It’s well-known that red states generally take back more federal money than they give, with Mother Jones nothing that “Republican states, on average, received $1.46 in federal spending for every tax dollar paid.” (They also love their pork.) While it’s true that Texas remains one of the few red states that bucks this trend, there’s plenty of other Perry-mooching that can be reimbursed, with those checks written back to President Obama and Uncle Sam.
Specifically, while Rick Perry condemned the president’s stimulus as “failed” and “misguided,” the governor quietly took $17.4 billion in those “failed” stimulus funds to plug the holes in Texas’ budget – twice.
The state’s own House Appropriations chair added that “when you’re short of money and a pot of money shows up, it’s hard for politicians or budget writers to turn it down.” Mind you, the state had billions stored in a rainy day fund, but instead chose to suck off the federal teat, simply because it was convenient, or as Bill O’Reilly would put it: Texans “wants stuff.”
It didn’t stop there with Perry and the stimulus. Perry went so far as to say that the stimulus “didn’t create any jobs,” leaving out the fact that stimulus funds created or saved almost 50,000 jobs in Texas alone, according to the Houston Chronicle. That same stimulus also plugged a hole in the state’s Medicaid funding, saved child abuse caseworker jobs, and funded child-care and job training programs.
President Obama will accept that $17.4 bn check, and the return of those jobs to the United States, before you leave, Mr. Perry.
While Texas secessionists proclaim their state as one of the largest and therefore most capable of maintaining independence, Texas remains one of the poorest states in the nation. Nearly one in four Texans are uninsured, with the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality ranking the state as worst in the nation for health care delivery. Yes, worst out of 50 states. This isn’t even including the nearly 4 million Texas residents relying on federal nutrition assistance.
And that’s only Texas.
Bloomberg notes that “70 percent of counties with the fastest growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008.” There’s going to be a lot of state residents knocking on the doors of their broke state governments come independence time for help.
Texas’ farming economy will also suffer under secession. The state remains the number one recipient of USDA farm subsidies, having received $25.9 billion in federal funds from 1995-2011. USDA notes that that the cotton, wheat, corn, rice, peanut, and livestock are among the top ten industries that have received anywhere from hundreds of millions, to billions of dollars in subsidies, all funding that will be cut off.
While I don’t agree with the original article’s sentiment of “let them secede” it is worth pointing out what the consequences of secession would be. Over 3 million people in Texas voted for Obama in the last election, so the 100,000 or so who have signed this petition represent a fraction of the population who are more than likely signing because they are throwing a temper tantrum without thinking about the implications of becoming an independent country.
By these numbers, the first order of business of a newly independent Texas would probably be to apply for foreign aide.