What About Retired Rural Teachers?

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 9, 2012

Dear Editor,
    I would like to respond to Richard Whittaker's article about the 10 mistakes of Perry ["Top 10 Rick Perry Campaign Misfires," News, Jan. 6]. With all due respect when mentioning education, teachers, etc., no one mentions the elderly retired rural teachers. Why? All teachers will be retired one day, and this is an issue that should be addressed.
    An 80-year-old retired rural teacher has received a paycheck for less than $1,500 a month since 1999, when George Bush was governor. Rick Perry has never given retired teachers a raise. After 30 years in the school system and mandatory Teacher Retirement System of Texas payments taken out of his check, the teacher now has multiple illnesses and is trying to pay increased doctor deductibles for Medicare and TRS. The 16th largest pension plan in the world is the TRS with $113 billion in the pension fund that belongs to the members, not to Perry so he can invest in the stock of his high-dollar donors' companies. He is doing similar things to the pensions of retired state employees, police officers, and firefighters. A newly retired teacher today with the same years of service receives $36,000 a year. It seems the powers that be should raise those retirees that are 70 or 75 years old and older to a livable monthly pension. How can people forget Grandma and Grandpa's welfare status? Instead they raise the deductibles and co-pays for doctor visits and prescription deductibles. Thanks so much … there's not enough money now to afford those things, no raise, and they only take more money from us. You cannot double dip from mandatory Social Security paid in for 20 years in the private sector. Six years ago, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said she was going to fix that. Well it is not fixed, with the exception that Rick Perry fixed it for him. Why doesn't the Justice Department, FBI, IRS, or another honest outside auditor find out what is happening to our money? And Medicare is not an entitlement. We have paid since 1964 and continue to pay $200 a month for insurance and $300 a month in premiums for TRS health coverage. Please remind people Medicare is not an entitlement, but Medicaid is. I don't know what Rick Perry would do to Social Security and Medicare.
    Do they all want the elderly dead?
Billie Veach
Burnet, Texas
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