Good News from AARP and Bad News from ObamaCare

Posted on June 17, 2011

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Two news stories caught my  eye today. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

ObamaCare, the albatross that Obama and the Democrats tied around the collective neck of Americans, is really beginning to stink. ObamaCare, you know, the bill that Nancy Pelosi told us would have to be passed before we would be allowed to know what was in it. Well some of that fowl oder has recently been identified. From FoxNews.Com we learn:

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.

Hey, america, aren’t you glad that Obama and the Democrats are looking out for your well-being? Now, if you are, for example, approaching retirement age and are planning to sell your home and move somewhere more desirable or if you’re wanting to sell your home so you can move to where the jobs are, you will be obligated to send to your federal government 3.8% of the equity you realize from the sale (assuming you still have any equity).  Yes sir! That should really help the seriously ill housing market to make a rapid recovery. Well, who knows, maybe Obama has a plan for offering waivers on this part of ObamaCare too.

If that is not bad enough, look at this quote from the article:

This will also have a knock-on unemployment multiplier effect on the people who pave roads to new subdivisions. It will require fewer realtors and settlement attorneys to handle the decreased sales volume. Home values will adjust downward in reaction to the penalty tax that a homeowner has to pay to escape a current residence. This will lead to a downward pressure on tax assessments for residential property which will further complicate the efforts of state and local governments to run organizations such as schools.

Yes indeed. ObamaCare is the gift that keeps on giving. Well, that’s enough bad news for a Friday morning. Let me share with you what I consider to be some very good news.

From the Wall Street Journal, we have this breaking news:

AARP, the powerful lobbying group for older Americans, is dropping its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington’s debate over how to revamp the nation’s entitlement programs.

Is this a surprising move by the AARP, which has been seen as a major stumbling block to Social Security reform? As an oldster, I’m not all that surprised. If there is one thing we old folks have in common, it is our love for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren (I have a passel of both).

Is the AARP serious? This bit from the article would lead you to believe that they are indeed serious:

In an early sign of its new approach, AARP declined to join a coalition of about 300 unions, women’s groups and liberal advocacy organizations created to fight Social Security benefit cuts. “The coalition’s role was to kind of anchor the left, and our role is going to be to actually get something done,” said Mr. Rother.

Hopefully, I am not painting too rosy a picture here. The article points out that Mr. Rother and the Board of AARP are likely to receive a lot of flak from their membership. The Board does realize this and they  have a plan to address member concerns:

AARP plans to hold hundreds of events for seniors, in every state. At town halls and listening sessions, AARP plans to explain the political and budgetary realities facing the program by playing a game in which participants try to make Social Security solvent.

Do read the entire article. This change in attitude by the AARP could have an important impact on the ongoing budget negotiations in Congress.

You all have a great weekend and I’ll try to do the same.

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Posted in: AARP