The Washington Post Suggests that America Boot Texas From the Union

Categories: Media, Politics

springcleaning-texas.jpg
Washington Post
Obama's reelection last year prompted a lot of talk over whether Texas should once again secede from the Union. Except for a few die-hard secessionists, though, few considered it a serious proposal, more like an opportunity to make Texas jokes. So the debate just kind of fizzled out.

But the Washington Post (or, more accurately, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Thomas Ricks) thinks there might be something to this Texas-leaving-the-Union thing. We just had the mechanism wrong.

"Letting the Lone Star State secede would set a bad precedent. (See the Civil War of 1861 to 1865.)," he writes for the annual "Spring Cleaning" issue of the paper's Outlook section, where Texas joins flip-flops, college rankings, and Ben Bernanke as things that need to go. "But what about expelling it instead? There is promise in that."

I've been thinking about this ever since I stood at the ruins of Fort Jesup, a U.S. Army base built in 1822 by Lt. Col. Zachary Taylor on the western edge of Louisiana to guard the Sabine River, which formed the international border between the United States and Texas, then part of Mexico. Why not go back to that situation? It worked then.

After all, what has Texas given us? Without it, we might have avoided the presidents who gave us two of our longest and least necessary wars -- Vietnam and Iraq -- and John F. Kennedy might still be alive.

We wouldn't have the Dallas Cowboys, nor the right-wing oilmen the state seems to produce. Of course, we would also lose Gov. Rick Perry, who already is making the split easier with his talk of moving the roughly $1 billion in Texas gold reserves, now in a vault in New York, back into the state.

We think this is tongue-in-cheek. Ricks goes on to lament the difficulty of getting from New Orleans to Tucson and briefly mourns the loss of the state's contributions to popular music, though he consoles himself with the thought that we could listen to Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin and Lyle Lovett "just as we enjoy the sounds of such Canadian crooners as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Feist." But with that JFK jab thrown in, it's kind of hard to tell.


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56 comments
TexMarine
TexMarine

And we'd be laughing all the way to the bank as we tariff the shit out of all goods moving in from Mexico and the Houston ship channel. And don't forget the looming energy boom as Americas shale oil/gas reserves are projected to surpass the middle east.  Fuck'em, lets ally with Mexico and ship Mexico's poor to Chicago.

casiepierce
casiepierce

Man, I thought Schutze was all hippy delusioned with his takes on Dallas insecurity (even in the 21st century!) having something to do with the world thinking about Dallas and blaming us for JFK.... dammit! He's right! I have to adjust my tin foil hat...

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

It would be an honor to get kicked out.  Then we could take out 13th largest economy in the world and watch as the land of tyranny and the home of the depraved crumbles under the weight of it's debt while the libturds watch as they run out of other people's money to spend.  We could control our own borders for a change and  kick the Mexicans out and keep the wetback libtards and Mexicans out while allowing in people who actually want to work immigrate to Texas.  All the libtards would want to leave so they can suck on America's titty and get their welfare check instead of working.  Then Texas can be for Texans.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Actually, Kennedy got us into Vietnam, he just got shot in the head before the mobilization could get into full swing.

davemundy
davemundy

Hmm. What interesting comments. I seem to recall from the mid-1990s on the liberals telling everyone how "hateful" conservatives are. Yet the overwhelming majority of the vulgarity-laden hatred I see being thrown about these days is coming FROM the progressives.

Let me please urge mihahn, Myrna and others who might feel out of place in an independent, free Texas -- please seek asylum in your socialist utopia. I understand California has a number of good asylums.

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

Texas didn't "give" America Bush, we just gave him popularity and an MBA. 

Kyle Confehr
Kyle Confehr

if I think this is hilarious, am I going to get drawn and quartered by a Facebook squabble?

Sara Ashley Mesler
Sara Ashley Mesler

It's because the loudest people here are the most insane and ridiculous. They shouldn't be speaking for the rest of us, but people keep electing them. How many times has Rick Perry won now?

Rob Tovar
Rob Tovar

It will never happen because there are too many Texas politicians with hopes of a national office.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

OOPS is sitting on a $9 billion surplus thanks to federal stimulus money.  OOPS needs to be spending it on the uninsured, homeless, and under-educated masses in Texas.

mihahn
mihahn

I hope the US would grant asylum to those of us who don't want to be part of the exile of Texas!

Daniel
Daniel

If we could build a time machine and go back to the late 19th century and kick Sicily out of planet Earth, then JFK might still be alive . Of course, deep dish pizza. But it never really was very good, and anyway, we could invent it ourselves, just as we invented crispy beef tacos and general Joe's chicken. 

David Morris
David Morris

The only persons that needs kicked out of office is Rick Perry and Ted Cruz. Both are nuts and makes the rest of us Texans look like fools for electing them. I didn't vote for either and never will.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

What has DC ever giving us, oh yeah, an indecipherable tax code, a football team with a racist name, and the densest population of idiots in the world

director21
director21

@roadsidecouch There is a really big problem with what you advocate. There are a LOT of us "libtards" who are Native Texans and at least as well armed, if not better, than you ConservaNAZIs, and we would be perfectly willing to giv e you the opportunity to forcibly remove us from our beloved Texas.

You are truly an idiot!

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Wait, didn't the gringos steal the land from Mexico to begin with?

director21
director21

@everlastingphelps As usual, you are full of shit. Eisenhower put us in Vietnam long before Kennedy was ever elected. But, don't let things like facts get in the way of your dogma.

gregmarcydagama
gregmarcydagama

@everlastingphelps Facts matter. The month before he was killed, he ordered troop reductions and an end timetable. LBJ owns that 'war'.

"

Did JFK start the Vietnam War?Answer:This is a difficult question to answer. Eisenhower did not start the war (in many ways he inherited it from the French). Eisenhower and the US Congress committed the USA by providing aid in the form of military equipment, advisers and capital to the French first, and then to the South Vietnamese government. 

At the end of 1959, there were 760 US Troops training the South Vietnamese Army with no formal active combat involvement. Under Eisenhower, the USA suffered its first casualty in 1959. We were not at war at this point, but the framework was put in place for increased American involvement, unless a pullout was ordered by either Eisenhower or the incoming President, John F. Kennedy. 

JFK was the first president to send a large number of troops (between 15,000 to 20,000) to Vietnam, and it was only under his presidency that America started suffering a large number of war casualties. Still, one could say JFK inherited the war, yet he also could have pulled out before it became a war. This is where the answer to the question is a matter of opinion. From the perspective of foreign commitments to the French and Europe, as well as to the war-hawks in the US Congress, JFK was sucked into the war by momentum to a certain degree. 

On Oct 6 1963 Kennedy signed an executive (NSAM 263) National Security Action Memorandum) report that provided for the removal of 1,000 troops in December 1963 and the vast majority of troops were promised to be out by 1965. 

After JFK was killed, Lyndon Baines Johnson, his successor, countermanded that order with NSAM 273, and increased the number of troops dramatically to 550,000 within 2-3 years, resulting in the deaths of 58,000 American soldiers."

animas
animas

Wrong attitude! This idea has enormous potential.  Texas can become the North American version of North Korea or Afghanistan.  We have a potential space program and rockets--(NASA-Houston).  We have Nobel scientists.  All we need is to develop a nuclear "program" for" peaceful purposes"--of course --and then blackmail Wash D.C. for trillions.  Also now we have (coincidence?) Al(GORE)jazeehra.  Think of the foreign aide potential from every country that has an axe to grind with Washington!...  and you thought that the Washington Post was irrelevant!

TexMarine
TexMarine

@Sara Ashley Mesler Enough times that you should have figured out that you are behind enemy lines.

pak152
pak152

@mihahn like someone else asked "why did you move here?"

Daniel
Daniel

@mihahn Yeah, what about those of us who weren't even born here? I guess I'd have to repatriate to Baltimore, Maryland, which, for reasons too numerous to cite, is an unappealing prospect.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@mihahn America would retain Texas cities and jettison the shit kickers in the rest of the state.

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

@ScottsMerkin  

Well, let's be fair: all those idiots in DC get sent there by all the other states.  We take our most useless citizens, elect them to office, and send them all to the middle of a swamp on the Potomac so we can keep an eye on them. 

The problem comes when we let them tell us what to do.  

ceepee4
ceepee4

@Mervis_Earl  No they won it fair and square! They beat the shit out of the wetbacks!

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@director21 Don't let things like a comment from 11 days ago with the detailed timeline effect your two week old drive by comment.

PersistentID2345
PersistentID2345

@gregmarcydagama@everlastingphelpsFrom the JFK Library website (jfklibrary.org):

...In September of 1963, President Kennedy declared in an interview, "In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam, against the Communists. . . . But I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a great mistake. . . . [The United States] made this effort to defend Europe. Now Europe is quite secure. We also have to participate—we may not like it—in the defense of Asia."....

....In the final weeks of his life, President Kennedy wrestled with the future of the United States' commitment in Vietnam. Whether he would have increased military involvement or negotiated a withdrawal of military personnel still remains hotly debated among historians and officials who served in the administrations of President Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

*** Was that too harsh? ***  [Myrna really dislikes ignorant rednecks from anywhere, not just Texas]

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@Double-O-Joe Texas hates to be told what to do by DC, but Texas has no problem taking billions in hand-outs from DC.

ItsSoSad
ItsSoSad

@gregmarcydagama @everlastingphelps Considering that the Federal Government borrows 40% of every dollar it spends, if Texas gets 4% more in spending than it pays in taxes, we are still being "short-changed." Of course, being a 'balanced budget" state, we shouldn't be participating in the bankruptcy of the Federal Gov't.

But then, who among you would return money freely given?

gregmarcydagama
gregmarcydagama

@everlastingphelps I think that story is cherry-picking for a favored result. It is not true in the general sense. In the long run, we Texans are welfare babies.

Don't cherry-pick.

"Is Texas really getting more for less? To back up Maddow, MSNBC spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski pointed us to the most recent state-by-state analysis of federal tax burdens and spending by the Washington-based Tax Foundation, a business-backed tax policy group. It covers the 25-year period between 1981 and 2005.


According to the analysis, Texans paid about $147 billion in federal taxes in 2005 while the state received $149 billion in federal spending. That year, 33 other states also got, as Maddow put it, more money back than residents paid in.

The paid taxes included employment, estate and trust income taxes, among others. Federal spending in Texas includes funding for retirement and disability, grants (such as for research and construction), wages of federal employees and direct payments for programs such as Medicare.

On an annual basis, however, there were only six years in that time period when Texas residents paid fewer dollars in federal taxes than they got in return, according to the foundation.

And since 2005? For those numbers, Skowronski pointed us to the most recent federal tax data posted by the IRS and federal spending data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In fiscal 2009, the IRS collected about $163 billion from Texans and the state received about $224 billion, for a net gain of $61 billion. Federal spending in Texas also exceeded tax payments in 2008 by $8 billion. It was the other way around in 2006 and 2007, when tax payments by Texans exceeded federal spending by a total of about $47 billion.

Eva DeLuna Castro, a budget analyst at Austin’s Center for Public Policy Priorities, which advocates for moderate- to low-income Texans, told us Texas started receiving more federal funds in the last decade because of an increase in military spending, tax cuts and tax credits and a modest growth in federal health spending — not to mention a spike in social services and aid every time a hurricane hit.

"Texas is definitely getting back way more than people in Texas are paying in taxes," she said. "So do a lot of other states. Texas isn’t unique in that."

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