home

New Attack on the AARP

The right thinks this is the way to get support for Bush's plan to privatize social security accounts:

[ad removed now that TRO has been granted against USA Next]

It's an ad running on the American Spectator website (column on the right as of now). It clicks through to USA Next. Yes, the lobbying group that brought us Swift Boat Vets. They will spend $10 mil to attack the AARP.

For the truth: There is No Crisis.

[Via Steve Gilliard and Atrios.]

< Mural Artist Challenges Sentence | Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From Cannon >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#1)
    by Adept Havelock on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:58:40 PM EST
    "Swift Boats" part 2. "The Big Lie" part ??? Still works, after all these years.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:46:49 PM EST
    Is that Bush having sex with bin Laden? Or is that Fox and Bush getting down with each other?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:00:32 PM EST
    Now, the facts of economic evolution for you socialism creationists.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:06:16 PM EST
    The AARP, eh. Perfect. Those old people are undermining our national security. I say we ship them all out to Gitmo immediately. Why do the elderly hate America?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:18:13 PM EST
    When I woke up this morning I found out that my Grandma was arrested for protesting our troops in Iraq her sign proclaimed "All G.I.s are GRANDMA KILLERS!". Then I found out my Grandfather ran off with my Grandfather and Married in Vegas! Oh No!! Its all the fault of that old folks group they joined to get The Presidents discount drug cards. Damn those Liberals! Somehow it's all their doings!

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:54:27 PM EST
    How disgraceful! Those right-wingers are actually attacking entire generations of Americans who are given free membership in AARP for a decade as soon as they turn 50 years old--that's the largest generation of Americans--the baby-boomers--and those among their parents, the WWII generation, who are still living and who decide to maintain their membership. The benefits for AARP members are extraordinary, and, in my experience, the organization has only the social, psychological, physical, and financial welfare of its members as its "special interests." Given the fact that ordinary senior citizens who are AARP members are quite vocal in Washington (the AARP "lobby") and protective of their own rights and those of the children and grandchildren (and their future generations), I am quite hopeful that this attack will really boomerang horribly for the right wing of the Republican Party, which is so openly and obviously orchestrating it. Too bad they didn't think of attacking AARP before the 2004 General Election. Then we might really have been able to "boot Bush." Calls for his resignation really should escalate. (One can only hope!) Thanks for posting the link to the AARP blog, TL; it's part of a very useful (and user-friendly) website. I recommend strongly that others check it out (no matter what your political party affiliation may be). The AARP really does have your best interests as its agenda. This despicable ad campaign must backfire.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#7)
    by Darryl Pearce on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:57:19 PM EST
    ...to be outraged or aloof? "Just the work of some over-zealous campaign supporters." Maybe we can start a "WhattsamattaU" campaign against whoever it is that's ruining the country.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:39:51 PM EST
    "Make love not war" - that's my agenda too.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#9)
    by demohypocrates on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 11:05:12 PM EST
    Kiss MY AARP. Dont say they 'represent' any group. They offer nice discounts to the experienced set. The more they politicize and veer off from their stated purpose, the more insignificant they become. But maybe in the interim, y'all moonbats can sic the AARPers on the Boy Scouts. Would be quite a match. [Ed. this commenter is limited to four comments a day.]

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#10)
    by john horse on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 04:00:56 AM EST
    Those who support privatization know that in a fair fight, where we have an objective presentation of the facts, their side would lose. That is why, just as in Iraq, the Bush administration has resorted to misleading statements and scare tactics. That is why, just as in Iraq, they use front groups to slime the other side. Adept is right. As in Iraq Bush s

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 04:35:45 AM EST
    Truth, decency, due process are all casualties of the necon revolution. Hope that something will change soon. Not sure how that change can come about.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 05:13:52 AM EST
    My father used to say that no one should tease an old dog; he won't waste his last bite on your hand, but will go for the throat. Evidently no one told this Administration that admonishment...or like so many things that have happened, it was too arrogant to listen. If I remember correctly, the Bush Administration's 'friend', the head of the AARP, Mr. Novelli, was running around the country saying what a great deal the prescription meds legislation would be, making as if the majority of AARP members wanted it, when in fact the opposite was true. When the members found out about this, they were angered by the AARP's actions and it lost thousands of members. With cold NeoCon calculus to guide them (just as Rumsfeld's note about 'cleaning up all items related and not' led to the Iraq War) the Bush Administration appears to believe that now is the time to strike at the AARP and destroy one of the few organizations any American politician is genuinely afraid of. But there's lots of Vets left around who won't take too kindly to this ham-handed approach of questioning their patriotism being waged by the Administration, and it may yet learn there are some groups that, despite their best efforts, refuse to be sandbagged quietly. Especially when their money is involved.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 05:54:41 AM EST
    From the faith-based article Doctor Ace so kindly (cough) links to: But the AARP is talking out of both sides of its mouth. It says that stock and bond investing is like playing a slot machine at the same time it promotes stock and bond investing by selling 38 mutual funds to its members and taking a cut from each sale. Perhaps the stocks and bonds they are promoting are intended for those seniors with investment capital to utilize? Perhaps the AARP is saying that stock and bond investing with guaranteed retirement funds like Social Security is like playing a slot machine? Perhaps when Tech Central Station is saying that The AARP is using an old strategy: trying to scare the wits out of old people, one should consider the scare tactics they themselves are using within the very article where they say others are trying to scare the old people? Perhaps the author of Dow 36,000 and a member of the American Enterprise Institute (a prominent right-wing propaganda organization) might have some sort of partisan agenda to promote within this article? There was one statement that sort of jumped out of the article: The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Heh. Indeed.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 06:24:43 AM EST
    TS - I don't know. Perhaps you can tell us when you get there. Susan - I am a member of AARP, and I can tell you the agenda of AARP is to sell insurance via their affilliates, which is why they initally fought against the Rx benefit. The management of AARP has drifted Democratic for years, and now doesm't know what to do with the changing world. BTW - It is almost impossible to talk to the management. They want the dues, and the insurance business, and to hell with your desires. nemon- You evidently do not understand the Rx benefit. First, forget the cards. They were just a stop gap measure to be used during start up. The real plan starts 1/1/06, that's 9 months and 10 days. Cost, $17 per month. Pays the first $2200 dollars, then doesn't pay for the next $2600 (dollars close but approximate)then starts paying again. That is a very good deal. Don't believe me? My wife and I pay $117. each, with high co-pays. Yes, that's $234 a month for our current drug plan. If seasoned citizem thinks the new plan isn't a good deal, they shouldn't take it. The rest of us will. (:Tom:) - Investment capital? You won't do this, but sit down and see what you are paying in, after tax, and then see what you will get back, before tax, fator in that if you die youy lose it, and then tell me how great it is.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 06:29:46 AM EST
    ppj, So what do you think about this ad, being a member of the AARP?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 06:56:12 AM EST
    Think about the ad? ppj and Cliff are in the ad

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 07:00:39 AM EST
    Investment capital? You won't do this, but sit down and see what you are paying in, after tax, and then see what you will get back, before tax, fator in that if you die youy lose it, and then tell me how great it is. Man. Sure sounds like full coverage car insurance. Oops! Social Securiy is Insurance. If you want an investment, get a 401k.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 07:18:12 AM EST
    "Perhaps the stocks and bonds they are promoting are intended for those seniors with investment capital to utilize?" That's the point, Tom. You will have investment capital to utilize. Just don't take financial advice from AARP's compromised sources. If you're capable of doing the math, you will find out who the real hypocrites are. Klaatu, SS is not insurance. It has no defined benes. Only Jim and Demo and maybe Steve, get it. (And ironically, TL is stifling Demo to 4 posts a day...an exclusive club here...) Horse, take your own advice. Mencken was right: No one ever went broke underestimating the public.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#19)
    by desertswine on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 08:31:22 AM EST
    Yet another slime campaign by the rabid-right. There will be more to come. So what's new.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:07:14 AM EST
    Using the Swift Boat guys is an excellent idea. These guys almost single handedly took down John Kerry. The ad is effective and powerful. Watch out AARP, these guys are good!!!

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#22)
    by Sailor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:32:59 AM EST
    PPJ and Cliff - Do you agree with the ads? Do you think the AARP has a gay agenda and hates our troops? That was the point.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:36:29 AM EST
    Perhaps shamed by the negative responses of that attack ad in TL's entry, the righthand menu of American Spectator now features a blander looking, but nevertheless misleading "fourteen facts. . . ." Yeah, sure. Here's the real agenda (point) of the ad, if one risks clicking on the link (don't forget to get rid of the tracking cookies afterward!)--
    Charlie Jarvis, USA Next's Chairman & CEO, recently appeared on Fox News' The Factor with Bill O'Reilly to discuss why so many Americans are turning to USA Next as an alternative to the liberal AARP.
    Norman Mailer gave Village Voice readers the appropriate caption for that paragraph: "advertisements for myself"; in USA Next's case, "advertisements for ourselves." That's the ad's real "bottom line." Theirs.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:37:31 AM EST
    Just because people get a bit older (50+) doesn't mean that they are incapable of reading various points of view on issues like Social Security and making up their own minds about the various positions set forth in them. Here is the AARP's Open Letter ("Where We Stand") posted to its members on this issue. After reading all of the coverage of Social Security linked at the bottom of the letter (inc. the blog already linked by TL), if one doesn't like the coverage one can stop being a member of AARP. It is a voluntary membership organization. No one forces anyone to join it. Members stay members because they appreciate receiving the information about social, medical, financial, and other issues relating to their welfare and they like the benefits and discounts afforded members. If they don't want to purchase a particular product advertised by the AARP in its magazine or bulletin (such publications require ad revenues, and companies appealing to the interests of that American demographic group advertise in them), they don't have to. It is a free country (or so we have been led to believe). If a member doesn't like the AARP, he or she can resign membership and lose the discounts and information that it offers to its members. Hmmn. That's a thought. But don't let people claiming to be a member of AARP out of one side of their mouths and then badmouthing the "agenda" or "motives" of the organization out of the other side fool anyone. Such tactics really won't enhance credibility. It just makes them hypocrites all the more. Some of the very same people running or praising the ads attacking the AARP are probably still, as it were, "proudly" displaying their membership cards to get AARP travel, auto club, auto insurance, theater, and other discounts. What chutzpah!

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:44:04 AM EST
    I don't get it. Is the message that AARP supports having married gays in the military?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:48:40 AM EST
    Yuck! the way USA Next "proudly" allies itself with the "Swift Boats Veterans" attacks on Kerry as it features the NYTimes article on its website. Quite sickening. What is next? Sigh. The people who "buy" these ad tactics are some fools who will lose their Social Security via the "personal investment" accounts. Does anyone think "USA Next" will care? It's only lining its own pockets in the true American "greedy capitalist" radition; forget "the little guy": who truly cares about him? Where is a Frank Capra when we need him [e.g., Mr. Smith Goes to Washington]? Guess there will be another Michael Moore documentary on this soon. Who will be his real-life "Gary Cooper?" Do we really have to wait for someone to ride in to save us from ourselves? Protest this. (Write letters to your senators and representatives in Congress; links are on the AARP site.)

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 10:00:04 AM EST
    Here's the direct link to the AARP letter-writing campaign: "Let's Not Turn Social Security into Social Insecurity!"
    While Social Security needs to be strengthened, private accounts that take money out of the program are not the answer and will hurt all generations. There are places in retirement planning for risk, but Social Security isnít one of them. Take action today. Email your legislators and urge them to oppose private accounts that take money out of Social Security, jeopardizing the future of all Americans.
    We have few effective means of protesting "Swift Boats Vets," USA Next right-wing claptrap: this is one of them. Join the fight to protect Social Security from predators.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 11:08:33 AM EST
    If it's any comfort to you guys, the far-and-away most likely candidate to cut off a man's penis (or testicles) is the man himself. (1) Unsurprisingly, men who do this are usually psychotic, so y'all are probably safe. (1) And for this, I went to grad school.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 11:09:53 AM EST
    Uh, this is the wrong thread, isn't it?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 11:15:58 AM EST
    Molly... LOL... nah ... cutting off S.S.... cutting off a penis... same thing!

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:08:45 PM EST
    Steve A - Dumb, but probably effective. Ricky1756 - Ricky, sweetheart. Baby. You know I'm a blonde hunk. Sailor - I think you know that I don't care who marries who, and I'm pro-military, and I just commented that the AARP, basically, exists to sell insurance. So anything that rocks the boat scares them. If you asked a biggie in the organization what they thought of socialized, government paid, health care, you'd hear so many, "yes, but but but but but's," you think you were talking to a motor scooter. Susan - It is not hypocritical to belong to an organization, yet disagree with many of its goals. For further examples, see political organizations: Repubs, Demos, etc. And yes, I belong, and I use the discounts and insurance. When you get old, you will discover that these things are important. Klaatu - Ace is correct, it is not, and never has been "insurance," just as there is not a "trust fund." But if you want to pay up to about $13,000 a year for universal life with no defined benefits, go right ahead. In the mean time, I'll put you in contact with one of my agents who was the cousin of the son of the ex-Preisdent of Nigeria who has this land for sale. Molly - Is your new moniker "Molly The Knife?" ....oh the shark dear, has such teeth dear.. ;-) et al - You know, I have no dogs in this fight. My benefits will not change, either way. But it will effect my children and grandchildren. It needs fixing, now. And private accounts are the way to go.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:15:42 PM EST
    Susan, About your quote... "entire generations of Americans who are given free membership in AARP for a decade as soon as they turn 50 years old--" Where did you hear that? Also, I enjoy the banter from the younger crowds who say "Hey, there is no crisis - just raise taxes". Yeah. Heh heh heh. I just wish I could be there with these kids when they realize who is going to be paying those increased taxes. Heh heh heh. AARP is running a business. If they told the truth they would go broke immediately. So don't hold your breath. As far as the silly ad with the soldier & the gay boys, I don't think you Dem kids understand the implications of that topic. Rock the vote!!! heh heh heh. 17 % turnout of young voters....heh heh heh. No worries.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:22:05 PM EST
    ppj, Let me rephrase the question. Do you agree that the information presented in this ad is accurate or is it a blatant lie? Personally, I find it hard to believe that an association that has vets included in their membership is anti-troops. Just curious for a members take on this.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:32:25 PM EST
    The guy to the right looks envious.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    Oops. I mean of course the guy to the left.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#35)
    by soccerdad on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:48:58 PM EST
    Ace is correct, it is not, and never has been "insurance," just as there is not a "trust fund."
    Pure BS, more purposeful lies from the right. Privatization a la Bush is crap. Its in essence a hand out to wall street. Note that those whose accounts are under 5k will be managed by the govt under current proposals and wall street will skim off the best accounts. If the economy tanks and all you have is private accounts you're screwed. The cost of privatization is estimated to be 2trillion, where's that money coming from. Why is England abondoning its privatized system? Its interesting that people like PPJ want SS revamped yet are happy with medicare even though the long term liability for medicare is 3x that for SS.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 02:05:28 PM EST
    3 Reasons not to vote for privatization: 1.) Worldcom 2.) Enron 3.) Tyco Ask there former employees

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 05:25:21 PM EST
    Steve A - "Dumb" is a negative comment. And don't think being in the AARP means you have any input on positions. You don't. mar - Let me help you. Moss grows on the north side of trees. ;-) SD - Speaking of lies. "If the economy tanks and all you have is private accounts you're screwed." You are not going to have nothing but private accounts. Why the BS? You know that only 4% can be placed in private accounts. As far as Wall Street... Have you ever heard of no load funds? But even if they aren't, the fee would mostly like be less than 1%. Again, why the BS? Why do you hate private enterprise? And I note you have given up on Chille. I haven't studied the English situation enough to comment, but, based on your record, I would guess your England comment is full of errors. And quit putting words in my mouth. I'm not happy with medicare. In addition to what is deducted from my SS, I have to pay over $200 a month for Rx benefits, $236 a month for medicare supplemental and $65 dental insurance. Counting the SS portion, that puts me close to $625 a month for "free" medical care. And then their is the $100 dental deducatable and the co-pays on Rx. And I am far from unique. What we need is a single payer plan. The AARP, who has been devoted to the Democrats because they thought that was the political thing to do not get their rice bowl full on insurance sales taken away, will be one of the chief obstacles to reforming the system. And remember. Changing SS is not going to doing anything for me, or to me, so you can take the money motivation away. I don't think you are motivated by money, either. Just a hatred of Bush. Not exactly a good comment on your analysis and logic. tbird - One more time. The private accounts will be in very conservatibe 401k's. None of these stocks would qualify. They were all go-go growth, etc.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#38)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 05:57:57 PM EST
    One more time. The private accounts will be in very conservatibe 401k's. None of these stocks would qualify. They were all go-go growth, etc. I love semantics. I also love assurances. Let's review some other "assurances" we've heard recently: * Our soldiers will be welcomed with flowers. * We're eventually going to withdraw our troops from Iraq. * Sadaam has WMD. * There is a social security lockbox that will not be touched. * We're going to find Osama Bin Laden, "Dead or Alive". etc. etc. Dismantle the law, make a promise. One thing is for sure, the law is dismantled.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#39)
    by soccerdad on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 07:04:20 PM EST
    PPJ you are dishonest as always. pathetic. The goal of bush is to eventually replace SS with private. If you don't know that you've been asleep. BTW what is the 4%, 4% of what. And you didn't answer the question of why you are against SS but for Medicare. The drug benefit alone is going to cost 3 times more than SS. But you benefit from the medicare don't you. And you didn't answer the question of where the 2 trillion is going to come from for transition costs Chile is bad. The excuse that you have to wait more than 24 years for things to get better is a joke. Do you know the details of the private accounts and what will and will not be allowed or are you talking out your butt as usual. Judging by the tone of your post you don't have the anwsers. Just keep peddling your right wing crap.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 08:43:40 PM EST
    SD - The comment was for a single payer health delivery system. My comment was to demonstrate how inadequate Medicare is. BTW - Single payer means government paid. For everyone. And quit playing cutesies. I am not "aganst SS." I am for reforming it. Do I have all the answers? No. But at least I don't ask what the 4% is.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:46:43 PM EST
    About your quote... "entire generations of Americans who are given free membership in AARP for a decade as soon as they turn 50 years old--"
    Eclaire (or Edair--hard to read the "cl" or "d"): That isn't a "quote" that I'm making; it's your quotation of me! :-) But to quote and reply to your question to me:
    Where did you hear that?
    I didn't "hear" it anywhere; I received an AARP offer in the mail when I turned 50, and, having accepted it, I've been the direct beneficiary of the AARP's promotion for 50 year olds. Until the "renewal date," 10 years after their initial offer, I don't expect to be and haven't been charged any kind of annual membership fee. (If they did charge me something initially--but I don't recall them doing so--it was so nominal that I don't even remember what it was.) The offer included a complimentary associate membership for my husband, who's the same age as I am. Perhaps they changed that "promotion" for 50 year olds at some point after their offer to me. I still think it's a good deal!

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:53:02 PM EST
    The AARP is a non-profit organization as well as one of the few institutions of American society that explicitly values "older" citizens and valorizes what they (still) have to contribute to society. The "agenda" of the AARP makes sense to less-than-rich people who try to conserve their money, who spend it wisely, and who therefore appreciate traditional Social Security accounts and their so-called "guaranteed" benefits. If they can afford individual ("personal") retirement accounts, such people get IRAs and they can also contribute more to their employer-offered pension plans (like TIAA-Cref in academe) or, if self-employed, other kinds of retirement instruments that they "invest" in (set aside savings in) themselves. But working people should not have to "give up" their Social Security benefits, which have been deducted from their wages since they first began working. Right now, those benefits are still guaranteed for people 55 and older (which includes most baby-boomers). But baby-boomers who are just becoming grandparents are concerned for their children and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren and so on. Maybe they will "need" their Social Security, maybe not. It's too early to know. Why gamble with their futures? A better bet, I think, is better financial education for all Americans so that they themselves can begin their "retirement" planning early in their working lives and not get caught short at the end of them. We are a debt-ridden society as opposed to a savings-conscious culture (like Japan's). How many credit cards do we really need? What Bush and his buddies have proposed seems closer to another form of borrowing from the future, not a form of saving for the future.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 10:27:44 PM EST
    I just checked the current annual membership rates for AARP members (50+): here it is ($12.50/year). So, yes, I've had a great deal for the decade of my 50s, but I also think the membership benefits will save anyone who joins now well over $12.50 a year. [For example, yesterday I received an AARP discount at a hotel lowering the already-low AAA/CAA room rate from 114$ Canadian to 97$ Canadian. In past travels, I've often gotten good AARP "concessions" (discounts) for theater tickets in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe, and similarly-welcome discounts for museum admissions and car rentals in other countries. In the U.S., a "senior citizen" discount is generally for those 65 and older. In other countries, the AARP card is honored. (Europeans also give "concessions" for those who are currently either "retired" or "unemployed.")] The right-wing attacks on the AARP are, in my view, absurd and unfounded. Just their attempts to puff themselves and their own bank accounts up without thinking of how they may be hurting older Americans.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 05:56:29 AM EST
    Susan - As a long time AARP member I can vouch for the many savings provided to its members. But that has nothing to do with whether or not their political positions are correct, or the fact that they have almost no way for the membership to participate.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 11:19:39 AM EST
    Susan, Your argument is rotten to the very foundation. Where to start? Earlier you claimed that "an entire generation" was given free memberships. When I asked for clarification, you weaseled and then changed subjects. Now, your contention that the "less-than-rich people who try to conserve their money, who spend it wisely, ..." Wow. If they had conserved their money, and spent it wisely, they would not be dead broke, dependent on handouts from a near-bankrupt Ponzi scheme that is headed for the abyss. Here's what I find humorous. The ignorant masses are being spoonfed a silly idea that raising the cap would save SS. This merely demonstrates confusion about how SS works. Right now there is a surplus. The surplus is being spent, just as general funds are spent. To increase the SS tax (by raising the cap or any other type of increase) would merely increase the flow of money available to fund more spending. When the $$ into SS equals the $$ being paid out (just a few more years), we would be in exactly the same position as if we did nothing. Increasing the SS cap (or rate, or both) will merely drain billions from the economy and feed the out-of-control machine. It would not affect Social Security at all until 2018 (or whatever the date that inlow equals outgo) Do you understand this?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 01:38:24 PM EST
    Merrill Lynch is a retail/wholesale financial supermarket. It offers financial services for private, institutional, and government clients, including mutual fund, insurance, annuity, trust, and clearing services, in addition to traditional investment banking and brokerage. Following a firestorm of bad publicity over alleged biased research, investigations into fraudulent energy trades with Enron, and a role in the ImClone insider trading.
    Let's give these 'guys' a couple of trillion dollars to improve their craft. I'm sure they will become more honest with more money.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#47)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 03:33:26 PM EST
    I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said, "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." That's exactly what we have in America today. Paul is the half of Americans who pay almost zero income taxes. Peter is the half who DO PAY income taxes.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#48)
    by Adept Havelock on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 05:36:52 PM EST
    Goof point noname. Let's begin by changing things to tax "Wealth" more than "Work". We want to encourage everyone to work to provide for themselves. This would be a good start. Let's start with no tax breaks on investment income and capital gains, and not tax the guy who's working two jobs to keep his family's head above water.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 07:43:44 PM EST
    Adept, Nice sentiments, but the guy working two jobs (presumably low wage jobs) isn't paying income taxes now. The bottom half of earners pay almost no income taxes. Look it up on the IRS site. Poor people don't pay income taxes now.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#50)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 10:32:24 PM EST
    Is this administration trying to tear the country further apart by pitting the aging population of bommers against everyone else? I'm glad to see the left isn't going to sit idly by and take this type of propaganda. I thought I was having a bad dream about the Swift Boat ads while nobody but nobody was screaming nearly loud enough to stop the madness. Make them pay and make them pay dearly. You have to play hardball with these people, that's the only thing they understand or respect.

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#51)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 10:35:51 PM EST
    Oh, and eclair, the rich aren't paying taxes either. Taxing them would make up for the lost taxes which would actually break the poor if we did. Pretty basic logic. And, last time I checked anyone who works pays taxes. Of course if you're disabled and collecting social security you won't pay taxes--that would defeat the purpose, no?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#52)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 07:32:59 AM EST
    The swift boat veterans ads for the administration are getting what they deserved ... A proposed cut veterans medical benefits! Thanks you from the rest of us veterans. Before you run your ad again against the AARP, please scrap off the yellow ribbon off your SUV because you aren't supporting the troops!

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#53)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 25, 2005 at 10:18:33 AM EST
    So, ppj, Social Security is not insurance huh? I guess that's why the legislation that created the Social Security system is called FICA (Federal INSURANCE Contribution Act) - because it's not insurance right? And I guess, that's why the Social Security system is also referred to as OASDI (old age, survivors, disability INSURANCE) because it's not really insurance right?

    Re: New Attack on the AARP (none / 0) (#54)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 07:44:07 AM EST
    Pay attention PPJ (aka Jim)..... It called American History. Social Security was enacted because of the Great Depression. The Great Depression was started by the 1929 Crash of the Stock Market. Let's pretend it never happened and do it all over again, right PPJ (aka Jim)?