The Wall Street Journal stoked yet another Social Security-related flame late last week when it reported that the AARP has changed its stance and now supports cuts to Social Security benefits.
In May, the WSJ outed a West Virginia administrative law judge who they say was approving each and every disability appeal that came before him, while this month they put the focus on the AARP “dropping its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington’s debate over how to revamp the nation’s entitlement programs.”
Rock the debate, it did. Even as the AARP hurried to retract the position through various media sources, Senators from every party issued statements either supporting or denouncing the organization’s allegedly revised stance. Though talks of Social Security cuts had largely been removed from Congress’ ongoing debate about raising the national debt ceiling, they reappeared mightily after the WSJ report.
“We’ve been trying to contact as many people as possible,” said AARP Legislative Director David Certner in an interview with Politico.com. “Clearly, we realize we needed to respond … This was not an intended signal of ours that this should be part of the deficit reduction talks.”
AARP has 40 million members and, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has spent $200 million on lobbying since 1998.
What do you think the AARP’s stance on Social Security really is? Why do you think its position is so important to members of Congress?
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