Skip to comments.Social Security, AARP, and Coots
Posted on 01/13/2005 2:37:24 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
Some of lifes turning points are obvious. Others come as a surprise, like being hit from behind by a truck. I had an obvious one last week. I became a coot.
I applied for early retirement on Social Security. That means I have to buy a beige cardigan and wear it with the buttons mismatched. I have to belt my pants ten inches above my belly button. Ill start losing hair from my head, which will reappear in my nose and ears. Im officially an old coot.
But thats not what I came to talk about. I came to talk about the AARP (not just retired people) and Social Security. Ive been a member of AARP for twelve years. They have a cadre of snitches to tell them when anyone turns 50. They grab people at that age, as coots in training.
AARPs official position is there is no crisis in Social Security, that only small changes are needed to keep it financially sound. Its website article is entitled Dont Mess with Success. It asserts, there is no crisis and that moderate adjustments can keep the system sound.
Anyone with a college degree, a hand-held calculator, and a demographic chart of US population knows the position of AARP is false. The Baby Boomers (my generation) are beginning to retire. When SS began in 1935 there were 16 workers for every one retiree. Plus, the average American lived less than ten years after retirement. Even though all the receipts from SS were sucked out of the trust fund and into the federal general accounts, the system was solid.
Today, there are only three workers for every retiree. Plus, the average American is living about twenty years beyond retirement. Plus, the payouts from SS are not just worker retirement. Disability and survivor benefits have been added. The final coffin nail is the retirement of the Boomers. As we retire, the ratio of workers to retirees will drop to two to one, and the system then fails.
The longest (and most optimistic) projection is that SS will not fail until 2042. However, an excellent article in National Review Online on 11 January, 2005, explains a closer failure. In 2009, the surplus from SS that goes into the federal general account will begin to decline. At that point, not 2042, Congress will be compelled to raise taxes, or cut SS benefits, or cut other programs to make up for the SS shrinkage. Forcing Congress to chose among those drastic alternatives qualifies, I think, as a crisis.
AARP is the largest political organization in the United States, with the greatest interest in SS. If it cannot get the facts straight on this subject, we are all in trouble.
AARP sets its policies through its 21-member Board. While AARP claims input comes from the bottom up, the Board holds the whip hand. New Board members are nominated by a ten-member committee, chosen by the Board. Three members are on the Board. Five are chosen from AARPs operating regions, two at large.
One-third of the Board are replaced every two years. Any of the 35 million members of AARP may throw their hat in the ring. But the nominating committee culls the names to about 17 deemed acceptable to the Board. The Board then chooses the seven replacements each year.
There is no petition or nominating process by which anyone at odds with the current Board could get elected. The process is incestuous. If government in America had been reelected like the Board of AARP is now, we would be playing God Save the Queen before the Superbowl.
As Professor Peter Drucker pointed out with both cynicism and accuracy, No matter what its original purpose, once any organization grows beyond 1,000 in staff, its main purpose becomes self-preservation. That is AARP today.
Twenty of the twenty-one Board members of AARP either had long careers in AARP, or are on public payrolls at the state, national, or international level. Only one has experienced fully private employment. This explains much about the liberal bias of AARP. It is an eye-opening experience to read the biographies of the Board.
If AARPs members ever decide that it is wrong on Social Security or other issues, its hard to see how they can express that except demonstrating outside AARPs marble palace in D.C. There aint no democracy in AARP.
By the way, many of you reading this are coots, or coots in training, or have coots in your household. To deal with that unfortunate situation with good humor, I recommend the book Coots, by Mike Dowdall and Pat Walsh. The text is delightful and the illustrations are priceless.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. CongressmanBillybob@earthlink.net
Why are you a member of AARP if they can't get their facts straight?
You also need to drive a four door Buick and to leave the turn signals on for a mile after you've completed the turn.
Ya mean I gotta start at the bottom of the barrel again??
BTW I got 4 months to go..and AARP has been sending me info since I was 44. I should have cheated.
Partially true but for far different reasons than the one given.Social Security has been the liberals greatest success at creating a dependency on government and destroying the family structure that America was built on.
At one time parents raised and took care of children and than later the children took care of their parents.By introducing government into the equation the system of responsibility began to break down.
The ponzi scheme scheme known as social security is well on it's way to demise and the self eserving advocacy group known as AARP has sided with the devil as far as I'm concerned.
With their most recent attack position on true reform I am more convinced than ever that I was right not to join AARP.
The biggest problem with AARP is how they sell their endorsement for mega -millions each year..Therefore, their positions are suspect. Wonder why no one has yetr tried to start an independent organization for retired people..
Absolutely correct. One could make the argument that AARP should therefore lose its tax-exempt status..If properly framed, and presented, an alternative organization could flourish...Look, even Windows now has viable competition..I switched to Firefox last year..love it..
Hm, okay. I just don't understand why some people can get such discounts just because they're a certain age.
Did you know that full sized Buicks have a timer on the turn signals to shut them off after a while? LOL
I am a coot in training BTW. Could get my 'wheelchairs' (wings) now if I wanted to.
AARP has never got a thin dime from me and never will.
They are a bunch of Libs, IMHO.
Not everybody does. I don't accept senior discounts and never will. When offered (and I am offered them) I just reply, "If I start wanting something for nothing, people might think I'm a democrat."
The Old Coot
Question: How in the heck can AARP still claim non-profit status, and tax-free bennies when they run all these businesses on the side? I quit that liberal group long ago and despise their policies.
Ask AARP why they give thousands to MALDEF to advocate illegal immigration. I have.
Quote: Hm, okay. I just don't understand why some people can get such discounts just because they're a certain age.
Me neither. You see it all the time the old coots will drive up in their brand new caddy at a restraunt and get their 15% off while the young cashier waiting on them is struggling to put themselves through school or has a young family.
Great line you use when offered discounts as a senior!
What kind of looks do you get?
The strangest look was from my brother (who is a democrat) when we went out for breakfast. He's also been lying about his age to get discounts since his early 50s.
He thinks I am being vain by not accepting them.
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