Mark Tooley writes A Liberal Evangelical Resigns From AARP in American Spectator, 2/22/13.
Calling AARP “selfish and guilty of intergenerational injustice,” Sider chides the self-professed lobby for seniors over its adamant opposition to any reform of Social Security and Medicare. He notes that the “federal government spends about $4 on every senior over 65 and only $1 on every child under 18.” And he notes that the 22 percent poverty rate for children percent is much higher than the 9.7 percent rate for seniors.
Specifically Sider criticizes AARP for opposing any increases in Medicare payments even by wealthier seniors or requiring co-payments for “unnecessary use of doctor visits and medical tests by seniors.” He also complains that AARP opposes any reduction in Social Security payments for wealthier seniors. Sider asked: “Is there any reason why a senior with a total income (Social Security plus other income) of $100,000 should not pay income tax on all of their Social Security income?”
Sider is rhetorically unsparing: “The AARP is a selfish lobby demanding things for seniors even though modest sacrifices would help us reduce the deficit and enable us to spend more on crucial things like better education for our children.” He implores seniors to rise above “selfish” interests and “make some sacrifices for our children and grandchildren.” And he urges other seniors who care about “intergenerational justice” to follow his example in quitting AARP.
Modern liberalism has twisted itself into something a true liberal should be ashamed of. Kudos for Ron Sider for taking a principled rather than a partisan stance.
It seems inevitable that such benefits will be and should be means tested. The only reason we spend so much more on seniors than children is because they vote.