AARP, the influential lobby for older Americans, signaled Wednesday for the first time how fervently it would fight President Bush's proposal for private Social Security accounts, saying it would begin a $5 million two-week advertising campaign timed to coincide with the start of the new Congress.The Medicare Bill would not have passed without AARP endorsement.
The full-page advertisements, to appear next week in more than 50 newspapers around the country, say the accounts would cause "Social Insecurity."
"There are places in your retirement planning for risk," the advertisements say, "but Social Security isn't one of them."
Lawmakers of both parties said the Medicare bill might not have passed without a last-minute endorsement by AARP, which describes itself as a nonpartisan organization. The endorsement outraged some members of the group and some Democrats in Congress. But now, it appears, AARP will be working with Democrats against Republican proposals for private accounts.Mr Bush may think he has "political capitol" but Republican Lawmakers are not going to burn up theirs by going up against the AARP. The ad campaign will also educate the population, something the MSM has not done.
At a White House economic conference this month, Mr. Bush previewed his message to Congress on Social Security. "The crisis is now," he said. "You may not feel it, your constituents may not be overwhelming you with letters demanding a fix now, but the crisis is now."
On the other hand, Ms. Donohoo of AARP said that "rather modest changes" could ensure the solvency of the program for several generations. "It's not a crisis," she said.