The Blog

Line in the Sand

5:35 PM, Jan 16, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

The head of the AARP has stated clearly where his organization stands on the matter of cutting entitlements. As Kate Ackley reports in Roll Call:

The influential seniors’ lobby AARP issued a warning Tuesday for members of Congress and Obama administration officials looking to narrow the deficit: Don’t do it with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.   

The warning was delivered in Washington (where else?) in a speech to the National Press Club by AARP CEO Barry Rand, whose organization claims to speak for 38 million Americans over the age of 50.  Which leads one to wonder why anyone able to retire at 50 needs help from organized lobbying muscle.  

Still ... AARP is a power in the land and especially in Washington. It had a lot to say about the crafting of Obamacare, and is cashing in nicely on its line of health insurance products.  It is prospering, like similar organizations that exist to put the arm on Washington and get the best deal possible for its membership.  In the short run, anyway.  

And, as Lord Keynes observed, in the long run, we are all dead anyway.  Our kids and grandkids, however, may not be so lucky.  But that is not a concern for the AARP as Mr. Rand made plain, giving lip service to deficit reduction which his organization supports just as long as it doesn't involve cuts to entitlement spending.  Which is to say ... so long as it isn't serious or effective.  Mr. Rand and AARP oppose even an adjustment to cost-of-living increases in Social Security benefits which is the easiest and quickest way to get a halter around the neck of runaway entitlement spending.  

The AARP does what it does and is what it is. And it recalls Eric Hoffer's famous observation that, "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers