Charlie Jarvis of USA Next on Bill O'Reilly
From the 2/16/05 O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: In the "Back of the Book" Segment tonight, as we've been reporting, the AARP seems to be have taken a sharp turn to the left. They're latest position is adamantly against private Social Security accounts for younger workers. While that issue is very debatable, there are two sides. Some conservatives feel that the AARP does not look out for them.This man, head of USA Next, is a god damn idiot. Coporations could do a lot better for $20 million. He's leading the fight against AARP, apparently with lots of good evidence (at least as good as the Swift Boats had...) to back his weak shit up.
With us now is Charlie Jarvis, the chairman of USA Next, an alternative senior group to the AARP.
You know, there's a lot of money in this. That's first of all. We've got to put it up there. The AARP makes a lot of money, and they sell a lot of products, insurance and discounts to this and that, and it's a big machine. But what are they doing or not doing that motivated you to start up an alternative organization?
CHARLES JARVIS, USA NEXT: Well, we've been around for 15 years, and, intensively, I have been going after them for four years since I came in as the chief executive.
O'REILLY: Four years.
JARVIS: And AARP basically, Bill, is the world's largest left, liberal lobbying organization in the world. They're huge, and they're masquerading basically as a benefits association because, essentially, over the last 15 years, they brought in $8.1 billion, and $1.1 billion of that came directly out of the pocketbooks of taxpayers.
O'REILLY: When you say they're a liberal organization, besides Social Security, what else can you point to to back that up?
JARVIS: Well, they're the organization that actually created a tax, which probably one out of eight of your viewers tonight pays, on their Social Security benefit. In 1984, they created with Congress a tax on seniors, seniors-only tax, double tax. They saved all their lives, and now they're going to pay taxes on...
O'REILLY: And there was a reason they did that. What was the ostensible reason?
JARVIS: Ostensibly, the reason was to bring -- Social Security, in 1982, was in trouble, and it was to try and bring it into balance. The problem is there's never been a tax increase they didn't love, there's never been a tax cut they didn't hate, and they are definitely against traditional values.
O'REILLY: All right. So you believe the AARP is a big government organization, wants the umbrella, wants the entitlements and wants to tax the workers to pay for those entitlements? That's what you believe?
JARVIS: They want to -- they do, $1.1 billion of...
O'REILLY: Well, I can't really argue with that. I mean, I think the AARP is -- wants big government and wants a lot of entitlements. Now your organization is more conservative? Are you just a right-wing doctrinaire organization?
JARVIS: No, we are basically a free-market alternative to AARP. Whereas we're the healthy, wealthy and wise organization, they're the tax, tax and spend organization.
O'REILLY: All right. So you're more smaller government, self- reliant. But seniors, a lot of them, need the entitlements. How do you attract them over?
JARVIS: Well, we think that there are free-market alternatives, and Social Security is a classic example. Why in the world would you take three workers -- you, me and one of my teenage sons -- and say you three are going to pay for the retirees of the future. And then when they get to be 40 years old, it's going to be two of my sons, not three.
O'REILLY: OK. I understand the Social Security debate. But what about prescription drugs? Lots of seniors need them, don't have a lot of money. Where do you come down on that?
JARVIS: Well, the interesting thing about prescription drugs is that AARP actually has gotten us into the situation we are in. They're heavily bureaucratic oriented. They're captives, and they capture bureaucrats who control the regulations on prescription drug approvals. They overcomplicate things.
O'REILLY: All right. So, if you think if there were a smaller government, there'd be more drugs available, more competition, lower drug prices.
JARVIS: We want open competition dynamic for...
O'REILLY: All right. And the final thing is -- we only have 30 seconds left -- one of the big selling points of the AARP is that they give you, you know, life insurance and they give you other kinds of insurance at very low rates. Can you compete with that?
JARVIS: It's a myth. It's a myth. We can compete with them right now on usanext.org. Anyone here can go on there and find better deals than they can do with AARP.
O'REILLY: All right. usanext.org. Well, we're glad you came in because we want the folks to have a choice. They can check you out. They know what the AARP is, and then they can make a decision, and that's -- you know, we report, you decide. That's perfect, right?
JARVIS: It sure is. Thank you, Bill.
O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Jarvis. Thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.