Bankrupt US States: Why Not Secede?

July 29, 2011

by Russell D. Longcore

Many of the states in the USA are effectively bankrupt. The US Constitution does not make any provision for states to declare bankruptcy and reorganize. Nor should it. That little eventuality could be considered a Tenth Amendment issue, since all powers not delegated to USA are reserved to the states and to the people.

The states in the worst financial condition are states that have most closely mimicked Washington: Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey…the bluest of the blue states. They have the strongest unions and greater desires for public programs…just like DC. There are 23 states that are effectively “underwater”…that’s nearly half the country.

Click HERE to see a slideshow of the eleven states most likely to go bankrupt soon.

The sick states are required by their own constitutions to balance their annual budgets. Many have not. California has not seen a balanced budget for years. And when I say “balanced budget,” I’m not talking about a state that zeroes out its balance sheet with massive borrowing. I’m talking about operating within the strictures of the state’s tax income and nothing else.

I have read recent articles that float the idea that Washington will soon offer a Federal bailout for certain states that DC considers “too big to fail.” But is that the proper remedy? Doesn’t a bailout simply kick the can down the road? A stimulus or bail out merely ignores the underlying cause of the disease…too much spending. Every person who balances a checkbook can clearly diagnose the illness.

Unfunded Federal mandates directly affect the budgets of states. The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act required programs to be done by the states with no Federal funding. Another example is the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act that require nearly all American emergency rooms to accept any patient regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, but do not provide adequate reimbursement. And there are many more.

But remember…Washington takes the tax money from the states for all manner of do-gooder unconstitutional social engineering programs, and then sends a portion of it back to the states with all kinds of strings attached.

Also remember the challenge I have thrown out many, many times…for any person to give me just ONE benefit that any American state enjoys as a direct result of its inclusion in the United States of America. (I’m still waiting.) I contend that there is no benefit whatsoever for any state to continue in the so-called “Union.”

So if the cost for remaining a state is so high that it bankrupts you…and there is no perceivable benefit for remaining a state…WHY THE HELL STAY??

The best, most logical solution for the financial health of any American state is for it to secede from the Union. At the very moment of secession, all ties to Washington cease. All of the money that Washington takes from the state’s taxpayers stays in that state. All of the US national debt is repudiated by the citizens of that seceding state. All of the unfunded mandates disappear. All of the thousands of pages of regulation handed down over the past few decades vanishes. All of the Federal Court and Supreme Court rulings become null and void. It’s like being released from prison, stepping outside the gates and taking a deep breath of the air that other free men breathe.

Think about what would happen in California if the Federal income tax revenue did not leave the state? I’m not suggesting that it should go to Sacramento. But that gigantic amount of money staying in California would instantly increase the financial health of all individuals and businesses in The Golden State. Visualize a paycheck without Federal deductions…aaaaahhhhh!

Every State has its own constitution. Some states might have to rewrite or revise their constitution to reflect the needs of a nation. Most American states were not sovereign nations when formed, but territories that were granted statehood by acts of Congress. These states may need a new constitution.

As we all know, each seceding state would have to create a monetary system and re-create its militia. But that’s how sovereign nations have always operated.

Dear Readers, state secession solves every problem associated with or created by Washington. In addition, it creates a smaller, more manageable unit of government more closely aligned to the people it serves. And don’t forget that a republic form of government is supposed to protect property rights and individual rights. Everything else should be done by the people themselves. Yes, even police, fire, roads and courts. The free market can do it better than government.

Knowing all of these positives about secession, and knowing all the negatives about remaining a US state, why is secession not openly discussed as a viable solution for any American state? If it’s good enough for South Sudan, it’s certainly good enough for an American state.

Secession is the only hope for mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.