Puerto Rico: Unexpectedly Hilarious Gifts From YouTube
HT: Joseph Blocher & Rich Schmalbeck
Joseph Blocher and I were talking to our tax guru friend and colleague, Rich Schmalbeck, yesterday about the provisions in the new tax bill relating to Puerto Rico and, specifically, how it was that the Puerto Rico could be treated as "foreign" for certain purposes (e.g., taxes on intellectual property). The context being that these taxes will likely cause some employers to move operations from Puerto Rico to the mainland or elsewhere, thereby worsening the economic crisis on the island. The answer, best we can tell, goes back to the horribly racist Insular Cases from the early 1900s that allow for Puerto Rico to be treated as "foreign in a domestic sense" (i.e, not on its way to incorporation into the United States - and therefore not worthy of full constitutional protections) -- something that Joseph and I have been railing about (here).
During that conversation, Rich asked us whether we remembered a tourism jingle that ended with "Puerto Rico -- a vacation . . . that lasts a lifetime . . . " So, of course, Joseph and I went looking for it on YouTube (Rich has a brilliant sense of humor and we knew that we'd laugh if we could find it) . . . we didn't find it (still searching though), but we found a truly hilarious (unofficial, surely) government video touching on many of our favorite topics (debt, colonialism). For my friends who work on Puerto Rican debt -- this will make you laugh as well, I think -- the video is here
Of course, going down that the YouTube path, takes one back to John Oliver's hilarious riff on the second class status of Puerto Rico, here
And if you watch that, you get taken to this one on the territories.
And then this (the Trump response to Hurricane Maria). For this one, all I can say is Aiyiyiyiyi
John Oliver is able to do harsh social commentary and humor in a way few others can.
And now, I'm watching cat videos.