Thursday, December 30, 2004

In Ads, AARP Criticizes Plan on Privatizing

In Ads, AARP Criticizes Plan on Privatizing:
“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.”

…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."

One advertisement shows a couple in their 40's looking at the reader. "If we feel like gambling, we'll play the slots," the message says.

Another advertisement shows traders in the pit of a commodities exchange. "Winners and losers are stock market terms," it says. "Do you really want them to become retirement terms?"

AARP's confrontational stance on Social Security contrasts with its strategy on Medicare legislation in 2002 and 2003.

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.

AARP strongly supports new incentives for people to save for retirement, but says such savings should supplement the existing system.

Marie F. Smith, the group's president, and William D. Novelli, its chief executive, set forth the organization's position this month in letters to members and to lawmakers.

Private accounts would worsen the problems of Social Security, they said, adding: "Taking some of the money that workers pay into the system and diverting it into newly created private accounts would weaken Social Security and put benefits for future generations at risk. AARP is opposed to private accounts that take money out of Social Security."

Under President Bush's proposal, workers could divert some payroll taxes to personal accounts that could be invested in stocks and bonds.…
con·cept: In Ads, AARP Criticizes Plan on Privatizing