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AARP Pivots on Social Security Benefit Cuts

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Source

Published June 17, 2011

The Wall Street Journal

Washington – AARP, the powerful lobbying group for older Americans, was dropping its long-standing opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington's debate over how to revamp the nation's entitlement programs, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The decision, which AARP has not discussed publicly, came after a wrenching debate inside the organization. In 2005, the last time Social Security was debated, AARP led the effort to kill President George W. Bush's plan for partial privatization. AARP now concludes that change is inevitable, and it wants to be at the table to try to minimize the pain.

"The ship was sailing. I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens," according to John Rother, AARP's longtime policy chief and a prime mover behind its change of heart.

The shift, which was vetted by AARP's board and is now the group's stance, could have a dramatic effect on the debate surrounding the future of the federal safety net, from pensions to health care, given the group's immense clout.

At the same time, AARP runs the risk of alienating both its liberal allies, who vowed to fight any benefit cuts, and its 37 million members, many of whom were deeply opposed to such a move.

To win them over, AARP was preparing coast-to-coast town hall meetings to explain the problem and possible solutions.

In an early sign of its new approach, AARP declined to join a coalition of about 300 unions, women's groups and liberal advocacy organizations created to fight Social Security benefit cuts.

"The coalition's role was to kind of anchor the left, and our role is going to be to actually get something done," Rother said.

Leaders of the coalition, dubbed Strengthen Social Security, agreed that AARP's views would carry weight in Washington but predicted that the group would see a bigger backlash from its members than it expects.


Be Shrewd! Be Astute and be aware who's watching ya!

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Another blow for Murdoch:

But Friday afternoon, the group issued a statement, citing "inaccurate media stories" on its Social Security stance: "AARP is as committed as we've ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today's seniors and strengthening it for future generations. Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security."

But I guess it was fun while it lasted, eh? :whistle:

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Sometimes I think that death panels for seniors is not a bad idea.

The selfish f*ckers are going to bankrupt this country.

:lol:


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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