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Local News

December 6, 2012

Secession carries an awfully high price tag

DUNCAN — They are sincere, passionate patriots convinced the United States has already fallen off the political and/or fiscal cliff.

They are folks whose fervent spiritual beliefs tell them America is morally bankrupt and devoid of what they feel are traditional values.

They are extremists steeped in prejudice of one type or another, or perpetual whiners, who want to take their ball and find a new place to play.

Somewhere within those parameters are people who’ve decided it’s time for their state to secede from the Union. Secession movements have grown in the 21st century and have gained a little momentum since the reelection of Barack Obama.

At present, there are secession rumblings in all 50 states. The White House reports the highest number of residents signing secession petitions are in the seven states that seceded in the 1860s and became the Confederate States of America. (Hmmm. That worked well, didn’t it?) In Oklahoma, two secession petitions are circulating. Although the movement hasn’t spread like a spring wildfire, around 20,000 Sooners think it’s time to form a Republic of Oklahoma; a country within a country.

I’ve learned it’s virtually impossible to change people’s minds when patriotism and religious faith are in the mix. But if there are some secessionists still riding the fence, maybe they will consider the price of leaving the Union in a language most of us understand — money and services.

If secession is the answer, here is some of the cost of breaking away from the USofA:

Say good-bye to Fort Sill, Tinker Air Force Base and all other federal military bases that provide civilian jobs.

That also includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages 38 lakes in Oklahoma, many of which — like Waurika Lake — supply drinking water to dozens of communities. So, scheduling a secession during a drought doesn’t seem like good timing.

The Republic of Oklahoma would have to form it’s own currency, but would do so without protection from the FDIC, and Federal and National banks will close.

Federal highway funds? Kiss ’em bye-bye.

Federal assistance to education? There’s not enough voucher money to cover the funds taken away from trying to educate the new nation’s children.

Are residents of federal housing facilities to be tossed into the streets? Will old folks and poor kids unable to receive assistance from federal nutrition agencies wither from malnutrition?

Residents of the Republic of Oklahoma won’t have to worry about Social Security or Medicare funds running out in 20 or 30 years. Plus, the dreaded “ObamaCare” would be moot. But good luck dealing with retirees who suddenly have no form of income, and the lines of ill and injured who can’t receive health care.

And if the Black Plague strikes the new country, don’t anticipate help from the CDC, unless the “foreigners” spread the disease to Americans.

Lots of us can find reasons to cuss about FEMA, the EPA and the DEQ. Still, who helps clean up after the next F-5 tornado? Who keeps an eye on the balance of nature? Who monitors what’s pumped into the Sooner skies and waterways?

The FBI? Don’t bother calling them for assistance. And are you ready to let convicts wander freely, after federal prisons have closed?

What about companies and corporations like, oh, Halliburton, that have contracts with the federal government? Think they’ll linger long before fleeing the Republic of Oklahoma?

Border guards? Customs agents? They won’t work out of love for the new country.

Unless nobody cares about access to air conditioning during a Sooner summer, who foots the bill to construct a power grid system in the Oklahoma nation? Oh, that would be rate payers.

Now, a couple “good things” could evolve from creating the Republic of Oklahoma — no more federal taxes to pay or federal tax code to try to understand. At the same time, taxation by the new nation will skyrocket, the new government will have to create its own convoluted tax code and services will plummet. All this may sound fine to the secessionists, but it doesn’t seem a fair trade-out. Think I’ll stick with the United States of America.

jeff.kaley@duncanbanner.com

580-255-5354, Ext. 172

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