I was in Puerto Rico (search) at a business conference this past weekend and off-hand, one of the attendees mentioned how Puerto Rico is at a crossroads.
It's got to decide: Either become a state of this country, or a self-sustaining republic. Nothing in-between, which is kind of what this commonwealth (search) enjoys now — all the benefits of statehood, without the taxes.
But I started thinking that might be a lot easier said than done. For one thing, there's the issue of the star.
Let's say Puerto Rico becomes our 51st state. Where do we put that 51st star on our flag? Go ahead, figure that out.
Then there's the other issue of representation in Washington. With four million-plus residents, by my math, Puerto Rico would not only have the two obligatory senators — there goes you're nice, round 100 — but at least eight representatives in Congress (search). It would leapfrog right past states like Delaware, Rhode Island, North Dakota, South Dakota, and several others.
I imagine they might not be too pleased.
And could you imagine how residents of the District of Columbia would feel? They're already out in our national body, save a non-voting member. How would they feel about this island nation just coming into the Capitol, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m?
Which raises the issue of those 10 extra seats: Do we physically have them in Congress, or would we squeeze everybody in for one of those State of the Union addresses? I've been there —ain't too much room to spare there. It’s sort of like my family reunions. Someone's going to have to sit at the kids' table. But who?!
I began thinking Puerto Rico might very well want to become a state. And I think they'd make a great state. The Puerto Ricans I talked to sure thought so. I'm just not sure everyone here would feel the same way.
So Puerto Rico, keep debating the battle for statehood there. It's nothing compared to the battle you'll likely face ... here.
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Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.