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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

AARP vs. Senior Citizens

Do you really know what AARP—the American Association of Retired Personsstands for?  Do you know how they spend your dues and the money they make off of you for buying the products and services they promote?

Without putting too fine a point on it, AARP is a seniors scam.  No, I'm not suggesting that they embezzle funds or do anything illegal.  I'm just saying that the folks that run AARP are political con artists—smart folks, but con artists, nonetheless.

Barack Obama and his "Alinsky Jujitsu" has nothing on the folks at AARP.  Founded in 1958, AARP has, for decades, been using membership dues to promote a political agenda that is the exact opposite of the vast majority of their members.  By the way, "Alinsky Jujitsu" comes from President Obama's hero, Saul Alinsky, who wrote the book, Rules for Radicals.  Obama not only subscribes to "Alinsky Jujitsu,"he used Rules for Radicals as a textbook when he was a college lecturer.  The essence of the message in the Alinsky book is to say one thing convincingly, and then do just the opposite.  The root of the Alinsky idea can be found in a pamphlet written by Vladimir Lenin titled "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back" that was published in Vienna, Austria in the summer of 1904.  This theory of political warfare became the operating standard of the Bolsheviks violent rise to power in Russia.  It is certainly curious as to why the Obama for President campaign selected the word Forward as the slogan of his 2012 re-election effort.  The slogan, Forward, has been used repeatedly by the Communist movement, as documented by the Breitbart web site…

"The poster [shown on the web site] "Forward, to the Victory of Communism," …is typical not only of Soviet propaganda but also of propaganda throughout the communist world, from the 19th century to the present.  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, for example, published several articles in 1844 in the pages of the short-lived Vorwärts! ("Forward!"), an important radical journal that was later emulated by communist and socialist publications throughout Europe."

Is the use of this slogan by the far left Obama campaign apparatus a coincidence?  Perhaps it is.  Or perhaps it is not.  You can decide for yourself.

But let's get back to Obama's allies at AARP.  Ironically, AARP was founded by a conservative Republican, Ethel Percy Andrus, the first female high school principal in California.  Andrus had absolutely no use whatsoever for socialism or any kind of socialistic endeavor such as ObamaCare.  Sadly, this is not true of the AARP leadership today.

The leadership of AARP not only deceives their members, but do it in a very deliberate, calculated way.  There's nothing accidental or unintentional about the way the leadership of AARP works.  With more than 40 million members, AARP claims to speak for all senior citizens.  The truth is that hundreds of thousands of new members join AARP each year to get benefits—gap insurance, mutual fund offers, life insurance, travel benefits, etc.  That's the beginning of the con.  All the new offers for membership never mention that the members will be used as fodder to advance a far left agenda.

During the battle to enact ObamaCare, AARP was one of the most powerful dogs in the fight.  With millions of dollars to spend, AARP put its full weight behind the efforts to enact ObamaCare.  AARP lobbyists worked night and day to pass this socialist scheme, and, if you are a member of AARP, you helped them do it.  But truthfully, AARP's backing of ObamaCare is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to supporting legislation that is not in the best interest of seniors.

How active was AARP in support of ObamaCare?  An article by Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal provides the details. 

"…71 pages of emails show an AARP management taking orders from the White House, scripting the president's talking points, working to keep its board 'in line.' And pledging fealty to 'the cause.'"

"The emails show an AARP leadership—Policy Chief John Rother, health Policy Director Nora Super, Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond, Senior Vice President David Sloane—that from the start worked to pass ObamaCare, before crucial details pertaining to seniors had been addressed.  This crew was in constant contact with Mr. Obama's top aides, in particular Nancy-Ann DeParle and Jim Messina."

"In August 2009, AARP had already unveiled a national advertising blitz for ObamaCare, to ensure that 'every member of Congress knows the 50-plus community wants action to fix what's wrong with healthcare.'  The group made this claim despite weeks of daily tracking showing its members in revolt against the president's plan."

"July 23, 2009:  AARP reported to the White House that 1,032 members called in against the proposed health-care changes; 77 called in support.  July 28, 2009:  4,174 opposed; 36 in support.  July 29, 2009:  2,656 opposed; 23 in support.  Mr. Sloane told the White House that AARP lost 1,897 members in a single day 'in disagreement over our position on health reform.'  All the reports to Team Obama were accompanied by AARP's request to keep the information 'close,' apparently so word didn't leak that seniors hate ObamaCare.  And the ad blitz went on."

As these records show convincingly, the leadership of AARP knowingly betrayed the wishes of its members.  It's hard to describe such betrayal as anything less than a failure of integrity and a lack of honesty.  In short, the political agenda of the leadership was put before the wishes of the membership of AARP.

Sadly, AARP is almost always on the wrong side of the issue when it comes to seniors.  Quietly, but successfully, the AARP lobbyists back every bill that comes down the pike that hurts seniors.  Like an 800 pound gorilla, AARP blocks every attempt to reform and stabilize Social Security and Medicare.  They only like Social Security and Medicare when they are redistributionist programs, not when free market reforms are proposed that would benefit seniors.

Did AARP lift a finger to oppose the $716 billion raid on Medicare contained in the ObamaCare legislation?  No, they did not.  Did AARP make any effort to eliminate the "death panels" that are to be implemented under ObamaCare?  No, they did not.  Did AARP worry about ObamaCare rationing health care and discouraging young people from becoming doctors and nurses?  Apparently, that was of no concern.  Did AARP give any consideration to trillions of increased debt ObamaCare would place on future generations?  Apparently not.

During the effort to ram ObamaCare through Congress, AARP held supporting rallies.  At one, Barry Rand, CEO of AARP, introduced Vice President Biden with these words…

"I have the distinct honor of introducing a great American who has for all of his life worked for those who are in need and fought for the middle class,"

Rand donated $8,900 to Obama's 2008 presidential election campaign and, in fact, that support was not limited to the CEO of AARP.  Analysis of AARP employees who identified themselves as working for the organization "gave $48,801 to Democratic candidates, party committees, and leadership PACs, compared with only $5,121 to Republicans -- meaning more than 90 percent of the money went to Democrats."  The analysis was conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics and reported in an article published in the American Spectator.

But it's not just ObamaCare that AARP has supported.  AARP has used dues money, and other money earned from its members, to lobby for all sorts of liberal legislation that has nothing whatsoever to do with seniors.  The bottom line is that AARP is a far left lobbyist group that derives its money from folks who oppose virtually everything it stands for.

Although posing as the voice of seniors in the US, AARP does not poll its membership on legislative issues like ObamaCare.  It wouldn't dare.  It knows that its legislative agenda would be scuttled.  Instead, it poses as a moderate, middle of the road, politically unaligned organization, while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to pass a far left agenda.  This bait and switch operation has been going on for decades and there is no indication of any reform or change on the horizon.  In fairness, it should be called the FLAARP—the Far Left Association of Retired Persons.

Its record in support or against legislation that benefits seniors is not the only problem with AARP.  It's just not a good deal for seniors.  On occasion, it has worked for or against legislation that would have helped seniors because the legislation did not financially benefit AARP.  There have also been instances where AARP has offered a "bargain" mutual fund that was identical to another fund that could have been purchased outside of AARP for less fees. 

No matter how you slice it, AARP is a bad bargain.  It's a bad bargain for the United States.  It's a bad bargain for our children and grandchildren.  It's a bad bargain financially, and it's a bad political and financial bargain for seniors.  Seniors who overwhelmingly care about the national debt, about spending, about inflation, and about the future of their children and grandchildren are being used by AARP to advance legislation, ideas, concepts, and programs with which the vast majority of seniors disagree.

My advice to you is, don't join.  Don't be sucked in.  Don't be conned.  Don't be duped by the leftists leading AARP.  There are other groups out there such as AMAC—the Association of Mature American Citizens that not only does not lobby for things you do not believe in, but offers travel and insurance benefits that are equal to or better than what you will get through AARP.  Whatever you do, don't join AARP and if you already have, tear up you membership card and join a group that doesn't lobby against your interests as a senior, such as AMAC ( or the 60 Plus Association (   These are fine groups with excellent benefits and a philosophy that is consistent with the conservative views of most seniors.

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