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Gov. Perry: Texas may secede from union over Obama spending

April 16, 2009 |  7:15 am

Tax protesters in Lafayette Park on April 15, 2009

There were lots of tax protest tea parties all over the nation Wednesday to mark the April 15 tax deadline, with lots of genuine anger over President Obama's $787-billion stimulus package and $3-trillion budget. One classic sign spotted during the day: "Don't tax me, bro!"

But only one -- in Texas -- prompted talk of stimulus spending so severe that it could prompt another Civil War.

Gov. Rick Perry -- the hero of Hurricane Katrina who made way for thousands of evacuees from Louisiana and Mississippi -- is facing a tough primary challenge this year from popular Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. So maybe he should be forgiven for a little hyperbole.

But even when invoking the patriots of 1773 who dumped tea in the Boston Harbor to protest the British crown's "taxation without representation," threatening to leave the country seems a bit severe.

Before a fired-up crowd on the steps of Austin City Hall, with some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouting, "Secede!" Perry said Texas' economy was in relatively good shape compared with other states and with the "federal budget mess.''

Later, answering reporters' questions, 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.


See what you think.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo: Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images

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