Cafe Conversations | That’s Another Fine Mess AARP

 AARP   says  Good Morning Retirees!

Pay No Attention to the Wall Street Journal Article.


         The nation’s most powerful senior’s group telling the Wall Street Journal it was ready to deal on cutting Social Security benefits. The AARP’s policy chief John Rother admitting “some of our members will no doubt be upset.”

         If AARP was supporting retiree benefits, then they would have no need to make this statement.  Something is afoot, eh!  Oh, yeah.  Maybe congress can just raise the retirement age to 85 and we are good to go for a long period of time with no effect on Social Security benefits. Really?

        So upset were it’s members that within hours, the AARP was insisting this was always their position.  Sure it was! And, I have a Bridge to sell you!!  I am not even sure AARP spokesperson, Betty White could pull this little tidbit out of the ashes.

Betty White with the AARP "LOOK"

   And, the Man Behind the Curtain now says – AARP has not changed its position.

Here is the explanation direct from the AARP blog.   Share how your thoughts about AARP’s position.

          I’m sure many of you have seen the Wall Street Journal article from this morning (“Key Seniors Association Pivots on Benefit Cut”). This is a misleading characterization. Read AARP’s CEO A. Barry Rand’s response below:
“Let me be clear – AARP is as committed as we’ve ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthening it for future generations. Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.
        “First, we are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause. Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit. Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.
“Our focus has always been on the human impact of changes, not just the budget tables. Which is why, as we have done numerous times over the last several decades, AARP is engaging our volunteer Board to evaluate any proposed changes to Social Security to determine how each might – individually or in different combinations – impact the lives of current and future retirees given the constantly changing economic realities they face.
       “Second, we have maintained for years – to our members, the media and elected officials – that long term solvency is key to protecting and strengthening Social Security for all generations, and we have urged elected officials in Washington to address the program’s long-term challenges in a way that’s fair for all generations.
“It has long been AARP’s policy that Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and that it is sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years. It has also been a long-held position that any changes would be phased in slowly, over time, and would not affect any current or near term beneficiaries.
“AARP strongly opposed a privatization plan in 2005, and continues to oppose this approach, because it would eliminate the guarantee that Social Security provides and reduce benefits, and we are currently fighting proposals to cut Social Security to pay the nation’s bills.
       “Social Security is a critically important issue for our members, their families and Americans of all ages, especially at a time when many will have less retirement security than previous generations with fewer pensions, less savings and rising health care costs. And, as we have been for decades, we will continue to protect this bedrock of lifetime financial security for all generations of Americans.”
       So there you have it. We remain committed as ever to fighting harmful cuts to Social Security (and Medicare).

The Good, Bad and Ugly in Washington

 Is This The Republican Wild West?

      Everything west of the Mississippi in the 1800’s was Wild and Free Wheeling.  Towns became infamous for their Gunfights, Corrupt Sheriffs and Politicians. Many “self appointed” politicians behaved as though they wielded the power of Excalibur itself. Only a few territorial representatives really cared enough about the growth of this New Frontier. Many felt it was not worth a penny!  (Well, that was before Mr  Sutter found Gold.)  Many towns made their own rules based on what was needed.  Not a bad idea, just no consistency. Since communications were crude at best, no one really knew what went on in the next town until you arrived.   



        This brings me to the town of Washington D C.  You are in the same situation.  You don’t know what the town is like until you get the lay of the land.  My mind jumped to those Wild, Free Wheeling times in Wichita and Tombstone. The image was clear when I listened to our congressmen and women speak of the possible “Government Shut Down.” Odd, I thought!  Yet, not really.  Where was the Sheriff?  The Peace maker?   Like Wyatt Earp, Matt Dillon or Bat Masterson?   Who really is running this town?  I mean really, who is in charge?  Apparently, no one is. We have a President that most of us keep defending.  Well Mr. President, we are quite weary of our tasks.  Yeah, Yeah, the President came to office in a financial storm.  I saw two things clearly at that time.  He opened an umbrella and our wallets.  The umbrella protected him and those he sheltered.  Yet, immediately every hand went directly to our wallets.  Thus, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly began running our country in a way that surprised most.  Now comes the time a true hero!  Such as a Clint Eastwood.   In the Wild West, a stranger would ride into town, see the lay of the land, then set about to render justice.   I know, melodramatic yes, and you get the idea.  Although, Clint Eastwood would do the job nicely, this country needs a person to take a stand and speak up for the rights of the middle class.  


     Once again, we are faced with those newly elected officials, “the new fast draws in town”, as it were, determined to make their mark as politicians.  Oh, yeh!  Just tell the folks back home “I will  rid this country of injustice and restore the American Way!  All will be wonderful again.”  Sure!  First however, they must add their own agenda to that American Way.  Just as the newly elected Governors are making their “Mark” on this country, so too are the Congressmen and women.  All this at whose expense?   OURS!   Clarification:  The Middle Class.   Yep!  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly definitely describes our nations Capital.  As those politicians make their MARK, we struggle for jobs, have our family home lost to Financial Institutions that were given Millions by our elected Politicians.

             Back on March 6,  my post addressed the lack of humanity certain groups had displayed toward the  families at military funerals. (  One comment I received was from Tara, of  and  the wife of an active Naval Officer, stating that the Military had been informed that if this Budget Crisis was not dealt with, the military personnel would have to wait for their monthly pay.  Nice, huh?  So while Democrats and Republicans argue their crappy political rhetoric, in other words, lies, lies, and more lies, any federal employee will be furloughed and has to wait for their paycheck.  Meanwhile, all CONGRESSMAN AND WOMEN WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THEIR REGULAR PAY.  IT IS A LAW.  Some have offered 2 weeks of their pay to help others.  Big Whoop!  As my kids would say. 

   This is not a free for all government no matter what your elected official wants it to be.  We have a structure.  We have laws.  We have a Constitution. Even if the Shut Down receives a last-minute SAVE, the problem still remains.  We must remind our President and our Representatives that they were elected to serve ALL the people, to do what is RIGHT, not just promote their personal agendas.  America is no longer the Wild West with hired guns with quick draws.

Shame on you  Washington DC. 


Good, Bad & the Ugly courtesy cinematique

                                                         Wyatt Earp courtesy Warner Brothers