A deathbed conversion on pension taxes
State Sen. Bob Wirch can't help but wonder: If exempting pension payments from state taxes is such a good idea that the Republican candidate for governor has proposed it, why did the Republicans kill his bill to do just that in the last session of the legislature?
Wirch, a Kenosha Democrat, is the author of Senate Bill 60, to exempt $10,000 a year in pension payments or distributions from an IRA.
Congressman Mark Green, running for gov, upped the ante this week and proposed a $20,000 deduction, phased in over a long period. Republican lawmakers are praising the idea and lining up behind Green, of course.
A month before the election, they've had a deathbed conversion on the issue.
Wirch is a little suspicious that politics might be at work here. Ya think?
Wirch introduced his bill in February 2005. Republicans who control the legislature sent it off to committee. It died without even getting a public hearing.
Wirch said he welcomes support from anywhere but he called efforts to use pension tax relief for political purposes as a cruel hoax on pensioners who often live on fixed incomes.
"To see these bait-and-switch tactics from Republicans is incredible," Wirch said. "It is time for these Republicans to stop playing games with these seniors and support meaningful relief, not just grabbing onto ideas to use as political slogans."