Gore to Seniors: Calling All Matlocks

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MINNEAPOLIS: Talk about reinventing government. Al Gore wants to put seniors to work in the fight against Medicare fraud by "deputizing" them -- paying folks whose anonymous tips help the government recover ill-gotten funds from criminal providers.

"If you find fraud and abuse - if you find providers who are exploiting the system and exploiting our seniors - we'll pay you to report it," Gore said Wednesday at the 40th-anniversary convention of the American Association of Retired Persons. Is this what the golden years are supposed to be about? Well, the "retired persons" part of "AARP" has always been a bit of a canard; the 50-year-old Gore will be picking up his own AARP card at the convention, and you know he's not planning to retire anytime soon.

Gore is at the convention to stump for Democratic congressional candidates who would use the budget surplus to "save Social Security first." This must be the backup plan. After all, who needs Social Security if there's plenty of work as a private eye?