In the wake of the 2008 disaster, when Wall Street’s shenanigans nearly brought down the world economy, Florida’s public employees lost a billion dollars – but their former governor walked away with a cool $2.2 million, representing a 770% increase in his paycheck. In the seven years since, police officers, firefighters and school teachers in the Sunshine State have seen their pensions dry up, while Jeb has made another $27 million. That works out to an average annual income of $4 million a year. His current net worth is now estimated at between $19 and $22 million. Jeb says, “Thank God for term limits..I’ve been truly blessed to be able to be more successful than I imagined.”
God had less to do with it than his friends at Lehman Brothers – to whom his administration handed $250 million of public employee pension funds between 2005 and 2006. That move reaped Lehman a tidy $5 million in “fees.” As a reward, Lehman Brothers gave Jeb a nice little job at their firm as a “consultant” after his term as governor was over. Annual salary: $1.3 million. Meanwhile, his old cronies back at the state capitol in Tallahassee kept up the good work, as the State Board of Administration shoveled another $1.26 billion of public employee pension money into that same Lehman Brothers fund. The state continued to fill the Lehman Brothers’ trough, despite the fact that the company’s own statements of cash flows for the three years leading up to the collapse indicated that disaster was imminent.
Jeb jumped ship at Lehman Brothers after it sank in 2008, but was soon plucked out of the stormy financial seas by UK-based Barclays, where he again “worked” as an “adviser” – when not running his own “consulting and speaking” business and putting those profits into “offshore” investments. Poor Jeb whines that he sometimes makes less on his speaking fees than Chelsea Clinton…oh, and that having to contribute 40% of his income to the US Treasury every April 15th is “a little daunting.”
And now, this megalomaniacal a**hole, this over-privileged scion of a family whose patriarch supported Adolf Hitler and whose older brother took the US into two illegal wars and did more damage to the country than any executive in history, wants to occupy the White House?
The chutzpah doesn’t end there. Jeb Bush says he wants to close the “opportunity gap” between the “2%” aristocracy and the rest of the people who actually have to work for their money. He’s obviously ignoring the fact that it was his family and their cronies who brought it about in the first place, prospering so handsomely as a result. Like fellow failed businessperson Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush would like us to believe that his “experience” in the “business” world qualifies him to lead the country.
Unfortunately for Jeb Bush, Florida public workers who have lost their pensions and have seen first hand what happens when government is run like a profit-based business. Their deliberately engineered misfortune serves as a cautionary tale for all of us.