Opting out of Union? However imperfect, it’s still the best anywhere

As a kid, when I’d get in a pout and refuse to do something I really wanted to do, my Granny, who rode herd on my brothers and me after school, was fond of saying, “You’re just cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

That’s kinda the situation with the movement in various states to garner signatures on petitions to secede from the union.

Uhh, wasn’t that tried once before?

Aside from the fact that the very idea makes mockery of several million of their countrymen who gave their lives in wars and conflicts around the globe in defense of that union and the freedoms and rights it provides (including the freedom to publicly advocate secession without fear of government reprisal), the cold, hard reality is that it’s an exercise in futility.

While it’s one thing for groups of citizens unhappy with government to say we’re gonna take our marbles and divorce ourselves from the rest of the country, they’re pretty much in the same camp as those who rant that if this or that candidate wins this or that election, they’re going to move to Australia, New Zealand, wherever.

Invariably, they don’t. Because deep down they know that, however imperfect life here may be according to their particular standards, it’s still better than almost any place else on the globe.  And they conveniently fail to consider that, in a great many countries, they would be summarily imprisoned (or much, much worse) for even hinting at anything remotely anti-government.

There is no little irony that many of the states participating in the secessionist movement are the largest recipients of federal dollars. Census records show that just seven states — Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina — received nearly one-fourth of all federal revenue allocated to the states in 2010.

My state, Mississippi, got $2.47 in federal spending for every $1 paid in taxes, ranking No. 3; neighboring Alabama got $2.03, ranking No. 6. Louisiana got $1.10, Tennessee $1.11; Missouri $1.09. The No. 1 recipient was New Mexico, getting $2.63 for every $1 paid in taxes. On a per capita basis, the ratio was even higher. Arkansas was the only Mid-South state that got back less, receiving only 73 cents for every $1 paid.

In my state, and others in the secessionist forefront, the biggest chunk of money spent on highway construction and maintenance is federal, as is the case for health care, support for the aged, education, and a host of other services and infrastructure components that are of benefit to their citizenry as a whole. Oh, and let’s not forget billions of dollars from farm programs. Or defense and security — each state’s gonna muster its own military, its own FBI/CIA/FDA? Yeah, sure.

Advocating withdrawal from the union that has served this country well for more than two centuries dishonors all who have pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor in its behalf.

TAGS: Legislative
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