Subaru Forester - Catalytic Converter

In Taos, NM, no auto emissions testing is required. (We’re distant from urban areas.) My mechanic recommends removing the catalytic converter on my 1998 Forester with 175K mi. to improve power. He claims hydro-carbon emissions, because the converter has exceeded its useful life, will be no greater without it than currently with it. Is it true power will increase (all things being equal), and that there will be no increase in emissions? Is it legal and/or ethical anyway? Replacing the converter would probably cost more than the car is worth.

because the converter has exceeded its useful life,
Please explain. Was there a P0420 Code? Is it clogged, rusted through? I personally would have no qualms removing it, but remember if you do that the CEL will never turn off, and you won't get any warning of any new problems.

I would have no qualms either in removing the converter if it was plugged up. If it’s not…leave it where it is.