Friday, June 17, 2011

AARP Said What?!

I thought this was interesting - according to The Wall Street Journal, the AARP is ready to abandon Social Security.

Eric Lichtblau wrote the following for The New York Times:
AARP, the powerful lobby for older Americans that has been seen as one of the leading opponents of Social Security benefit cuts, said on Friday that it was open to modest reductions in benefits for future recipients.

The group’s stance, which generated quick reaction from all sides because of its powerful voice on the issue, could provide added ammunition to fiscal conservatives who have sought unsuccessfully to restructure Social Security and chip away at the benefits it promises older Americans.

“Our goal is to limit any changes in benefits,” John Rother, AARP’s policy chief, said in a telephone interview, “but we also want to see the system made solvent.”

Mr. Rother said the group’s stance on possible cuts, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal in Friday’s editions, should be seen less as a major change in position than as a reflection of the political and financial realities facing the Social Security system and the country as a whole.

“You have to look at all the tradeoffs,” Mr. Rother said, “and what we’re trying to do is engage the American public in that debate.”

He made clear that the group’s willingness to discuss cuts comes with conditions: Reductions in benefits should be “minimal,” they should not affect current recipients and instead should be directed “far off in the future,” and they should be offset by increases in tax-generated revenue.
I am not writing about what the AARP said about Social Security though.  I thought it was very interesting what AARP said in response to The Wall Street Journal article.

David Certner, the organization's director of legislative policy, called The Wall Street Journal's article "inaccurate."

"Our policy for decades has always been that we basically support a package that would include revenue enhancements and benefit adjustments to get Social Security to long-term solvency," Certner said. "That has been our policy stated over and over again for, I mean, literally it has to be two decades, now."

Now why would The Wall Street Journal misrepresent the AARP's position?  Why would Rupert Murdoch - owner of conservative propaganda station Fox News - want to give the impression that one of America's strongest and largest organizations reversed their long-standing positions to support conservative issues?

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