Friday, April 29, 2005

Today's chapter of "Good enough for me, but not for thee"

New chief obstructionist Harry Reid continuously refers to Social Security as "the most successful program in the history of the world." It has been so successful, that...he wanted no part of it.

When Reid was in the House, he sponsored a bill that would have kept members of Congress out of the Social Security program. He sponsored it a few months after Congress passed legislation that required all members and other federal employees to join Social Security. Previously, federal employees, including lawmakers, participated in a generous defined-benefit pension program that exempted them from Social Security taxes. The bill was H.R. 3589, introduced in July 1983. Full story here.

Also, the AARP is making a boatload off of its own private investment options. Full story here.
While AARP is busy bashing President Bush's plan for personal retirement accounts as unsafe, the organization is raking in millions of dollars from its own private stock and bond accounts.


AARP President Marie Smith declared in a January speech: "Social Security is the only guaranteed, inflation-proof, lifelong benefit that millions of workers, past and present, can count on. We should not be talking about replacing this rock-solid guarantee with a risky gamble.

But AARP, which collects more than $200 million in dues from its 35 million members each year, manages an investment portfolio of over $910 million!

The largest portion of that portfolio, $737 million, was invested in stocks and mutual funds in 2003, earning returns of $60 million, according to AARP's 2003 consolidated financial statement.
Those in the business sector seem to smell the hypocrisy quite well.
"It seems that as long as AARP gets a cut, investing in the market is fine," states Investor's Business Daily. "But if you do it on your own, you're one step from crushing poverty."

AARP's investments in what it calls the "risky" securities market have brought in a healthy average return of 7.29 percent a year since 2000. Only 8 percent of the organization's portfolio was invested in safe government-backed securities in 2003.

"AARP seems to believe that capitalism is a fine thing as long as they're the only ones practicing it," said Pete Sepp, vice president of communications for the National Taxpayers Union.

"How can an organization so heavily invested in the stock market tell others they can't do it?"
Puh-leeze! Since when have liberals ever been guided by decency, common sense, and logical consistency? With them, they want rules and laws to keep us in check that they don't have to live by!