November 12, 2012 Residents of 30 States Vote Too Seceed

Erick Erickson


States petition to secede from union

CBS News
By Jake Miller / CBS News/ November 12, 2012, 2:39 PM

They don't want to take their country back They just want to leave it behind.

As the dust settles in the wake of President Obama's decisive reelection last Tuesday, the White House petition website has been flooded by a series of secession requests, with malcontents from New Jersey to North Dakota submitting petitions to allow their states to withdraw from the union.

Most of the petitions submitted thus far have come from solidly conservative states, including most of the Deep South and reliably separatist Texas. But a handful come from the heart of blue America - relatively progressive enclaves like Oregon and New York. All told, petitions have been filed on behalf of 20 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Many of the petitions invoke the Declaration of Independence's dramatic assertion that "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."

The petitions have been submitted through the White House's "We the People" website, which aims to give "all Americans a way to engage their government on the issues that matter to them." The White House promises that "If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and we will issue a response." The threshold is 25,000 signatures in 30 days and, at the time of this article's publication, none of the secession petitions have reached the threshold (the Texas petition has received over 22,000 and needs to hit 25,000 by Dec. 9; Louisiana, with just under 15,000 signatures, needs to hit the threshold by Dec. 7.)

For some of the states represented, the secession requests are nothing novel: South Carolina, the state whose 1860 secession sparked the civil war, is hardly an unlikely locus of conservative angst in response to Mr. Obama's victory. And in Texas, which still conceives of itself as a "republic," not a mere "state," politicians seem to make an almost annual show of flirting with secession, periodically dropping dark hints that Washington's chicanery may force the Lone Star state to flee the Union. After repeatedly nodding at the possibility of secession in the last few years, Gov. Rick Perry, R-Tex., has more recently kept mum on the subject. But some local GOP officials in Texas have been happy to fill the void: Tom Head, a county judge from Lubbock predicted in August that Obama's reelection could lead to a second civil war. And the treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, Peter Morrison, asked in a post-election newsletter, "Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?" Morrison's newsletter requested an "amicable divorce" from the "maggots" who reelected President Obama, many of them voting on an "ethnic basis."

The Texas petition assails the federal government's "neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending," arguing that "it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government." But some political officials in the states involved are not so eager to hop onboard the secession bandwagon, post-election angst or not. Morrison's boss, Hardin County GOP Chairman Kent Batman, explained, "People around here are asking why Texas is so different from the rest of the country, why we see things so differently...but I don't think a lot of people here are saying we ought to leave the Union."

Asked about Morrison's newsletter comments, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Batman sighed and replied, "Wow...OK, well, I guess I need to start taking a look at his newsletters." � 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Governor Rick Perry

Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas

Larry Scott Kilgore

Republic From Arlington, TX
With Stickers, a Petition and Even a
Middle Name, Secession Fever Hits Texas
Published: November 23, 2012

HOUSTON � In the weeks since President Obama�s re-election, Republicans around the country have been wondering how to proceed. Some conservatives in Texas have been asking a far more pointed question: how to secede.

Larry Scott Kilgore announced that he was running for governor in 2014 and would legally change his name to Larry Secede Kilgore, with Secede in capital letters. Secession fever has struck parts of Texas, which Mitt Romney won by nearly 1.3 million votes. Sales of bumper stickers reading �Secede� � one for $2, or three for $5 � have increased at In East Texas, a Republican official sent out an e-mail newsletter saying it was time for Texas and Vermont to each �go her own way in peace� and sign a free-trade agreement among the states.

A petition calling for secession that was filed by a Texas man on a White House Web site has received tens of thousands of signatures, and the Obama administration must now issue a response. And Larry Scott Kilgore, a perennial Republican candidate from Arlington, a Dallas suburb, announced that he was running for governor in 2014 and would legally change his name to Larry Secede Kilgore, with Secede in capital letters. As his Web page,, puts it: �Secession! All other issues can be dealt with later.� In Texas, talk of secession in recent years has steadily shifted to the center from the fringe right. It has emerged as an echo of the state Republican leadership�s anti-Washington, pro-Texas-sovereignty mantra on a variety of issues, including health care and environmental regulations. For some Texans, the renewed interest in the subject serves simply as comic relief after a crushing election defeat.

But for other proponents of secession and its sister ideology, Texas nationalism � a focus of the Texas Nationalist Movement and other groups that want the state to become an independent nation, as it was in the 1830s and 1840s � it is a far more serious matter. The official in East Texas, Peter Morrison, the treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, said in a statement that he had received overwhelming support from conservative Texans and overwhelming opposition from liberals outside the state in response to his comments in his newsletter. He said that it may take time for �people to appreciate that the fundamental cultural differences between Texas and other parts of the United States may be best addressed by an amicable divorce, a peaceful separation.�

The online petitions � created on the We the People platform at � are required to receive 25,000 signatures in 30 days for the White House to respond. The Texas petition, created Nov. 9 by a man identified as Micah H. of Arlington, had received more than 116,000 signatures by Friday. It asks the Obama administration to �peacefully grant� the withdrawal of Texas, and describes doing so as �practically feasible,� given the state�s large economy. Residents in other states, including Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma, have submitted similar petitions, though none have received as many signatures as the one from Texas.

Gov. Rick Perry, who twice made public remarks in 2009 suggesting that he was sympathetic to the secessionist cause, will not be signing the petition. �Governor Perry believes in the greatness of our union, and nothing should be done to change it,� a spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said in a statement. �But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.� The secession movement in Texas is divergent, with differences in goals and tactics. One group, the Republic of Texas, says that secession is unnecessary because, it claims, Texas is an independent nation that was illegally annexed by the United States in 1845. (The group�s leader and other followers waged a weeklong standoff with the Texas Rangers in 1997 that left one of its members dead.) Mr. Kilgore, the candidate who is changing his middle name, said he had not signed the White House petition because he did not believe that Texans needed to ask Washington for permission to leave.

�Our economy is about 30 percent larger than that of Australia,� said Mr. Kilgore, 48, a telecommunications contractor. �Australia can survive on their own, and I don�t think we�ll have any problem at all surviving on our own in Texas.� Few of the public calls for secession have addressed the messy details, like what would happen to the state�s many federal courthouses, prisons, military bases and parklands. No one has said what would become of Kevin Patteson, the director of the state�s Office of State-Federal Relations, and no one has asked the Texas residents who received tens of millions of dollars in federal aid after destructive wildfires last year for their thoughts on the subject. But all the secession talk has intrigued liberals as well. Caleb M. of Austin started his own petition on the White House Web site. He asked the federal government to allow Austin to withdraw from Texas and remain part of the United States, �in the event that Texas is successful in the current bid to secede.� It had more than 8,000 signatures

Tea Party Shrugs

Billings Montana
Tea Party group wants
Montana to secede from union
November 20, 2012 11:45 pm
By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Gazette State Bureau

HELENA � A Tea Party group based in Billings has launched digital petitions asking the White House to allow Montana to secede from the United States and create its own new government.
Similar efforts began in all 50 states after the President Barack Obama�s victory earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported.

There are two separate digital petitions requesting that Montana be allowed to secede on the White House website for petitions. Spearheading the secession effort here are the Montana Shrugged Tea Party Patriots.

�It�s more of an attention-getter,� said Eric Olsen, the group�s co-founder. �We�re trying to raise our voice again, hoping people will listen. We hope somebody listens to us someday.� The petitions call on the Obama administration to �peacefully grant the state of Montana to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.� As of Tuesday afternoon, one Montana petition had the first names of 13,334 signers, while the other had 61.

Anyone can sign the petitions. People signing the petitions electronically do not have to be from the state seeking to secede. Many of the people signing them were from out of state. On Nov. 13, blogger Tyler Evilsizer reported on that of the 7,425 people who had signed the Montana petition by then, only 8 percent were from Montana, while 69 percent were from out of state. The other 23 percent left their addresses blank. Montana Shrugged�s Olsen called the petitions a step in a long battle and a move to garner some publicity.

�We had some pretty good press for two years,� Olsen said. �After 2010, the press ignored us. It�s just another voice to say we�re still here. We just need the federal government to wake up.� He added, �This is just a thing to raise the voice of concern. The Tea Party is concerned about deficits and extreme budgets.�

Craig Wilson, a political science professor at Montana State University Billings, called the digital petition for secession a sign of the polarization that exists in Montana and nationally. �Obviously, they�re a faction of the electorate in Montana,� Wilson said. However, Wilson said the Tea Party group from Montana can�t secede from the United States. It would require a federal constitutional amendment to allow a state to secede. He said the MSUB poll done this fall found that 87 percent who disapproved of President Barack Obama said they were economically worse off than they were four years earlier. It also showed that 67 percent who said they were economically better off since 2008 said they would vote for Obama.

�You have economic unrest linked to political unrest,� Wilson said, adding that each affects the other. The Obama White House has a website, �We the People,� through which people can petition their government. The website is at: Petitioners have 30 days to obtain 25,000 digital signatures to get a response from the White House.

US Senator Larry Craig

225 North 9th Street, Suite 530
Boise, Idaho 83702

US Congressman Mike Simpson

2312 Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, D.C. 20515
Insurrection, Sedition,Treason An Idaho Institution
Seceding A Minor Formality
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A petition has been started to withdraw Idaho from the United States of America and become its own government.

The petition was started from the White House's "We the People" website, which was set up by the Obama administration for citizens to engage with government. The online petition was created by a Meridian resident on November 11th and already has more than 5,000 signatures. The petitions reads, "We the people of the great state of Idaho are angered that the federal government is violating our natural/God-given rights... it is time to take matter upon ourselves and ensure our continue freedom."

Although thousands have already signed the petition, many of those signatures are not from Idaho residents.

Former Attorney General

General Al Lance
700 W. Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0010
(208) 334-2400
History of Terrorism & Idaho
This link reviews some of the known incidents of terrorism and racism in Idaho. Includes possible use of Anthrax at Ada County Courthouse; veterans amassing large arsenals which had to be seized by Canada and the US.....

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160
13 California Counties
Look to Secede, Create New State
ABC News' Amy Bingham reports:
Jul 14, 2011 6:01am

At a time when partisan politics are so divisive that the federal government seems incapable of averting a government default, polarization of state political parties could literally tear states apart. Disgruntled voters in both California and Arizona are trying to secede from their respective states to escape state governments that they say are on a fast-track in the wrong direction.

In California, a state ruled by Democrats, 13 southern and mostly Republican counties are petitioning to create their own state. �Onerous regulations on business� that are driving jobs out of the state and the California legislature�s attempts to balance the budget by �stealing� tax revenue from local governments are two reason why Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone said he is pushing for secession. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to hold a meeting in late September of representatives from every city and county in California to decide if their grievances can be solved without secession. If not, the group will hammer out the details of creating a new state.

�Obviously I touched a nerve that is felt not only among Californians but among people around the country who feel their voices are not being heard,� Stone said. �I�m hoping that the nerve that I touch with a lot of citizens will resonate and we will see dramatic changes in the way we do business in the state and the way we do business in this country.� The break-away counties include about 13 million people or about a third of California�s population. In order to secede they have to first get approval from the California legislature, which is totally controlled by Democrats, then create a constitution and petition the U.S. Congress to approve their statehood.

Despite the obvious obstacle of getting the Democrats who control the state Senate and Assembly on board with his plan, Stone said secession �is not impossible.� �Is it challenging? No question about it. When the citizens get mad they can do some pretty extraordinary things. No one thought we could recall a governor, but you know what we did it,� Stone said, referring to the 2003 recall election in which voters replaced Democratic Gov. Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.....

Dan Belcher

Man Behind Petition
Derrick Belcher, Man Behind
Alabama Secession Petition,
Mad About Losing Topless Car Wash (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post | By Cavan Sieczkowski
Posted: 11/16/2012 9:14 am EST Updated: 11/16/2012 11:26 am

Meet Derrick Belcher, a 45-year-old from Chunchula, Ala. Belcher is a truck driver, knife collector, "absolute Libertarian" and previously owned a topless car wash -- that is, until the government shut down his business, he claims. According to, Belcher is so upset with the government, he's petitioning for Alabama to secede from the United States.

�I don�t think any one state can stand alone. But if we�ve got 20 of them, then that starts to be something,� Belcher said of the secession movement. �If you look at a map of the red states, we have all of the oil and we produce all of the food. We�re the ones that are carrying the rest of the nation.�The Alabama native blames the federal government for shutting down his topless car wash, Euro Details, which he claims was successful for a decade in Mobile, according to In 2001, Belcher was arrested and charged with obscenity. �The government ripped my business away, and now they�re choking America to death with rules and regulations,� he said.

Alabama enacted its anti-obscenity law in 1998, prohibiting private businesses and clubs from allowing breasts, genitalia and buttocks to be shown for entertainment, the Chicago Tribune previously reported. Although legislators claimed the law was instituted to stop nude dancing, "opponents argue the statute is so broad that it could be used to censor any type of entity that shows nudity," the Tribute explained. Belcher's topless car wash fell under this umbrella.

So, last Friday, he started the Alabama secession petition in hopes that his state will be granted the right to secede from the Union, according to WKRG, a CBS News affiliate. Petitions to secede from the U.S. have been filed in all 50 states. �The American people are being mistreated by the federal government and there is absolutley no reason why we shouldn't end this treatment from the federal government,� Belcher told WKRG. �And I guess there is a part of me that is angry because my government has mistreated me year after year after year and I am fed up with it and I know there are several other people in this state and all across the country that are fed up with it as well.�

As of this writing, the Alabama secession petition had garnered 29,113 signatures on the White House's "We The People" online petition tool. According to the petition, 25,000 signatures are required for the White House to review it.

Randy Dye Founder

Secede Petiton
Pittsboron, NC
NC petitioners seek break
from America
By Andrew Edwards | The Daily Tar Heel
Updated: 11/16/12 1:05am

North Carolina seceded from the Union more than 150 years ago. But if petitioners have their way, the Tar Heel state will again separate from the United States.

The N.C. petitioners are not alone. As of Wednesday night, citizens have petitioned for each of the 50 states to peacefully secede from the U.S. through the White House�s website, North Carolina�s secession petition, which has collected more than 27,000 signatures since its creation on Nov. 9, was drafted by conservative blogger, columnist and Pittsboro resident Randy Dye.

Political analysts say the petitioners are likely more concerned about voicing their disapproval with the Obama administration than actually following through with secession. Mark Jones, professor and chairman of the political science department at Rice University in Texas, said the level of support for Texas� petition likely stems from residents� concerns about the outcome of the presidential election. He added that the state has always had a self-governing mentality.

�I think states need to become independent again like our forefathers had planned,� Dye said. �The federal government is too huge to wrap my mind around. I think we need to bring it back to the states to the point where � (state) representatives can control (each state�s) finances better and keep track of them versus having someone in Washington do it.� Dye says while he knows the petition is �absolutely going to go nowhere,� he drafted the petition on principle, citing strong objections to the federal government�s deficit spending and mounting debt.

According to an e-mail from a White House official, every petition that receives more than 25,000 signatures will be reviewed and issued an official response from President Barack Obama�s administration. As of Wednesday night, petitions from seven states � including North Carolina � exceeded the signature threshold needed to merit a response from the White House. Among these petitions, Texas has garnered the most support, with almost 104,000 signatures.

�Texas has the history of being a formerly independent country � there is often a mistaken belief that we somehow have an additional privilege or ability that other states don�t have,� he said. Harry Watson, a UNC history professor and former director of the University�s Center for the Study of the American South, said he could not recall a secession movement that began with an effort to petition the federal government. The Confederate States did not petition the United States government when they left the nation � they just did it,� he said.
Published November 14, 2012 in State
North Carolina Long
Tradition of Sedition, Treason, Sedition
This link reviews North Carolina where sedition and treason and terrorism are long established public institutions. Simply put a state full of superpatriots who believe in waive the flag one day and if they don't get what they want-will overthrow the government the next.

Congressman Howard Coble
Retired 2014
Chair Subcommittee On Courts
Stripped Chair Homeland Security Comm
2102 North Elm St, Suite B
Greensboro, NC 27408-5100
North Carolina Seceeds From Union
"Gov. Rick Perry: Texas Wants To Follow
North Carolina already seceeded from the Union apparently the US Government none the wiser and naturally Texas and other states wanted to follow suit and become independent Republics within the United States

Exhibit Tea Party Terrorist Manifesto? Goes to Motive

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Office of the Governor

Governor Rick Perry Terrorist Manifesto
Neutering the US Judiciary?

The political platform of the Tea Party and more conservative elements of the Republic Party enspouse such ideas as neutering the Article III Federal Judges; giving Congress the ability to overrule the US Supreme Court; elimination of Department of Homeland Security; the states to be given control of medicaid and SSI over the Social Security Administration and a variety of other similar matters. The specific statement of Governor Rick Perry as cited is that if Texas can't run the United States it has the right to seceed from the Union.

While there is nothing wrong with wishing to amend a federal law or the constitution the 20 year operational audit shows the means of achieving these goals is to empower treason, sedition, and insurrenction; includes assassination attempts; and a wide variety of criminal offenses which currently challenge the Rule of Law.

Seven ways Rick Perry wants to change the Constitution By Chris Moody Political Reporter
PostsEmailRSSBy Chris Moody | The Ticket � Fri, Aug 19, 2011

Rick Perry has many ideas about how to change the American government's founding document. From ending lifetime tenure for federal judges to completely scrapping two whole amendments, the Constitution would see a major overhaul if the Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate had his druthers.

Perry laid out these proposed innovations to the founding document in his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. He has occasionally mentioned them on the campaign trail. Several of his ideas fall within the realm of mainstream conservative thinking today, but, as you will see, there are also a few surprises.

1. Abolish lifetime tenure for federal judges by amending Article III, Section I of the Constitution. The nation's framers established a federal court system whereby judges with "good behavior" would be secure in their job for life. Perry believes that provision is ready for an overhaul.
"The Judges," reads Article III, "both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office."

Perry makes it no secret that he believes the judges on the bench over the past century have acted beyond their constitutional bounds. The problem, Perry reasons, is that members of the judiciary are "unaccountable" to the people, and their lifetime tenure gives them free license to act however they want. In his book, the governor speaks highly of plans to limit their tenure and offers proposals about how to accomplish it. "'[W]e should take steps to restrict the unlimited power of the courts to rule over us with no accountability," he writes in Fed Up! "There are a number of ideas about how to do this . . . . One such reform would be to institute term limits on what are now lifetime appointments for federal judges, particularly those on the Supreme Court or the circuit courts, which have so much power. One proposal, for example, would have judges roll off every two years based on seniority."

2. Congress should have the power to override Supreme Court decisions with a two-thirds vote. Ending lifetime tenure for federal justices isn't the only way Perry has proposed suppressing the power of the courts. His book excoriates at length what he sees as overreach from the judicial branch. (The title of Chapter Six is "Nine Unelected Judges Tell Us How to Live.") Giving Congress the ability to veto their decisions would be another way to take the Court down a notch, Perry says. "[A]llow Congress to override the Supreme Court with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, which risks increased politicization of judicial decisions, but also has the benefit of letting the people stop the Court from unilaterally deciding policy," he writes.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Office of the Governor

Governor Rick Perry Terrorist Manifesto
Neutering the US Judiciary?

Seven ways Rick Perry wants to change the Constitution
By Chris Moody Political Reporter
PostsEmailRSSBy Chris Moody | The Ticket � Fri, Aug 19, 2011

3. Scrap the federal income tax by repealing the Sixteenth Amendment. The Sixteenth Amendment gives Congress the "power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." It should be abolished immediately, Perry says. Calling the Sixteenth Amendment "the great milestone on the road to serfdom," Perry's writes that it provides a virtually blank check to the federal government to use for projects with little or no consultation from the states.

4. End the direct election of senators by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment. Overturning this amendment would restore the original language of the Constitution, which gave state legislators the power to appoint the members of the Senate. Ratified during the Progressive Era in 1913 , the same year as the Sixteenth Amendment, the Seventeenth Amendment gives citizens the ability to elect senators on their own. Perry writes that supporters of the amendment at the time were "mistakenly" propelled by "a fit of populist rage." "The American people mistakenly empowered the federal government during a fit of populist rage in the early twentieth century by giving it an unlimited source of income (the Sixteenth Amendment) and by changing the way senators are elected (the Seventeenth Amendment)," he writes.

5. Require the federal government to balance its budget every year: Of all his proposed ideas, Perry calls this one "the most important," and of all the plans, a balanced budget amendment likely has the best chance of passage. "The most important thing we could do is amend the Constitution--now--to restrict federal spending," Perry writes in his book. "There are generally thought to be two options: the traditional 'balanced budget amendment' or a straightforward 'spending limit amendment,' either of which would be a significant improvement. I prefer the latter . . . . Let's use the people's document--the Constitution--to put an actual spending limit in place to control the beast in Washington." A campaign to pass a balanced budget amendment through Congress fell short by just one vote in the Senate in the 1990s. Last year, House Republicans proposed a spending-limit amendment that would limit federal spending to 20 percent of the economy. According to the amendment's language, the restriction could be overridden by a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress or by a declaration of war.

6. The federal Constitution should define marriage as between one man and one woman in all 50 states: Despite saying last month that he was "fine with" states like New York allowing gay marriage, Perry has now said he supports a constitutional amendment that would permanently ban gay marriage throughout the country and overturn any state laws that define marriage beyond a relationship between one man and one woman. "I do respect a state's right to have a different opinion and take a different tack if you will, California did that," Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network in August. "I respect that right, but our founding fathers also said, 'Listen, if you all in the future think things are so important that you need to change the Constitution here's the way you do it'. In an interview with The Ticket earlier this month, Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said that even though it would overturn laws in several states, the amendment still fits into Perry's broader philosophy because amendments require the ratification of three-fourths of the states to be added to the Constitution.

7. Abortion should be made illegal throughout the country: Like the gay marriage issue, Perry at one time believed that abortion policy should be left to the states, as was the case before the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. But in the same Christian Broadcasting Network interview, Perry said that he would support a federal amendment outlawing abortion because it was "so the soul of this country and to the traditional values [of] our founding fathers."

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Office of the Governor

Republican presidential candidate
Texas Gov. Rick Perry answers a question

As Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens during a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in Simi Valley, Calif.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Jae C. Hong - AP)

It was all but guaranteed that the Rick Perry and Mitt Romney � that is, the new frontrunner and the old frontrunner � would go after each other in tonight�s Republican debate. The surprise is how quickly it happened. As moderator Brian Williams quipped, both candidates came prepared.

In the first few minutes of the NBC News/Politico debate at California�s Reagan Library, the Texas governor and former Massachusetts governor attacked each other�s records on jobs and the economy in detail. Perry pointed out that Romney, with all his private sector experience, �had one of the lowest job creation rates� in the country as governor � �we created more jobs in the last three months in Texas.� (Here�s a Factchecker on Perry�s jobs record.)

Romney argued that Perry benefited from an external environment in Texas that did not exist in Massachusetts, and that taking credit for the state�s job creation �is like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.� The zinger got a big laugh. But Perry had his own historical reference, charging that Michael Dukakis (one of Romney�s Democratic predecessors in Massachusetts and the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee) was a more rapid job creator. Romney retorted that George W. Bush created jobs in Texas faster than Perry.

Later in the debate, the two sparred over Social Security, with Perry reiterating claims he has made that the retirement program is a �Ponzi scheme� and a �monstrous lie� to � our kids� because it can�t remain solvent for future generations. When pressed by moderator John Harris about GOP political guru Karl Rove � who has a rocky history with Perry and his allies � calling the governor�s remarks about Social Security �toxic, � Perry responded: �Karl has been over the top for a long time. I�m not responsible for Karl any more.�

Meanwhile, Romney responded that Perry was wrong to suggest that Social Security was failing. �It�s been working for millions of Americans and I will keep it working for millions of Americans,� Romney said. Perry started out very calm and confident, despite appearing in his first debate in five years � he refused to debate his last gubernatorial opponent � and his first debate as a presidential contender.

Romney continued his strategy of avoiding fights, responding when attacked but otherwise passing on chances to needle his rivals. The former governor�s campaign, on the other hand, isn�t pulling punches. Throughout the debate, Romney�s press team sent out detailed memos attacking Perry�s record and his comments. More on PostPolitics

Watch the GOP debate and join our live blog
Perry debuts on debate stage
Will Romney tackle Perry?

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Office of the Governor

Rick Perry sticks to claim that
Social Security is a scam

August 29, 2011|By Michael Muskal | Los Angeles Times
LA Times

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is standing firm in insisting that Social Security, the federal government�s insurance programs for retirees and disabled, is a Ponzi scheme designed to deceive the young. In a weekend campaign stop in Ottumwa, Iowa, Perry, who has surged into the lead in the Republican presidential sweepstakes in at least one major poll, repeated his characterization of the social insurance program that is generally supported by the electorate. He has made the same point before, especially in his book, �Fed Up!,� though at one point his campaign tried to explain that he had softened his language.

One of Rep. Paul Ryan�s many past proposals to remake the federal safety net included a sweeping plan to privatize Social Security and risk the program�s solvency in attempting to save it. He championed the idea as recently as 2010 but pushed it under the rug the following year. Mitt Romney, who recently selected Ryan to be his vice presidential nominee, is steering clear of the plan.

The proposal was in Ryan�s 2010 �Roadmap For America�s Future,� a broad blueprint to remake the federal budget which elevated the little-known congressman into the Republican Party�s visionary. It involved shifting Social Security funds to private retirement accounts as well as reducing benefits and gradually raising the age of eligibility. Over time, the Congressional Budget Office said, Social Security payouts would �be more uncertain, despite the guarantee, because returns on stocks and corporate bonds are risky.� The plan seeks to protect against market fluctuations by guaranteeing seniors a rate return at least equal to the rate of inflation, and by shifting near-retirees� money from stocks to government bonds. But funding losses from stock market swings could endanger the solvency of the program.

The Roadmap was the precursor to Ryan�s budgets that passed the House with overwhelming GOP support in 2011 and 2012. But unlike his Medicare and tax provisions, The Social Security reforms were dropped after Republicans won the House. The plan would allow workers to invest more than one-third of their Social Security taxes into private retirement accounts. Wall Street would likely enjoy a huge windfall from the private account investments. The eligibility formula changes mean benefits would be cut for the top 70 The plan would allow workers to invest more than one-third of their Social Security taxes into private retirement accounts. Wall Street would likely enjoy a huge windfall from the private account investments. The eligibility formula changes mean benefits would be cut for the top 70 percent of recipients, according to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

�Rep. Ryan described his plan as strengthening Social Security,� said Paul Van de Water, a Social Security expert at CBPP. �In fact, however, it would have made deep cuts in guaranteed Social Security benefits and impaired the program�s solvency by diverting a large portion of payroll taxes into private accounts that would primarily benefit high earners.�

Similar legislation Ryan co-sponsored in 2004 with Republican Sen. John Sununu would have required all participants in the private accounts, upon retirement, to buy an annuity into a portfolio established by the Social Security Administration to invest in stocks and bonds. By 2050, Social Security private accounts would have investments in the entire national market for stocks and corporate bonds, CBPP concluded. The plan would have also left a huge gap in revenues to the program�s trust fund.

Ryan�s bill was so far-reaching the Bush administration called it �irresponsible� before pushing a scaled-back version � which failed. The Romney campaign isn�t endorsing it and it�s unclear if he�d push such a plan if elected president. But the proposal offers an important glimpse into the governing philosophy of Ryan � and by extension Romney. The Social Security trust fund has a $2.6 trillion surplus but goes underwater in 2033, according to its actuary, at which point benefits will be reduced by one-fourth.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Office of the Governor
Huffington Posts HuffPost has comprehensive coverage of the Tax Day Tea Party protests. Click here for the latest photos and video.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up an anti-tax "tea party" Wednesday with his stance against the federal government and for states' rights as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, "Secede!"An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall -- one of three tea parties he was attending across the state -- that officials in Washington have abandoned the country's founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.

Perry repeated his running theme that Texas' economy is in relatively good shape compared with other states and with the "federal budget mess." Many in the crowd held signs deriding President Barack Obama and the $786 billion federal economic stimulus package. Perry called his supporters patriots. Later, answering news reporters' questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

He said when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out. However, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas negotiated the power to divide into four additional states at some point if it wanted to but not the right to secede. Texas did secede in 1861, but the North's victory in the Civil War put an end to that.

Perry is running for re-election against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a fellow Republican. His anti-Washington remarks have become more strident the past few weeks as that 2010 race gets going and since Perry rejected $550 million in federal economic stimulus money slated to help Texas' unemployment trust fund. Perry said the stimulus money would come with strings attached that would leave Texas paying the bill once the federal money ran out. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also Republicans, have been outspoken against the federal economic stimulus spending and were supportive of tea parties in their states. The protests were being held throughout the country on federal income tax deadline day to imitate the original Boston Tea Party of American revolutionary times.

In an appearance at the Texas Capitol last week, Perry joined state lawmakers in pushing a resolution that supports states' rights protected in the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He said the federal government has become oppressive in its size and interference with states. Since then, Perry has been featured on the online Drudge Report, and other conservative commentators and citizens have latched on to his words.

After praising veterans in the cheering crowd Wednesday, he said: "I'm just not real sure you're a bunch of right-wing extremists. But if you are, we're with you." Perry said he believes he could be at the center of a national movement that is coordinated and focused in its opposition to the actions of the federal government.

"It's a very organic thing," he said. "It is a very powerful moment, I think, in American history."

For her part, Hutchison issued a newspaper opinion piece Wednesday criticizing the Democratic-led Congress for spending on the stimulus bill and the $1 trillion appropriations bill. "On April 15 -- Tax Day -- some in Congress may need a reminder of just who is underwriting this spending: the American taxpayer. I am deeply concerned over the swelling tax burden that will be imposed on all Texas families," she wrote. The crowd at the Austin tea party appeared to be decidedly anti-Democrat. Many of the speakers were Republicans and Libertarians.

One placard said, "Stop Obama's Socialism." Another read, "Some Pirates Are in America," and it showed photographs of Obama, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wearing pirate hats. Rebecca Knowlton, 45, of Smithville, said she took the day off of home-schooling her three children and brought them to the rally to teach them about civic duty. Knowlton, a critic of the Social Security system and the United Nations, said she felt camaraderie at the demonstration.
"The movement is growing stronger," she said. "You're not alone."