AARP wants seniors to mug the young?
AS Congress and President Obama work to rein in spending that has led to record deficits and a monstrous national debt, the American Association of Retired Persons is battling to put 62 percent of federal spending off limits, setting up an intergenerational war.
AARP says it represents nearly half the nation's people 50 and older. The lobbying group wants no changes in Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid.
In other words, it's for higher taxes on working people.
Those three programs cost the public a combined $2.5 trillion a year. That is triple what the United States spends on national defense - $711 billion.
Social Security and Medicare are funded by payroll taxes paid by more than 140 million American
workers. Payroll taxes already are so burdensome on younger workers that Congress and the president cut them temporarily in the past two years in an attempt to stimulate economic growth.
Despite this, AARP rejects changes - even though changes would not even affect current beneficiaries or those nearing retirement.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's suggestion, for example, would not affect anyone above the age of 55.
"We're fighting to stop cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that will hurt beneficiaries," said AARP's top lobbyist, Nancy LeaMond.
"We want to ensure that Social Security is not part of this deficit discussion."
This is disgusting.
Entitlement programs are the main driver of the nation's deficit and debt problems, and LeaMond knows this.
LeaMond also knows that the money to pay today's beneficiaries comes directly out of their own children's and grandchildren's pockets. Essentially, each generation funds the benefits of the generation that preceded it.
"We've been stealing money from our children, and one of the main reasons that we've been unable to stop is that AARP is so opposed to any change to the entitlement programs and they're politically powerful," said Kevin A. Hassett, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.
Many people 50 and older oppose this mugging of the young.
That may be why, despite aging baby boomers increasing the number of people eligible to join the AARP, its membership has declined by 3 million people over the last three years to 37 million.
Members of Congress should keep that in mind.