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Columnist: Texas economy could not survive secession

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Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:39 pm

There’s a petition going around calling for Texas to secede from the United States. It has more than 100,000 signatures and was started by a UTA student. Rather than just agreeing with online comments saying that “this is a disgrace” and “a terrible idea,” let’s go through just exactly how Texas would be able to thrive on its own and the requirements to do so.

First off, let’s talk money. Texas netted about $94 billion last year in revenue and spent about $95 billion. So before we even get into the cost of starting federal programs to replace the ones we would inevitably lose, we’re already at a deficit of a billion dollars.

Even more, we’re the largest funding stream from Washington in the United States. So not only are we deficit spending in our state, we’re already relying on more than $40 billion from the federal government to stay afloat. 

Most of this funding was sent to pay for the federal programs such as Medicaid, something we’d have to start. Angry about the tax increases over the past few years? That’s child’s play in comparison to what would come if Texas seceded. Fort Hood would shut down because it’s a section of the U.S. military, costing Texas about $4 billion.

We’d need to arm a military, which in 2011 cost the U.S. $928 billion. We would also need some form of health care, some sort of disaster relief, a postal service, welfare, social security, FDA, CIA, FBI — the list goes on. 

Theoretically adding up all these starting costs would be well over a trillion dollars, and that’s just start-up costs. Add in deficit spending for every possible year for quite some time and that national deficit we have now sure doesn’t look all that bad.

Mentioned earlier was the need for armed forces funding. Assuming we’re allowed the “peaceful secession” mentioned in the petition, we still need a national defense from the dozens of other superpowers that would love to jump at the opportunity to take over another territory that is no longer under the protection of the United States.

At least Texas would be a conservative haven though, right? How about that 2020 projection that just about every analyst has predicted, when the Latino population of Texas outnumbers the Anglo? 

Adding in the election demographics, where the Latino population favored Barack Obama 71 percent to 27 percent, maybe the United State of Texas wouldn’t be that conservative any more. 

What’s more, political analyst Nate Silver projected that had Texas seceded before the 2008 election, Barack Obama would have won the electoral vote by 242 votes. The senate would be dominated by Democrats, holding 60 of the 98 seats. Still think secession is a good course of action?

Despite being incredibly in debt, practically handing over the government of the United States to the Democratic Party and the risk of invasion by other foreign threats, let’s add in that we need to start our own government. 

Gov. Rick Perry, the would-be fearless leader of the Republic of Texas (at least he was ready to be back in 2009), doesn’t support the secession movement. So we’d need to elect a leader, decide how that works, assign whether our government would be based off the United States or an entirely different system, decide the future capital — since there’s already talk of Austin remaining a part of the union — and do all of this before we encounter more unforeseen problems.

Let’s remember the United States had to completely revise its government after the immense failure of the Articles of Confederation, and that’s when the nation at least had a source of revenue.

Secession is always a popular topic in the year after an election, right after the, “I’m moving to Canada” tweets and “It’s the end of the world” predictions. Let’s remember how impossible it would be to successfully secede from the U.S. and the incredible backlash we’d experience from it. 

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  • gjalan posted at 2:44 am on Thu, Oct 23, 2014.

    gjalan Posts: 3

    You can check out court records online if you want to teach yourself how the law works or if you have a problem that you don't know how to present to your lawyer. You can find anything online these days and law is a subject that everyone should have in their feed.

  • DexterM posted at 7:38 am on Wed, Oct 22, 2014.

    DexterM Posts: 3

    Fortunately, the economic crisis has ended and as seen on many firms took a lot of precautions and held back on taking useless risks when it comes to investments. On the long run, many took very seriously this matter and talked to several professionals, including lawyers, accountants and advisers.

  • Dave Mundy posted at 3:09 pm on Tue, Nov 27, 2012.

    Dave Mundy Posts: 2

    Well Jack ,,, nice repetition of the talking points from the misinformed. Perhaps you should actually speak to some of us in the Texas Nationalist Movement -- an organization which has been around since 1996. We didn't spring up overnight under Barack Obama. We've been at this through Clinton and Bush, too. And we'll be happy to discuss every question you raise.
    Oh, by the way ... what makes you think a Latino majority in Texas would automatically make it a liberal state or nation? Perhaps you should quiz some Tejanos, as we have. I think you'd be surprised.

  • Dave Mundy posted at 3:03 pm on Tue, Nov 27, 2012.

    Dave Mundy Posts: 2

    We'd love to work with others, kid. But every time we "compromise" and work with you, you take more. Our line in the sand has been drawn.

  • BC posted at 8:28 am on Tue, Nov 27, 2012.

    BC Posts: 1

    "We’d need to arm a military, which in 2011 cost the U.S. $928 billion. We would also need some form of health care, some sort of disaster relief, a postal service, welfare, social security, FDA, CIA, FBI — the list goes on. "

    Why would they need all of those things? Why would they need an FBI, CIA, FDA, welfare, Social Security and what not? All of those things are a drain on the Tax Payers dollars now.

    A smart Business person started UPS, FEd Ex and such, another could invest and start their postal service.

    Many of those things you mention wouldn't have to be required, ie: welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the like..which would save the people money where they could afford to pay for their own medical and save for their own retirement.

  • bigchief posted at 9:31 am on Thu, Nov 22, 2012.

    bigchief Posts: 4

    COMMON GROUND, my thoughts exactly. I've found it impossible to compromise my views enough to find common ground with democrats. I'm not a "bible totin'" republican, but I can actually come to an agreement on some issues with them. I support freedom and independence, but I'm not a religious person, so I tend to disagree with republicans on a lot of things based on that.

  • Common Sense posted at 10:40 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    I was thinking the same thing about it being win win. Haha.

    The only reason I can think of for progressives not wanting Texas to leave is that they'd hate to lose the host they are suckling at.

  • Common Sense posted at 10:34 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    You have to have a common ground first! Besides this government wasn't set up to function like a machine. Gridlock and checks and balances were meant to be the shackles upon an out of control government. Of course you wouldnt know anything about that uh?

  • crewoldt posted at 9:57 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    crewoldt Posts: 8

    Another dumb idea cooked up by the right in the spirit of separatism and exclusion. Hey, I've got an idea-learn to work with others.

  • Bubba posted at 7:41 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Bubba Posts: 1

    If I use your credit card and charge up $1,000, then give you back $500, am I really doing you a favor? That is what the Federal government is doing for Texas. Do you realize our [debt/population] already yields $56,000 of debt per man, woman and child? Do you really think borrowing $1+ trillion a year and getting a yield of 2.5% GDP growth is a good deal? Its not. Do you really think borrowing $1+ trillion a year is a sustainable economic policy? If you do, just look across the ocean to Europe and see how its working out for them. Therefore, the real topic should be "the Texas economy cannot survive being hitched to a spendthrift US congress".

    Peaceful secession is the key. Texas secession should be a popular idea for Republicans and Democrats alike. If Texas was gone, all US presidents thereafter would (most likely) be Democrats. Sacrificing Texas for continuous single party Democratic rule might be appealing to the liberals. The Democrats don't want to waste the next four years in congressional gridlock when they could have just said goodbye to Texas and moved the nation "forward".

    Conservatives want a place to escape from liberal policies like: government health care, 2-years of unemployment insurance, cap-and-trade carbon taxes, income redistribution, global warming, and crony capitalism like Solyndra.

    Texas secession can be a win-win opportunity for all Americans. I'm not saying its legal at all, but everyone just might allow it to happen once they see the mutual benefits. Additionally, post-secession TX-US relations should be warm and friendly like the US and Canada.

  • Common Sense posted at 6:56 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    You speak with too much reason and logic.

    I like that.

  • bigchief posted at 6:26 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    bigchief Posts: 4

    Another thing I'd like to add, Once Texas seceded, why would they care if the U.S. was dominated by the democratic party. And the projections of the 2020 Latino population is a result of terrible border control, another concern that I'm quite sure Texas would address. Also, have you considered the possibility that many of the other people in the country that are fed up with socialism will be moving to Texas while the ones that are no longer entitled to take advantage of our welfare system will be leaving. That would mean more people contributing money to the state and less taking away, so in essence a win win situation.

  • Common Sense posted at 5:30 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    Texas tends to keep many of the federal programs that have been implemented in the state completely seperate from state programs. In the event of sucession, those federal programs would be caput. It would be incumbant on all Texas citizens to help support those who actually needed the federal programs. My guess is that would also stave off the freeloaders in the process as citizens would not likely support freeloaders directly. Just a thought.

  • Common Sense posted at 5:27 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    They'd be stupid if it were anything but gold and silver. However that would have to be addressed. I don't have the solution however before actually seceeding i would, personally, probably start using US dollars to purchase gold and silver for the coming secession and then keep acquiring it after as well. Not quite sure though.

    As far as a name for the currency, call it poop for all I care. Haha

  • bigchief posted at 4:35 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    bigchief Posts: 4

    That's another concern I have, the dollar. What would Texas use as currency and what would they have to back it with?

  • bigchief posted at 4:13 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    bigchief Posts: 4

    I haven't been able to find the current figures that I need to make a clear determination of the financial possibilities, but here's what I have; 2007 Federal revenue vs. Federal spending by state. Texas ranked 9th (with 1st being best) with a net contribution per capita of $2,243. Multiply that by the 2007 population (23,904,380) and you get 53,617,524,340. That's a $53.6 billion surplus without changing taxes or spending habits. Of course, if the state were to secede, they would have to start up their own organizations to take the place of the current federal ones, however, I believe that Texas would do away with a lot of those organizations and therefore cut spending in many areas. Whether or not that would be enough to pay for the start up costs, I have no idea. Like I said there's just too many figures out there that I haven't been able find.

  • Common Sense posted at 4:00 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    Your argument is invalid. You assume we would still be using the dollar which is completely ignorant of you.

    You should go research monetary policies and systems supported by Ron Paul and come back and rewrite your article and it could fix most of your errors, that is, if you absorb what they are saying.

    You also pre-suppose that Texas would need large departments like the FBI, CIA, etc.. and a military the size of the US's.... What your progressive brain/education doesn't understand is THAT is the problem. We need to downsize those aspects of the federal government and that's the whole point for the secession movement. 1) get government spending under control. 2)cut down the SIZE of government.

    Your article, erroneously, pre-supposes we are keeping everything the same size of the god-forsaken country we hope to leave. Your article also erroneously presupposes we agree with keeping a system like Obamacare. Tsk tsk… way to go on understanding what secession is all about.

    Oh wait… I get it…. You don’t understand this and think it’s about Obama being black right?..... *snicker*

  • andinconclusion posted at 11:14 pm on Tue, Nov 20, 2012.

    andinconclusion Posts: 1

    pure poppycock!


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