NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 4, 2005

AARP's rhetoric is impressive, but over the past two decades the organization for seniors has repeatedly advocated higher taxes on their members by capitulating on taxing Social Security benefits, writes Art Linkletter, national chairman, and Charlie Jarvis, chief executive, of

For example:

  • In 1983, AARP consented to seniors paying taxes on up to 50 percent of their benefits; previously, no one paid federal taxes on Social Security benefits.
  • Similarly, AARP did little to prevent a series of payroll tax hikes in 1984, 1988 and 1989.
  • In 1993, AARP failed to stop Congress from raising the portion of Social Security benefits subject to federal taxes from 50 percent to 85 percent.

Consequently, middle-class seniors get hit with heavier effective tax rates than many millionaires. Linkletter and Jarvis also say that if private accounts -- a solution which AARP does not favor -- were enacted in 1984, American families would now own more than $6 trillion in personal financial assets.

Source: Art Linkletter and Charlie Jarvis, "AARP Is How Seniors Spell Higher Taxes," Investor's Business Daily, March 3, 2005.


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