According to the most recent U.S. Census statistics, 46.2 million people live below the poverty level - that's 15% of the population. Poverty among the nation's retirees is also rising. The most recent statistics show that the number of retirees living in poverty rose from 7.9% in 2005 to 9.4% in 2009.

A Country in Trouble?
There's also the national debt to worry about. According to USA Debt Clock, if you were to spend $1 per second, it would take you 12 days to spend $1 million and 31,000 years to spend enough to reach today's national debt levels. By most standards, the United States' national debt is out of control.

When looking at America's overall financial state, there's healthcare, taxes and the myriad other issues that Americans debate every day.

It's clear that this country is in dire shape. There's no hope, and that means it's time to get out while you still can. At least that's the rallying cry (actually more like a whisper) of those who believe that their state should secede from the United States.

The Republic of Texas? Not Likely
Take Texas, for example. A petition to secede was placed on the White House's "We the People" site that allows citizens to start petitions for issues in which they believe strongly, without the use of lobbying. If the petition receives 25,000 or more "signatures," the White House promises a response.

"Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government," the title of the petition reads. It received nearly 126,000 signatures, but even if everybody who signed it was from Texas, that would only be 0.5% of the state's population. (Surely, there are a few people who signed it who don't live in Texas.)

Texas Governor Rick Perry, somebody who isn't exactly pro-Washington or pro-Obama, doesn't support secession. "Gov. [Rick] Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it," his press secretary Catherine Frazier wrote in a statement. "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government," according to CNN.

As promised, Washington responded. In a carefully worded, politically correct response, the White House said, "Sorry, there's no way to do it." Once you're in, you can't get out, but why is that?

Because the Constitution provides a process for a territory wishing to join the Union, but there is nothing in the document that provides a way to get out, regardless of how mad you are that Obama was re-elected.

Could This Actually Be a Possibility?
But, what if a state really wants out? There is a way. History, not the constitution, has a guide. Remember the Civil War? It was all about slavery. The South (Confederates) didn't agree with the idea of abolishing slavery. The eight original "slave states" wanted to secede from America. The only way to do it was to fight their way out. In case you didn't know, in the end, it didn't work. The Confederacy was defeated and secession did not take place.

In response to a letter written by a citizen in 2006, inquiring on the legality of secession, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia answered the question by saying, "[The] answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede."

However, the question has to be asked: what if it had happened? What if a state or states did successfully secede? What would it look like without any federal government benefits? Would the United States have to set up "international trade" with the new country or would they co-exist without any real impact because each side stands to see negative economic impacts?

Looking at countries like Iraq and Libya, countries in the beginning stages of establishing a new government, would this new country have the same growing pains? How much would it cost the country to set up the infrastructure that it has relied on from neighboring states? Would there still be states within the country?

The Bottom Line
Questions are plentiful and maybe that's why there is no provision to secede. It would not only affect the new country, but also the United States. In an article called, "Go Ahead and Secede, Texas. I Dare You," published by The New Republic, Chuck Thompson wrote that if Texas wants a nation that looks, acts and feels just like it, they could see what the outcome may look like. "This country already exists. It's called the Democratic Republic of the Congo." A little harsh? Maybe.

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.