Boo hoo, now get over it

Posted November 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

All because some states didn’t see the outcome they had hoped for in the Presidential Election, they are now looking into the idea of seceding from the union.

Just days after the election, 20-some states have filed petitions online through the White House’s website: from New York to Texas and North Dakota and everywhere in between.

Many of these states are citing a passage from the Declaration of Independence as their reason to separate from the union: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.”

After a petition of this sort is filed with the federal government, guidelines state filers have 30 days to gather 25,000 signatures before it would even be looked at and reviewed by the federal administration.

If you take a close look at these petitions, many of the names are not even from the states wanting to secede. How legit is that? The petition for the State of California wanting to create its own “new” government contains 1,595 signatures. It needs 23,405 signatures by Dec. 12. A quarter of the signatures already received are not even California residents!

Texas seems to be hard at the idea of seceding. Their petition has over 22,000 online signatures, with just three weeks to go to hit that 25,000 mark. That said, prior to the election, one Texas judge indicated that if Obama was re-elected, the outcome could spark a second civil war.

All this seems a little ridiculous! With many of these petitions led by the voters and citizens of the states, elected officials are not signing on in support of such foolishness.

Think about all of the support states receive from federal aid. Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas all border the Gulf of Mexico. All of these states have filed individual secession petitions. If they no longer belong to the union, I would think the federal government owes them nothing when it comes to a natural disaster. The next time a hurricane hits the Gulf States, their FEMA aid is washed away (pun intended).

Think about college aid. A huge chunk of college loans and grants are filtered down from the federal government. When students apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), it comes from the federal government. It’s right in the name!

College students want affordable education and low-rates on loans, but that’s not possible without federal assistance.

Think about our schools. While each states allocates funding to schools, they also receive federal funding.

In 2010, many of the states that have filed petitions, including Louisiana, Mississippi, New York and North Dakota, received the highest amount of federal aid per capita, at $2,400 and above. They could kiss that money good-bye.

The federal government contributes to so many state resources. From the 2010 Census, federal aid contributed the most to health and human services, transportation and education. (Health care is another issue entirely.)

And now, apparently Iowa has filed a petition to secede. With just under 5,000 signatures, chances of this petition doing any harm are pretty slim. Naysayers have until Dec. 11 to acquire 25,000 names. And again, many of the names on this electronic petition are not Iowa residents. (We appreciate the concern and support of residents from other states on whether Iowa remains part of the union or not. Thanks for the support!)

While this sort of nonsense probably happens every four years after a Presidential Election, it seems to be gaining some publicity more so than ever. That could be due to the increase of media attention on the latest election, who knows. But I think it’s silly to throw a temper tantrum when things didn’t go your way!