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AARP: Don’t Let the Denture Grip Smile Fool You

AARP has launched a membership campaign featuring Betty White, who, by the way, looks great for being a one hundred thirty-year-old woman. The spots tell viewers that if they think joining AARP will make them old, they need to GET OVER IT. AARP claims that anyone over fifty can join, but there have been recent reports of AARP recruiters trolling sweet sixteen parties trying to drum up interest in the organization. The group is also running disingenuous ads suggesting that our country’s budget crisis can be fixed by cutting “wasteful spending” without touching Social Security.

While I too favor cutting useless programs (like Obama’s not-so-shovel-ready stimulus jobs), anyone with half a brain and a calculator knows that the cost of these budget items is a drop in the bucket when compared to the long-term costs of Social Security. Conservative economists like Thomas Sowell have been warning politicians and citizens about this for more than three decades.

AARP sells itself as a nice group of folks trying to help elderly people get discounts at Kings Island and Hometown Buffet. In reality, they are one of the country’s most powerful lobbying organizations which seeks to exploit the current entitlement system. Sooooo . . .

If you think that most senior citizens eat dog food four nights a week and work as Walmart greeters to avoid living under bridges, GET OVER IT!

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. poverty rate for those age 65 and over is 14 percent, substantially lower than the 18 percent rate for adults 19-64, and almost half of the 27 percent rate for children. Furthermore, while the overall unemployment rate hovers above 9 percent, and the rate for teenagers is a dizzying 24 percent, the unemployment rate for those 55 and over is less than 7 percent. Simply put, most seniors are doing all right, while a quarter of our nation’s children are poor, with decreasing opportunities to make their lives better.

If you think AARP gives a crap about younger workers, GET OVER IT!

What’s even more warming about the statistics above is that the current entitlement state that AARP supports redistributes wealth from poorer, younger workers to older, wealthier non-workers. How very . . . unprogressive. At a time when families are struggling to pay their mortgages, afford gas for their cars, and keep food on the table, younger workers, including those who work minimum and low wage jobs, continue to pay 6.2 percent of their income to Social Security and another 1.45 percent to Medicare. And often overlooked is the fact that these contributions are matched by employers, which keeps wages low and prevents businesses from hiring more workers. So roughly 10-15 percent of the total compensation for young, low-wage workers who haven’t already been laid off continues to be poured into soon-to-be-bankrupt programs.

If you think Ponzi schemes have been outlawed, GET OVER IT!

Younger workers put their money into the Social Security pot and older retirees draw from it. For years of course, the program has taken in more money than it needs, but resourceful Washington politicians have borrowed from it to spend on everything from ACORN to WIC. Nevertheless, in the very near future, with 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, a smaller number of workers will be relied on to support each retiree. Retirees, by the way, who will live much longer than the system ever anticipated, as younger workers continue to foot the bill.

If you think those IOUs will ever be repaid, GET OVER IT!

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past three decades, the federal government is getting broker by the minute. Are we going to borrow even more yuan, yen, and euros to pay back our own Social Security system? The only way to provide both financial security for retirees and fairness for younger workers is reform that includes personal accounts, or, brace yourselves liberals, partial privatization.

If you think AARP wants older Americans to have financial security, GET OVER IT!

When George W. Bush expanded Medicare, AARP was all for it, especially since they profited from offering prescription drug plans. But when Bush tried to lead on Social Security, they joined the Democratic demagogues and scuttled reform. The gradual privatization of Social Security would mean that more senior citizens would retire wealthy, rather than depending on a government check and living in constant fear that politicians in Washington might cut off their allowance. And that’s exactly what resistance to entitlement reform seeks to perpetuate: dependence on government until the day you die.

If you think older Americans can’t enjoy their retirement without belonging to AARP, GET OVER IT!

There are a number of conservative organizations that are great alternatives for retirees, including The Association of Mature American Citizens, Generation America, and American Seniors. It’s time for Americans to get over their support for the entitlement thugs at AARP.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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