Monday, August 31, 2015

JEB! fortune built on bribes and payoffs--all legal, of course!

It's all legal because We, the 99 percent, have not yet caught on to how politicians have been robbing us blind. Instead, due to misdirection by conservative front groups, we focus on their salaries. Politicians don't get wealthy from drawing salaries while in office. Geb!'s salary as governor of Florida was never higher than $130,000. While that may seem like a hulluva lot to the 99%, it's just chickenfeed to one-percenters like the Bush family.

When Jeb! was the Governor of Florida, his net worth was $1.3 million. A lot to you and me but not to Jeb!'s family. In 2016,9 years after leaving office, Jeb!'s wealth is estimated at $10 million. The year that he left office, 2007, he earned $27 million. What could that money be but payoffs for favors he had done while in office? No, please, tell me what else it could be. Right now I'm going by the Sherlock Holmes rule:
When you have exhausted all the possibilities, whatever is left, no matter how implausible, must be the truth.
During his tenure in office, Jeb! funneled more than $1.3 billion to international brokerage houses in return receiving more than $5 million in campaign contributions for his brother and other Republicans:

Blackstone Group$99,000.00$150,000,000.00
Carlyle Group$69,000.00$275,000,000.00
Deutsche Bank$200,000.00$45,000,000.00
Freeman Spogli$743,000.00$50,000,000.00
Goldman Sachs$1,500,000.00$150,000,000.00
Hicks Muse$189,000.00$25,000,000.00
JPMorgan Chase$64,000.00$100,000,000.00
Lehman Brothers$499,000.00$175,000,000.00
Morgan Stanley$1,100,000.00$150,000,000.00
Prudential Financial$406,000.00$100,000,000.00
Source: International Business Times.

In the case of Lehman Brothers, the investment company that nearly tanked the entire US economy in 2008, it's not at all implausible that Jeb! received a payoff. During his term as Governor, Jeb! funneled $500,000 in campaign donations from Lehman Brothers employees into various Republican campaigns. In return, Jeb! took $175 million from the state of Florida's workers' pension funds and handed it to Lehman Brothers to invest (as they jokingly called it). After Jeb! left office,  Lehman Brothers hired him at a salary of $1.7 million. Sounds like a payoff to me.

Bush's appointees in Florida kept on giving money to Lehman Brothers for questionable purchases, including over $1.3 billion "invested" in mortgage derivatives. By 2008, that money had vanished as Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and it turned out that all those mortgage derivatives were worthless. But Lehman Brothers brokers got their commissions and didn't have to stand trial for misrepresenting the value of their "investments".

So Jeb! and his pals transferred $1.3 billion from Florida State Employees pension funds to Lehman Brothers. Not just a bad investment, that money was gone. While Jeb! was working for Lehman.

What has this got to do with you? Check this out. In an interview with the Washington Post, Jeb! claimed he would propose that politicians would have to wait 6 years before going to work for lobbyists. Fascinating proposal, since Jeb! himself didn't wait 6 months after leaving office to get paid off by Lehman Brothers.

It's definitely a case of "do as I say, not as I do".

If Jeb! is elected president, he will no doubt try to do the same thing with the Social Security accounts, currently worth $2.6 trillion. If international brokers paid $5 million to get their hands on $1.3 trillion in Florida Employees' retirement accounts, how much will they pay to get Social Security?

Republicans will tell you that retirement funds can earn more if they are invested in Wall Street. That's a bald-faced lie. Just ask the Florida public employees whose accounts were looted by Jeb!!

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