AARP's plan would still blow up economy — just not now

We in the media love to zing the zealots in the Tea Party.

The nutty notion that defaulting on our debt is no big deal comes from the same kind of loopy logic that got us into the Great Depression.

They've donned their dynamite overcoats and have strapped themselves to the national economy.

But why isn't anyone paying attention to the zealots at AARP? The only difference between the two groups is that AARP would use a longer fuse on its dynamite.

Take your pick: Blow up the economy now or blow it up later.

AARP wants to keep feeding the entitlement beast until the Chinese quit buying our debt and we have 90 percent tax brackets across the board.

On Monday, the Florida AARP delivered 87,000 petitions to U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson demanding that debt negotiations contain no cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

That is just as crazy as demanding no revenue increases. Actually, it's crazier.

USA Today recently reported that last year Medicare took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities. Social Security took on another $1.4 trillion in liabilities because of longer life spans.

This comes as trustees for the programs report that the main Medicare trust fund will run out of money in 2024, which is five years earlier than last year's projection.

The insolvency of Social Security was bumped up a year from 2037 to 2036.

AARP doesn't blink at such projections.

The national organization has been running an ad campaign against any cuts to entitlements, which it says "seniors have earned through a lifetime of hard work."

This simply is not true. Seniors may have worked hard, but they have not earned all their entitlements. They have paid for less than half their Medicare coverage.

Medicare is projected to grow from 48 million enrollees today to 81 million in 2030. Meanwhile, health-care costs continue skyrocketing. Medicare just approved a new cancer drug that prolongs life an average of four months at a cost of $93,000 per round of treatment.

We have created a health-care system based on the assumption that the government ultimately will pay the tab.

A lot more people are spending a lot more on their care, with fewer people paying taxes.

Add up all the nation's unfunded liabilities and you come up with $61.6 trillion, or $528,000 per household.

And the Tea Party is crazier than AARP?

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