Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Puerto Rico is America's largest welfare state.

Looking around for news at yet another statehood vote, I got to the wiki page for Rico and holy hell. When the government is the largest employer anywhere, you are a welfare state.

Puerto Rico’s central government, which includes all three branches of government but excludes public corporations and municipalities, has an annual general budget that currently ranges from $8.5 billion to $9 billion in revenues and expenditures.[11] The government also receives more than $4.2 billion dollars annually in subsidies and federal aid from the United States.[12] A substantial portion of this amount is earmarked for public welfare, including funding educational programs (such as Head Start), subsidized housing programs (such as (Section 8 and public housing projects), and a food stamp system called the Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico program.

Public corporations generate approximately $6.3 billion in general revenues by charging citizens for the services they provide. The largest public corporation, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), generates almost half of those revenues alone ($3 billion). However, public corporations generate about $10.6 billion in expenses when combined, requiring substantial subsidies by the central government. In 2005, the central government provided more than $2.6 billion in subsidies, while the remaining expenditures were funded through interest and investment earnings.[13]

When considering all three branches of government, including all public corporations and municipalities, the government of Puerto Rico’s annual expenditures can reach to more than $28 billion.[14]

The executive branch is responsible for administering public resources, as well as providing all necessary public services to the Puerto Rican general public. It is by far the largest branch in the government as well as the largest employer in Puerto Rico with more than 150,000 workers.

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