You can put the AARP into the progressive camp. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
“The Factor” likes full disclosure. That is, we want powerful people to be honest about their beliefs and agendas. That's only fair. In life, we should all know where people are coming from.
Now I always thought the American Association of Retired Persons (search) was independent because that's how it bills itself. But a funny thing happened on the way to the early bird special.
A few months ago, we were finalizing the marketing plan for "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" book. And I told a publisher to pitch me to the AARP magazine, thinking the kids book would be interesting to grandparents looking out for their grandkids.
But the magazine wasn't interested at all. OK, that sometimes happens. But then I started researching the magazine and found the cover stories were all about left-wingers. Kevin Spacey, Cybil Shepard, Danny Glover, Billy Crystal, Lauren Hutton, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg. In fact, I couldn't find one article on a conservative or even a traditionalist in the AARP magazine -- not one.
So I had "Factor" researchers look at the AARP policy book. And we found a very liberal philosophy. For example, the organization favors strict gun control, entitlements for migrant workers and a progressive tax policy.
It says, "tax revenue sources should distribute the tax burden according to people's ability to pay," -- right out of the Marx handbook. "Taxation should be progressive."
The AARP strongly favors the death tax, even though most polls show seniors are opposed to it.
Now it is true the AARP backed the Bush prescription drug plan, but the organization now opposes any private Social Security investment, and even wants to raise the payroll tax, as well as taxes on gasoline.
In short, the AARP has become a liberal organization. Did you know that? I didn't know that.
Now there's nothing wrong with that. Political point of view, any organization can have one, but it should be stated, especially since that group is making close to $800 million a year, largely from American seniors of all political philosophies.
Now we've invited the leadership of the AARP on “The Factor” many times. They've turned us down, hiding out, counting the money.
And young Americans should be very worried about the AARP. It has 35 million members and it wants to raise your taxes to pay your senior entitlements.
Again, they're entitled to their point of view, but it should not be hidden behind motel discounts and blather about independent thinking.
The left is a powerful ally in the AARP, and now everybody knows it.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Just two-and-a-half weeks before Christmas and here in New York City, we have four radio stations in the area that have been playing holiday music 'round the clock since Thanksgiving. So, if I hear "Holly Jolly Christmas" one more time, I'm going I'm going to start listening to Eminem (search). Please don't make me do it.
Why can't the ACLU go after these radio outlets instead of terrorizing children's choirs and the Boy Scouts? Hey, ACLU, sue the guy who sings "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," will you? To not do so would be ridiculous.