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.