I enjoyed this passage in the Epilogue of Chuck Thompson’s Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession:
“Mississippi-based civil rights activist Rims Barber practically leaped out of his sensible red t-shirt and conservative gray slacks when I suggested splitting the country in two.
“It would be a disaster,” Barber shrieked. “We’ve got 800,000 black people in this state who want to be part of the Union. What are you going to do about them? The thing would get out of hand very fast. Black people would either have to leave or become serfs.”
“That sounds a little extreme,” I said.
“People always fear Reconstruction II will end like Reconstruction I. When the federal troops went away in 1875-76, that was the end. If we don’t have federal rights we’re dead. We have 47 black legislators out of 147 over in the capitol. If not for the federal courts we’d be lucky to have twenty. They’d be tokens. I would generally fear federal withdrawal. The price of liberty has to be fought for here every day.”
BRA 2.0 would collapse like BRA 1.0 without the meddling Yankees and their federal courts and Justice Department.
Chuck Thompson and Northern liberals have spent the last month making hay out of that 2007 Tax Foundation study which showed Mississippi gets $2.02 in federal spending for every $1.00 it pays in federal taxes.
Who are the taxpayers though in Mississippi? Who are the tax consumers? What accounts for this discrepancy in federal spending? Specifically, what would be the effect of secession on the Black Undertow in Mississippi?
Update: Of the $31.4 billion in federal spending in Mississippi in 2010 (this includes expenditures and obligations), $9.78 billion was on retirement and disability, $8 billion was on “other direct payments,” $7.87 billion was on grants, $2.66 billion was on procurement and $3 billion was on salaries and wages.
$4 billion was Defense Department spending. $27.3 billion was spending by “other federal agencies.” In terms of salaries and wages, $1.25 billion on the Army, $259 million on the Navy, $454 million on the Air Force. In terms of procurement contracts, $796 million on the Army, $319 million on the Navy, $240 million on the Air Force, and $278 million on “other defense.” Throw in another $458 million on military retirement benefits and $329 million for disabled veteran payments.
Roughly 16% of federal expenditures and obligations in Mississippi are defense related.