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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
Secession
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 • Posted February 6, 2013

This is in response to the letter by Mr. Thompson. Here are some cold hard facts. In 2011, 39.98% of the Texas State budget came from the Federal Government. While Texas secessionists proclaim their state as one of the largest and therefore most capable of maintaining independence, Texas has one of the highest rates of poverty in the nation. Nearly one in four Texans are uninsured, with the Agnecy for Health Care Research and Quality ranking the state as worst in the nation for health care delivery. This isn't even including the nearly 4 million Texas residents relying on federal nutrition assistance.

The Texas farming economy will also suffer under secession. The state remains the number one recipient of USDA farm subsidies, having received $25.9 billion in federal funds from 1995-2011. USDA notes that that the cotton, wheat, corn, rice, peanut, and livestock are among the top ten industries that have received anywhere from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in subsidies. With secession all that funding would be cut off.

As for one of the other "patriotic" states Mr. Thompson mentioned in his letter, from 1990 to 2009, the federal government spent $1.44 trillion in Virginia but collected less than $850 billion in taxes, a gap of over $590 billion. So would Texas take up the slack since the 5 "patriotic" states that would supposedly join Texas are in the same sad state of affairs as Virginia? They all take more from the Federal Government than they give. Plus their poverty levels are even worse than Texas.

If Texas seceded, it would lose the protection of the U. S. military. Now if you think all the AK-47's in Texas could hold off a fleet of cruise missiles, I have some ocean front property in Mason I would love to sell you. All the Texans presently serving in the military would be out of jobs, unless they applied for citizenship in the new U. S. A. In addition all those civilian jobs on and off the various military bases would be gone. In the down-sizing of the military, do you think the U. S. would keep all those jobs and bases in a foreign country instead of giving the jobs to Americans? Texas would also have to go on a massive R&D program to arm and supply its own armed forces unless Texas decided to buy all that equipment from foreign countries.

If you want to visit friends or relatives in the new U.S., you would need a passport to go see them, plus they would need passports to enter Texas. I assume that Texas would be exporting goods to other countires. Well, that means embassies in all those countries, plus troops to guard the embassies.

The VA hospitals would be gone, along with the U.S. Post Office (along with all the jobs - which are paid for by the Federal Government). All the federal R&D money poured into Texas from the feds would be gone. No federal inspections of our food> But what the heck, what are a few hundred people dying from tainted food? No more minimum wage protection. No more EPA. Texas could have air so polluted that could make China's air clean by comparison with no federal protection.

As for the on-going water dispute with Mexico, after years of losing land, money and producers due to a lack of water, 17 irrigation districts, North Alamo Water Supply Corporation, and 29 farmers sent notice to Mexican officials that, under the NAFTA agreement of 1994, unless Mexico delivers what is due, they will seek up to $500 million in damages from the Mexican government. The suit is being handled by Marzulla & Marzulla, attorneys at law located in Washington, D.C. If nothing is accomplished by the end of the year, it is expected that a FEDERAL suit will be filed under NAFTA. According to Texas officials, that's the only legal ground Texas has left in the battle. There would be no legal ground for Texas if it secedes.

Texas universities depend on many out-of-state students to keep their coffers full. If I had college age children, I would not want them to go to a foreign country, plus I definitely would not want them in a country that had legalized marijuana as Mr. Thompson suggested as one of the ways to make up the shortfall in Federal Funds.

These are just highlights of what Texas could lose under secession. Oh, one more thing. The Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys would be relegated to only playing each other - since they would now be in a foreign country. Do you see any Canadian teams playing in the Super Bowl? But there could be a silver lining to that. Tony Romo would have a 50% chance of winning the Texas Super Bowl.

Julie Alford

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