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News :: Labor
Anti-Social Security group defrauds the elderly with 'ARP' designation
by Leigh Strope
12 Mar 2004
The Alliance for Retirement Prosperity was founded by Republicans like Grover Norquist (president of Americans for Tax Reform) and Steve Moore (president of the Club for Growth), who view the elderly as dangerously selfish welfare-addicts.
Senior citizens are "the most selfish group in America today….
Their demands on Washington are: 'Give us more and more and more.' They have become the new welfare state, and given the size and political clout of this constituency, it's very dangerous. One of the biggest myths in politics today is this idea that grandparents care about their grandkids. What they really care about is that that Social Security check and those Medicare payments are made on a timely basis." (see: http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=9518)
-- Stephen Moore, president of The Club for Growth
AARP, new group in alphabet soup dispute with opposing views on Social Security
March 12, 2004
WASHINGTON – AARP, the advocacy group for people over age 50 that opposes diverting Social Security taxes into private accounts, is irked about a new organization with a similar name – minus one A – that is advocating the changes. The new group, founded by Republicans, is called Alliance for Retirement Prosperity, or ARP.
"Gee, what a coincidence," said John Rother, AARP's policy director.
ARP will be led by Jack Kemp, the 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee and housing secretary during the first Bush administration, and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. A third co-chairman is Dorcas Hardy, a former Social Security commissioner who served in the Reagan administration. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Steve Moore, president of the Club for Growth, also are involved.
Larry Hunter, executive director of the new organization, said the acronym for Alliance for Retirement Prosperity and its near-match to AARP was not deliberate.
"Look at the name of the group. The name of the group is the Alliance for Retirement Prosperity. It perfectly describes what this group is about," said Hunter, chief economist at Empower America, a conservative Washington-based think tank that Kemp helped found.
Rother said AARP, which learned of the new group Thursday, is considering a lawsuit to protect its trademarked name.
"If it's an intentional effort to mislead the public, then it's not legal," Rother said of ARP. AARP has not yet contacted ARP, but plans to do so.
"We're certainly going to respond," Rother said. "I don't think anyone with a straight face can say this is a coincidence." Hunter said a lawsuit by AARP "seems like a silly thing for them to do.
The new group will launch a campaign next week to advocate overhauling Social Security to let workers divert into personal investment accounts at least half of the 12.4 percent in payroll taxes they and their employers pay.
President Bush supports the concept of personal accounts but hasn't specified how much in taxes he thinks should be diverted. Bush ran on the idea in 2000, but efforts were sidelined after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The White House has said it plans to revive Social Security as a campaign issue.
Hunter said AARP will try to "scare old people by misleading them into believing we are out to cut their benefits." "The last thing in the world I want is to be confused with that organization," Hunter added. (see: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20040312-1434-aarp-arp.html)
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