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AARP takes a position on proposal to cut Medicare and SS
Old 05-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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AARP takes a position on proposal to cut Medicare and SS

Well, AARP has finally decided to speak up. They are coming out forcefully against the recent proposal to reform Medicare. You can see the ad at their website here Congress Must Prevent Harmful Cuts to Social Security and Medicare

Quote:
You’ve worked hard your entire life, paid your dues, raised a family. You’ve earned a little peace of mind. Now, some in Congress want to make harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Cutting your benefits so Washington can pay its bills.AARP believes the country can do better. We can cut wasteful spending without cutting the benefits you’ve earned. Join us. Tell Congress to stop the harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security
This may be a real test for AARP - we will soon see if they have the same lobbying power they had over the past couple of decades.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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Doesn't take much courage to simply say "don't cut SS or Medicare." Too bad they stopped short of having the guts to outline specific ways to deal with it or state specifically who (outside of AARP, presumably) gets screwed by it.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:15 PM   #3
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Well, AARP has finally decided to speak up. They are coming out forcefully against the recent proposal to reform Medicare.
The same general kneejerk position they've taken on behalf of seniors for as long as I've been aware of them, and the reason I'd never join no matter what benefits they might offer. Their 'we got ours, screw everyone else no matter what it costs them' attitude is deplorable if not outright unpatriotic IMO...
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:28 PM   #4
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Right on both counts. What really struck me was
Quote:
Cutting your benefits so Washington can pay its bills
as if "Washington's" bills were really someone else's and were something other Medicare and SS. Still, it seems from the polling data I have seen that a majority the country, and not just seniors, feel that our fiscal problems can be solved without cutting entitlements (or raising taxes on middle class incomes). In this AARP is just pandering to it's target audience.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:42 PM   #5
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Still, it seems from the polling data I have seen that a majority the country, and not just seniors, feel that our fiscal problems can be solved without cutting entitlements (or raising taxes on middle class incomes). In this AARP is just pandering to it's target audience.
The problems can be solved. Slash the military budget by 50% and bring all troops home. Let China and Russia handle North Korea and the Middle East for awhile. Keep 5000 or so nukes primed and active just in case anyone gets an idea we are weak (mouse that roared and all that). Drill baby drill...if we don't do it some other country is just going to park rigs off of our incredibly short ranged territorial waters (what is up with that?). Implement coal to oil plants as was done in WWII by germany to produce all of their oil. We have enough coal to produce 100% of our oil for the next 100+ years. Finally, implement a tax on those stupid ear cell phones with a special 400% tax for people who actually wear one in each ear. Problem solved!
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:48 PM   #6
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AARP is only in favor for what's best for them.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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In this AARP is just pandering to it's target audience.
Their job is to advance the interests of seniors, just like teachers' unions and other unions job is to advance the narrow interests of their members.

This isn't pandering, it is merely sticking to the task as it is laid out for them.

Everything can be seen from different angles, and Medicare or Medicare and social security are not the only entitlements the government pays. There are alsovery large outlays on Medical care and retirement pensions for government workers, Medicaid, which is just welfare and a good part of it spent on low output immigrants desired by narrow political interests but clearly not in the interest of middle class retired or working Americans, plus untold other spending plans. Separate Medicare out from Medicaid and all the rest, and then compare it to some of the much more lavish funds spent on narrow constituencies.

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Old 05-04-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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In this AARP is just pandering to it's target audience.
"Pandering" is an odd choice of verb here. Why don't you say AARP is representing its target audience? Isn't that what it's supposed to do?
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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"Pandering" is an odd choice of verb here. Why don't you say AARP is representing its target audience? Isn't that what it's supposed to do?
I agree.

I'm glad that AARP is against that plan. They're representing me and my view.

I'm 54 years old and if the Ryan plan were to become law, I might be in the first group to get "stuck" with the new plan and have to buy insurance on the open market when I hit 65. That's not something I'm very excited about. If they kept the current plan, honestly looked for ways to cut costs (like negotiating with drug companies, etc.) and raised premiums as needed and even perhaps raised the age at which a person starts getting medicare, that would be a better solution than forcing seniors to buy insurance on the open market. Under the Ryan plan, many seniors would end up with high deductible insurance plans and would not go in for the care they needed because they couldn't afford the deductible. Doesn't Ryan say that his plan will give seniors the same insurance options as members of congress? How many of you actually believe that all seniors would actually get a health plan as generous as the plan that people in congress get for the same cost? I don't.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #10
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I'll agree that the AARP is just promoting the narrow self-interest of its membership.

I'm old enough to be a member, but I'm not going to join because I don't think my narrow self-interest is always what's best for the country.

I was surprised to see this ad on the NBC evening news tonight, just because I haven't seen much political advertising recently.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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I'm old enough to be a member, but I'm not going to join because I don't think my narrow self-interest is always what's best for the country.
Name the group that always strives for what's best for the country. What's best for the country is not easy to identify; what's best for one's own group is much more certain.

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Name the group that always strives for what's best for the country. What's best for the country is not easy to identify; what's best for one's own group is much more certain.

Ha
True, but that's all the more reason it's important for prospective members to not join when the group takes a position that hurts the country. It's one of the few things that might moderate the positions taken by the group and provides a check on their power.

Interest groups can be very short-sighted, ultimately hurting the interests of their members. Would UAW retirees in Detroit (and the UAW itself) have been better off with slightly lower annual "takes" from the companies in exchange for a unionized US auto industry that continued to thrive? Seniors who are dependent on the government are ultimately dependent on a majority of voters to "renew" the cross-generation wealth transfers--is AARP's absolutist position helping to win these voters over, or are they just p*ssing them off? Ultimately, the AARP leaders and staffers care about the here and now (what happens on their watch affects their pay) just like the short-sighted leaders of many companies.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:37 PM   #13
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True, but that's all the more reason it's important for prospective members to not join when the group takes a position that hurts the country. It's one of the few things that might moderate the positions taken by the group and provides a check on their power.
I'm not a member of AARP. I don't agree with everything they do.

However, I think the House plan for Medicare is what would hurt the country. Therefore, I agree with taking a position against it. I would appalled frankly if AARP did anything else. There are plenty of people out there who are perfectly willing to throw the elderly under the bus. I don't expect AARP to be part of that group.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:57 PM   #14
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. Implement coal to oil plants as was done in WWII by germany to produce all of their oil. We have enough coal to produce 100% of our oil for the next 100+ years.!
South African company SASOL does this now. EPA regulations are main thing preventing this in US.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:09 PM   #15
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South African company SASOL does this now. EPA regulations are main thing preventing this in US.
And that it's not economical in the US (regular oil is cheaper). The USAF has purchased quite a bit of the stuff as part of a program to encourage its production in the US and to assure the USAF has fuel supplies in the event of an interruption of foreign oil. That's the official reason, but it's just a government giveaway (the service could be assured of having fuel far more cheaply through other means).
The process to make liquid fuel from coal is well understood, and will become fielded when oil prices get high enough (locally or generally). Until then, it doesn't make any sense.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:37 PM   #16
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The process to make liquid fuel from coal is well understood, and will become fielded when oil prices get high enough (locally or generally). Until then, it doesn't make any sense.
What is oil right now? $100ish a barrel? The following seems to indicate liquefaction of coal is already cheap enough?

"
Coal liquefaction is one of the backstop technologies that could potentially limit escalation of oil prices and mitigate the effects of transportation energy shortage that will occur under peak oil. This is contingent on liquefaction production capacity becoming large enough to satiate the very large and growing demand for petroleum. Estimates of the cost of producing liquid fuels from coal suggest that domestic U.S. production of fuel from coal becomes cost-competitive with oil priced at around $35 per barrel,[52] with the $35 being the break-even cost. With oil prices as low as around $40 per barrel in the U.S. as of December 2008, liquid coal lost some of its economic allure in the U.S., but will probably be re-vitalized, similar to oil sand projects, with an oil price around $70 per barrel.
"

From Coal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:18 PM   #17
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What is oil right now? $100ish a barrel? The following seems to indicate liquefaction of coal is already cheap enough?
Apparently not, based on the observation that very little of this coal-->oil work is going on in the US.

One issue may be the expected future price of oil. Lots of companies have been stung very badly because they invested in unconventional oil production technology (esp oil shale) when oil prices were high, then the price dropped and they were stuck with worthless infrastructure. Large-scale conversion of coal to oil in the US will take off on its own once there is agreement that oil prices are going to stay high. Until then, the best thing for us to do is buy oil to fuel our industries in the cheapest place we can (or someone else will get that oil and the competitive advantage that comes with it). When oil prices get higher, these other good ideas will make sense. Striving to become energy independent is a good campaign slogan but a terrible economic idea.
A previous post and thread that might interest you. Tax Laws and Energy Independence
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:46 AM   #18
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Note... in the article they cite "Arbitrary Caps".

I am glad they spoke out against the Ryan Plan.... it is obviously tilted toward a certain group of constituents.

The problem will be solved with both tax increases and budget cuts. Anyone who thinks anything different is just kidding themselves.

The sooner the rhetoric stops and collaboration starts.... the sooner a plan will be developed that is somewhat acceptable to the majority! Nobody is going to like what happens.... but the pain will be shared.

Right now there is just a bunch of posturing going on in congress (a show targeted at their most ardent supporters... both sides).

See what Warren has to say... start by taxing the rich and make some cuts in spending. He said he only paid 15% in taxes... everyone else that works for him paid more (as a %)....

He says the Bowles Simpson (bipartisan) plan is a probably a good starting point.

Buffett deficit plan: Tax the rich - Video - Business News
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:56 AM   #19
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George Bush tried to reform Social Security - he was lambasted for it, but with no alternative offered. The Ryan plan is criticized...but with no alternative offered. Fact is that both programs are in serious financial trouble, and that includes the decimation of Medicare by Obamacare.
Yet everyone seemingly keeps their head in the sand. There hasn't been real dialogue for decades among our elected officials. As to this AARP ad, what else is new - an interest group pushing for cuts at the proverbial "somewhere else" and/or asking "someone else" to pay.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:32 AM   #20
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I'm not a member of AARP. I don't agree with everything they do.

However, I think the House plan for Medicare is what would hurt the country. Therefore, I agree with taking a position against it. I would appalled frankly if AARP did anything else. There are plenty of people out there who are perfectly willing to throw the elderly under the bus. I don't expect AARP to be part of that group.
+1 The idea that we have to destroy these programs to solve the deficit is the biggest success of the Bush tax cuts and the Reagan approach preceding it. We can eliminate the cuts (all of them) and start working from there. How we deal with health care needs to be reformed no matter what we do but that does not mean that we should do nothing except revoke Obamacare and toss the elderly into the insurance market.
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