Also, the U.S. wouldn't have to send another billion dollars into Texas the next time a hurricane wipes out the Gulf coast.
Look, what has Texas done for the U.S. recently? Texas gave us three presidents, none of whom was very competent at the job, and provided a place where the last president assassinated was shot down.
Texas has also given us Jim Wright, a congressman who left in disgrace, Tom DeLay, a congressman who left in disgrace, and Bill Lay and Enron. And of course, virtually every tornado that twists its way across the heartland is spawned in Texas. If Texas secedes, maybe we can impose an import duty on all tornadoes that originate there and enter our territory.
It would be pretty costly to build a fence to separate Texas from the rest of us, but if all Texans are as paranoid as Perry, we can probably convince them that the U.S. is about to invade and they will probably foot the bill for the fence.
Naturally, following secession, it will be necessary for this country to thoroughly vet all the residents there before we could ever be expected to issue any visas for them to come here since they would no longer be legally residents of the U.S. And we might even wind up treating Texas like Cuba and simply refuse to do any business with them.
The Dallas Cowboys would have to form a new league in their new independent country and they would be no more likely to play against U.S. teams than are the Canadians. The other professional sports teams, the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, San Antonio Spurs and Texas Rangers, would all be out in the cold or looking to play other teams in their new "country." Boy, would that be a hit on the prosperity of their professional sports!
In 2005 Texas got back 94 cents for every dollar sent to the federal government, so the U.S. wouldn't be losing much if the state left the union, and considering how many natural disasters strike Texas and require federal funds to fix, we would probably be in the plus column.
The state should fare pretty well as an independent country. There are 193 countries which are smaller in area than Texas, including France and Germany, and that would only change by five countries, with the panhandle given to Oklahoma.
In 2008, of the 37 persons put to death in the U.S., 18 were executed in Texas, so the overall reputation of the U.S. should be improved by severing a state which treats execution like so many tinhorn dictatorships throughout the world. And in 2001, only Louisiana had a higher per capita incarceration rate. With Texas gone, overall U.S. prestige would rise since we would have fewer executions and fewer per capita incarcerations for the rest of the world to deride.
Perhaps the only downside would be that Texans (or whatever they choose to call their new country) would be able to claim bragging rights for having the only two foreigners ever elected president of the United States.
Chuck Witt is a Sun community columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.