The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 10, 2013

To be honest, old folks are doing OK

(Continued)

NORMAN —

But it is dishonest even to imply, as so many liberal politicians do, that they are the majority. They aren’t.

Who are the majority of people traveling the country in obese, lavishly expensive motor homes that look like they get a couple of gallons to the mile? Elders. Who are the majority of people lining up for tee times at the most prestigious golf courses in the country? Elders. What demographic group has the money to eat out more than they eat at home? Elders. Who are the majority of people you find on luxury cruise ships? Elders.

The American Association of Retired People — the massive lobbying group that explodes in outrage at the smallest whisper of slowing the unaffordable growth of entitlements to elders — is apparently unaware of how comically hypocritical it is.

When discussions about lower cost-of-living increases in Social Security are on the table — as they are now, even from President Obama — the AARP wails about how frail and helpless its members are — how they are just one Social Security check away from utter destitution, which these days amounts to something like no cable TV.

But, in its monthly magazine, it puts hot-looking actors or actresses on the cover and is filled with stories about virile, athletic elders who are traveling, hiking, water skiing, running, dancing, having sex, sky diving, writing books, starting businesses and everything else that younger people do.

A few years ago, they put Lauren Hutton on the cover with the headline, “Sixty is the new Thirty.” By that measure, Social Security shouldn’t even kick in until age 90. And it bears repeating that a cut is not on the table — just less of an increase. Their complaint is like somebody who has been getting 5 percent annual raises and then gets a 4 percent raise complaining that his pay got cut.

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