I heard feedback today on NPR about a story they did recently about Texas succession so I had to look it up. It started with a mention of Rick Perry on the campaign trail saying that Texas might have to leave the union to escape meddling from the federal government.
Rick Perry, foe of big government; here’s a man who hasn’t had a private sector job since he peddled Bibles in the 1960’s. Who’s become a millionaire working in the public sector, lives in a $10,000 a month luxury home paid for by taxpayers while he collects a $150,000 salary and a $92,000 state pension at the same time.
In this story NPR’s John Burnett imagines an independent Texas “as a sort of Lone Star Singapore, with low taxes, free trade and minimal regulation. It enters the community of nations as the world's 15th-largest economy, with vast oil and gas reserves, busy international ports, an independent power grid and a laissez-faire attitude about making money.” With “airports without the Transportation Security Administration; gun sales without the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; land development without the Endangered Species Act; new congressional districts without the Voting Rights Act; and a new guest-worker program without Washington gridlock over immigration reform.” Where “immigrants to come and go as the jobs ebb and flow, and fill the jobs that Texans are unwilling to do,"
Burnett interviews some Tea Party members who describe a Republic of Texas “charged with defense, charged with education, charged with a few things that you have to do, and the rest is wide open," "Liberty may look like chaos, but to us it's a lot of choices." "There's a safety net that's always been out there. We don't have that anymore. You will be a productive member of society and our environment doesn't allow for people to not be productive." “Maquiladora [or foreign-owned] plants are springing up on the south side of the Red River and on the Sabine [River]," Jillson says. "The American South is complaining because some plants are moving to Texas."
“According to Harvey Kronberg, longtime editor and publisher of the Texas political newsletter Quorum Report, a modern sovereign nation requires more — not less — government than a state would. Consider all the new departments it would need to monitor things like foreign affairs, aviation and nuclear regulation. And then there are all the expenses Washington used to take care of — things like maintaining interstate highways, inspecting meat and checking passports.”
“Public education is a good example. In 2011, the Texas state Legislature slashed billions of dollars from school systems at a time when Texas was already 43rd among the states in per pupil spending and dead last in the number of adults who completed high school.
“Steve Murdock, the former Texas state demographer and current director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, expects that things would not improve under the budget of a struggling infant nation.
"For Texas to be the competitive nation that we would all wish it would be, it has to make major improvements in education," Murdock says, "because right now it's falling short."
“And Kinky Friedman imagines what he would do as the Texas secretary of foreign affairs.
"I think the first thing we would do is go to the Third World countries and teach the women how to grow big hair and give the men Rick Perry wigs," he says. "I will keep us out of war with Oklahoma. And one of the first countries we'll open free trade with is Cuba. We will be opening cigar stores all over Texas. We're not supporting their economy; we're burning their fields."