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posted: 12/5/2012 5:00 AM

Secession is not the answer

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Citizens of several states are expressing their unhappiness at the re-election of President Barack Obama by signing petitions advocating secession from the United States of America. Many of these states and their residents receive more in federal government payments than they return in taxes. Some Americans say, "Let them go! It will be cheaper for the rest of us in the long run!"

If a particular state were to secede, that state's Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments would end. Also disappearing would be funds for highways and other infrastructure, along with federal education grants. Any U.S. military facilities in that state would close. These are just a few of the examples of the services and institutions that would go away with secession.

If the citizens of a newly "independent" state want to continue any of the above programs, they will have to levy incredibly high taxes within their own state to raise the necessary funds.

I recently watched the movie, "Lincoln." I was reminded that we first fought the battle against the destruction of our Union more than 150 years ago. The reasons for both secession and preserving the Union were much the same then as they are today. Those advocating secession should think deeply about the consequences of such acts. The incredible damage to their states in the event of succession would make the distress of staying in the union seem negligible.

There are many constructive ways to express dissatisfaction with government. Breaking away is the worst of all choices. These secession efforts will undoubtedly fail, but, even so, the very effort will leave the Union less cohesive than before.

Karen Wagner

Rolling Meadows

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