Friday, February 4, 2011

How independence could help Ohio's budget crisis

I have thought this for some time, but Russell Longcore at Dump DC says it better. It is short, so I am quoting it in full:

The Bankruptcy of American Colony/States
We all know that Washington’s government is broke. But nearly every colony/state of the Union is also in desperate financial trouble. They have nearly all spent profligately. But their underfunded pension obligations are going to sink them aside from too much spending. And Federal law doesn’t permit colony/states to declare bankruptcy.

I just want to point out that if a colony/state seceded from the Union to become a nation once again, it would likely shed enough Federal debt and Federally-mandated spending that it could balance its budget once again. And now the new nation would not be subject to Federal bankruptcy laws. That doesn’t mean it should stiff its creditors, but it could facilitate restructuring and payment of its obligations.

Also remember the old saying…”The thinking that got us here will not get us where we want to go.” There will need to be an entirely new group of leaders who move away from the republic to secession and new nationhood.
Mr. Longcore also has a link to The Daily Beast has an article about colony/state bankruptcy that he strongly recommends, to show how bad your state is doing. It measures relative bankruptcy by the ratio between state debt and state Gross Domestic Product. By that measure, Ohio is doing relatively well. Despite our $8 billion budget deficit, which The Daily Beast understates as $3 billion, our $27 billion of state debt against $471.3 billion of Gross Domestic Product (both 2009 figures) gives us a debt/GDP ratio of 5.93%, ranking us 44th of the 50 states in debt burden.* Our unfunded pension and retirement health care liabilities total $46.5 billion.

Some people ask why we would want independence and lose all those federal funds. They are not thinking clearly. All of those federal funds would be available to Ohio government. Well, then, how about the fact Ohio is getting $1.05 from Washington for every dollar it sends there? **  Vermont secessionist Frank Bryan has a good answer for that: "Would you rather have $10,000 to spend any way you want, or $10,500 that you have to spend as I say?" ***

* Rhode Island, with a ratio of 19.19% was first, Nebraska (2.91%) was 50th.
** Tax Foundation "Federal Spending Received per Dollar of Taxes, FY 2005,"  Federal Fiscal Year 2005 (ending Sept. 30, 2005) is the latest year available.
*** Quoted in Bill Kauffman, Bye Bye Miss American Empire (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010), p.233, adapted to Ohio's ratio.


Anonymous said...

You're more than a little off on your representation of Frank Bryan as a "Vermont secessionist."

Here's what Bryan had to say to the local press last September:

“One of the problems with all the secessionists is they’re impatient,” says Bryan, who has turned his back on secession. “They want to go to the top immediately with candidates who really don’t have a lot of experience in governing.”

Moreover, SVR's Thomas Naylor has booted Bryan from the SVR advisory board.

You must have missed the purge.

Thomas Rowley

Harold Thomas said...


I read Frank Bryan as being one who favors secession; but like myself, he wants it to be done in the right way, at the right time.

The fact that Mr. Bryan has differences with Thomas Naylor does not disqualify him from being a secessionist.


Anonymous said...

"Bryan, who has turned his back on secession."

Yes, just ignore the obvious.

These aren't "differences." If you knew Bryan, as we in Vermont do, you'd be aware that this was a book publishing scam from the beginning and then he found out what a whackjob Naylor, Sale, Williams and, frankly, you are.

There's so much to refute seceshers now that you, Rand Paul and the rest of the irrationales really need to re-think what your up to. Enjoy the AnRem conference - get a fresh sheet.

Sunspots, anyone?

T. Rowley

Harold Thomas said...


Until your last comment, I had some respect for your opinions. I do not claim to be an expert on Vermont secession, and I was more than happy to view your site as a valuable counterpoint to the Vermont secessionists.

But now, you have made an unsubstantiated charge against Prof. Bryan, and have assumed that, because I have reasons for favoring the independence of my state, that I support American Renaissance (I do not, except to the extent that they have the same right as everyone else to peaceful assembly), agree with Carol Moore's sunspot theory (which I do not), and hold the racial views of Thomas Naylor (which this blog should abundantly show that I do not).

All I see from your comment is that you are either so bigoted in support of your own position, or so lacking in your ability to provide a reasoned response, that all you can do is resort to typical liberal namecalling by informing me that I am a "nutjob."

It's not a very good way to win friends and influence people, Mr. "Rowley".

Harold Thomas said...

One additional point from "Thomas Rowley's" comment:

He writes, "There's so much to refute seceshers now that you, Rand Paul and the rest of the irrationales really need to re-think what your up to."

Do not assume that all "seceshers" think and act like the Second Vermont Republic, or like the League of the South. Each state or region has its own reason for wanting to get out from under the heavy hand of Washington; and will find the approach that best fits its local situation.

Mr. "Rowley" should also note that I have advocated secession as a last resort only after all conventional political and nullification approaches have been exhausted.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, denying someone the opportunity to rent space at your hotel for a hate conference constitutes a First Amendment violation?

Not a bit. It's private property, unless that's a matter that libertarians no longer care to defend the rights of.

Brush up on the caselaw at NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY v. SKOKIE. The right to assembly applies to public areas only, not public areas on private property. Try that at your local mall and you find out how fast your take is wrong.

Oh, and you're wrong about Bryan. I've asked him, so why don't you?

btw, do stop by again tomorrow, the new post'll be a zinger.


Harold Thomas said...


Who said anything about the First Amendment? Of course a hotel has the right to refuse any meeting they want (provided they are not discriminating within the meaning of the Civil Rights Act). But everyone has the right to meet and express their opinions freely, no matter how repugnant they seem to others. If Charlotte's hotels won't allow them, I'm sure someplace else will.

My issue with "political correctness" isn't because I'm a racist (which seemed to be an idea very fixed in your mind), but because I believe that the free expression of contrary opinions is necessary to arrive at the truth.

I have contacted Prof. Bryan, and if he agrees with you that I have misrepresented him, then I will admit in a separate post that I was wrong.

Harold Thomas said...

For the record, I have contacted Prof. Bryan. The pertinent part of his response is this:

"The term 'renounced' is a bit strong and misleading...

"I viewed secession as a divorce breaking up a marriage when both
partners may still love one another. (It happens.) Plus I felt (and still do) that Vermont could survive and prosper as an independent Republic."

In other words, his stand on secessionism is similar to mine. I shall leave it to the reader to determine whether or not the "secessionist" tag in the original post was appropriate.

Harold Thomas said...

The arrogant hypocrisy of "Thomas Rowley" comes out in his own blog, Vermont Secession. He reacts to comments to a recent post thus:

"All the comments received have been from the very "small community" of secesher supporters and their out-of-state allies. Something about staying on topic escapes them, and I have no intention of providing therapy for what's ailing them - they were not approved for publication."

I am probably the "out of state ally." After I showed support for Mr. "Rowley's" comments on anti-Semitism, I observed that he would have a great blog (he researches well), if he wouldn't let his snarkiness get the best of him.

He is free to do what he likes with his blog, but his attitude seems a bit hypocritical, given the tone of his remarks here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the edited update from Bryan but let's have it all. The idea that secession is equivalent to marriage is laughable, especially in the legal sense.

Here's how they handled the same situation once before from They just leave out the part how they did't tell the subsequent venue who they were. What's that called, White Pride?

I don't think you're a racist, Harold. I think you're a racist enabler. Just how many centuries of discussion do you need to arrive at the truth that racism harms everyone, including the despicable promoters of racism?

I know that you feel that a stodgy, uninspiring, full of itself style is what works best for you, but don't make the mistake of thinking that the rest of the world needs to operate from such a haughty perch to get taken seriously. Williams and his gang have complained repeatedly that I've gotten the truth out about their group and that their progress has suffered for it.

There was a bit of subterfuge involved in the comment thing. I couldn't care less on the thoughts of an out-of-stater regarding Vermont Secession and how it operates. I was looking for just what I got from the opposition. Moore is a liar and she's done so repeatedly in the past, so I didn't think that she'd hesitate to do so again. I have the seven comments from her and her statement that I'd gotten none. Frankly, it's all I was looking for and knew that the upcoming posts would provoke her to, once again, say something stupid. She's yet to disappoint.

First you say that I'm an "arrogant hypocri(te), then you say I'm "a bit hypocritical." Jeezum crow, Harold, this close to Valentine's Day I really need to know where you stand.


Harold Thomas said...

All right, I'll bite one more time.
(Part 1 of 3):

1. Prof. Bryan's e-mail in its entirety:

"Thank you for your concern. The term "renounced" is a bit strong and misleading. I left the movement for the following reason.

"I love America. I tear up when I hear America the beautiful sung correctly. I say the Pledge of Allegiance and mean it when I do.

"I could not stand by and watch the American flag burned. I honor our soldiers past and present and so on.

"I viewed secession as a divorce breaking up a marriage when both partners may still love one another. (It happens.) Plus I felt (and still do) that Vermont could survive and prosper as an independent Republic. With all that said I simply could not stand my own hypocrisy any longer.

"Actually I stayed on the advisory committee of the SVR longer than I should have because was told that 'some people' were calling us racist. I was so put off by that kind of McCarthyist tactic that I didn't want to seem to verify it by resigning at that point.

"Again thank you for your for your note. It was a responsible and much appreciated act. Good luck with your movement. So many things the federal government now does could be done better (on all counts) at the state level.



Harold Thomas said...

(Part 2 of 3)

2. You say that I'm a "racist enabler." What does that mean, exactly? Is everyone who believes that "political correctness" is
a hindrance to free speech and the search for truth a "racist enabler"? If not, just how do you see me being one? How do you reconcile that with my posts on Martin Luther King Day (2008, 2010,* and 2011) and my recent post on racism quoting the work of an African-American blogger?

3. I do think that you are an arrogant hypocrite. You seem arrogant because you burst into other people's blogs to tell them they are nutjobs. You seem to conveniently ignore any evidence in other posts in this blog that might "refudiate" your assertions. You insult me by telling me to enjoy the AmRen conference and to get a sheet. Oh, I suppose you're going to tell me that you were just being funny.

And you are hypocritical because you take full advantage of other people's blogs to spread your merriment while suppressing comments on your own.


Harold Thomas said...

(Part 3 of 3)

I don't mind people who have a sense of humor, and I don't expect everyone else to be as stodgy and uninspiring as you say I am. But I don't think it is unreasonable to expect commenters to show the same civility as one would normally show when they are a guest in someone else's home.

I can handle disagreement. Search the website on "Barga". Robert Barga and I have at it all the time in this blog's comments, but he sticks to the issues.

I can also tell you this -- my numbers aren't bad, either. It is followed and respected by the liberty movement in Ohio (whose candidates on the Libertarian and Constitution Party tickets got a combined average of five percent in last fall's statewide elections -- not spectacular, but not bad considering that Ohio law made it almost impossible for them to appear on the ballot until two years ago -- obviously we didn't run Dennis Steele...).

Maybe it's a cultural thing -- the flinty New Englander clashing with the staid Midwesterner. Which is potentially an argument for what our mutual acquaintance Rob Williams likes to call the "untied states." You can do things your way, we can do things ours, and everyone will be freer to live as they choose.

* And yes, I know Ian Baldwin isn't black -- but I learned that fact after this was posted, and didn't think (after corresponding with him) that a formal retraction was necessary.


Anonymous said...

Oh Harold, where to start?

Why don't I keep it simple. You run your blog your way, I'll run mine as I like. You spoke of one commenter. At the beginning I got dozens of different weirdos who underscored their arguments with conspiracy "facts" and allusions to hidden forces. I got tired of wasting my time on them, particularly since the blog was to be a record of the secession movement in Vermont - not group therapy (I'm unqualified and disinclined to lead it.).

I opened comments specifically to get more on Moore and did. Time then to close shop on comments. She's continued to comment over at VTCommons and even suggests how to game comments - pathetic. But I'll eventually use it.

When I comment here I actually to turn it down a notch so I wish you'd show a little more of that Ohioan demeanor (FD: I've a friend originally from Ohio & I don't get him either).

Rather than me pulling it from comments, could you do a post on your chat w/Bryan? You know, you said, he said kinda thing.

Hate to disallusion ya but that 5% thing don't mean much. You'll find that's the fringe average in many states, year after year. Some people just won't vote D or R, and it works out to about 5% +/-(sometimes as much as 10% temporarily based on issue spikes).

You & I are going to disagree on the racist venue thing. There is no constitutional question. I don't care if you eat chittlins on Sundays and sing gospel, your position enables racist swine. I'm sure that you've got better things to do.