Social Security

Is the AARP Willing to Bargain on Social Security?


I hope this has taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports what's been obvious to anyone following the deficit debate—that the deficit commission is likely to recommend Social Security cuts. But reporter Laura Meckler buries the lede: The AARP, the influential seniors' lobby that one might expect to be the biggest single interest-group barrier to any such cuts, is now saying that it may be open to a deal that reduces benefits. As Meckler reports:

Even before the commission settles on a plan, many liberals are vowing to block any cut in retirement benefits. But the White House and the powerful senior group AARP appear open to a deal…."We're prepared to be quite supportive of a real engagement on the issue," said John Rother, director of public policy for AARP. Acting sooner allows for changes to be made gradually, he said, and will reassure younger workers that the program will be there for them. He dismisses those who said they can never support benefit cuts. "I know all these people personally and they'll say we have to be hard line now to influence the debate…I kind of take it with a grain of salt, these emphatic statements."

Would the AARP actually back a deal that trims Social Security? "Supportive of engagement" is a far cry from actually supporting specific cuts. The most likely explanation for their outburst of openness is that they want to make sure that they're not left out of the debate. And that means creating the perception that they're willing to bargain, not stonewall.

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  1. The most likely explanation for their outburst of openness is that they want to make sure that they’re not left out of the debate.

    Exactly. There’s zero chance that they’ll sign on to any plan that reduces the benefits of their members.

    1. The AARP is the geezer propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. It will engage on behalf of the Democrat party line, and may support cuts to wealthier SS recipients’ benefits. … probably conditioned on a demand for a 5:1 ratio of tax increases on the whippersnappers to a benefit cuts on the geezers.

      1. We’ve been told to apologize for using the term “geezer.” Now, coming up next, the case of the cantankerous old geezer.

    2. Actually, at their members’ direct detriment, they backed Obama’s bid to nationalize the medical industry.

      1. Damn. TO their detriment.

  2. “The AARP, the influential seniors’ lobby that one might expect to be the biggest single interest-group barrier to any such cuts, is now saying that it may be open to a deal that reduces benefits.”

    Don’t kid yourself. They’ll likely make money off of this by getting into the annuities business and by selling reverse mortgages.

  3. Who made AARP anything? Now that I am getting (gotten???) old and crusty, I constantly get advertizements for joining “AARP” Why do I need to join AARP – is it merely a lobby for more gubermint benefits? O, I guess I would get discounds on “early bird” dinners, but the choices for vegetable are always beets or lima beans.

    I am looking forward to the time when progressives understand that supporting SS means supporting the older, whiter, and richer at the expense of the poorer, darker, and younger. I will enjoy the arguements in my dotage…which is 6 months from now.

    1. A friend tells me that all you have to do to get AARP to quit sending you junk mail is to subscribe to their magazine.

      In other words, it’s an extortion racket

  4. Wait, I thought there was nothing wrong with Social Security? Has something changed since Bush was in office?


    1. They found the key to the lockbox. Nothing but Green Stamps in it.

    2. Old people vote, because they’ve already eaten at the Early Bird Special and they have nothing else to do. Plus, the young whippersnappers don’t deserve all that extra money anyway; they’ll probably blow it on root beer floats and pecan Sandies.

      1. Or just blow it on hookers and booze.

        1. I was trying not to project what I would do onto others, you megalomaniac asshole. Also, you forgot the coke. And for the record, snorted Ritalin does not act just like cocaine, no matter what anyone tells you. It’s more like mellow speed.

        2. HOOKERS AND BLOW,


          1. Yucatan Cornelius?


          2. For the record, I prefer bananas and blow.


      2. moon-pies and penny whistles more likely

  5. Slit SS’s throat and bury it.

  6. No comments regarding belts or onions yet?

    AARP is prepared to engage in conversations about cutting SS as much as dems were prepared to enagage in other ideas about healthcare legislation.

    1. No comments regarding belts or onions yet?

      It’s not the style at this time.

      1. But back in the day it was. I had to take the bus to the polling place. It cost a nickel so I’d get change from the newspaper vendor. Nickels had pictures of bees on ’em then. “Gimme five bees for a quarter,” you’d say. So I’d pay my nickel and take the bus to vote while wearing an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time.

  7. AARP is a scam.

  8. Is the AARP Willing to Bargain on Social Security?

    Does a former drill sergeant make a bad therapist?

    1. Depends on the patient.

  9. The real question is what AARP’s position is on the burning issue for all seniors: yellow or white onions?

    1. Do you mean as a food item or as a belt accessory? Assuming you mean the latter, it’s yellow between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Otherwise it’s red.

  10. Grampa: Oh, Lisa, what makes you think you deserve all that money?
    Lisa: I don’t deserve it, Grampa. No one here does. The people who deserve it are on the streets, and they’re in the slums. They’re little children who need more library books and families who can’t make ends meet. Of course, if you really wanted to, you could buy me a pony.
    Grampa: You’re right!
    Lisa: I’ll name her Princess, and I’ll ride her every day!

    1. Grampa: “Happy birthday, Bart.”

      Bart: “Thanks, Grampa.”

      Marge: “Where’d you get all the money?”

      Grampa: “The government. I didn’t earn it, I don’t need it, but if they miss one payment, I’ll raise hell!”

      1. Bart: “I’m going to tell you a story so scary, you’ll wet your pants!”

        Grandpa: “Too late!”


    1. don’t trust anyone under 65

  12. The AARP willing to bargain on SS?

    In the words of Admiral Akhbar, rebel AARP member – “It’s a traaaaaap!”

  13. I’ll chalk it up to a membership drive for the AARP. Pretending to be rational and all that. I don’t believe a word of it.

  14. Who died and left AARP boss?

  15. Why can’t you people run a decent Ponzi scheme?

  16. (safe)SEX,(free, prescription) DRUGS,and (classic) ROCK N ROLL!

  17. What if we just lock the doors of the Country Kitchen Buffet so they all starve to death? That’ll keep them off the road…

  18. AARP is not a seniors lobby and has not been for a long time. It’s an insurance agency using the shell of a seniors lobby/discount club as a front.

  19. While the AARP might be opposed to any reduction, I would not be surprised if a significant number of seniors would be OK with it. The fact is that many seniors have sufficient perspective to know that it is unsustainable and DO NOT want to crush the aspirations of their children and grandchildren.

    The AARP only speaks for the “I want mine” faction of seniors.

    1. I WANT MINE and make no apology for it.

      If someone would like to offer a buyout, let’s discuss. For instance, I’ll waive claim to benefits in exchange for being exempt from any further SS tax (theft). I’m 48 years old and have been maxing out for quite a while. My actuarial return is surely double digit neagtive and what little it is, I WANT MINE.

      1. “I want mine”, too. But if I had been able to keep and invest the money I and my employers have been forced to put into the Canada Pension Plan (our equivalent of your “Social Security”), I could afford to retire now. It ain’t gonna happen.

        The government made adjustments to the benefits and required contributions about 10 years back, so the Canadian plan should stay solvent. Those adjustments mean that I will get less than I should for what I put in.

        TBS, I would rather settle for less than throw the burden on my niece and nephew and their descendents. (I have no children of my own.)

        The fact that I warned about the problem 40 years ago is irrelvant. TPTB wouldn’t listen and now we have to cope with the problem as best as possible.

        1. Is that what happened? I just checked what my CPP benefits will be and there about eight percent less than I was told they were nearly twenty years ago and they were supposed to be applying COLAs.

          Mind you I haven’t contributed since 1978 so I’m not expecting much. I’ll just treat it as beer money. Canada won’t take any income tax either but they will send a report to the IRS so I will have to declare it here.

          Two things, though. First, at least, IIANM, the CPP “Trust Fund” is in actual marketable securities. They are limited to investing in Provincial and local government bonds, however, again, IIANM.

          Second, your federal and provincial income taxes are determined after your CPP contributions are deducted. This makes income tax simpler because your Cpp benefits are taxed as normal income without the bullshit formulas that the IRS uses with SS.

          1. Issac, the biannual CPP statements are usually projections based on “if you continue to contribute at present levels to age 65.”

            At the same time that the Chretien government changed the contribution formula, they did broaden the class of eligible benefits. IIRC, they are now allowed to invest in AA+ rated corporate shares. (The CPP took a 30% beating between 3/31/08 and 3/31/09, not sure where it stands now.)

            The other changed was that the Federal and Provincial Governments could no longer issue themselves well below market interest rate bonds out of the fund; instead the fund had to buy the government bonds on the open market.

            Finally, they added a “clawback” feature to the CPP and OAP*: If you make over C$66k, you have to pay back 15% of the CPP and OAP benefits up to the point where it zeros out (around $117K). In essense, this added a tax on those who had saved for their own retirement. Not nice, but it will keep the plan from going broke.

            1. RSN, I’m not sure what the 1993 quote was based on but since I hadn’t made a contribution since 1978 there wasn’t much of a “if you continue to contribute at present levels to age 65” for them to draw on. Present levels at that point were zero.

              I remember my Dad saying in the early eighties that there was something fishy about the “government securities” that the CPP was investing in. I didn’t get it at the time, your comment answers a lot of questions.

      2. You should have been electing politicians that wouldn’t spend it all on other things.

    2. Dues are modest and there isn’t a Pledge you have to sign to join. So wild-eyed libertarians can write their legislators, stand up at meetings, even form or take over AARP chapters etc. as AARP members and advocate for whatever we want.

    3. Actually, I think it’s the “we got ours, who cares” contingent. They don’t care that theirs is unsustainable.

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