Posted by: Doug Henwood | June 18, 2011

AARP: your nose is growing

In response to press reports that the AARP has given in to the elite consensus on the need for benefit cuts to Social Security, the organization released this statement: AARP Has Not Changed Its Position on Social Security. After loudly proclaiming its continuing devotion to protecting the program, the statement moves on to this disclosure:

It has long been AARP’s policy that Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and that it is sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years.  It has also been a long held position that any changes would be phased in slowly, over time, and would not affect any current or near term beneficiaries.

In other words, protect current retirees and those near retirement, but apply the cuts to younger workers, who presumably either aren’t paying attention or don’t expect anything from the system anyway. In mainstream discourse, this is called “strengthening” Social Security.

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Responses

  1. And in political circles, it’s called “Ryan Care”.

    Or, in its only slightly less toxic form, “Catfood Commision Care”.

    Which is probably what we will get after all this is over with.

    All AARP is doing is covering their cave in with rhetoric.

    Anthony

  2. I will never join AARP because of their politics, and because I have a fragile ego I refuse to think of myself as “old” just because I’m over 50, LOL. If SS is in any trouble, why not do something common-sensible, like have the deductions at income of $50K a year up through $500K/year? Or $1,000,000/year? Those in the upper incomes will never miss the money, and it would give us in the lower SES groups a little more $$$ to buy food with.

  3. I’m with you on the ego thing, Grace!

    Someone (reliable) once told me, though I haven’t factchecked this myself, that in the original Congressional debate on creating SS, it was clear that they system would be financed by labor and not capital. That’s the rationale for the salary cap – wages above a certain level are in some fundamental sense a return to capital and not labor, therefore that’s exempt. That’s also the rationale for excluding investment income.

  4. AARP is tripping over its ankle chains on the Democratic Party Plantation, and Overseer Barry is laughing quite loudly. They can’t be perceived to be left of the Dems/Obama because that’s a one-way ticket to irrelevance. No more White House meetings, no more tony conferences with A-list speakers, no more invites on the TV…

    The NAACP is caught in the same bind on, among other things, charter schools. Sure, all the evidence says charters are a shell game of resources and aspirations, contrived to destroy unions and public faith in democratic institutions. But now that their Lord and Savior Obama is for charters and test-til-you-drop and other miseducational fraud, well, they’re dodging and weaving, desperately hoping to keep their place at the Democratic Party Plantation.

  5. oh, the sacredness of the Contract. holy, holy.

  6. AARP supported the 1983 “reforms” too, protecting then current retirees and sticking it to the boomers. Now they’re doing the same thing again.

  7. Does the AARP realize we are far wealthier society than in 1936, or so, and comparisons between the two eras based on life expectancy are mostly worthless ?

  8. The 1983 reforms were about paying for the Reagan tax cuts. Increase FICA taxes on the working class after mostly eliminating them for the ruling class. Cunning might be the word.

  9. […] AARP: your nose is growing from LBO News from Doug Henwood by Doug Henwood […]

  10. […] employed to foster divisions and resentments. Those of us of a certain age can recall a day when Johnny Cash refused to perform a song in the Nixon White House, a little ditty that perfectly embodied a persistent and […]


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