Unlike their ancestors, the new Republicans seem to be getting it. In the budget battle, they’ve specifically targeted federal funding for left wing bastions like NPR and Planned Parenthood. Arizona, Texas and Indiana started cleaning up the illegal immigration mess, much to the chagrin of the race lobby. Wisconsin and Ohio Republicans are going after unions, which is particularly significant because unions have become the backbone of the Democratic Party. Democrats draw money directly from taxpayers through the unions, and union bosses provide Democrats with “workers” for political campaigns. All of this will be a huge blow to the Democratic Party, as it will end their taxpayer subsidy.
Now three House Republicans are targeting another Democratic stronghold -- AARP. AARP is ostensibly a non-partisan interest group that represents old people. Indeed, they need to be non-partisan to maintain their tax exempt non-profit status. But everyone knows they aren’t non-partisan. Consider this:
● AARP opposed tax cuts under Reagan and Bush.AARP has 1,800 employees in Washington and they lobby. John Boehner notes that “AARP is one of the most liberal organizations in Washington, D.C.” And for their efforts, AARP gets around $83 million a year in direct payments from the federal government, not to mention their non-profit status saving them from hundreds of millions in taxes.
● AARP worked to defeat the nomination of Clarence Thomas.
● AARP helped Clinton defeat the balanced budget amendment.
● AARP supports gun control and lobbied to strengthen the Brady Bill.
● AARP supports entitlements for illegal aliens.
● AARP partnered with race-hate group La Raza to promote amnesty and drivers licenses for illegals, and to end enforcement of immigration laws.
● AARP calls homosexuality a civil right and opposes the Defense of Marriage Act.
● AARP pushed heavily for Obamacare even though it would cut $500 billion from Medicare, THE program upon which all of its members rely.
● While AARP does not contribute to candidates, AARP executives give overwhelmingly to Democrats.
Now Republican Reps. Wally Herger (Ca.), Charles Boustany (La.) and Dave Reichert (Wash.) are challenging AARP’s tax exempt status and demanding the IRS investigate. They point out that while AARP claims to speak for seniors, it actually “operates in direct opposition to their senior membership.” Specifically, in lobbying for Obamacare, AARP supported a bill that would drain $500 billion out of Medicare, which would hurt seniors severely. Why would AARP do this? Because AARP stands to make an additional $1 billion over ten years as a result of Obamacare because AARP gets paid to refer seniors to insurance that fills in the gaps in Medicare. . . which will now have $500 billion in new gaps.
Moreover, AARP-sponsored insurance policies are not cheaper for seniors than policies seniors could get alone on the open market, and several AARP executives are paid seven-figure salaries. . . none of which is consistent with AARP being a non-profit. Indeed, a quick look at AARP’s funding is rather illuminating as to AARP's true nature. AARP gets most of its money from selling insurance and advertising. In 2008, AARP was paid $652 million in royalties from insurance companies for referrals. It also received $120 million for advertisements inserted in its publications. By comparison, it collected only $249 million in membership dues. Of this, Boustany said:
“During this investigation it became very clear that despite its privileged tax-exempt status, in many cases, AARP represents a for-profit entity, in fact, an insurance company.”Of course the Democrats are screaming bloody murder as they always do whenever their allies get attacked. Democrat Sander Levin (Mich.) called this a “witch hunt.” Boo hoo hoo.
First of all, the Republicans are right that AARP is not a non-profit. It is clearly a very large for-profit insurance referral company -- so large it belongs in the Fortune 500. Secondly, its lobbying is clearly partisan. Thus, it cannot be a non-profit. Third, I don’t care if it is a witch hunt. The Democrats have tried to stifle anyone who disagrees with them for decades by passing laws against them and sending the IRS after them. It’s time the Republicans started playing the same game. As long as only Democrats are willing to use this weapon, they will continue to use it with impunity. Only by doing to their friends and allies what they have done to everyone else will the Democrats ever be stopped from playing these destructive games. And if that damages a couple of Democrat-fellow-traveler institutions in the process, then all the better.
Their next target should be the ABA and the AMA.