AARP is very much open to supporting cutting Social Security benefits. AARP’s push back and non-denial related to the recent Wall Street Journal article was simply that they didn’t want people to infer that AARP supported Social Security being part of the specific deficit ceiling negotiations going on at this moment. Separate from those exact negotiations though, AARP will admit they have been quietly hinting at being willing to support cuts to Social Security benefits for months. From Politico:
According to [David] Certner, AARP’s legislative director, his group was never seeking this kind of publicity. He said that the policy director quoted in the Journal report, John Rother, had been speaking for “months” with the newspaper about the possibility of cuts to Social Security — far before the current debate over raising the national debt ceiling.
At least as far back as August AARP director of public policy, John Rother, refused to take a hard line against benefits cuts while the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission negotiations were heating up. From the Wall Street Journal:
“We’re prepared to be quite supportive of a real engagement on the issue,” said John Rother, director of public policy for AARP. Acting sooner allows for changes to be made gradually, he said, and will reassure younger workers that the program will be there for them. He dismisses those who said they can never support benefit cuts.
AARP might not technically be open to supporting cuts in Social Security benefits as part of current deficit ceiling negotiations but that is rather immaterial since those negotiations are likely to be concluded in just a few weeks and the plan wasn’t to deal with Social Security anyway.
The important take away is that the AARP in the very near future, is open to supporting a legislative package that cuts Social Security benefits.