It was a marriage made in heaven, or so it seemed, senior citizens and the AARP.
When you reach age 50, you get a letter from the AARP inviting you to join and offering discounts at thousands of businesses across America, and an opportunity to purchase insurance on almost everything at the AARP’s group rate, all for $16 per year.
With 84 million Americans now over the age of 50, and some 40 million of them carrying AARP cards, that’s real clout. Something for practically nothing – what a deal!
Every year, thousands of Americans join AARP before they realize those discounts come with a lot of heavy baggage.
The AARP uses the clout that it gets from its behemoth membership to lobby for left-wing, big-government programs that saddle your grandchildren with mountains of debt and drive up the cost of almost everything you use.
In the past, the AARP has lobbied for:
- higher taxes on gasoline
- a new consumption tax
- the abolition of corporate deductions for advertising
- higher income tax rates
- The creation of a fourth income tax bracket
Many now realize that they can get the same (or better) discounts by joining AAA – the automobile club – without the excess liberal baggage. Furthermore, many careful shoppers have discovered that the insurance they bought from the AARP was at an inflated rate.
Even more troubling, AARP members recently discovered that the organization is lining up with the Obama administration and the Democrats to try to put our health care completely under the thumb of the federal government, and the AARP stands to benefit.
Senior citizens aren’t stupid. Most know that “the government option” will drive most private insurers out of business and lead to less care as they age and need it most. Yes, more and more seniors are waking up to the fact that the AARP has been cheating on them, so they asked for a divorce.
Thousands of seniors are cutting up their AARP cards and calling the national headquarters to ask for their money back. A similar situation occurred in 1994 when the organization lined up with Clintoncare. At that time, some 2.6 million members decided not to renew their membership. Did the AARP lose some of its clout when its membership dropped? No! It papered over that fact.
Dave Van Atta revealed in his book, “Trust Betrayed,” that in July 1995, AARP secretly altered the books to give itself an additional 2 million members.
According to Van Atta, no one really knows just how many actual members the AARP has because of some deft sleight-of-hand that keeps the number a closely guarded secret, known only to members of the senior staff.
The AARP conveniently gives a “free membership” to an applicant’s spouse, a fact that irks single members who often complain that they are paying double. For many years, the AARP used a formula accepted by advertisers by multiplying the number of households by 1.5 to come up with a membership count. But, in a closed-door session in July 1995, Van Atta reported that the board decided to mask its declining membership by using 1.6 as a multiplier, instead of 1.5, which gave it a paper boost of 2.11 million members overnight.
Will the AARP use the same sleight-of-hand to mask the revolt of its membership in 2009? What do you think?
The AARP doesn’t represent senior citizens. It uses them. Sure it provides some “services” to seniors like tax preparation and job training, but those services are not really free. In 2007 and 2008, the organization pulled in $159 million in grant money from the federal government for providing these services. Then, it turned around and used our tax dollars to lobby for still more federal money. (Technically, it can’t use our tax money for lobbying but, in reality, it all goes into the same gigantic pot.)
The truth is the AARP makes so much money from selling insurance and other services to seniors, it could well afford to do these things on its own … if it really cared about the welfare of the members it claims to represent. In 2007, the AARP raked in $497,000,000 from “royalties.” That’s a fancy word for the kickbacks received from the companies that benefit from the AARP hand-off, which is double the amount of money the AARP receives from membership dues.
This helps explain why the AARP isn’t listening to you. The AARP figures, if there is a sucker born every minute, than there are at least two suckers turning 50 every minute, so the AARP fat-cat executives laugh all the way to the bank.