Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(mass) secession?

In recent months, I've thought more about the possibility of mass secession from the United States.

Of course, you have the red state vs. blue state distinction. In recent elections, the country has often reduced to a narrow 50-50 divide. Beyond the politics, there seem to be clear social and cultural factors in play. In such a situation, majority politics means that the majority will win, but a large minority of people will be really unhappy with the outcome. Secession is one way to fix that.

One other variable has popped up in recent months: the increasing financial crisis and the profound difference in desire for government spending. The national debt may lead to bankruptcy or non-negotiable differences in how to handle spending, taxes, and debt.

What would this look like? Probably a West-Coast nation. A range of possibilities to the East: the East Coast from North Carolina or Viriginia or Maryland to the north-- and stretching as far east as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Here's Walter Williams from on "10th Amendments"...

Our Colonial ancestors petitioned and pleaded with King George III to get his boot off their necks. He ignored their pleas, and in 1776, they rightfully declared unilateral independence and went to war. Today it's the same story except Congress is the one usurping the rights of the people and the states, making King George's actions look mild in comparison....There are rumblings of a long overdue re-emergence of Americans' characteristic spirit of rebellion.

Eight state legislatures have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution; they include Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. There's speculation that they will be joined by Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania....

State legislatures must take measures that put some teeth into their 10th Amendment resolutions. Congress will simply threaten a state, for example, with a cutoff of highway construction funds if it doesn't obey a congressional mandate, such as those that require seat belt laws or that lower the legal blood-alcohol level to .08 for drivers. States might take a lead explored by Colorado.

In 1994, the Colorado Legislature passed a 10th Amendment resolution and later introduced a bill titled "State Sovereignty Act." Had the State Sovereignty Act passed both houses of the legislature, it would have required all people liable for any federal tax that's a component of the highway users fund, such as a gasoline tax, to remit those taxes directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The money would have been deposited in an escrow account called the "Federal Tax Fund" and remitted monthly to the IRS, along with a list of payees and respective amounts paid. If Congress imposed sanctions on Colorado for failure to obey an unconstitutional mandate and penalized the state by withholding funds due, say $5 million for highway construction, the State Sovereignty Act would have prohibited the state treasurer from remitting any funds in the escrow account to the IRS. Instead, Colorado would have imposed a $5 million surcharge on the Federal Tax Fund account to continue the highway construction....


At April 1, 2009 at 11:14 PM , Blogger Bryce Raley said...

I've been thinking about this same concept.

I heard a moderate democrat recently say- I understand now why families pick up and move to Montana. Living on a farm in the middle of nowhere with a few guns and an attitude that says government leave me alone.


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