Kicking their "job creation and budget cutting" agenda down the road yet again, a trio of Congressional Republicans led by none other than Washington's Dave Reichert are busying themselves with finding people to punish for supporting the year-old health-care-reform law. And what group have they come up with in their infinite wisdom? Old people. AARP, to be exact--an organization representing some 37 million people, nearly all of whom always vote.
Never mind that the bill guarantees coverage for all Americans, which has been one of the principal goals of the organization for decades.
The Congressmen want the IRS to investigate AARP. And really, they want lawmakers to strip it of its tax-exempt status.
Reichert says that the group is only looking out for its bottom line--the bottom line that allows it to function as the advocacy juggernaut it is.
"The real overarching question here that I think that seniors across this country should be asking AARP is, who are you working for?" Reichert said. "Are you with the seniors of America? Or are you out to make money for AARP?"
AARP functions in two distinct ways--one, as a lobbying group, dedicated to advancing causes for seniors; two, as a kind of "branding organization" that offers to lend its name to certain products (namely insurance plans) for a cost.
It's these dual roles that Republicans believe should disqualify the group from tax exemptions.
Sort of like how they are also calling for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to lose its tax-exempt status for supporting the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case, which stands to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to its corporations through their ability to anonymously contribute to political campaigns, right?
Wait, I'm being told that Republicans have made no such demands.