Could Texas survive? If you ask most Texas where they are from, they would not say the United States, they would say, Texas.
Texas obviously has some swagger, and is a bit of a bully.
Could it survive on it's own however? Well...
Facts are Texas is the 2nd largest state in size (Alaska is #1) and in population (Hello, California). Also, no story about Texas would be complete without someone telling you Texas was it's own state at one time. The glorious years of 1836-1845. Heck, they even had Presidents and their own money. Texans will often forget to tell you that California was also, as was Vermont, and heck, Hawaii was a Kingdom. They usually forget to tell you Texas wanted to join the U.S. in 1836, and really wasn't successful and riddled with debt when they did join the U.S. in 1845.
Of course, even Texas got the 15 year itch and tried to leave the United States in 1861.
Now, back to the point of this blog. Would Texas succeed if it seceded?
Texas has around 26 million people which would put it in the mid 40's of largest countries in the world. The Texas economy would also be in the top 15, that is, assuming California doesn't leave the U.S. also and become the world's 9th largest economy. Texas compares fairly well to Australia. Some of you may know that the U.S. has 3 power grids. West, East, and Texas. This would give Texas a advantage compared to other states. In addition, Texas possesses one-fourth of the nation's oil reserves and one-third of its natural gas reserves. All pluses.
What Texans fail to see often is how much Federal money is funneled into Texas. Education, highways, and jobs all come partially from federal money. These things all cost money, and while most states couldn't swing this, to my surprise, it turns out Texas is one of a handful of states that send more money to DC than DC send back to Texas. According to the Star Telegram, Texas sent $198 billion to Washington and the state got back roughly 90 cents of every dollar. The math isn't ever that easy. For example, an natural disaster or tragedy they would not have federal funds to help them out.
Seceding would be a lot like a divorce. Having a standing army and border control (Texas has a large border with Mexico and the U.S.) would be expensive and currently is mostly paid for by the federal government.
How would you pay retiring workers who paid into SS? Would there be a mass exit of Texas if Texas went this route? What about Medicaid? Medicare? Would Texas owe a chunk of money for it's share of the U.S. debt? How would Texas deal with massive job losses with the U.S. Army and likely other companies like BNSF, and Lockheed leaving the state?
Just like a lot of people who are married, they stay married because they'd rather stay in a relationship they aren't very happy about to avoid the ugly cost of a divorce.
Can Texas legally secede? No. Contrary to what a lot of nuts and Rick Perry may say, no where in the Texas nor U.S. Constitution does it say Texas can leave it and when they want. The Supreme Court has heard cases on Secession before, and what do you know, they have shot them down every time. Don't believe me? Check out Texas v. White 1869, or Williams v. Bruffy 1877. I don't really care what Thomas Jefferson or John C. Calhoun thought on the matter. It appears the Supreme Court sides with Andrew Jackson's view of our Federal Union. Sure Texas could try to fight, but I highly doubt Texas could compete with the U.S. Military spending. Plus, even if they did squeak out a "it's not worth fighting them" war with the U.S., they would become basically a isolated North Korea, next to the U.S. Best case scenario here for Texas, Dennis Rodman will still be around to patch things up.
5/20/2014 10:58:19 am
This is very very true only true Texas would understand this
7/20/2022 05:53:28 am
These things all cost money, and while most states couldn't swing this, to my surprise, it turns out Texas is one of a handful of states that send more money to DC than DC send back to Texas. Thank you for sharing your great post!
7/20/2022 06:27:36 am
The Supreme Court has heard cases on Secession before, and what do you know, they have shot them down every time. I’m so thankful for your helpful post!
11/5/2022 07:31:41 pm
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Author : Coach Ketcham
Teacher, Lover of U.S. History. None of my thoughts are deep, and spelling and grammar are rarely double checked.