The Texas secession movement is being mocked online after one of its supporters questioned whether leaving the Union would interfere with their Social Security benefits.
In response, the Facebook group, which describes itself as a place for “Texans to discuss the pros and cons of secession” went private.
A screenshot of the question, asked by a user in the Facebook group “Texas Patriots for Secession,” went viral on Monday after being shared across social media.
“If we secede, do we still get our Social Security monthly checks?” the user asked.
As the question went megaviral, the page appeared to be locked down, making content visible only to members.
Established in 1935, the Social Security Act introduced a federal program aimed at supporting the elderly and disabled with financial assistance. The program is entirely funded by American workers through payroll taxes.
Calls for secession have increased among some Texans in recent weeks due to the state’s current dispute with the federal government regarding the border and immigration.
The secessionist’s question was widely ridiculed by those who noted just how reliant every state, including Texas, is on the federal government.
“Vets benefits, social security, Medicare, international trade, travel across state lines, US military bases…kiss them all goodbye,” one user wrote. “You want to be your own little country with a failing electrical grid and no U.S. taxpayer money you should absolutely go for it. Best of luck.”
Others joked that Texas seceding would free up funds for younger generations once they reach retirement age.
“Texas seceding might single-handedly keep Social security funded for millennials,” a user said.
Some also noted that many conservatives have long been in support of gutting social safety programs at the federal level, making the question about Social Security that much more hilarious.
“Even if you don’t secede, republicans are trying to take away your monthly Social Security Checks,” another said. “Vote Blue.”
While secession is highly unlikely, financial experts speaking with Newsweek argued that such a move would almost certainly result in Texans losing all the money they had paid into Social Security.
As previously noted, Texans who currently rely on Medicare and Medicaid would also be negatively affected.
At best, one expert theorized, such an issue would likely end up in the courts. Texas could potentially reach an agreement with the federal government to receive some of the funds its citizens paid into Social Security.
Either way, the Supreme Court ruled in 1869 that states could not secede unilaterally in the wake of the Civil War. Any attempts to do so by Texas would instead likely result in the federal government making moves to regain its authority.
However, the group disagrees with that sentiment in its message.
“Do not tell us it cannot be done legally when we know better. It is written into the State & US Constitutions that we have the ability and responsibility to make it happen….now more than ever,” it states, mirroring Texas’ latest stance on the federal government’s authority.