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Implications of th Secession of Texas

post #1 of 146
Thread Starter 
I like change, so the secession of Texas kind of excites me. I wouldn't live there or anything, I just like changing things up a bit.

- Would other states join them?
- Would there be another civil war?

I would hope that the federal government would let them leave (provided that they were willing to take on their share of the federal debt - $913 billion or so, based on 8.1% of the population, plus their share of social security and medicare unfunded liabilities).

The Republicans would never win another election after that, that is for sure...

If enough states split off, the majority of soldiers in Iraq would be from the Confederate states of America. The northern states would have the crappy US auto makers and the wasteland of Detroit.
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post #2 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I like change, so the secession of Texas kind of excites me. I wouldn't live there or anything, I just like changing things up a bit.

I think change is good too. One of the reasons (aside from I the fact that I think every state has this right and should exercise it if they see a reason to) I would be supportive of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

- Would other states join them?

Possibly. Other potential states might include Wyoming, Idaho, Vermont, Alaska, even New Hampshire.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

- Would there be another civil war?

Probably. The U.S. federal government does like freedom all that much and they like to show who is in charge. Plus they have the weapons of mass destruction to do something about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I would hope that the federal government would let them leave (provided that they were willing to take on their share of the federal debt - $913 billion or so, based on 8.1% of the population, plus their share of social security and medicare unfunded liabilities).

The debt might be one thing. But each state should only agree to the portion of the debt that are truly responsible for (not necessarily based on population. The social security and medicare liabilities are federal liabilities. If the new nation of Texas wishes to provide such social programs to their citizens they would be free do so or not do so as they see fit.

I actually think that the subject of secession is a fascinating one worthy of intelligent discussion and debate. Which, of course, means there won't be.
post #3 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

But each state should only agree to the portion of the debt that are truly responsible for (not necessarily based on population. The social security and medicare liabilities are federal liabilities. If the new nation of Texas wishes to provide such social programs to their citizens they would be free do so or not do so as they see fit.

That would probably work against Texas, particularly if other southern states join them - the southern states are the poorest in the nation, and have used more than their share of entitlement programs no doubt.

They also voted more in favor of the war in Iraq, which added a trillion dollars to the debt.

Your plan would absolutely not work - they would be arguing about it for a hundred years and Texas would never secede.

(note - hay moderators, can you please add the 'e' on the end of the in the title)?
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post #4 of 146
I suspect there would be some way to sort it out. But since the U.S. federal government wouldn't allow them to go peacefully anyway, I suspect all those questions would be sorted out by arms.

That said, Texas is a net tax donor (i.e., overall they pay more taxes to the federal government than they receive.)
post #5 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

That would probably work against Texas, particularly if other southern states join them - the southern states are the poorest in the nation, and have used more than their share of entitlement programs no doubt.
They also voted more in favor of the war in Iraq, which added a trillion dollars to the debt.

I say let them. It would work great considering that(bold) plus the fact that I'm sure they wouldn't be paying much in taxes right? Recipe for success right there.
post #6 of 146
I also consider it an intriguing subject. I believe Texas has the natural resources, industry, and economy to become self-sustainable and pay off its fair share of the national debt. Indeed, so does the U.S. as a whole, but our government has a different agenda.

Secession is certainly constitutional. But as our federal government has long since demonstrated a blatant disregard for the Constitution, a huge issue is whether it (the government) would actually allow Texas to secede.

Several states tried to secede before and that resulted in the Civil War. The abominable practice of slavery was an important part of it--but the main issue being fought over was states' rights.

Would there be an armed conflict over this? I would really like to say no, but I just can't. The current Administration, as well as the previous, have clearly shown that the federal government is out of control and capable of anything.

I do think other states would be inclined to secede along with Texas if it came down to it. The states involuntary_serf mentioned, plus some others others like Utah, and even Arizona (where I live currently).

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #7 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

That said, Texas is a net tax donor (i.e., overall they pay more taxes to the federal government than they receive.)

they are at 0.94, but only when you exclude military spending. Close enough to par for government work - there are plenty of other states that get a lot less from the government:

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post #8 of 146
Vermont and New Hampshire align themselves with Texas? You guys are kidding right?
post #9 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Vermont and New Hampshire align themselves with Texas? You guys are kidding right?

I don't think anyone said they would join Texas in the sense that they would form a new country together. Rather, it's possible they would follow suit and secede if Texas did so.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #10 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I don't think anyone said they would join Texas in the sense that they would form a new country together. Rather, it's possible they would follow suit and secede if Texas did so.

I don't see what's in it for them. They are tiny, don't have the population to maintain their infrastructure without external aide. Their quality of life would decline without external aide. Not to mention they would be wholly dependent on the US for defense and trade. I just don't see it happening. Maybe I'm missing something here.
post #11 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I don't see what's in it for them. They are tiny, don't have the population to maintain their infrastructure without external aide. Their quality of life would decline without external aide. Not to mention they would be wholly dependent on the US for defense and trade. I just don't see it happening. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Any state that secedes from the union would obviously not be doing it expecting any kind of immediate economic advantage.

This is first and foremost a matter of principle. History is replete with examples of just how resourceful and adaptable people can be if they believe in something.

In addition, any free, autonomous state engages in trade with the countries around it. Now I understand that the U.S. could place embargos or sanctions on them, but would Canada follow suit? What about other states that wanted to trade with them? Would they go along with the embargos, or also threaten secession unless the federal government backed off and recognized state sovereignty?

There are obviously a lot of "what-ifs".

Quite fascinating stuff.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #12 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Now I understand that the U.S. could place embargos or sanctions on them, but would Canada follow suit?

Trade embargoes are unlikely, as they typically hurt both parties involved. Also, Canada did not participate in the embargo of Cuba, so they are unlikely to participate in any embargo of Texas.
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post #13 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

they are at 0.94, but only when you exclude military spending. Close enough to par for government work - there are plenty of other states that get a lot less from the government:


That was my source as well. I had recently discovered this report. I found some of the findings a bit surprising.

I was trying to figure out whether or not this included defense spending or not. Are you saying it doesn't? I also couldn't find what was being counted as incoming federal money. There was an argument that this had something to do with demographics as well, as an example if a state has a higher level of social security and medicare recipients vs. social security and medicare payers, is that counted in this? Defense is another big piece of this.

Do you have a link to the original that might answer some of these questions?
post #14 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Any state that secedes from the union would obviously not be doing it expecting any kind of immediate economic advantage.

This is first and foremost a matter of principle. History is replete with examples of just how resourceful and adaptable people can be if they believe in something.

Agreed. While economic issues are likely to be a factor, principle would be the guiding light if any state were to choose this path.

One thing that's interesting is that during the Bush years there was some random rumbling about "blue state" secession by the left.

Another interesting thing I recently read (or heard a podcast...can't recall which) from a historian who suggested that at least some of the founding fathers never imagined this country being this big and actually expected (and mostly supported) the idea of it breaking into smaller pieces.
post #15 of 146
Truth be told, part of the idea of true federalism, where states are treated as independent entities that are bound together more loosely but for some things like defense and trade and so on, the need for secession diminishes because each state could form different governmental levels and burdens and intrusions. If California wants to be mostly socialist, they could, but New Hampshire could choose to be more libertarian. There might be a variety of other mixes of these ideas. People could freely move among the states to those which fit their own personal preferences.
post #16 of 146
Thread Starter 
http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/1397.html

from the table, they are talking about "Discretionary spending". I was wrong, though, about what that is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending

"There are two types of government spending discretionary and mandatory. Discretionary spending, which accounts for roughly one-third of all Federal spending, includes money for things like the Army, FBI, the Coast Guard, and highway projects. Congress explicitly determines how much to spend (or not spend) on these programs on an annual basis. Mandatory spending accounts for two-thirds of all government spending. This kind of spending is authorized by permanent laws. It includes "entitlements" like Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps programs through which individuals receive benefits based on their age, income, or other criteria. Spending levels in these areas are dictated by the number of people who sign up for these benefits, rather than by Congress."

So that 94% does include the military, but does not include entitlements.
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post #17 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

One thing that's interesting is that during the Bush years there was some random rumbling about "blue state" secession by the left.

That was just a few disgruntled people sick of the Bush shenanigans, not actual politicians grandstanding.
post #18 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/1397.html

from the table, they are talking about "Discretionary spending". I was wrong, though, about what that is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending

"There are two types of government spending discretionary and mandatory. Discretionary spending, which accounts for roughly one-third of all Federal spending, includes money for things like the Army, FBI, the Coast Guard, and highway projects. Congress explicitly determines how much to spend (or not spend) on these programs on an annual basis. Mandatory spending accounts for two-thirds of all government spending. This kind of spending is authorized by permanent laws. It includes "entitlements" like Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps programs through which individuals receive benefits based on their age, income, or other criteria. Spending levels in these areas are dictated by the number of people who sign up for these benefits, rather than by Congress."

So that 94% does include the military, but does not include entitlements.

Thanks for the link and the clarification. That helps.
post #19 of 146
Is there a way to add a poll to this thread without creating a new thread?

I think an interesting poll would be:

"Would you support a state seceding from the United States?"

Yes/No/Maybe/Yes-I'd move to that state/No-I'd move out of that state
post #20 of 146
Look up the Free State Project (there are a few of them now) for an even greater indicator of where this is all headed. Yay!

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post #21 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

Is there a way to add a poll to this thread without creating a new thread?

I think an interesting poll would be:

"Would you support a state seceding from the United States?"

Yes/No/Maybe/Yes-I'd move to that state/No-I'd move out of that state

Secession: All the cool kids are doing it.

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post #22 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

Truth be told, part of the idea of true federalism, where states are treated as independent entities that are bound together more loosely but for some things like defense and trade and so on, the need for secession diminishes because each state could form different governmental levels and burdens and intrusions. If California wants to be mostly socialist, they could, but New Hampshire could choose to be more libertarian. There might be a variety of other mixes of these ideas. People could freely move among the states to those which fit their own personal preferences.

Excellent point.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #23 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Secession: All the cool kids are doing it.

Good one! Now we need t-shirts, mugs, etc.
post #24 of 146
I want a t-shirt that says:

Secede to Succeed

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #25 of 146
Could the Blue States Secede?
Is there a legal way to opt out of the Union?
http://www.slate.com/id/2109317/
Quote:
The legal argument, framed eloquently in the 1830 Senate debate between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne, centered on the Constitution: Was it merely a treaty among the many states? Or was it the founding document of a singular country, a compact of the "people" cited in its opening clause? This legal argument, among other things, eventually begat the Civil War, and since it ended, scholars have agreed that the Constitution grants no right of secession.

Legal experts say that the "treaty" interpretation remains dead today, especially since, in the aftermath of the Civil War, the United States adopted the 14th Amendment, which included a definition of national citizenship, something conspicuously absent from the original. (Previously, citizenship had been defined exclusively by the states.) Today, the Supreme Court frowns on states conducting their own foreign policy and even ardent members of states' rights groups agree that the states have no right to withdraw from the Union.

Ain't gonna happen.
post #26 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Could the Blue States Secede?
Is there a legal way to opt out of the Union?
http://www.slate.com/id/2109317/

Ain't gonna happen.

I love it when decisions and opinions of an element of the federal government are used to suggest that a state doesn't have a right to secede. This is analogous to a club where someone decides they no longer want to be a part of the club, and the leader of the club says, "No, you can't leave the club."
post #27 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

I love it when decisions and opinions of an element of the federal government are used to suggest that a state doesn't have a right to secede. This is analogous to a club where someone decides they no longer want to be a part of the club, and the leader of the club says, "No, you can't leave the club."

Depends on the club doesn't it.
post #28 of 146
Couldn't the states just stop paying their "membership dues"?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #29 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Depends on the club doesn't it.

I think it depends more on what the club and club leader are willing to do to the member who says, "I'm leaving anyway."
post #30 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

I think it depends more on what the club and club leader are willing to do to the member who says, "I'm leaving anyway."

Depends on the club doesn't it.
post #31 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by involuntary_serf View Post

I think it depends more on what the club and club leader are willing to do to the member who says, "I'm leaving anyway."

Yes, think of it as captain and crew of a boat. The captain always made the final decision, but he ruled at the will of the crew. He could make a bad decision and be "demoted" with a mutiny.

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post #32 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Yes, think of it as captain and crew of a boat. The captain always made the final decision, but he ruled at the will of the crew. He could make a bad decision and be "demoted" with a mutiny.

I think that's an apt analogy, except I would add that the boat is taking on water, and the sharks are circling.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #33 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Yes, think of it as captain and crew of a boat. The captain always made the final decision, but he ruled at the will of the crew. He could make a bad decision and be "demoted" with a mutiny.

Geez.
Let's continue the stupid analogies.

Why not try finding a legal argument that supports secession.

Should be easy considering involuntary_serf's assertion that it's only an element of the federal government that has this opinion.
post #34 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I think that's an apt analogy, except I would add that the boat is taking on water, and the sharks are circling.

Right, and the leader of the mutineers is trying to get them out of the mess the previous leader, captain, got them into.
post #35 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Geez.
Let's continue the stupid analogies.

Why not try finding a legal argument that supports secession.

Should be easy considering involuntary_serf's assertion that it's only an element of the federal government that has this opinion.

Try asking a put-upon, fed up mob for a "legal argument".

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post #36 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Right, and the leader of the mutineers is trying to get them out of the mess the previous leader, captain, got them into.

You're calling Barack Obama the "leader of the mutineers"?

Obama is a very smart guy, but he's trying to have it both ways. He lets the Democrats cobble together the bad legislation, then he approves it saying "it's not perfect, but it's the best we could do on short notice... and besides that, we're trying to save the bankers... er, idiot homeowners, ... uh, I mean, the country!".

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post #37 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Right, and the leader of the mutineers is failing to get them out of the mess the previous leader, captain, got them into.

There, fixed it for you.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #38 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Geez.
Let's continue the analogies that I don't like because they don't support what I believe or am trying to argue.

Fixed that for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

Why not try finding a legal argument that supports secession.

The "legal" argument is that "they have the right".

What do you want? A decision from the United States Supreme Court? World Court? What?

People have the right to freedom, self-determination, freedom of association and its inverse, disassociation.

Without this kind of idea the U.S. would have never been born in the first place. That should be obvious to anyone. The American revolution was a secession event. We can also suggest that the Declaration of Independence implies this right. Finally, states could make the argument that the federal government has violated the terms of the binding document/contract (the constitution).

Furthermore any attempt to stop a real attempt at a peaceful secession are likely to be a violent and forceful nature further illuminating the federal government's tyrannical tendencies.
post #39 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Try asking a put-upon, fed up mob for a "legal argument".

The rule of law is so passe, lets shoot first.
post #40 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

The rule of law is so passe, lets shoot first.

First, I think a fairly convincing argument can be made that the federal government has abandoned the rule of law.

Second, I don't see anyone suggestion "shoot first", but I do imagine any state that chose to peacefully seceded would be shot at and would have the right to defend themselves (with arms if necessary).
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