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Thursday, November 5, 2009

AARP and Consumers Union Should Put Their Money Where Their Pro-Tax Mouths Are

One of the curiosities of the health care debate is the vigor with which two prominent tax-exempt organizations, AARP and Consumers Union, support Democratic proposals which will impose a myriad of taxes on the American people.

AARP is set to announce its support for the current House proposal which cuts Medicare and other federal programs for the poor and elderly by $426 billion and increases taxes by $572 billion. These tax increase numbers do not even include the health care mandate tax imposed on people who do not have acceptable insurance, to be enforced by the IRS.

Consumers Union previously has announced its support for similar proposals announced over the summer. CU's website offers a completely partisan and one-sided view of these proposals, over-hyping the positives and largely ignoring the negatives.

Both AARP and Consumers Union are tax-exempt organizations, yet they advocate positions which will impose hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases on the public they supposedly serve, and subject citizens to additional levels of IRS scrutiny.

These tax-loving tax-exempts should be willing to put their money where their pro-tax mouths are, and run their businesses subject to the same taxes as the rest of us. Perhaps then they would not be so liberal in their advocacy of high-tax policies.

UPDATE: Take a look at The Purple Center post on the AARP's financial interests.

Related Posts:
AARP Shills for Kennedy
AARP Prepares To Sell Out Seniors
Consumer Reports' Specious Stand On Health Care Reform

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  1. AARP does not further the interest of seniors. In 2000 the California AARP came out in favor of proposition 39 which would have lowered (2/3 to 55%) the super majority required to increase the property tax for school bonds. Seniors are the people least able to bear property tax increases. AARP's reply was "What's good for the country is good for you."

  2. Tax exempt organizations are required to stay out of politics--unless the postion they advocate is a liberal one--then--no problemo.

  3. The proposed Medicare cuts are the Achilles heel of every version of health care reform that is being considered or might be considered by Congress. There is no way Democrats can make the math work -- even phony math! -- to show anything but a huge addition to the deficit without really big cuts in Medicare. But including those cuts will turn all but the most obtuse seniors into campaigners against "reform." (Credit Dick Morris with harping on this obvious fact for months.)

    Yet, most Republicans and conservatives can't quite bring themselves to make a full-throated defense of Medicare, in part because of principled objections to Medicare itself, and in part because of worries that they'll be characterized as hypocritical.

    Here's the thing guys: (1) Medicare is here to stay -- whatever principled objections you may have. No GOP Congress or President is ever going to run against Medicare; and (2) Democrats will call you hypocrites and much worse whatever you do.

    Meanwhile, because the health care fight is almost all about the "public option," most of the 40 milion Medicare beneficiaries and the other 40 million soon-to-be Medicare beneficiaries simply don't know how badly they'll be hit by this. Most of the media will downplay it; AARP's endorsement will be trumpeted high and low; and most people still won't have a clue.

    It's the only surefire ticket to defeating any and all bills. Use it and worry about other issues later.

  4. I am and always have been opposed to Medicare--because it was clearly the nose under the tent for nationalized health care, from the get-go. HOWEVER, I paid into it from the beginning, mostly at the top amount until the caps were removed, then handsomely since. Now that I am over 65 and on Medicare, they damned well better pay my bills, as advertised. Government is the ultimate bait and switch artist; they specialize in picking on groups that cannot fight back--for whatever reason. For once they may be picking on the wrong group. The Boomer have been accustomed to getting their way since the day they were born.

    So--am I a hypocrite for wanting my "benefits"? You make the call; I thought it was a bad idea, but they took (under the threat of force) my money since 1967, now they can damned well keep their end of the bargain.