San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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TEXAS TRIBUNE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION by JACOB VILLANUEVA

by MAURICE CHAMMAH

Updated, 4:40pm: Gov. Rick Perry’s office, in response to an online petition asking the White House to approve the secession of Texas from the U.S., has said that “Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it.”

“But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government,” added spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper.”

Updated: An online petition asking the United States government for permission for Texas to withdraw from the country and create a “new government” has reached 25,000 signatures. The Obama administration, according to terms officially laid out by the White House, is now required to respond to the petition “in a timely fashion.”

Original Story: Following President Barack Obama‘s re-election last week, the White House has received nearly two dozen petitions asking his administration to allow individual states to secede peacefully from the United States of America. The leading petition, by far, comes from Texas, which as of noon Monday had 20,683 signatures.

“The U.S. continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending,” reads the petition, which was created last Friday by ‘Micah H’, who lists Arlington, Texas, as his residence. “Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”

The signers need not live in Texas, but if the petition reaches 25,000 signatures by Dec. 9, the Obama administration will need to issue a response.

Other petitions have been filed for Louisiana, Alabama, Oregon, and other states, but Texas may be the only state with a governor who has openly pondered the subject of leaving the union. Gov. Rick Perry told audiences twice in 2009 that secession had crossed his mind. “When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation,” he said to a group of bloggers. “And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.”

Perry’s office later clarified that he never advocated for secession.


MAURICE CHAMMAH interns for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.

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21 thoughts on “Petitioners renew talk of Texas secession

  1. OK Slick, Texas came into the Union in 1845. However it left the Union in 1861 and was repatriated in 1865. Not sure the “deal” still stands.

  2. I wonder how many of the 3 million Texans who are enrolled in Medicare signed that petition. Because, you know, seceding would have potentially hilarious consequences for those folks.

  3. It’s a trap, they want us to do this so they can declare marshall law and confiscate weapons. Obama started the petition himself.

  4. Oh boy….

    It’s like The National Enquirer of Texas is reporting our news now.

    -NannyStater: Ha, Ha. I might have believed you if you had said Perry started it because if he can’t be President of the United States of America he’ll be President of Texas, by gosh.

  5. Actually, it’s “martial law”. Not complaining, just pointing it out.

    As someone who sees this country going in the wrong direction, and who is frustrated that just enough Americans saw fit to stay going that way to re-elect the current administration, there is an undeniable appeal to the thought of secession – if only for the hope that things would somehow get better with a fresh start. As Texans, we’re practically thought to think of Texas > USA from our youth anyway.

    However, that’s all pie-in-the-sky thinking. The actual act of secession would be an absolute nightmare from a logistical standpoint. I just don’t see a way to do it without messing a WHOLE lot of stuff up.

    Plus, I don’t think America can make it without us 😉

  6. Obama and a bunch of the rest of the country would be happy to see us go, based on the insults you hear on major media.

  7. Well Nick, someone has to be somewhat serious about this.

    Or at least not wearing tin foil hats.

  8. What a stupid idea. Must be the Tea Partyers still whining about election.Not only Medicare and Social Security raised earlier, but what if hurricanes strike coast or tornadoes in Panhandle. NO FEMA. Ask Chris Christy about the need for it. I could go on but even Rick Perry pulled it down after running up the flag to great mirth.

  9. Would Texas be able to defeat the hordes from the South?

    Who would negotiate all of our newly needed treaties?

    What would our currency be called?

    Seven Flags Over Texas?

    Not to mention the status of Ft. Hood, Ft. Bliss, NASA, etc.

    But at least we have a coast, and an existing international border. Of course the Border Patrol and ICE would cease to exist.

  10. When secession is talked about as a response to changing political winds, it is surely silly. I remember all the celebs that were moving when Bush was reelected. Still, the fact that state residents benefit from federal programs does not make the idea itself “stupid.” Who pays for the federal programs – the border patrol, medicaid, social security, FEMA? The citizens of the states. Texans may pay disproportionately more than their share of the cost of the spoils that their Texan neighbors receive. If so, they could certainly manage those funds and maintain a similar level of benefits. Additionally, Texas credit is tied to fiscally irresponsible states such as California, yet Texans cannot put any restrictions on California. When Germany’s frugality is jeopardized by Greece’s unsustainable spending, Germany negotiates austerity. Texas has no such luxury and is left to rely upon the bond market to police excess. So when some payers are appalled that others re-elect a President for whom austerity is a bad word, I think they should be forgiven some secession dreams. Calling those with whom you disagree “stupid” is not really profitable discourse.

    The idea that secession may be forbidden by the Constitution does not mean it cannot happen, because legal separation is never the sole option for independence. To the extreme there are revolutions — peaceful and otherwise. As I recall, the American states did not secede from Britain. That revolution was violent but others are less so or not at all. I am not advocating anything of the sort and I didn’t even vote for Romney, but there could be a legitimate discussion of a break. It is just discussion after all, even a Republic of Texas would have to have free speech I would think.

  11. Skeptical, no guarantee that the new Republic of Texas would have freedom of speech, or religion; given the last decade or so of its governance.

    As for who pays for the programs you mention, it’s the citizens of the nation, not just this state. Does Texas pay a disproportionate share? I’m not sure it does. Would be interesting to see the facts. Do we receive a disproportionate benefit? Same thing, not sure, would like to know.

    I would suggest that the EU and the United States may be similar, but the structure is very different. So to compare Germany to Texas may not be the best example.

    And Mr. Cunningham called the idea stupid, not the individuals.

    Now, how about Austin petition to secede from the State?

  12. This is a silly discussion that I am not taking seriously. Texas will not secede nor should they. Secession would only be supported by a small fringe group. Goofy.

  13. I found 2007 fiscal year data from IRS that compared total tax revenue generated by each state compared to federal spending on each state.

    Texas generated $225 billion in tax revenue, the third highest total of any state behind California and New York. But when it came to federal spending, Texas ranked just 40th at $171 billion.

    Broken down per capita, that means that each and every Texan contributed $2,243 net to the federal government in 2007.

  14. Dano, 2007 is 5 years ago, not exactly current. Would like a link as well, lies, damn lies, and statistics. Then there’s that little problem of Slick Rick refusing federal dollars.

    With the largest military base around, Ft. Hood, and Ft. Bliss, and the multitude of other bases, the interstate system, it doesn’t sound right to me. Could be wrong, have not looked.

    But we are not leaving the Union. Austin may leave the state …

  15. Can’t post links here, but the table I pulled data from was published on a wiki article, and the source was quoted as being straight from the IRS.

    2007 is indeed five years ago, but IRS is notoriously slow about posting fiscal year tax data so while there MAY be newer data available, this seemed to be a pretty good indicator of which way the wind is blowing on this topic.

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