Focus Point - Ending the Earnings LimitCommentary by Pete du Pont
March 15, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Stop the presses -- Congress is about to do a very good thing. It looks like it's going to repeal the Social Security Earnings Test for those who retire at 65. Democrats have fought it for years with their class warfare rhetoric. But commonsense appears to have won the day.
As the NCPA's Bruce Bartlett explains it, we tell people they have a right to Social Security. But we take away benefits from people just because they want to work past 65. The earnings limit caused more than a million retirees to lose a dollar in benefits for every three they earned. In other words, they were penalized by the government for being employed.
The earnings limit is a depression era holdover that was supposed to get young people into the job market by encouraging older workers to retire. It's meaningless today's superheated market with employers beating the bushes for new hires.
Ditching the limit's only fair. Now, if we could just talk about privatizing those Social Security Accounts?
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time...no, you'll just have to listen.