Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Why is the AARP so opposed to Social Security reform?

Adam Dubitsky makes a good point about the AARP’s extreme stance on Social Security:

News reports have pegged AARP’s initial advertising blitz at $5 million; one could also assume that a forest’s worth of trees will be felled in the accompanying direct mail campaign. Before AARP members make up their minds about President Bush’s proposed private account option, they may want to peruse another AARP document: its consolidated financial statement.

And this:

n 1998, AARP began the transition from its defined benefit pension plan (such plans are crippling many of the nation’s airlines, steel mills and factories) and began offering its younger workers the option of diverting a portion of their paychecks into private accounts. The full transition will take decades, as older AARP retirees and their spouses continue to receive benefits promised under the old system.

It’s time for AARP to live up to its credo and stop opposing the very system of private accounts that has served its members and employees so well.

Read it all. Powerful.

Discussions - 1 Comment

So this is the new line of attack: note that private pensions are going toward private accounts, and then crying hypocrisy? As stated, it’s weak. If defined benefit plans really are "crippling" industries (let’s see the data), then the basic benefit of private accounts is that they’re cheaper for the entities involved. It’s not clear that this is the case for Social Security, since the question of transition costs has loomed over the debate since Milton Friedman began discussing private accounts over a decade ago.

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