[State] Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, has filed a bill designed to move $1 billion worth of Texas-owned gold bars from the Federal Reserve in New York to a Texas Bullion Depository. Gov. Rick Perry quickly expressed his support for reclaiming the gold as only a Texan can: We'll come and take it.
"If we own it," Perry said on a radio program last week, "I will suggest to you that that's not someone else's determination whether we can take possession of it back or not."...
...Bob Smiley, a Los Angeles-based writer, has a bit of fun with a separate Texas in his comedic novel Don't Mess With Travis, which sort of qualifies him to speak on a topic that only a relative few take seriously.
"Of all the states which have talked about secession, the strength of the Texas economy mixed with the wealth of its resources make the Lone Star State uniquely qualified to actually have a fighting chance of pulling it off," he said.
Among the natural resources are 16 ports whose economic impact on the United States totals in the billions. For the past decade, Texas has been the top state for foreign exports. Last year, they totaled $265 billion, according to data from the Commerce Department and the Port of Houston, the nation's busiest port for foreign trade. The state had a gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property -- of $1.2 trillion in 2011, according to figures obtained by the Texas comptroller's office. That would rank as the 14th-largest economy in the world. Houston by itself would be the 25th-largest. Smiley noted that Texas possesses one-fourth of the nation's oil reserves and one-third of its natural gas reserves. Texas' leverage is heightened by the fact that 95 percent of the United States receives its oil and gas from pipelines that begin in the Lone Star State...As for money, Capriglione's bill could be described as a starter kit for establishing a Texas currency.
Building a military and guarding borders and ports seem simple costs compared with untangling the massive social safety nets shared by Texas and the federal government. A formal separation request would seem to be the precursor to a long and convoluted legal entanglement, as both entities would need clear language on how to settle compensation for Social Security and Medicare insurance benefits paid upfront. Medicaid and CHIP payments...How would Texas' share of the national debt be resolved? Who would be responsible for disabled and aging veterans? Federal loan guarantees worth $3.3 billion have helped with badly needed infrastructure and transportation projects...What is the cost of federally owned property, such as air bases and the Army's Fort Hood and Fort Bliss?
Like the miserable married couple, the numbers should make any practical person step back and reassess, if not the measure of love, then the cost of divorce. The numbers, however, also make the case for separation, advocates say. Look how big and inefficient this nation is, they say. Half the world's countries have populations smaller than that of Massachusetts, said Harvard economics professor Alberto Alesina, who argues that austerity leads to growth.
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