Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

June 11, 2014

Texas vs. Illinois

First those Texans took our jobs.

Then they took our money.

Now they want our leg.

Well, to be precise, General Santa Anna’s leg. But a group of Illinois soldiers stole it fair and square back in 1845.

During the U.S. war with Mexico, Santa Anna skedaddled from the battle on a donkey and left his prosthetic leg behind in a carriage along with a bag of gold and a freshly cooked chicken.

A group of Illinois soldiers ate the chicken, gave the Army the gold and kept the leg.

One of the soldiers traveled about Illinois charging 10 cents for a peek at the appendage.

Ah, those were the days, when entrepreneurship reigned supreme in the Prairie State.

But today we are hobbled by high taxes, crippled by debt and staggered with high unemployment.

Texas, on the other hand, has pulled itself up by the bootstrap.

The Lone Star State has no income tax. Its unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country. And the state is running a surplus.

And they have accomplished much of this at the expense of Illinois.

Between 1995 and 2010, $2 billion in personal income shifted from the Land of Lincoln to the Lone Star State according to “How Money Walks” by Travis Brown.

In fact, National Review noted earlier this year that a greater percentage of people was moving out of Illinois than any other state but Rhode Island.

By contrast, Texas’ population grew 5.2 percent between 2010 and 2013 — a higher percentage than anywhere but tiny North Dakota and Washington, D.C.

But, cheer up, folks. We’ve still go the leg.

And Texas wants it.

The leg is on display at the Illinois State Military Museum.

Back in April, folks at the San Jacinto Historical Museum in Texas started a White House petition drive to have the leg returned to Texas.

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