I've been a bit confused in recent days about all the talk about Texas seceding from the United States. Could it really happy? There are plenty of native and transplant Texans who believe it's possible. Chuck Norris is already in line to be president of the new nation.
The discussion reared its head last week during those Tea Party protests. I'll save my rant about "how are we going to provide services to people, if we don't pay taxes" for another day.
I had a few conversations with people. Some think it's a logical step for Texas to become an independent nation. This state has a large land mass and has a lot of natural and man-made resources to sustain itself. There is a large population, too. Of course, if the state secedes, I know it would have one less resident — Me!
Why would I abandon the state that has been so kind to me for the last year? It's really pretty simple. I am an American first. So, I wouldn't be willing to shed that allegience just because my adopted statesmen decided they could create a new federal government in the new nation.
There are several economic issues that also fall into line for my decision. The silly — "Hey, I just renewed my passport! How much will a Texas passport set me back." To the extremely serious — my husband works for Uncle Sam. If Uncle Sam doesn't exist here, it doesn't make sense for us to either.
In fact, in a place like Del Rio, Uncle Sam's departure would have quite an impact. In a 2007 economic impact analysis from Laughlin Air Force Base, the base employs 999 in indirect jobs and 2,871 directly. The total payroll is $123,402,608. The total economic impact is calculated as $263,115,265. That's a lot of money in our small community. Imagine what communities like San Antonio would lose as multiple Air Bases and Army installations would vanish the minute the state secedes.
Add to Del Rio's loss the 1,955 federal jobs that are here, according to the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce's Web site. Federal jobs include all those green clad U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents. Those jobs wouldn't be needed here, because the U.S. border moves hundreds of miles north when the new Texas nation is born.
Also say goodbye to all the agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals and Federal Court System judges, attorneys and investigators. While many people move to Del Rio to fill these federal positions, many folks are from here. There are hundreds of support staff from IT to janitors, who will be gone in a flash. Poof. No more jobs, if Texas is no longer a state.
I guess in theory all of those dollars Texans once sent to Washington would be re-directed to the new nation's capitol for distribution. I shudder to think how the local school system would fair under a new national government.
I'm apparently not alone in my aversion to a secession plan. Gail Collins wrote an op-ed column for the New York Times on the matter. In her piece, she mentions that three-fourths of Texans don't go along with the secession talk, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll.
Those poll results give me hope I can stay in my adopted state. I am slowly learning the ways of the land and about state pride in a big way.
I like Texas no matter how many creatures, insects and cactus will find a way to prick or stick me. I love the fact that people are loyal to their state and have everything from yard decorations to cheese in the shape of the state. Heck, you can get just about anything you want in the shape of Texas or with the state's outline emblazoned on it.
No matter how much I love the Texas-shaped cheese (and crackers), my stay would have to end; if Texas becomes it's own country. It would be a great place to visit. But, I want to live in the United States of America.