That's fine, Gov. Rick Perry, Texas can go ahead and secede from the Union

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas grabbed national attention again this week during the anti-tax teabag ruckus by suggesting that Texas might just at some point get so fed up with federal taxation that they'd want to secede from the United States. He bragged that the Texas economy is in good shape compared with other states, let alone compared to the "federal budget mess," said Fox News.

I say we call that bluff. I live in Texas; I know that Texas is, according to State Representative Eliot Shapleigh, "On the Brink." Here's a small sample of Texas's rankings compared to the 50 U.S. states (1=high, 50=low):

State Government Taxes & Spending

  • Tax Revenue Raised Per Capita--------------49th
  • Tax Expenditures Per Capita------------------50th
  • Per Capita Spending on Mental Health-----46th
  • Parks & Rec--------------------------------------49th
  • Police Protection--------------------------------48th


Percentage of Population over 25 with a High School Diploma---50th

State of the Child

Percentage of Uninsured Children---------1st

Health Care Issues and Environment

  • Percentage of Population without
  • Health Insurance----------------------------1st
  • Air Pollution Emissions----------------------1st
  • Green House Gases Released----------------1st
  • Toxic Chemicals Released into Water-----1st
  • Hazardous Waste Generated----------------1st
  • Carbon dioxide emissions-------------------1st

Workforce Issues

  • Income Inequality between the Rich and the Poor--2nd
  • Job Discrimination Lawsuits-----------------------------1st

Public Safety

  • Number of Executions-----------------------1st
  • Number of Gun Shows-----------------------1st
  • Number of Registered Machine Guns------1st
  • Deaths by Floods/Tornadoes----------------1st

Sorry, Gov. Perry. There's not a lot here to brag about. And there's even less if you look at the entire listing in Shapleigh's document. So, should Texas decide to secede, it might actually be doing the rest of the states a favor. Because, quite honestly, it looks to me like Texas might be pulling the average down.


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