Wednesday, October 26, 2011

AARP's Creepy New Ad

So, it's come to this.

The Concord Coalition wasn't too thrilled with the ad either.
The Concord Coalition said today that a new ad campaign by AARP is misleading, divisive and an abdication of responsible leadership. At a critical moment, when hard decisions must be made about our nation’s future, AARP is demanding that current and future benefits for seniors be maintained at the expense of all other national priorities. It is interest group politics at its worst and should be soundly rejected.

The AARP ad features a senior citizen who warns that before politicians “even think about cutting my Medicare and Social Security benefits” they should remember that there are 50 million seniors with earned benefits who will be heard from on election day. The ad closes with an admonition to “Tell Congress: Cut waste and loopholes, not our benefits.”

The ad is timed to influence the already difficult work of the Joint Congressional Committee on Deficit Reduction (i.e. the “super committee”) which is seeking bipartisan solutions to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

An email message announcing the ad says “Please let your members [of Congress] know that Medicare and Social Security cuts must be off the table as part of the super committees’s consideration” (emphasis added). AARP also states in an Oct. 12 press release that its members are urging the super committee to “protect current and future retirees from cuts to their Social Security and Medicare benefits” (emphasis added).

While the press release acknowledges that “Congress will have to make some tough choices to address our nation’s growing debt,” it does not propose any such choices and ignores how much more difficult those choices will be if Social Security and Medicare are exempted.

"This is the kind of tactic and rhetoric AARP has condemned in the past,” said former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, co-chairman of The Concord Coalition’s Board of Directors. “Since hollowing out the rest of the budget to pay for expanding entitlements would result in more uninsured, undereducated and unemployed Americans, AARP has taken an approach which can only and honestly be described as generational warfare. By its actions AARP has put at risk the strong inter-generational support for Social Security and Medicare."

After seeing the ad on television last night, I was reminded of this South Park episode:

So, Occupy Country Kitchen Buffet?

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