Texas was its own nation before joining the United States, and many jokes have been made about some Texans still not recognizing that "other government" with which it now is affiliated.
But lawmakers there are drawing attention by considering a law that would have Texas review how it would respond should the U.S. government no longer be there to send federal tax revenue back to the state.
The proposal would set up a committee to study what the state gets from Washington, "the effects on the state budget if federal fiscal policy necessitates a significant reduction in or elimination of federal funding" and "a plan to address the loss of federal money."
The plan, HB 568, has been introduced by Rep. James White, who said in a statement Texas Self-Sufficiency Act "creates a select committee to evaluate the effects of a possible reduction in or elimination of federal funding on the state budget due to federal fiscal policy."
"Due to the fiscal dysfunction of Washington, D.C., and the fact that more than a third of our state's budget revenue comes from the federal government, Texas needs to study what it would mean if the federal government couldn't meet its obligations," he said.
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The plan directs the governor, lieutenant governor and other officials to assemble a committee "to analyze not only our state's dependence on federal funds, but the impact of federal funding on Texas' economy."
Said White: "My district in South East Texas, for example, has a higher proportion of seniors compared to the state overall percentage. What would happen in the event the federal government eliminated the funds normally allocated to them? In the current economic climate, exacerbated by out of control spending in Washington, Texas needs to study possible responses to federal financial turmoil, and our readiness to adjust to such an event. Texans must govern Texas and Texans need to be concerned about Texas."
On the website for the state GOP, David Bellow blogged about the idea.
"State Rep. James White has proposed a bill that will require the leaders of Texas to start crunching the numbers and figure out what Texas would look like if it had to be self sufficient ... limited or no federal support ... OUR OWN COUNTRY.... oops, I am getting a little ahead of myself, haha. Hey, I didn't say secession but that certainly comes to mind when thinking about the federal government having a financial meltdown and cutting off most or all support to the states."
Bellow asked: "What would Texas do in the event that the United States of America defaulted? It is a very real possibility that one day the massive U.S. debt will become so large and unsustainable that it causes a financial meltdown. Texas, and pretty much everyone else, would all of a sudden be faced with no more federal funds (which is really just Texas tax dollars given to the feds which is then given back to Texas). Yes, Texas is already a sovereign state, but what would we do if faced with complete sovereignty and no federal money?"
He explained: "State Representative James White is thinking ahead. He does not want to have to wait until Texas gets cut off from the federal government to determine how Texas will manage on our own. White wants to start planning now."
WND previously reported the response of hundreds of thousands of Americans when Obama was re-elected in November.
They launched petitions expressing their desire to have their states secede from the U.S.
The move began with a petition on the White House website from Louisianans anxious to properly withdraw their state from the union. In just days, residents of all 50 states had launched similar petitions, gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures.
The petitions were ignored by the White House until Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, replied.
"As much as we value a healthy debate," he wrote, "we don't let that debate tear us apart."
The Louisiana petition quoted from the Declaration of Independence: "'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.'"
According to the guidelines of the "We the People" website, when a petition reaches 25,000 signatures, the White House must put the petition in a queue for response.
Louisiana's petition quickly reached that threshold and was followed by similar petitions from all 50 states, several of which also topped the 25,000 mark. Texas' petition got the signatures of tens of thousands.
"Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States 'in order to form a more perfect union' through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government," the White House said. "They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot – a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it.
"As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, 'in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual,'" the response continued. "In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that '[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.'"
However, WND columnists Walter E. Williams and Alan Keyes have both argued secession is constitutional. A column by Williams cites historical evidence from both the Founding Fathers and the Civil War era. Keyes' argues God-given rights cannot be trumped by man-made law, Supreme Court decisions or civil war.
An online Texas history recounts Texas' rebellion and separation from Mexico to form its own nation, with its own president, secretary of state and foreign policy, before ultimately joining the U.S.
"In a ceremony [in 1846] in front of the Capitol, President Jones gave a valedictory address, the flag of the republic was lowered, and the flag of the United States was raised."