Monday, September 12, 2005

AARP: Harming our seniors and our nation?

For many, it's automatic. By the time you reach retirement age, you have probably heard from the AARP (formerly, American Association of Retired Persons), directly or indirectly, hundreds or thousands of times. So perhaps you don't think there are alternatives. "It's the AARP for me," you might say. And why not? They're a great organization for retired persons, right? How could 35 million Americans go wrong?

If they espouse a liberal ideology, then the AARP may be up their alley. But for the millions of conservatives and Christians in the AARP, maybe they aren't aware of what happens behind the scenes at the AARP.

I don't want to get into politics--Republican vs. Democrat vs. Independent, etc. So when I mention liberal and conservative, I'm talking about all political parties.

So, what are some things the AARP supports or opposes that might raise some hackles? According to USA Next, a group that opposes the AARP:
  • They opposed the marriage amendment, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, in Ohio that had passed 62% to 38%. (According to Wikipedia, "the AARP has no position on marriage rights for homosexuals, but (along with many established groups including the AFL-CIO) opposed an amendment to Ohio's state constitution intended to prohibit gay marriage, claiming it would deprive all unmarried cohabitating couples of rights they currently enjoyed"). Either way, it seems the AARP supports pre- and extra-marital cohabitation.
  • They oppose health savings accounts, and have promoted national health care.
  • They oppose the elimination of the estate tax.
  • They support taxes on Social Security benefits.
  • They are funded in part by our taxes.
  • They support gun control measures like the Brady Bill.

The website USA Next lists several other issues, and quotes various sources including those listed below.

I'm far from retirement, and I don't know enough about either the AARP or USA Next to make any final decisions. But if there is truth to the USA Next basic claim that the AARP caters to liberals and that they support immoral policies, then they deserve a closer look.

By the way, USA Next Chairman Charlie Jarvis is on Focus on the Family today through Wednesday.

Before joining any major retirement group, make sure you understand their policies. Your choice may well impact not only your destiny but the destiny of millions of others.

Sources:
Business Week: By Raising Its Voice, AARP Raises Questions. By Howard Gleckman and Mike McNamee in Washington and David Henry in New York. March 14, 2005.

National Review: Quit the AARP. By Rich Lowry. March 1, 2005

USA Next. Liberals Level Full-Scale Assault at USA Next. By Charlie Jarvis. February 28, 2005.

USA Next. Seven Deadly Sins of AARP. By Staff.

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