Social Security Earnings Limit Report

From: Mike Freeman (
Date: Fri Mar 29 1996 - 10:55:08 PST

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>From!jgashel Fri Mar 29 10:47:58 1996 remote from pacifier
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 1996 13:35:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Jim Gashel <>
To: Mike Freeman <>
Subject: Notice for distribution
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FROM: James Gashel
       Director of Governmental Affairs
National Federation of the Blind
     As you may have surmised from the news and other sources, the debt
ceiling bill is a "done deal" in the Congress. When President Clinton
signs it later today, the earnings limit for seniors will go to $12,500
for 1996. However, the earnings limit for blind people will stay at
$11,520 for this year. Next year it will probably be $11,880, while the
limit for seniors will be $13,500. This means that the linkage of the
earnings limits has been broken, at least for the time being.
     In the final analysis, it was the decision by House leaders to place
the earnings limit change on the debt ceiling bill which led to our
present situation. To his credit, Senator Bingaman held out as long as we
could reasonably expect. He did so even in the face of calls from the
Secretary of the Treasury.
     As for the future, no one should think that the earnings limit
question for blind people is settled. While the immediate strategy is
unclear, we have many, many commitments in the Congress that the issue
will not be dropped. Of course, it will be up to all of us to continue to
bring attention to this issue so that it does not get lost.
     In short, this is certainly not the end of the day on the Social
Security earnings limit. While the present outcome is not to our liking,
our turn is coming. Consider this: we have a great deal of expressed
support from Republicans in the House and Senate, including the fact that
Republicans make up the majority of our Senate cosponsors. Also, we have
solid support from Democrats in both bodies. If anything, the degree of
understanding and support for our position on the earnings limit matter
has been strengthened during the present battle. Therefore, we should all
do what we can to thank our supporters in Congress and go forward with
hope for a better result on another day. If we do our work well, that day
will be sooner rather than later.

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