AARP and Congress Sell Our Grandchildren into Debt Bondage

| November 3 2011
David Leeper

Everyone loves seniors, right?  They’re those kind and gentle folks who really care about their grandchildren and the legacy they leave to them.

Well, ostensibly on behalf of those seniors, AARP has launched a series of ads featuring a man I’ll call “Charlie”.  See, in particular, the 30-second ad below.

 

Pretty slick, huh?  Just the right mix of assertiveness and grandfatherly charm.   In my mind’s eye, I can just see all 50 million seniors (and hey, I’m one of them!) lined up behind Charlie, threatening lawmakers with that huge number of votes.  As he says in the video, we earned our benefits, and we damned well expect to get them!

Right, Charlie?

Well, Charlie, for your next video, can you handle just a couple more numbers?  First, what will those benefits cost, and second, what did we seniors actually pay for them?

The Urban Institute, Washington DC put together a report in June, 2011 (summary pdf available here) that shows the average one-earner couple retiring at age 65 in 2011 will have contributed $60,000 to Medicare during their earning years.  That’s a lot of money.  Unfortunately, they will be drawing, on average, $357,000 worth of benefits!  Can you spell shortfall, Charlie?

So what do you say about this, Charlie?  A deal’s a deal?  Promises made should be promises kept?  Just close some tax loopholes, eliminate waste and fraud, and tax the rich a little more if need be?  And that’ll cover it, right?

Nope — sorry, Charlie — not even close.   See the now-famous Bill Whittle video called “Eat the Rich”.   You see, there are just too many of us, Charlie, and the costs of health care are just too high.  Even all our wealthiest people can’t begin to cover it.

So what’s the government to do on our behalf?  Borrow the money?

Actually, our government already is.  Just today’s benefits, plus interest on our debt, already consume all the tax revenue our government takes in, and then some.   And we’re desperately borrowing over $4.7 billion per day just to keep up with entitlements plus everything else.  And it’s getting worse faster and faster as 10,000 more seniors retire every day.

So who’s on track to get stuck with this gargantuan problem?   See the cartoon at the right.  Those are your grandchildren, Charlie.  They’ve been sold into debt bondage by politicians who wanted to make you happy and win your precious votes.  (For more about debt bondage, click on this link.)

So tell me, Charlie …  in your video, you seemed so self-assured and confident in the moral rectitude of your position.  Are you still?  Is crushing debt and all-but-certain financial collapse the legacy you wanted to leave your grandchildren?  You do care about that, don’t you?

And by the way, did your politician warn you of the consequences of what he/she voted for in creating these impossibly expensive entitlement programs?  Did AARP warn you?  Are either of them doing anything to educate you and the 50 million?  Or are they just demagoguing the issue, hoping to be out of their current jobs when it’s time to pay the piper?

And finally …

Would it surprise you to hear that some of our politicians have actually tried (and are still trying) to solve this problem in good faith?  Would you be pleased to hear that at least one of the earlier proposals would have actually kept your Medicare benefits fully intact?  Do you want to know what happened to key legislation that would have supported it?  It’s languishing in some side drawer of the desk of Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, right where he put it.   And so are many other bills sent from the House to the Senate that would help revive the economy and protect at least some form of benefit payout for our children and grandchildren as well.

Next time you make a video threatening Congress with those 50 million votes, why not ask about all those bills that Senator Reid is blocking?  He’d rather you wouldn’t push the issue, but your grandchildren’s future depends on it.  Whom do you care more about, Charlie?  Harry Reid?  Or your grandchildren?

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  1. [...] implode on its own in a cataclysmic financial collapse.  The Left and their crony camp followers (like AARP)  have been quite successful at demagoguing the issue.  Surely they will do the same with any [...]

  2. [...] implode on its own in a cataclysmic financial collapse.  The Left and their crony camp followers (like AARP)  have been quite successful at demagoguing the issue.  Surely they will do the same with any [...]

  3. [...] they’re voting in droves for the guys who are selling them out. And today’s seniors are helping make it happen through a combination of selfishness and ignorance. (Hopefully it’s much more the latter than [...]

  4. [...] It’s nice to see at least a few young people know and care.  As for the baby boomers, how many of them have the attitude of AARP member “Charlie” at this link? [...]