NeffZone: The Death Scheme

by on February 26th, 2015
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So Texas Republican governor Rick Perry thinks social security is a ponzi scheme. Well, I don’t agree with him, but when it comes to schemes this guy seems to be really familiar with them.

His main scheming seems to be claiming one thing and doing the opposite. He once was a Democrat and now is a Republican. He claims that his time at Texas A&M University “helped shape who he is today” so he’s ready to run the country. However, according to the Washington Post: “Perry’s transcripts (show) he did not distinguish himself much in the classroom. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses — earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics, and a C in gym.”

He schemes to get campaign money. While adopting a mantra of shrinking government, he has no problem with doling out government grants, tax breaks and cushy political appointments to his friends. Then they pay him back. “According to a study last year by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog organization, Mr. Perry has raised at least $17 million from more than 900 appointees or their spouses, roughly one dollar out of every five that he has raised as governor.”

Then there’s the jobs scheme. According to Perry, he’s a miracle worker when it comes to job creation. His policies in Texas have unleashed job growth like nowhere else in the country, he’ll tell you. In reality, according to Government was the largest industry in the state in 2010, as measured by a percentage of gross domestic product, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Since June 2009, the state has added 31,100 government jobs. That’s nearly 10 percent of Texas’ job growth. The nation, meanwhile, has lost 523,000 government jobs in that time frame. These government jobs have been a significant part of the employment growth in Texas throughout Perry’s tenure. Since Perry took office, private sector employment has gone up by 10 percent and government sector employment has climbed 18.3 percent, as the San Antonio-Express News noted.”

But none of these schemes hold a candle to the morbid scenario that happened in 2003. Reported recently by the Huffington Post: Top officials from Texas Governor Rick Perry’s office pitched an unusual offer to the state’s retired teachers: Let’s get into the death business.” (

Basically, the state had a huge database of retired teachers. This would allow them to identify and target members of that group who were between 75 and 90 years of age.

“The Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation. All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.

The key would be getting teachers to sign off on these policies, a shady practice known in the insurance industry as “dead peasant” policies. “If retirees balked at the notion of the state profiting from their deaths, Perry’s budget men suggested they could be persuaded for the cost of a pair of shoes…the governor was prepared to give them between $50 and $100.”

Ultimately the plan was scrapped because the “big money” Texas would supposedly make could not be guaranteed. “None of the state’s money would be at risk in the initial purchase of life insurance plans, but the state’s potential liabilities got murkier when those plans were bundled into securities. If investors ultimately thought they’d been bilked in the arrangement, Texas could be sued. It was real nebulous…”It was kind of like, ‘Trust us, we’re big boys who play in this league and we’re going to protect you.’”

Now, if social security is indeed a ponzi scheme, as Governor Perry claims, then it’s the most efficient, well-run, and popular ponzi scheme in the history of man. By comparison, Perry’s schemes are purposely convoluted.

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