Recently Governor Rick Perry rattled the cages in Washington when he
suggested that Texas might at some point be so disgusted with
Washington’s repeated violations of the United States Constitution that
they might want to secede from the union. It stems from the one
amendment to the Constitution that gets the least attention – the Tenth
The Tenth Amendment enumerates the rights of the states and the
people. Specifically it states that the powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States,
are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Shortly
after Virginia ratified the Constitution back in 1788, New York and
Rhode Island made similar claims to their ratification document.
On June 26, 1788, Virginia’s elected delegates met to ratify the
Constitution. In their ratification document, they said, “The People of
Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the
Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be
resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury
or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with
them and at their will.”
The original states made it clear that if the federal government
exceeded the delegated rights, they had the right to implement their
rights. If every state did not think it had the right to secede, there
never would have been a union. Thomas Jefferson said, “Whensoever the
General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are
unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
On April 15, 2009, at a Tea Party in Texas, Governor Rick Perry
said, “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in
its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its
interference with the affairs of the state. That is why I am here today
to express my unwavoring support for efforts all across our country to
reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution.”
It will be up to the legal scholars and practicing attorneys to
determine if reaffirming the Tenth Amendment will lead to secession by
Texas, which has a very long history of being independent – both before
and since inclusion into the United States of America. If it were to
happen, what would it mean to the United States, Texas and the citizens
First of all, if there truly was a nation called Texas run under the
principles of the original Constitution and a remainder of the United
States moving in the direction it is currently headed, there would a
massive immigration to the new state of Texas. Assuming Texas would
accept the large immigration movement from other U.S. states, there
would be a construction and real estate boom in Texas like the world
has never seen before.
Despite melt-your-sidewalk hot summers in most of the state, people
would want to move there in droves. The air conditioning business would
be another growth industry. For those who think there is just too much
desert land in the state of Texas, one only has to look at what the
nation of Israel has done with sand. Israel has done it without any
natural resources; Texas has oil.
Within a very few years, Texas would become what the new burgeoning
country of the American colonies were to England some 220 years ago.
Once Texas and the United States worked out the conditions for
secession, no doubt the contiguous state of Oklahoma and the nearby
states of Kansas, Wyoming and Nebraska would join in.
Imagine once again living in a country that endorsed free
enterprise. Responsibility would again rule supreme over entitlement.
Freedom of speech would be reinstated – even on college campuses. No
one would trifle with the Second Amendment. Immigration laws woul be
enforced; amnesty would be offered to former citizens of the old United
States, but not to those who invade the country illegally.
Comparing the direction the United States is going with the
re-infusion of constitutional values of the New Republic of Texas, it
would not be many decades before the United States closely resembles
the current stagnating European Union while Texas would resemble the
United States that followed the Reagan Revolution where we experienced
a quarter of century of economic progress (1982-2007).
In foreign affairs, we could initiate a new world body of Free and
Democratic Countries United (FDCU). Countries that endorse freedom,
democracy and free enterprise could join. Initial countries might
include Ireland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Israel,
Switzerland, Poland, and Texas. If the old United States later returns
to the principles of freedom and free enterprise, they might be
considered eligible for admittance.
Assuming former states of the old United States joined the New
Republic of Texas, they would probably be low-crime states with strong
illegal immigration rules, so substantially fewer tax dollars would
have to be allocated to crime prevention. One of the first goals of the
new country would be to become energy independent within 10 years. The
new country would work closely with the French in having them show
Texas how to get 80% of their energy from nuclear power.
On the military front, Texas would create an alliance with Israel,
promising to support them in exchange for their training the Texas
military how to deal with terrorists. Much like what happened with
Great Britain, once the dust settled, the old United States would
undoubtedly be willing to protect its former subjects.
On the fiscal front, Texas would pass as their first piece of
legislation that there never will be an Internal Revenue Service. The
Texas Fair Tax would be implemented immediately. The Fair Tax is a
comprehensive tax plan that replaces all federal income and
payroll-based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive
national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal
taxes on spending for housing, food, schooling or medical care. Since
the New Republic of Texas would be working from the original United
States Constitution, the 16th Amendment would be immediately repealed.
There would be no Departments of Housing and Urban Development,
Labor, Education, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, or Energy.
Initial federal government spending would be mandated at no more than
50% the current rate of the old United States government. A balanced
budget would be mandated. The president would have a line-item veto.
Current Social Security would be phased-out over a 30-year period.
Those currently age 60 or over would not be impacted. The Retirement
age would be gradually raised to age 70 for those between 50 and 59.
Those on Social Security would no longer pay into the Social Security
System – no matter how much they earned.
Social Security would be replaced by a mandated 401k Type system
where the federal government would match contributions of workers up to
5% of their pay. Anything beyond that is optional. The Estate Tax
exemption would immediately be raised to $10 million ($20 million for a
married couple) – increased annually by the CPI. The tax on estates
over the exemption amount would be a flat 25%.
There would be a federal system for those declared mentally ill or
disabled where they would be guaranteed a social service minimum
income. Those who are able-bodied will work in a government-sponsored
workfare programs. These jobs would be for the common welfare –
cleaning up cities and roads, janitorial work in government facilities,
assisting at the Departments of Motor Vehicles, etc.
Medical care would be handled on a four tier basis: Those currently
covered under an employee-based PPO system, those currently covered
under an employee-based HMO system, those currently covered under
individually-insured health plans, and government clinics. Due to the
elimination of the various departments of government, there would be
plenty of facilities available for health care clinics. Doctors, nurses
and technicians would be hired by the federal government to cover those
who do not have one of the three insurance plans above.
K-12 education would be mandated. Truancy would be enforced.
Government schools would be supplemented by charter schools and voucher
programs, setting up a system of competition in the school system.
Technology would dominate the educational system, and home schooling
would skyrocket. Education would once again be about students instead
of teachers and administrators.
No corporation nor union would be allowed to contribute to a
politician or any political cause. No company nor labor union would be
allowed to encourage political support for a cause or issue. No company
nor labor union would be allowed to encourage its employees to
demonstrate on behalf of a candidate or political cause.
It wouldn’t be long before the New Republic of Texas had a GDP per
capita of 10-30% higher than the old United States. The only problem is
that Texas may not have enough land to house all of the people desirous
of moving to this new country.