Ever since news outlets reported that the AARP will not oppose cuts Social Security, the group has been desperately churning out press releases, blog posts and tweets to try and spin their position as one of ardent defenders of the program.
As Jane wrote yesterday, if AARP wants credit for ‘saving’ or ‘protecting’ Social Security, they need to draw a line in the sand and say “absolutely no cuts.” Advocating cuts to Social Security, whether they’re part of the deficit negotiations or not, still amounts to advocating cuts to Social Security.
One of our supporters sent AARP our letter pledging to protect Social Security from coming attacks, and received this in response. I thought I would share it here to showcase just how laughable their attempts are at painting themselves as defenders of Social Security.
What’s important to note is that AARP says it opposes cuts to Social Security as part of discussions on how to reduce the deficit. Notice they don’t say anything about opposing cuts to Social Security anywhere else — only where it pertains to deficit reduction. That’s a pretty weak defense, if you ask me.
As we’ve previously shown, the AARP has long been receptive to the idea of cutting Social Security. This isn’t the first time the group has used their immense clout to provide cover for members of Congress seeking to gut the program, and it’s not likely to be the last.
Check out the email from AARP below — are you convinced?
All emphasis and highlighting is my own.
From: [email protected]
Date: June 23, 2011 10:29:22 AM EDT
Subject: Re: is this true?
Thank you for contacting AARP regarding inaccurate media stories about the association’s policy on Social Security. We appreciate hearing from you.
AARP is committed as ever to fighting to protect Social Security for today’s older Americans and to strengthen it for future generations. Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.
We are currently fighting proposals in Washington to cut Social Security in order to reduce a deficit it did not cause. AARP believes Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit. Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and should make retirement more secure for future generations.
Our focus has always been the impact of changes on people, not just budget totals. This is why AARP’s volunteer Board is evaluating any proposed changes to Social Security. They will determine how each change-individually or in different combinations-might impact the lives of current and future retirees, especially in times of economic hardship.
We have maintained for years-to our members, the media, and elected officials that long-term solvency is key to protecting and strengthening Social Security for all generations. We have urged elected officials in Washington to address the program’s long-term challenges in a way that’s fair for all generations.
It has always been AARP’s policy that Social Security be strengthened to provide adequate benefits, in order to ensure solvency for the next 75 years. Any changes should be phased in slowly, over time, and should not affect any current or near-term retirees.
AARP strongly opposed a privatization plan in 2005, and continues to oppose this approach. Private accounts would reduce benefits and add a large measure of risk. They would eliminate the guaranteed income that Social Security currently provides.
Social Security is a critical issue for our members, their families and Americans of all ages. We are in a time when many will have less retirement security than previous generations due to fewer pensions, less savings and rising health care costs.
To take action to help protect Social Security, and to learn more about what we’re doing to help older Americans, go to www.aarp.org/strengthensocialsecurity from your home computer or at your local library.
I hope this information is helpful. Again, thank you for getting in touch with us. It is important for us to know the concerns of members. If there are any services or issues we can assist you with in the future, please do not hesitate to ask.