It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Puerto Rico is classified by the U.S. government as an independent taxation authority by mutual agreement with the U.S. Congress by the federal law 48 U.S.C. § 734. Contrary to common misconception, residents of Puerto Rico do pay U.S. federal taxes: import/export taxes, federal commodity taxes, social security taxes, etc. The only exemption is federal income taxes since residents pay federal payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare), as well as Commonwealth of Puerto Rico income taxes. All federal employees, plus those who do business with the federal government, in addition to Puerto Rico-based corporations that intend to send funds to the U.S., and some others also pay federal income taxes.
In addition, an April 2000 CRS report by the Congressional Research Service, asserts that citizens born in Puerto Rico, are legally defined as natural born citizens and are, therefore, also eligible to be elected President, provided they meet qualifications of age and 14 years residence within the United States. According to the CRS report residence in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories and possessions does not qualify as residence within the United States for these purposes.
Article II [of the United States Constitution]
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Article IV [of the United States Constitution]
Section 3. New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.
To call this distinction meaningless in the context of a debate about one of the legal differences between statehood and status as unincorporated insular area is either disingenuous in the extreme or just uninformed.
Clearly, this is of vital importance for our nation. The balance of federal vs. state power would be at risk if we allowed territories both all the rights and privileges afforded to the individual states but not the limitations on their sovereignty that the states are subjected to.
In a post-colonial world, the status of the inhabited unincorporated territories does indeed appear anachronistic and undemocratic.
However, we cannot risk our Union by extending rights to try to compensate for colonialism without demanding equal status for these areas. They should be allowed to choose for themselves whether full incorporation with the United States is what they want – to put themselves on the path to statehood and full enfranchisement – or whether they prefer a move towards independence.
This debate is not about the legal differences between statehood statuses. My opponent would like to change the wording of our moderator’s chosen debate to aide his own victory. This debate It is about whether these people should be allowed to vote, not about statehood.
My argument is that any people, regardless of land or government status have the right to vote for their own leader.
You have said, “[T]he ability to vote for head of state exists by a higher moral and ethical authority.”
Socratic Question 1: what support can you offer for this statement?
Socratic Question 2: is direct popular vote the only moral and ethical means to elect a head of state?
The people of the insular areas under debate exist under circumstances which my own opponent has called “undemocratic” within this very debate.
We have made a unified consensus here that these areas have an undemocratic system where a Head-Of-State is imposed without the opportunity to vote within those very elections.
Initially I was perplexed with ADB feeling the need to redefine the topic, specifically this part:
I would like to point out that the debate is not about whether or not the citizens of these areas should be allowed to vote in U.S. Presidential elections: it is about whether the citizens of U.S. Territories (by which I assume the debate topic author meant specifically the Insular Areas listed) should participate in this process while their current status as unincorporated territories is preserved.
I also found that ADB spent far too much time on commentary about what ASI was trying to convey and far too little on his own representation of the topic.
ASI seemed to lose energy at the end, and that is sad as I had ASI strongly in the lead up to that point. Brevity is one thing, but not fully addressing your opponent is death to a debate.
While I found ADB to be verbose without real structure, ASI’s lack of response and formulation at the very end sealed the deal.
americandingbat wins by a hair
A rather interesting debate to judge. Both fighters made there stances quite clear from the start and both stuck to their position well with out giving too much ground.
Therefore, it was by strength of argument that i chose the winner for this debate, as neither really dominated the other fighter nor relinquished any ground in there side.
ASI used a tactic that I expected and based his argument on what is morally and ethically right for people, regardless of what current law states. He rightfully pointed out that many laws have been overturned or repealed due to them becoming outdated and to be found immoral and unethical. I did find his argument a little lacking in substance. He needed some more than just it is immoral and unethical. Historical precedence may have been something he looked into. I was also a little disappointed he didn't follow the taxation without representation line as it seemed a logical one.
ADB relied heavily on the difference between incorporated and unincorporated territories to base her argument on. She did well in the rebuttals of her opponents stance and showed some examples of different places, such as Hawaii and the Marshall Islands and the paths they chose in regards to their relationship to the US. When ASI did touch on the taxation without representation point, she easily refuted it.
Overall, great debate but I found in favour of americandingbat.