Mar 16, 2012

AARP Needs To Move Its Headquarters Out of D.C.!

From Huffington Post:
The senior citizens lobby AARP on Monday will kick off a national Social Security and Medicare "listening tour" called "You’ve Earned a Say and We’re Listening." Through "town halls, community conversations, bus tours and other events," the influential organization promises to offer members a chance to speak out on the simmering debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare. 
The outreach is part of the group's campaign to restore trust it lost during last year's spending debate, when a top AARP official told the Wall Street Journal the organization was open to cuts to the entitlement programs....
But while AARP staffers fan out across the country to hear from members, the group's CEO, Barry Rand, will be listening to a different cast of characters.
An AARP invitation to a secret "Relaxed and Robust Evening of 'Salon Style' Conversation" to be held at a Capitol Hill home on March 27, obtained by The Huffington Post, indicates that the organization is still very much interested in a "grand-bargain" style deal that puts Social Security and Medicare cuts on the table. ...
This year's salon is the third focused on entitlement, and AARP has held at least eight such affairs over the past three years ...
While the overwhelming majority of AARP members are strongly against benefit cuts, the group's team in Washington nevertheless wants to be an influential part of the conversation, and they appear to believe that an openness to cuts is the way to appear serious.
      Why is cutting Social Security considered "serious" in D.C.? The country isn't going to buy it. The solution to keeping Social Security going is obvious and simple -- remove the FICA cap. It's going to happen. It's just a matter of when.


Anonymous said...

The solution to keeping Social Security going is obvious and simple -- remove the FICA cap.

That's one solution. I argue that any change (just like the general budget) requires BOTH increases in taxes AND decreases in expenditures. SS is no different, decrease benefit payments by doing some combination of raising retirement, reducing monthly benefits, imposing stricter standrads for qualification coupled with a gradual relaxation of the FICA cap.

Anonymous said...

The best and quickest way to maintain Social Security is to return it to Social Security and get rid of the SSI or Federal Welfare portion of it. Raising the CAP is not a bad idea to increase the Trust funds for retirees and disabled workers. That said, as long as the Government continues to "borrow" Trust funds and redistribute wealth through the guise of SSI, there is no way to support it.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:09. I can't figure out what you are trying to say. How does SSI impact the trust fund?

The best I can tell is that you think the government is pilfering the trust fund to pay poor people.

SSA's trust fund is a creditor of the federal government. If your grandparents ever bought bonds for themselves or bought you a bond, I bet you didn't say, "I can't believe the federal government took my grandparents money and redistributed it through the guise of SSI."

If trust fund money was not legally required to be put into a special kind of federal bond, what do you think should happen to trust fund money? Invest it in the stock market? Let it sit in a metaphorical vault and accumulate no interest? What risk free asset does the U.S. government buy with several trillion dollars of money it will need to pay out in the future other than a special interest-bearing federal bond? The private sector thinks a treasury note is the safest place in the world to park your money right now. Why is a similar instrument not good enough for the trust fund? If you're upset about federal deficits and debt, that's one thing. But with respect to the projected trust fund shortfall, I imagine the trust fund's investment in federal bonds is helpful for trust fund finances, as interest is earned that otherwise would not if it sat in a metaphorical vault.

And why do you pick SSI as the beneficiary of the money the federal gov borrows from the trust fund? Why don't you say "Why does the federal government take money from the trust fund and pay farm subsidies?" Or "Why does the federal government give massive tax deductions for 2nd home mortgage interest and make up the shortfall with loans from the trust fund?"

Your vote for the people who are going to fix this problem counts as much as mine does, so I'd appreciate hearing why you think the way you do in case I am missing something.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if AARP stands for Benedict Arnold.