In a major reversal, the AARP, one of the most powerful lobby groups in Washington, is dropping its no-cuts position on Social Security benefits. "AARP now has concluded that change is inevitable, and it wants to be at the table to try to minimize the pain," reports The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler. After a "wrenching" internal debate, the group decided to launch a coast-to-coast town hall campaign this summer to explain to some of its 37 million members why change is necessary. The report has elicited a diverse response across the political spectrum. Here's how political pundits are coming down on the decision.
Angry liberals Playing this role is Fire Dog Lake's Eric Kingson who said he's burning his AARP card. "AARP’s position is extremely damaging to the future of Social Security and to the many baby boomers it is working hard to entice into its membership and engage in many of the services it sells and sponsors," he writes. "Given the economic challenges facing today’s older people, especially those approaching retirement, we should be doing what we can to focus policy discussion on how inadequate the nation’s retirement income system is to deal with the very serious risks (health care costs, lack of LTC protection, job losses, declines in values of housing and occupational pensions, IRAs) confronting those in retirement and those who will soon be. Instead of seeming to position itself as a reasonable inside deal maker that is open to benefit cuts, AARP should be educating about the need to selectively improve the one economic security institution that works quite well (SS)."