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Social Security, AARP, and Coots
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 14 Jan., 2005 | John Armor (Congressman Billybob)

Posted on 01/13/2005 2:37:24 PM PST by Congressman Billybob

Some of life’s 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. I’ll start losing hair from my head, which will reappear in my nose and ears. I’m officially an old coot.

But that’s not what I came to talk about. I came to talk about the AARP (not just “retired” people) and Social Security. I’ve 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.

AARP’s 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 “Don’t 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 AARP’s 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 AARP’s members ever decide that it is wrong on Social Security or other issues, it’s hard to see how they can express that except demonstrating outside AARP’s marble palace in D.C. There ain’t 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


TOPICS: Editorial; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: aarp; babyboomers; boardelections; coots; peterdrucker; socialsecurity
Two of these subjects are of strong current interest to Freepers. The third subject, my coothood, is personal to me but I trust you'll find it amusing.

Billybob

1 posted on 01/13/2005 2:37:25 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
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To: Congressman Billybob

Why are you a member of AARP if they can't get their facts straight?


2 posted on 01/13/2005 2:39:53 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
....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. I’ll start losing hair from my head, which will reappear in my nose and ears. I’m officially an old coot....

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.

3 posted on 01/13/2005 2:42:03 PM PST by GunsareOK
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To: Congressman Billybob
They have a cadre of snitches to tell them when anyone turns 50. They grab people at that age, as coots in training. Coots on Training!!??!!

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.

4 posted on 01/13/2005 2:43:32 PM PST by Focault's Pendulum (I'm cooking Shish Ka Blob....That's Gloat on a stick.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
" Its website article is entitled “Don’t Mess with Success.”

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.

5 posted on 01/13/2005 2:47:55 PM PST by carlr
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To: Congressman Billybob
I'm in training to be a coot and will be at the door 3 months before the earliest possible date I can begin withdrawals.

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.

6 posted on 01/13/2005 2:49:40 PM PST by evad (DUmmie FUnnies and Pookie Toons-the start of a nice day)
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To: k2blader
The simple truth is, AARP offers benefits in hotels, airline fares, etc., that more than triple in savings the annual cost, every year without fail. I've tried to ignore their politics. Now, I've decided to try to provoke a revolt among the membership. Just looking for the right hill to climb with torches and pitchforks in hand.

Billybob

7 posted on 01/13/2005 2:58:20 PM PST by Congressman Billybob (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

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..


8 posted on 01/13/2005 2:58:36 PM PST by ken5050
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To: ken5050
There are several alternative organizations to AARP. But none of them hold a candle to AARP in the financial benefits department. And that's what attracts the coots. Same as the early-bird specials at the Sizzler, for instance. LOL.

Billybob
9 posted on 01/13/2005 3:01:38 PM PST by Congressman Billybob (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

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..


10 posted on 01/13/2005 3:05:10 PM PST by ken5050
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To: Congressman Billybob

Hm, okay. I just don't understand why some people can get such discounts just because they're a certain age.


11 posted on 01/13/2005 3:07:39 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: GunsareOK
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.

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.

12 posted on 01/13/2005 3:11:06 PM PST by Vinnie
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To: Congressman Billybob
Congrats on "Coothood". I've been a coot for a while.

AARP has never got a thin dime from me and never will.
They are a bunch of Libs, IMHO.

13 posted on 01/13/2005 3:13:53 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: k2blader
Hm, okay. I just don't understand why some people can get such discounts just because they're a certain age

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."

14 posted on 01/13/2005 3:19:44 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: k2blader
Us coots generally don't skip out on our bills, nor do we get Mazolla in the shag carpet, nor do we keep the folks next door up late with loud, obnoxious music. Couple those positive qualities with the buying power of 35 million of us, and the logic of the retail discounts becomes overwhelming.

The Old Coot

15 posted on 01/13/2005 3:21:51 PM PST by Congressman Billybob (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

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.


16 posted on 01/13/2005 3:44:08 PM PST by Paulus Invictus (AARP: Association for the Advancement of Rotten Policies)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Ask AARP why they give thousands to MALDEF to advocate illegal immigration. I have.


17 posted on 01/13/2005 4:09:21 PM PST by JustAnotherSavage (Government spends what government receives plus as much as it can get away with-Milton Friedman)
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To: k2blader

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.


18 posted on 01/13/2005 4:26:52 PM PST by superiorslots
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To: Graybeard58

Great line you use when offered discounts as a senior!
What kind of looks do you get?


19 posted on 01/13/2005 4:29:42 PM PST by yer gonna put yer eye out (Gettin' a PhD in my jammies...Make voter fraud a FELONY)
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To: yer gonna put yer eye out

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.


20 posted on 01/13/2005 4:35:11 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58
Click HERE For THE Conservative Family Alternative to the AARP!
21 posted on 01/14/2005 7:57:11 AM PST by ceoinva
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To: Graybeard58

Good for you.

The AARP's socialist drivel sticks in my craw, and as a conservative I'd be embarrassed to take any of their discounts let alone be associated with them (not that I'm anywhere near old enough to be a member).

However, I think other discounts for seasoned citizens, such as restaurant "senior menus," are understandable. Folks who can order from those menus pay less but also get less. It makes sense.


22 posted on 01/14/2005 5:37:39 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Understood. It makes for good business.

But it's business that ultimately benefits liberalism!

That said, I don't want to argue with you over it. I've seen you around FR and think you're a fine person. Best wishes as to your conservo-coot revolution. All things are possible with God. :-)


23 posted on 01/14/2005 5:43:29 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: superiorslots

It is kinda crazy isn't it. It seems like when you're young, you have the energy but not the time and money; when you're old you have the money and time but not the energy.


24 posted on 01/14/2005 5:53:19 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: Congressman Billybob; Everybody

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.






It will never be a crisis. The fix is in.

The Fair Tax scheme ends individual "contributions" and funds welfare from a Fed sales tax.
You can bet on it, --- this is the way [or one like it] the issue will be resolved.

Check it out:

Americans for Fair Tax
Address:http://www.fairtax.org/

Anyone know if the AARP taken any position yet on the Fair Tax proposal?




25 posted on 01/14/2005 8:43:47 PM PST by jonestown ( Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance at all.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
The entire philosophy of AARP is to grab as much as you can, then die before you get the bill. TANSTAAFL, or even a discounted one.
26 posted on 01/14/2005 9:02:43 PM PST by LexBaird ("Democracy can withstand anything but democrats" --Jubal Harshaw (RA Heinlein))
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To: jonestown
"Anyone know if the AARP taken any position yet on the Fair Tax proposal?"

They oppose the FairTax. I think that I have a message on it somewhere. If you really want it, I'll try to find it for you.

27 posted on 01/15/2005 1:04:51 AM PST by Badray (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown. RIP harpseal.)
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To: Graybeard58
My sincere condolences about your brother...
Your the one who's right...hang in there!
28 posted on 01/15/2005 5:18:28 AM PST by yer gonna put yer eye out (Gettin' a PhD (Prettyhard on Democrats) at FR)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Not only does some snitch know when you trun 50, they keep track of you forever after, despite numerous address changes. These people started bugging me to become a member years ago. They still do, and I've never sent them a reply or change of address.

The GOP should hire these guys to track down their wayward voters. They would never lose an election.

Better still, the gubmint should hire them to track down our millions of illegal aliens by promising to pay their first two years membership. None of them would get away!

29 posted on 01/15/2005 9:45:55 AM PST by Gritty ("The longer it's expatriates stay away from Mexico, the more they come to love Mexico-VD Hanson)
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To: Congressman Billybob
"Now, I've decided to try to provoke a revolt among the membership."

Rotsa ruck.

30 posted on 01/16/2005 8:23:47 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: Honeybunch

Ping.


31 posted on 01/16/2005 8:24:04 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: ken5050
The biggest problem with AARP is how they sell their endorsement for mega -millions each year..Therefore, their positions are suspect

They also invest heavily in the stock market making millions off their investments each year. Such hypocrisy, since they would not stay for a week in any investment returning a yield as low as social security does. If they investigated the privatization plan honestly they would be for it, but it (privatization) is too capitalistic for the democratic party to abide, it will spur the economy and lead to the election of republicans for years to come and this is something the democrats must fight.

32 posted on 01/16/2005 8:31:22 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

When is somebody going to face the Socialists, like Ted Kennedy, and challenge them thus:

'Senator, isn't your opposition to privitization of Social Security based soley upon the resulting reduction of access to money for your self-serving pork barrel programs?'

It's really that simple!
What is the annual total in receipts for Social Security Nationally?
That money goes into the General Fund, NOT a 'trust fund'!
If 1/3 of that would no longer be available to these thieves!
SSI is 6%
The proposal is to allow income earners to place 1/3 (2%) into a privately managed fund, WITH LIMITATIONS ON THE RISK LEVEL OF THAT INVESTMENT!


33 posted on 01/16/2005 8:41:58 AM PST by G Larry (Admiral James Woolsey as National Intelligence Director)
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To: Congressman Billybob
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. I’ll start losing hair from my head, which will reappear in my nose and ears. I’m officially an old coot.

Being on SSI permament disability, let me be the 1st to welcome you to The Official 'Ol Coots Club. Enjoy!

34 posted on 01/17/2005 11:08:50 AM PST by afnamvet
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To: Congressman Billybob
To address a fundamental question, and it may indeed, not be answerable ...

Why is the AARP opposing fundamental Social Security reform?

Are the AARP "leaders" so blinded (by their democratic-biased, inane (insane?), union-and-liberal hatred of Bush) that they are going to oppose ANYTHIGN that he/conservatives propose out of hatred and jealousy?

Are they so blinded/foolish/hypocritical that they don't see that Social Security is a bankrupt idea that does no good to future generations? Much less any real good to current generations NOT quite yet on the government dole?

Are they so blinded by liberal idealism that a program going to break the country a few years from now, but one "whose intent is good" (but whose actual practice is failure (now and in the future) is "golden" and cannot be touched?

Are they simply stupid and can no longer be reasoned with on an intelligent level?
35 posted on 01/17/2005 11:16:02 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Kerry's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Congressman Billybob; Constitution Day; TaxRelief; Helms; 100%FEDUP; ...
Does anyone want to serve on the AARP board?

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.

The latest missive from NC's own Congressman Billybob...

NC *Ping*

Please FRmail Constitution Day, TaxRelief OR Helms if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.
36 posted on 01/26/2005 4:28:28 AM PST by TaxRelief (Support the Troops Rally, Fayetteville, NC -- March 19, 2005)
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To: Congressman Billybob

They compete unfairly with private businesses because they receive numerous government subsidies. That means YOUR tax dollars, so you really are paying for those insurance and motel rates after all. Plus, you are counted in their inflated membership so they can bludgeon congressmen to spend ever more tax money on the richest segment of our society, the elderly. No conservative should be in AARP.


37 posted on 01/26/2005 4:39:37 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: k2blader
However, I think other discounts for seasoned citizens, such as restaurant "senior menus," are understandable. Folks who can order from those menus pay less but also get less.

Sometimes I wish I were old enough to order those smaller-portioned meals.

38 posted on 01/26/2005 4:41:58 AM PST by Overtaxed
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To: Congressman Billybob

This cootette parted ways w/that AARP union.


39 posted on 01/26/2005 4:51:31 AM PST by Carolinamom
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To: Congressman Billybob
"I've tried to ignore their politics."

That's a noble position, IMO, but when you join the "group", the group acts as one when lobbying, proposing, or opposing policy, so dissension is literally falling on deafened ears....;-)

40 posted on 01/26/2005 5:49:18 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: Congressman Billybob

Has the lovely Felicity sized you for a set of coveralls (not overalls) yet?

They seem to be another of the distinguishing characteristics of coothood.


41 posted on 01/26/2005 9:53:54 AM PST by George Smiley (The only 180 that Kerry hasn't done is the one that would release ALL his military records.)
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To: George Smiley
Actually, my friend, I got back at the lovely Felicity while she was out of the house, gloating on my elderly fate. I got her her own elderly discount card as my wife, even though she is not yet 40 (though she's getting close, never mind how close).

As for overalls, I don't own a pair of those, However, everyone in this small town, Highlands, NC, wears jeans. Even lawyers, doctors, ministers, etc., wear jeans here. That's 'cuz all of us have occasion to drive gravel roads, and handle brush and firewood, hereabouts.

Around here, 4-wheel drive is not a status symbol. It is a necessity to make sure you can get from your home to the grocery store and back when the weather turns bad. And when there's 30 inches of rain in 8 days (during Hurricane Ivan last year), the weather has definitely turned bad. LOL.

Cordially,

John / Billybob
42 posted on 01/26/2005 10:14:46 AM PST by Congressman Billybob (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Nononono.

COVERALLS.

Those one-piece garments that zip up the front-
predominantly worn by pilots, auto mechanics and COOTS.

You ain't a real coot until you've gone out to the salad bar at the Sizzler (before the natural dinner hour, of course) in coveralls.


43 posted on 01/26/2005 10:19:29 AM PST by George Smiley (The only 180 that Kerry hasn't done is the one that would release ALL his military records.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

welcome to cooterhood, John. That wonderful time of life we all look forward to, when at long last we finally know all the answers-unfortunately we have forgotten the questions.

The Democrats are as clueless about the need to fix Social Security as they are about the threat of terrorism-their haven from reality, like that of the Ostrich, is to stick their collective heads in the sand, or whatever other dark place may be convenient.

They would rather portray Bush as a paranoid opportunist than admit a problem actually exists and Bush has the cure, while they themselves are too d*mn stupid to fix it and too d*mn stubborn to allow anyone else to fix it.


44 posted on 01/26/2005 11:37:46 AM PST by F.J. Mitchell (Like weak links in a chain-Rinos let you down, just when your survival depends on them.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

BTTT


45 posted on 01/30/2005 8:54:17 PM PST by hattend (Liberals! Beware the Perfect Rovian Storm [All Hail, Chimpus Khan!])
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To: JustAnotherSavage

Came across your comments...doing research on MALDEF, LULAC and AARP...


46 posted on 04/26/2005 6:46:53 AM PDT by ceoinva
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