Friday, February 3, 2012

AARP Accused, Fear Factor, Gingrich: Use South American Model for Social Security

AARP Not Serious

"The nation's largest seniors' lobby is not seriously at the table in the debate over Medicare, Republican lawmakers said Thursday.  While ostensibly opening a dialogue about how to address Medicare's financial woes, Republicans from both the House and Senate implicitly criticized AARP for its opposition to several Medicare proposals."

"'Unfortunately, as long as politicians obscure the Medicare program's prognosis for political benefit and stakeholders like AARP fail to publicly challenge these political calculations by educating their membership on the structural financing challenges facing the program, a national conversation about how best to save the Medicare program will not move forward,' the letter states.  AARP opposes privatizing Medicare, as proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).  It has also come out against proposals that would make seniors foot the bill for a larger share of their Medicare benefits."

AARP is just doing its job to protect older people who rely on Medicare, and the GOP is just doing its job to protect the most wealthy who rely on the GOP.

Scaring the Voters

"The top contenders in the U.S. presidential race seem to have a simple plan for the gaping budget deficit: use it to strike fear into the hearts of voters.  Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama is such a big spender that he would trigger a Greece-style crisis if re-elected in November.  Democrat Obama says Republican candidates would balance the budget by slashing social programs older Americans rely on to pay their medical bills.  Polls suggest both approaches resonate with voters."

Gingrich and Private Income Security

"Newt Gingrich doesn't shy away from taking dramatic policy positions.  But he doesn't always stick with them.  For instance, he no longer supports limiting carbon emissions through a system of cap and trade permits.  Nor is his proposal to execute anyone convicted of bringing two ounces of pot into the U.S. being featured in his presidential run (The Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996).  His support of other big ideas, such as privatizing Social Security, is more enduring and particularly deserving of scrutiny.  When the topic of Social Security comes up, Gingrich has proposed the U.S. follow the Chilean model of pension reform."

For Your Information

"The election is still more than nine months away, but it's already clear that in the race for the White House, 'we the people' are running far behind 'we the one percent.'  Financial reports filed and released late Tuesday by the Federal Election Commission indicate that America's next president will take office deeply in debt to a relative handful of wealthy Americans and special interest groups, who will want something in return for their generous support."


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