(c) 2012 by Tom King
In Texas we keep most of our liberals in Houston and Dallas. There are some scattered through the woods in East Texas, but they're pretty thin on the ground elsewhere. One of them poo-poo'ed the whole idea in a letter to the editor of the Ft,. Worth Star Telegram. He called the petition to secede "a joke".
"How," Mr. Forsythe opines, "Would proponents of secession suggest we handle and/or fund: national defense matters, mail service, freeway maintenance and repairs, military veterans' programs and border security?"
I had to wonder if he was joking. I mean really.
Funding: Simply moving the taxes we pay to Washington back to the state of Texas. What we save on Washington bureaucracy alone will more than fund everything Mr. Forsythe is worried about.
National Defense: We're the 15th largest economy in the world. We make nuclear weapons so we'd be a nuclear power and no one would mess with us. A lot of federal troops would stay in place. We are quite capable of making our own weapons. We already do. Lockheed Martin already builds military aircraft here. Vought Corporation, Bell Helicopter and other defense industries are located here. We'd have all the equipment we need and some very fine military bases.
Mail Service: Contract it out to FedEx and UPS. It'll run better and probably cost us less in the long run. I'm sure they could ramp up to handle it in a hurry. Lease them the empty post offices.
Freeway Maintenance and Repair: As to highway maintenance, Texas is a tax donor state. That means we pay out more than we get back. We'd actually have more money for highways if we pulled out of the USDOT, because Texas taxes wouldn't be supporting Rhode Island and Ohio roads.
Military Veterans Programs: Texas has some of the finest medical systems in the world. Military hospitals here like the burn unit in San Antonio would do just find. We have our own medical schools here for training medical personnel. Again, Texas pays more taxes into federal military programs than come back to the state. Financially, we'd have more money and plenty of folks to contract the work out to.
Border Security: This guy has got to be kidding. The governor has been pestering the Obama administration for more border security for years and getting nothing. Not only that, but like Arizona, Texas is virtually prohibited from taking care of it ourselves. With Texas troops back home from overseas US bases, we could close up the border nice and tight.
The one particularly telling thing Mr. Forsythe is worried about is his social security check. I wonder how much more social security funds we'd have available for Texans if the state's social security funds weren't in the hole when we started. There's no reason social security funds that people are already paying couldn't go to a state social security program.
The Economy: We produce more energy than we use. We could open up offshore oil fields, join OPEC and all sorts of fun things. We already have a burgeoning space exploration industry. We have seaports, huge agricultural and technology industries. We wouldn't do badly on our own. Lopping off the burden of a bloated bureaucracy and the care and feeding of several dozen welfare states from the Texas economy would certainly turn loose the engine of Texas business and industry. Outside companies would flock to Texas like they do to any healthy business environment. We'd have the advantage of every other country in the world because We're essentially American. No cultural surprises or unstable government in Texas.
Forsythe also complained that he'd need a passport to visit some out of state casinos. That's just all kind of stupid. If you need to gamble our Indian Reservations would be happy to oblige you. If you need to go to Shreveport or Las Vegas, I bet you could get yourself a passport. I don't expect it would be that hard.
This isn't 1860. Texas could take care of itself quite well and with television, the spectacle of federal troops trying to keep this state in the Union by force would be played out on the nightly news - not something the American public is prepared for.
If Texas did it, I bet we could take Oklahoma, North Dakota and Alaska with us - probably pick up most of the plains states too. We could finish the Keystone Pipeline and put in place an energy policy that would allow us to exploit the rest of the US like Saudi Arabia exploits us.
Why We Talk About It:
Secession won't happen, of course, unless things get really bad, but I believe we have to talk about it just to keep from going nuts. It's like those psychological experiments where they jolted rats with electricity at random. Some of the rats they gave a button to that would stop the current. At first the rats would shut off the current every time by pressing the button. After a while, they just endured the shocks, knowing they could shut them off at any time by pressing the button. They got to where they could put up with the electric shocks and go on about their business.
Significantly, the rats that had no control button to push, went psychotic. Some simply curled up in the corner and lost interest in anything.
We may be rats as far as the Obama administration is concerned, but we are rats with a firm knowledge of just where the button is and how to push it. It helps us put up with the nonsense and it would do the folks in Washington well to remember that.
I'm just sayin'