A Poisoned Apple for Teacher


Presidential candidate Rick Perry has touted Texas’ thriving economy as a sign that he would make an excellent economic steward, but one of his proposals might not do so well on a national scale: a plan to let Wall Street gamble on when retired Texas teachers would die.

According to notes of a meeting provided to The Huffington Post, Perry’s budget director Mike Morrissey advanced a plan in which investors from Swiss banking firm UBS profited from teachers’ deaths by purchasing life insurance policies on them. A fee for arranging the deals would accrue to Texas, which Morrissey said could eventually generate as much as $700 million for Texas.While Perry’s office has repeatedly denied explicitly backing the scheme, maintaning that the governor was simply keeping an open mind by listening to the proposal, an attendee at a meeting where the idea was pitched to teachers’ groups told The Huffington Post that the governor was fully behind the idea. Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor, a Perry appointee, was a particularly enthusiastic advocate.

Original DVD cover

The plan solidified under the guidance of Phil Gramm, a former senator who had become a mentor and top campaign contributor to Perry, sources told The Post. Perry proposed what was essentially a version of the scheme that caused the subprime mortgage crisis, when investors sliced up mortgages, repackaged them and sold them to investors. In Gramm’s formulation, UBS would have bought up life insurance from the Texas Teachers Retirement System, Texas’ teacher pension fund, bundled it up into securities, and sold them.


Gramm and former Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor tried to find ways to circumvent state regulations and allow the deal to go through, and notes from the meeting indicate that people were told to be intentionally vague about the details. But once the framework of the plan leaked out, the backlash was severe.

“It was just pretty morbid and I don’t think it convinced anybody it was gonna enrich anybody except Phil Gramm and UBS,” Texas State Teachers Association Spokesman Clay Robison told HuffPost. “Our members were pretty much appalled by it.”


Filed under humor, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Texas, Wordpress Political Blogs

32 responses to “A Poisoned Apple for Teacher

  1. John Erickson

    Hey, c’mon, Perry’s just working on cradle-to-grave health care. He figured he’d start at the back, and work his way forward.

  2. jeb

    My mother’s a teacher in Texas. She won’t die because she loves what she does, to ensure that these bastards never make a cent off of her and to spite Perry who she despises with a white-blinding passion. Mom’s a Dem.

    • i used to be friends with a teacher from texas and with a woman whose hubby was a teacher there. they both told me how bad it is for teachers there. i think the only teachers who are valued there are the ones that coach football.

      • jeb

        That was certainly the case when I went to school in Texas. Coaches have to teach. I had one that was an American History teacher in high school. He was a complete and utter idiot. He used to hand out mimeographed work sheet for us for every class and we were expected to go through and provide answers in the blanks. I’d take his sheet and correct all of the stupid mistakes he’d made and give it back to him. My stepmom was a counselor there and he was afraid of her so he would just take it without saying a word and give me a 100.

        My Mom is valued by the management of the school. She’s at an age where she only wants to teach with no ambition to move up to management (it’s her second career). She is an eighth grade language arts teacher who specializes in reading. They give her all of the problem kids and she devotes herself to teaching them to love reading. She has an amazing

        • jeb

          Oops, submit too soon. She has an amazing success rate and so many of the kids who’ve left her class years ago stay in touch with her even now.

          • i think the only hope a lot of kids have left is to have a teacher like your mom, jeb. there are a lot of dedicated teachers, so i have to wonder when they became the bad guys. they, along with cops and firefighters, are being vilified by teabaggers and rethuglican governors. i can’t believe that so many people are buying their bullshit.

  3. That was one favor paid back. How many more does Perry owe?

  4. elizabeth3hersh

    Can’t comment on the blog (ice cream brain freeze), but I am lovin’ your Ben & Jerry’s ad…I toured their factory years ago. It was a royal pain in the arse to find them since signage was banned, but it was worth it in the end. Vermont has a special place in my heart. If they had better weather I would move there.

    I just refreshed the page to log in and the Ben & Jerry’s ad disappeared! It was really there (ad and video!).

    • what’s in that ice cream you’re eating, elizabeth? now i’m trying to think back if i ever reworked a ben & jerry’s ad. i don’t recall one, but it’s very possible that i’m wrong. what did the ad look like? maybe something will ring a bell.

      • elizabeth3hersh

        Seriously, there was a very cool B&J ad on your blog, directly over the comment section. It had a cute little video. It was there-there, not as in hovering there.

        P.S. Clean and sober ~16 years (I’m not nearly as much fun). There were a bunch of little chocolate chips in the vid much like your raisins!!

        • it had to be some kind of glitch. i’ve only included ice cream in 3 posts (i think it’s 3). one was karl rove, one was cindy lou mccain, and one was chris christie. none of them were b&j. maybe jerry (our jerry, not jerry of b&j) will remember something. maybe it was in a comment in one of the posts. i did a search, but i didn’t find anything.

          • elizabeth3hersh

            I figured it out (sort of)…I logged out of wordpress on Firefox then refreshed the page…I then got a Bridgestone advertisement (with vid) directly under your blog post (before the comment section). I refreshed the page one more time and this time got the Charmin bear with the caption “Help your family get clean with fewer pieces left behind”…while a magnifying glass magnified his ass. Swear to G-d it’s not a flashback.

            • elizabeth3hersh

              The Charmin bear was referring to ‘TP dingle-berries’ of course….a common problem for women when visiting the gynecologist and forgetting to ‘pat dry’ instead of the more aggressive post-mictural ‘rub dry’.

              • i hate those bear dingleberry commercials. at first it was funny–the ‘does a bear shit in the woods reference’–but then they tried to be cute, and it’s just nauseating.

  5. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! But alas, there is none. I suspect the women ate it all (you know how they are). Another Parry bondoggle related to being King O Texas, where graft and influence selling is the main job description. That insurance scheme might remind the folks of the massive fraud like it that the worlds largest retailer engages in. Every Walmart employee has death insurance with a nice payout-not for the surviving family-but for the company that reaps 100% of the money! How’s that for free enterprise-let the marketplace decide-(fill in dogma here)…..America, what a country.

    • when i read about gov little ricky goodhair and phil ‘the whining’ gramm’s scheme, i remembered that there was a corporation that pulled that crap on their employees, but i had forgotten which one. as soon as you mentioned walmart, i remembered the sordid story. a few months ago, jon ronson was making the rounds, talking about his book the psychopath test. he said that there are psychopaths all around us, at least according to the dsm-iv. he said that many politicians and corporate execs have a lot in common with the characteristics of psychopaths listed in there. i don’t know if they’re really psychopaths or not, but i suspect that there are some that are at least sociopaths, because that’s the mentality needed to think up a scheme like buying life insurance policies on your employees or on elderly teachers.

  6. how does this guy get elected?? he is dumb, corrupt and hates everyone who isnt him

  7. Slime. This is the grossest cadre of Republican candidates that I’ve ever witnessed.

  8. Perry has a long list of really out there things he tried to pass. A lot of his “legislatin’ ” winds up in court & deemed illegal or unconstitutional or both.
    How is this shucks & awe Texas jackass emerging as the front runner?

    Then again he’s not yet been in a debate, so he still has plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his idiocy.

    • i bet that he’ll use princess sarah’s strategery in a debate (he’ll probably only agree to 1) and only answer what he wants to answer instead of actually answering the questions asked. the dems had better keep slamming hm at every turn if it looks like he’s going to be the nominee. they have plenty of ammunition to work with.

    • elizabeth3hersh

      How is Perry emerging as the front runner? Because he is ‘like’ many/most Americans and they can ‘relate’ to him and share his ‘values’…same reason Bush emerged as a front-runner. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Americans wouldn’t want someone not *like* them: brilliant. I want the smartest guy in the bunch and someone not afraid to think outside the box. But, I’m not like most Americans.

  9. I’m not worried about Perry. I’m actually glad he isn’t afraid of showing his true colors so we know who he really is, what to expect, and TO NOT ELECT HIM AGAIN!

    • hello brittany,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      gov little ricky goodhair is a bully, a blowhard,and a buffoon. however, we said the same thing about chimpy, and he wound up in the white house. too many voters have very short memories.

  10. elizabeth3hersh

    I read the following in the news today (quoting Perry): “I’m the kind of guy who goes jogging in the morning, packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights and loaded with hollow point bullets…” Now I know what is in that Aqua Net ‘safe’!