The benefits to the US of annexing Puerto Rico are a bit more intangible but important nonetheless. The US stands for freedom and democracy around the world yet has a territory with over 4 million citizens with no representation. More Puerto Ricans have died defending this country on a per-capita basis than any other state of the Union (based on figures from the Department of Veterans affairs from several years back), yet we can’t vote for our Commander in Chief. We pay billions in federal taxes (income taxes are not the only taxes collected by the federal government) yet we have no say on how that money is spent. Our condition as a people is inherently unfair, undemocratic, and runs contrary to everything this country stands for. Holding a territory in the 21st century is a blemish on the American character. There is a saying that you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. No matter how much lipstick is put on the “Associated Free State” of Puerto Rico, we are neither associated nor are we free. We are a territory with no representation and no voice in our government. The US can and should do better than that.
This, of course, is just my opinion. 🙂