Archive for the ‘Gobierno o politica publica’ Category

President Trump State of the Union Address 2018

January 31, 2018

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Time to make Puerto Rico the 51st state.

January 24, 2018

Puerto Rico has become a colonial ghetto. Time to make it the 51st state.

Pedro Rossello, Opinion contributor Published Jan. 23, 2018 / USA TODAY

Former governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Rossello, comments on the effort seeking to request statehood for the island.

Longest-held territory in U.S. history remains a blemish in the American credo of democracy.

Following back-to-back destruction by two of the most powerful hurricanes in recent history, Puerto Rico has been dramatically present in national news. One prominent element of the coverage has been the recognition that Puerto Ricans are natural-born U.S. citizens. Another salient aspect of mainstream news media communications has been the delayed, inadequate and ultimately unfair treatment afforded these citizens at this tragic hour — solely based on where they live.

In the years after the U.S. acquired Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898, following an invasion of U.S. troops during the Spanish-American War, the political conditions and the civil rights of residents have been defined by a series of federal Supreme Court decisions, known as the Insular Cases, legalizing their unequal treatment.

The most notable of the six decisions came in 1901, stating that while in an international sense Puerto Rico was not a foreign country — since it was subject to the sovereignty of and was owned by the United States — it was considered foreign to the U.S. itself.

And the case in 1922, which determined Puerto Rico to be a jurisdiction in which no U.S. citizen could lay claim to all the protections afforded by the Constitution. Regardless of where they may have been born, it held that U.S. citizens automatically lost certain fundamental rights if they opted to live in Puerto Rico.

Notwithstanding this legal construct, Congress granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans in 1917. Under federal statute, Puerto Ricans became and are now natural-born U.S. citizens, but with a caveat: Citizenship comes with limited rights compared with those of other U.S. citizens. Among those: The right to vote in national elections, the right to have voting representation in Congress, the right to participate equally in federal health programs such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and others as long as they, or any other Americans, live on the island. The law established a colonial ghetto.

The U.S. tricks the U.N. into keeping a colony

In the mid-20th century, the United Nations adopted a resolution to grant independence to colonial countries and peoples. But by then, the Puerto Rico and U.S. governments had already colluded to remove Puerto Rico from the U.S. list of non-autonomous governments, thus pretending that colonialism on the island had been eradicated.
Today, this longest-held territory in U.S. history remains a blemish in the American credo of democracy.

Status limbo permeates every aspect of life in the island

This civil limbo engenders an egregious and unfair social and economic treatment of American citizens. This inequality includes discriminatory considerations under many federal laws in such fundamental areas as education, health care, infrastructure and economic development. The recently adopted federal tax reform is a dramatic reaffirmation of how this unequal, discriminatory policy seriously hampers the possibilities of economic recovery, following more than a decade of depression.

One of the defining elements in a ghetto is the community’s lack of power. Poverty, in its broad meaning, cannot be merely conceived as a low-income level but rather as a state of powerlessness. After nearly 12 decades of unequal treatment under the aegis of the U.S. Congress, it is time for this last remnant of U.S. imperial rule to be banished to the annals of history.

The people of Puerto Rico have clearly opted for statehood twice in the past five years in open, free and fair plebiscites.

The federal government must acknowledge its responsibility in this shameful situation and proceed to redress more than a century of unequal treatment of the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. It is time for the U.S. to return to its traditional values as a republic, and renounce its obsolete colonial doctrine by admitting the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico as equal participants with the rest of their fellow citizens in all the states.

As former U.S. attorney general Richard Thornburgh asserts: “Puerto Rico is the last American territory meeting historical criteria for admission to statehood.”

Dr. Pedro Rosselló is a two-term former governor of Puerto Rico (1993-2001). He serves as chairman of the Puerto Rico Shadow Congressional Delegation. He holds a master’s in public health, a doctorate in medicine and a doctorate in education. He is also the father of the current governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló.

USA TODAY

Puerto Rico launches vocal bid for statehood

January 11, 2018

Puerto Rico launches vocal bid for statehood
Hall of Fame catcher Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez part of ‘shadow’ delegation

By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times – Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Weary of their “colonial” status, a delegation of Puerto Ricans marched on Capitol Hill Wednesday to demand statehood, saying the island territory pays taxes and serves in the military but is being short-changed by federal programs and lacks the political clout to recover from crises like Hurricane Maria.

Governor Ricardo Rosselló said the storm recovery underscored the island’s lack of congressional voting power — until now, many Americans didn’t know that Puerto Ricans were U.S. citizens — as it lobbies for its fair share of hurricane relief funding, alongside Florida and Texas.

“This is the civil rights issue of this time,” Mr. Rosselló said. “It is inconceivable in the 21st century to have the greatest democracy in the world have a colonial territory.”

Mr. Rosselló said there is no excuse for Congress not to grant actual representation to the island.

A whopping 97 percent of the island’s voters supported statehood last year, up from 61 percent in a 2012 vote, and the platforms of both political parties have supported greater representation for Puerto Rico.

Like D.C. and other territories, Puerto Rico’s delegate to Congress — Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón — doesn’t wield an actual vote on legislation.

Former Puerto Rico Gov. Carlos Romero Barceló and Republican committeewoman Zoraida Fonalledas were named as “shadow” senators on Wednesday, while Hall of Fame baseball catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez headlines a cast of five House representatives that will press members of Congress on statehood.

The delegation said they will lobby on behalf of the 3.4 million Puerto Ricans until they get an admissions bill from Congress that clears the way for a binding vote back home to become the 51st state.

“We will not be passive actors in this effort,” Mr. Rosselló said.
Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S. in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War. And while islanders gained U.S. citizenship almost two decades later, island leaders say the federal government still acts like a colonial overlord.

It imposed a fiscal control board to straighten out its debt crisis, and unlike in the states, its Medicaid program is capped, making it difficult to deal with crises like the Zika virus.

Yet the uneven response to Hurricane Maria brought things to a head. Much of the island is still without power, nearly four months after the storm hit, and media investigations suggest the death toll has topped 1,000, even though the official toll is fewer than 70.

“Whether pegging it to recovery money or pegging it to fiscal reform, I do believe there is a higher consciousness” of Puerto Rico’s plight, Mr. Rosselló said.

President Trump said the storm’s effects were exacerbated by crumbling infrastructure on the island. He shot paper towels into the crowd like a basketball player on the foul line during a post-storm visit to the island, causing critics to question his commitment to the recovery.

Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican and Latino activist named to the shadow House delegation, said some people appear to be using Puerto Rico’s plight just to bash Mr. Trump, when the island’s status is the real problem.

Statehood would put the island on equal footing with states that can tap pots of emergency funding and health care dollars, he said.

Others said prejudice was to blame.

Mr. Barcelo said if Puerto Rico were an island of Irishmen instead of Spanish-speakers, “We probably would have been a state long ago.”

Mensaje de Doña Miriam Ramirez

December 23, 2017

Mensaje de Doña Miriam Ramirez:

“Lo bueno de la Reforma Contributiva Federal para Puerto Rico fue que se acabó el mantengo corporativo, ya Puerto Rico no es un paraiso fiscal para ninguna empresa estadounidense. La nueva reforma eliminó el deseo de todas esas fábricas y farmaceuticas poderosas que gastaban millones en cabilderos para que Puerto Rico se quedara como colonia y paraiso fiscal, porque les convenía contributivamente. Ahora no van a cabildear en contra de la Estadidad, porque ya no tienen esos incentivos que explotaban a Puerto Rico.

Hoy Puerto Rico está más cerca de la Estadidad que nunca, porque con esa Reforma Contributiva Federal eliminamos a los principales aliados de la colonia, que son los principales aliados del PPD. Eso fue el gran logro histórico del Partido Republicano para Puerto Rico. Fue una pena que el PNP no fuera unido al Congreso a exigir que la Isla fuera considerada territorio domestico estadounidense, pero esa lucha la vamos a llevar a cabo en los próximos meses. Tan pronto Puerto Rico entre a ser parte de ese sistema tributario como territorio doméstico de los EE.UU., que lo vamos a lograr con una enmienda, ese es el día que va a nacer el derecho irrefutable de todos los ciudadanos americanos que viven en Puerto Rico a votar por el Presidente, el derecho a tener representantes en el Congreso y a exigir la Estadidad. Si aportamos al fisco federal en igualdad, la Estadidad se convierte en obligación”

President Trump signs GOP tax bill in the Oval Office

December 22, 2017

Remarks by President Trump on Tax cuts and Jobs bill Passage

December 21, 2017

What the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ means for you

December 20, 2017

Congress votes on tax bill: What the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ means for you

Final GOP tax bill: What’s in and What’s out

GOP lawmakers gear up to vote on massive tax reform: From child credits to corporate tax, here’s what’s in and what’s out.
After being forced to vote a second time on the sweeping tax reform package due to last minute revisions, the House gave its final stamp of approval to the bill on Wednesday.
The bill passed in the House in a 224 to 201 vote. Early Wednesday morning, the Senate approved the massive tax reform bill with a 51 to 48 vote.
Congress will now send the $1.5 trillion package to President Trump’s desk.

If all goes as planned, Trump is expected to sign the bill, formally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, before Christmas.
In the meantime, here are the key takeaways of the tax bill.

Do corporations get a big tax cut?

Yes. The new bill lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.

How does it impact my personal income tax?
The bill keeps the seven tax brackets while reducing the rates for five of them. The new rates start at 10 percent and rise to 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 37 percent.
The highest rate — 37 percent — applies to individuals whose income exceeds $500,000. For joint filers, the threshold is $600,000. This rate is being lowered from 39.6 percent.

Will I still be penalized if I don’t have health insurance?
No. Starting in 2019, the new legislation eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

What about the alternative minimum tax rate (AMT) ?
The alternative minimum tax rate is essentially a secondary tax on the wealthy; put in place to offset the benefits a person with a high income could receive. The new bill eliminated the AMT for corporations, but keeps it for individuals. It raises the exemption to $500,000 for single taxpayers and $1 million for couples.

How does the new bill affect the child tax credit?
Under the new bill, taxpayers can claim $2,000 credit for each qualifying child under the age of 17. The tax credit applies to single filers and married couples, and is fully refundable up to $1,400.

And what about estate taxes?
The new bill keeps the estate tax at 40 percent but doubles the exemption levels — which are currently at $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for married couples.

What about my state and local tax deductions, or SALT?

Rep. Roskam: Great deal of unanimity in House on tax bill
Under the finalized bill, families can deduct up to a total of $10,000 in local property and state and local income taxes.

What if I want to buy a new home?
For new homebuyers, the mortgage-interest rate deduction will be available for mortgages up to $750,000. That’s down from $1 million.

How are pass-through provisions affected?
Pass-through businesses are typically sole proprietorships, joint ventures, limited liability companies and S corporations. They are not taxed as corporations. Instead, the profits from these business are counted in the owners’ personal tax returns.
The finalized bill gives businesses a 20 percent deduction for the first $315,000 of joint income.

What if I have student loans? And what about medical expense deductions?
The new tax bill keeps the current deductions for student loan interest. Additionally, the tuition waivers that are received by graduate students will remain tax free.
If you have expensive medical bills, this portion of the bill could be beneficial to you. The legislation allows taxpayers to deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent their adjusted gross income.

Fox News’ Madeline Farber, Sam Chamberlain and Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.

Prevalece trato de foránea con tributación de 12.5%

December 15, 2017

El personal de la oficina del presidente de la Cámara de Representantes federal, Paul Ryan, le confirmó anoche a la comisionada residente Jenniffer González que el comité de conferencia para la reforma contributiva federal no logró llegar a un acuerdo sobre Puerto Rico, por lo que a la Isla le aplicará el mismo impuesto que a cualquier jurisdicción foránea.

Se trata de la tributación de 12.5% sobre los ingresos que se le atribuyen a bienes intangibles como marcas y patentes generados en el exterior, que disponía le versión del Senado federal y que prevaleció sobre el arbitrio de 20% en las compras de inventario y servicios por compañías relacionadas en Estados Unidos que disponía el proyecto de la Cámara federal.

“Significa que a Puerto Rico lo trataron igual que al resto de los países y esto nos va a llevar a otra pregunta: o decidimos convertirnos en estado o nos convertimos en una república. Creo que este proyecto definitivamente abrió esa puerta: que no puede haber un término medio”, comentó la comisionada tras enterarse de la noticia.

En comité de conferencia se eliminó también todo lenguaje que había sido aprobado por la Cámara federal con relación a Puerto Rico tanto para el reembolso del arbitrio del ron, para mantener la deducción del 9% del ingreso tributable que se deriva de actividades de producción (bajo la sección 199 del Código de Rentas Internas federal) y extender el crédito contributivo por el primer y segundo hijo a los residentes de Puerto Rico que cualifiquen.

“Si nosotros hubiéramos tenidos dos senadores no estuviéramos hablando de nada de esto, porque hubiéramos tenido el poder político para lograrlo. Me enfoqué en la Cámara y lamentablemente el Senado federal fue el que tomó estas decisiones”, mencionó González, con expresa frustración.

El presidente del Comité de Finanzas del Senado federal, Orrin Hatch, “siempre dijo que no quería hacer nada de Puerto Rico en este proyecto; él siempre dijo que a Puerto Rico lo iban a atender en un proyecto separado”, recordó González.

Precisamente, el presidente de la Asociación de Contratistas de Puerto Rico, Ricardo Álvarez Díaz, indicó a EL VOCERO que “el apetito preliminar es atender la situación de Puerto Rico como un caso aparte, no en este reforma”. Advirtió que esperar a que el Congreso actúe sobre la Isla antes de febrero -cuando entra en vigencia el nuevo código contributivo- creará incertidumbre y podrá potenciar la salida de las farmacéuticas.
Incluyen zonas de inversión

Por otro lado, el presidente de la Comisión de Medios y Arbitrios de la Cámara, Kevin Brady, le confirmó también a la comisionada que en la reforma contributiva federal se incluirá lenguaje para establecer zonas de inversión en Puerto Rico, aunque el porcentaje de los incentivos aún le son desconocidos.

González había confesado horas antes, en entrevista con EL VOCERO, estar cabildeando para que ocurra un cambio jurisdiccional a doméstico dentro de un período de transición de diez años, cuando venza la designación de “zona”. Esto implicaría que las compañías tengan que pagar contribuciones sobre ingresos al Servicios de Rentas Internas federal con una tasa fija de hasta 20%, igual que los estados.

En cuanto al crédito que se establezca mediante las zonas de inversión o apoderamiento, González había propuesto un 40% a ser reembolsado por cada salario de empleados nuevos, pero dejó saber que aún no se había acordado un porcentaje.

Los industriales y otros representantes del sector privado habían sido claros de que este tipo de crédito es insuficiente para contrarrestar un impuesto nuevo a las corporaciones foráneas. Se discutía, por lo tanto, fijar una tasa diferenciada para Puerto Rico. La comisionada reveló recientemente a este diario que apoyaba una tasa de 5%, algo que también han escuchado hablar miembros del Frente por Puerto Rico en las oficinas congresionales visitadas.

“El gobernador no tiene ningún otro escenario que no sea la exención total… Yo tengo que buscar escenarios, que sean reales”, había expresado González, quien reconoció que ha planteado opciones distintas conforme avanzaban las discusiones con el liderato republicano. “He estado hablando un abanico de opciones a lo largo de este mes, dependiendo del proceso de negociación”, aceptó.

En cuanto a la actividad del domingo donde se anunció un supuesto consenso entre los oficiales elegidos del Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP), González explicó que tanto el gobernador Ricardo Rosselló como ella hicieron una presentación a los alcaldes y legisladores. En su caso, habló de las alternativas que estaba manejando, mientras el mandatario se reiteró en la exclusión total. “Ambos coincidimos que un 20% es demoledor para la economía”, se limitó a mencionar.
Habla el sector privado

Álvarez Díaz informó a este diario que con el apoyo de la National Home Builders Association, a la cual están afiliados, habían estado impulsando que se adopte un ‘grandfather clause’, es decir que a las compañías que ya están aquí se les exima del impuesto y a las nuevas compañías se les dé una dispensa por diez años mediante la designación de las zonas de inversión.
Sostuvo que esto último se ha hecho anteriormente en el estado de Michigan.

House, Senate leaders reach deal on tax package

December 13, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate GOP leaders forged an agreement Wednesday on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws, paving the way for final votes next week to slash taxes for businesses, give many Americans modest cuts and deliver the first major legislative accomplishment to President Donald Trump.
Top GOP aides said lawmakers had reached an agreement in principle on the final package. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about private negotiations.
The broad parameters of the deal call for cutting the top tax rate for the wealthy from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, slashing the corporate rate to 21 percent and allowing homeowners to deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage.

One congressional aide said the deal was contingent on whether late changes to the bill still complied with budget rules adopted by both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers were waiting to hear back from analysts at the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
The final House-Senate compromise is on track to be unveiled this week, the aides said.
Asked if there is a deal in principle on the tax cuts, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, “It’s more than that. I think we’ve got a pretty good deal.”
The measure would give Trump his first major victory in Congress. It fulfills a longstanding goal by top Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to rewrite the loophole-cluttered tax code.
As Trump met with lawmakers at the White House, he said they were getting “very, very close to a historic legislative victory.”
The measure has come under assault by Democrats who say it is unfairly tilted in favor of business and the wealthy.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Wednesday GOP leaders should pump the brakes on taxes and delay a final vote until Sen.-elect Doug Jones, D-Ala., is sworn in.
“It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving the newly elected senator from Alabama the opportunity to cast his vote,” Schumer told reporters. “That’s exactly what Republicans argued when (former Massachusetts GOP Sen.) Scott Brown was elected in 2010.”
Back then, the issue was a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system that Democrats muscled through Congress in March 2010.
Trump was making a pitch Wednesday for the tax plan, which is unpopular with many. He will offer what aides called a “closing argument to the American people.” Trump planned to deliver the speech from the Grand Foyer, the entrance of the White House mansion, laying out how the tax changes would specifically benefit the middle-class families in attendance from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Washington state.
The speech comes as the White House has sought to push back against polling suggesting the public views the plan as heavily tilted toward corporations and wealthy Americans. Trump has asserted that the plan will lower tax rates for individuals and spur job growth, helping American families.
The total amount of tax breaks in the legislation cannot exceed $1.5 trillion over the next decade, under budget rules adopted by the House and Senate. The legislation would add billions to the $20 trillion national debt.
Once the plan is signed into law, workers could start seeing changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks early next year, lawmakers said — though taxpayers won’t file their 2018 returns until the following year.
In a flurry of last-minute changes, negotiators agreed to cut the top tax rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 37 percent in a windfall for the richest Americans. The reduction is certain to provide ammunition for Democrats who complain that the tax package is a massive giveaway to corporations and the rich.
The top tax rate currently applies to income above $470,000 for married couples, though lawmakers are completely reworking the tax brackets.
House and Senate negotiators agreed to expand a deduction for state and local taxes to allow individuals to deduct income taxes as well as property taxes. The deduction is valuable to residents in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California.
Both the House and Senate bills would have scaled back the deduction for state and local taxes, limiting it to $10,000 in property taxes.
Negotiators also agreed to set the corporate income tax rate at 21 percent. Both the House bill and the Senate bill would have lowered the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
Business and conservative groups lobbied hard for the 20 percent corporate rate. Negotiators agreed to bump it up to 21 percent to help offset revenue losses from other tax breaks, the aides said.
Among the other tax breaks, negotiators agreed to eliminate the alternative minimum tax for corporations, a big sticking point for the business community, the aides said. They also agreed to let homeowners deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage, down from the current limit of $1 million.
The provision would not affect current mortgages.
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Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

President Trump and Puerto Rico Governor Rossello speak in the Oval Office

October 20, 2017