs in the mainland and the US Merchant Marine will probably go out of business.

  38. Puerto Rico is a latin american nation, spanish speaking with same culture and history as the rest of spanish latin america, the national identity of Puerto Rico is alive and well (if you have doubt check the USA vs Puerto Rico basketball game held during the World Olympics in 2004, all puerto ricans celebrated that the puerto rican team won). The pro statehood movement is a fraud, it is a movement based on how much money they can get from the US, the typical pro statehood fanatic does not want to work, sits all day watching tv and getting hand outs for living. they are scared of sovereignty because sovereignty means work, becoming productive, moving your own nation ahead with hard work and lots of effort and that is scary to the pro statehood crowd. the sovereignty movement (in favor of sovereign commonwealth or republic) talks about this all the time, that Puerto Rico needs to produce, become self sufficient, end the dependency, put people to work, creating puertorican industries and puertorican made goods a priority. see the difference between those seeking to have a sovereign Puerto Rico and those who want to be the 51st state of USA? Those seeking a sovereign free puerto rico want to work and create a competitive productive nation while those seeking to be the 51st state do not want to work, want to live out of handouts and do not care if their homeland becomes a guetto in the middle of the ocean, they have low self esteeem, poor education and are those who vote for statehood.

    • There are more P’ricans living in the US than in the island…. how can you say we are closer to latin american countries. Only in language and that’s debatable because of all the regionalisms and different usages of words it’s sometimes easier to understand someone speaking english than to understand an equatorian or peruvian speaking spanish. Your comments sounds like a puertorican racist….

  39. The U.S. gets that back and much more, Puerto Ricans buy over 50 billion dollars worth of goods from the U.S. every year thanks to Sears, Walmart, AT&T and other companies.
    And don’t forget that we have been in every war since WW1.
    Another thing is that if you want to know how smart we are call NASA and ask how many Puertoricans are on the payroll.

    Tara you are so KKK.

  40. Most people in PR speak a somewhat functional way of english, kids start learning english in first grade (even younger). Everybody understands concepts in english. We use parking instead of estacionamiento; hamburger instead of hamburguesa, party instead of fiesta, cool instead of buena onda and so on. English is intertwined with spanish in PR. And it’s ok… most US citizens living on the mainland don’t know how to speak or write good english either!!!

    • not true, english is taught as a foreign language in schools (1 foreign language class) the same way they do in Costa Rica or Panama. Spanish is the main language of Puerto Rico, according to the latest census it is the language spoken by 98% of the population. Spanish is the language of goverment, schools, media, etc… just like in the rest of the spanish speaking latin american countries.

  41. Still there are us… few couple of million US citizens that work hard everyday, pay excesive taxes, sacrifice and bleed in war side by side other citizens who got to vote for the president that sent them to war, that value the democratic principles that the US taught us but has neglected for us for so long. These citizens deserve that the US government take them seriously and be treated with respect.

  42. Haha, once again the ridiculousness of low I.Q. individuals spewing against food stamps. Yes it hurts the little amount of working brains when begining to consider solutions to the problems in our country. What about our elected officials? What about all the prisoners we pay to keep alive? Why don’t we get rid of all the prisoners? Then we can stop electing officials. They are useless. Then we can stop giving money to other continents. We are like a person whose house is foreclosed yet gripping filet minon for a stranger. We give money to Africa why? We keep Psychos alive why? We pay for elitists who don’t have to show up for work and read and sign bills why? Forget about p.r. forget about food stamps. Wrap your head around SOMETHING SERIOUSLY REAL.

  43. What a mockery! This uninformed report reflects on the lack of knowledge of this amateur “reporter” Tara Dodrill whose intentions are solely on attempting to rape people’s attention. This is the reason why “off the grid reporting” lacks credibility. If the problem only laid in the money that goes into food stamps in PR then it would be an easy fix but is not.

    Korean war, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan include Americans at birth from Puerto Rico, which fought, bleed and defended the very same thing you call your country. Boricuas were drafted to Vietnam fighting and laying their lives in the front lines while most of American men decided to protest war and became Hippies.

    This message is brought to you by a United States of America Soldier deployed to Afghanistan, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico and by the way not only defends your first amendment but pay taxes as well.

  44. The amount of federal aid received by puertorican citizens is well deserved because we are citizens of the USA and have provided plenty of men and women to fight the wars the USA has been involved in beginning with WWI to the present. Many of them gave their lives or came back injured to defend your freedom bitch.

  45. Al carajo con todos,eh dicho!

  46. Puertoricans just like to live from MANTENGO…..Puerto Rico is currently suffering a CULTURAL degradation and many people think the government need to support them….they come to the STATES and all they want is MANTENGO …..FREE STATE and FEDERAL ENTITLEMENT….

  47. How about we stop giving PR money period! All the puerto ricans in a city i went to college in were all lazy idiots that lived on every benefit they could get! They were drug addicts, refused to speak english, would sell their food stamps for cash and were 100% disrespectful! A complete disgrace towards the United States! WTF is this country coming to? Oh wait press 2 for Spanish to get this in your language.

  48. This article is just semi-true. First it is true that a lot of Puertorrican abuse of this service and the government does not want to take actions on this matter. But this irresponsible writer is ignoring the fact NO BUSINESS is one sided and to point out the economical benefits of having PR as a commonwealth. Every thing is taxed twice, the benefits of having a free port for all the imported items and products, the inexpensive labor and the consumption of everything. I been serving this country for the last 12 years and I’m a born Puertorrican. Please don’t be irresponsible or tried to romanticize the history of this country. Next time please do your research and compare proctution against cost for the rest of the states. Nothing is free on this life.


    This is obviously written by some ignorant republican. That didn’t fact check, no ethics what so ever haha. Really. If this is meant to be a satire. Then I will understand it.


    • We paid social security ,medicaid,unemployment for American people they get double the money back !Though the Commonwealth government has its own tax laws, Puerto Ricans are also required to pay most U.S. federal taxes,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] with the major exception being that some residents do not have to pay the federal personal income tax. In 2009, Puerto Rico paid $3.742 billion into the US Treasury.[9] Residents of Puerto Rico pay into Social Security, and are thus eligible for Social Security benefits upon retirement. However, they are excluded from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the island actually receives a small fraction of the Medicaid funding it would receive if it were a U.S. state.[10] Also, Medicare providers receive less-than-full state-like reimbursements for services rendered to beneficiaries in Puerto Rico, even though the latter paid fully into the system.[11]

  50. Earnings and Employment Data
    Social Security

    Nationally, in 2002, the latest year for which state data are available, an estimated 153.8 million persons worked in employment that was covered under the Social Security (Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI)) program. They earned $4.2 trillion in Social Security taxable earnings. Employees, employers, and the self-employed paid a total of $526 billion in Social Security taxes to the OASI and DI trust funds.

    In Puerto Rico in 2002, an estimated 1.16 million residents worked in employment covered under the Social Security program. They had $19.27 billion in Social Security taxable earnings. Employees, employers, and the self-employed paid a total of $2.39 billion in Social Security taxes.

    Nationally, in 2002, the latest year for which state data are available, an estimated 157.5 million persons worked in employment that was covered under the Medicare (Hospital Insurance, or HI) program. They earned $5.1 trillion in Medicare taxable earnings. Employees, employers, and the self-employed paid a total of $149 billion in Medicare taxes to the HI trust fund.

    In Puerto Rico in 2002, an estimated 1.2 million residents worked in employment covered under the Medicare program. They had $21.25 billion in Medicare taxable earnings. Employees, employers, and the self-employed paid a total of $616 million in Medicare taxes

    • Though the Commonwealth government has its own tax laws, Puerto Ricans are also required to pay most U.S. federal taxes,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] with the major exception being that some residents do not have to pay the federal personal income tax. In 2009, Puerto Rico paid $3.742 billion into the US Treasury.[9] Residents of Puerto Rico pay into Social Security, and are thus eligible for Social Security benefits upon retirement. However, they are excluded from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the island actually receives a small fraction of the Medicaid funding it would receive if it were a U.S. state.[10] Also, Medicare providers receive less-than-full state-like reimbursements for services rendered to beneficiaries in Puerto Rico, even though the latter paid fully into the system.[11]

  51. Though the Commonwealth government has its own tax laws, Puerto Ricans are also required to pay most U.S. federal taxes,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] with the major exception being that some residents do not have to pay the federal personal income tax. In 2009, Puerto Rico paid $3.742 billion into the US Treasury.[9] Residents of Puerto Rico pay into Social Security, and are thus eligible for Social Security benefits upon retirement. However, they are excluded from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the island actually receives a small fraction of the Medicaid funding it would receive if it were a U.S. state.[10] Also, Medicare providers receive less-than-full state-like reimbursements for services rendered to beneficiaries in Puerto Rico, even though the latter paid fully into the system.[11]

  52. We paid social security,medicaid,unemployment for Americans nothing is free they get they money back

  53. Gynnie Ann DeJesus

    Well then, the author of this article is a bigger fool then the apparent coming out of the article. First of all, the benefits that the Puerto Rican Americans (born and or living on the island) is not a hand-out; it is a compensation package that the Puerto Rican get due to the large American military foot print that the U.S. Federal Government subjects the people and land to. For your stupid ass information, the Federal Government is able to defend the entire North East coast line, including into Canada and beyond because of that food print. That military food print in Puerto Rico, also allows the U.S. Federal government to guard the shipping lanes that run up and down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and into Central and South America. In addition the Island lends it flesh and blood for the defense of the the American Republic and to her allies. If it were not for the warrior in the Puerto Rican blood line the island would have been emptied by the U.S. Federal Government and de-capped, for those there hills belonging to the Puerto Ricans… have gold; and plenty of it, buried deep in her burrows. There is also oil in the Puerto Rican trenches. By the freaken way, the U.S. Federal Government collects nearly $0.07% of everything that goes in and out of the Island; and only returns to the Island taxes collected on what is manufactured and or developed in Puerto Rico; such as the tax collected on Barcardi liquor; for example. So…, such up the expense and or write to the U.S. Federal Government to “let my people go”; in other words loosen and remove the grip it has around the next of the Island. Thank you very much; no go wail.

  54. Gynnie Ann DeJesus

    Correction on the above comment attributed to my name: Typo error alert! “Food print” on several occasions ought to be “Foot” print.

  55. Gynnie Ann DeJesus

    Typo correction alert. Not sure if its automatic correction or some other phenomenon, but I see some of my words have changed on the original post. For example in some cases “such” ought to be Suck; as in “suck it up”. to added to the original post the U.S. Federal Government pays to play on Puerto Rican soil.

  56. So, allow me to enlighten myself with this thoughtful, researched and provocative article… When U.S. soldiers arrived in Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898, it did it with the intention of giving Puerto Rico two billion dollars per year to eat alone.

    Yes, we are to believe that the United States government, who just came from setting up Cuba, landed on Puerto Rican shores handing out green Uncle Sam money. Because the United States is so generous and giving and so naïve… And Puerto Ricans were setting them up all along just by being there and trying to get their own island government up and running.

    This is the reason why good ol’ United States goes to the United Nations and lies about Puerto Rico colonial status. Of course it is not true that the first thing U.S. did with Puerto Rico was to devaluate Puerto Rican coin down 40%, for starters. Generous US of A

    Do your homework!

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