Letters to the Editor

Letter: What about the pension system?

To the Editor:

When Pam Althoff was still an Illinois state senator, she held a teleconference, and I asked her assistant screening her calls, “When will Illinois pensions be taxed?” I was the next call taken and Althoff indicated that Illinois legislators were working on a plan, like Wisconsin, to tax Illinois pensions.

Full disclosure, I receive an annual four-figure, to the right of the decimal point, pension from Bank of America. However, if pensions are stealthily included with a new “fair tax,” graduated income tax proposal, my “fair tax” on my pension will be minimal as compared with many of Illinois’ private/public union pensioners. According to the Wall Street Journal, New Jersey’s Democratic leadership has introduced a bill that would shift new state workers and teachers, as well as those with fewer than five years of experience, into a hybrid retirement plan that combines a pension with something like a 401k plan.

Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Connecticut, Arizona and Kentucky have already shifted public workers – mostly new hires – to risk-sharing plans. According to the Northwest Herald’s May 30 Web Poll, “Do you think Illinois should establish a graduated income tax?” 54% of respondents voted “no.”

Why can’t our Democratic leadership amend Illinois’ “constitutional untouchable” public pension system? Maybe insanity is a requirement to be a tax-paying, home-owning resident of Illinois, with the Honorable Michael Madigan running the asylum?

Robert Gebhardt

Johnsburg

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