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The movement to pry the state of Texas from the unwelcome embrace of the United States is, according to some news reports, gaining strength. If they do, one city, Austin, is talking about prying itself loose from the state of Texas. One reason for the legions of pissed-off Texans is the anger at an ungrateful federal government that only gives back $.94 for every dollar the good citizens of Texas send in. This is clearly a losing proposition, so independence seems to be a logical way to solve the problem.

Forgetting about the principle of sharing, where next-door neighbor Louisiana gets $1.78 for every dollar paid in and New Jersey only gets $.61, Texas prides itself on being unique as the Alamo. Six flags-  Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States - have flown over its territory and, after all, from 1836 to 1845, it was an independent republic, so it has experience in going it alone.

So what would it be like without Texas?

I suspect the country, on the whole, would be worse off. First, we'd be deprived of all the jokes about Texans, like the one about the plane unloading a group of midgets at Dallas-Fort Worth airport after a vicious storm. When asked about it, the pilot replied that it was just a bunch of Texas legislators with the crap scared out of them. We'll miss this.

Second, we'd have to live without people like Tom deLay, as well as non-partisan gunslingers like John Hinckley (Reagan) and Lee Harvey Oswald (Kennedy).  And don't forget Machine Gun Kelley, who found out how effective automatic weapons really are. That's one thing you can bet an independent Texas would have - lots and lots of guns. Take Rep. Louie Gohmert, whose reaction to the shooting in Connecticut was to echo the NRA's call for more guns. He also opposed a ban on assault weapons. "Once you start drawing the line, where do you stop?" Gohmert said. "That's why it is important to not just look at this emotionally." This is Texas logic - the next thing might be a law to ban guided missiles. And recall this is the state that gave us George W. Bush- a Texan to the core.

The most intriguing thing about a possible Texas secession would be what kind of government they'd have after the split. Since the Tea Party has made it plain that government is only a four-letter word with ten letters, what on earth would Texas do about taxes? Money would have to come from somewhere and, judging from past behavior, putting an additional load on the "job creators" from the oil industry wouldn't even be on the table. So what would happen in Austin - provided it still was the state capitol (and after talk about secession, this might be in doubt)? Who would pay the bills? Sure, after the new country eliminated welfare, deported or shot all the bums and shipped their 16% of all illegal immigrants in the United States (oops - the former United States) back where they came from, they might eke out a budget. Would-be governor Star Locke had a great idea:"I take the position that the Founding Fathers took: that the power to tax is the power to destroy,” he said. “So our concept is that we need to tax things we don’t want and you want to not tax things that you want to encourage.” Locke, Texan to the core, proposed putting a $10,000 tax on abortions plus heavy taxes on violent video games and sodas with sugar. Who says Texans aren't resourceful?

There are a lot of things about Texas we would really miss. They have some of the best universities, symphony orchestras, museums and cultural venues around. It would be a pity not to have them in the United States. But, sadly, the United States - isn't. If someone disagrees, they automatically become an enemy. It's clearly not the majority of Texans that we're talking about here. It's the same kind of people who wanted to seceed in 1861. They don't like or trust elections. If things don't come out their way, they'll just as soon take their ball and go home. In the good old days, Texans had a remedy for sore losers and folks they used to call "loco."- heat up the tar and get out the feathers. So maybe those who think the people's worst enemy is the government they elected should stock in some tar-remover and hire a plucker.

Originally posted to boguseconomist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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