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report print email Source: Editorial: Retirement should be tax, worry free
Santa Claus has come town!!!
December 17, 2010 | 10:20 AM

Senator Kedzie's goal to make retirement in Wisconsin both "tax free and worry free" is a perfect example of liberal policy masking itself under a "friend of the taxpayer" conservative banner.

Right now it appears that the current budget for the State of Wisconsin faces an estimated $2.7 billion dollar deficit. Based on the numbers provided by the Senator, an annual tax savings of nearly $1,000 for approximately 391,000 retirees will reduce tax revenues by $391 million dollars. As with most politicians, he offers no offsets in other spending programs to make up for this proposed revenue loss.

In addition to this loss, there are other costs associated with making Wisconsin a tax free retirement haven. On average, nationwide, approximately 50% of all nursing home care is funded by the federal / state Medicaid program. In senior friendly states such as Florida the number has risen to 60%. Currently in Wisconsin our second largest state budget expense is medical assistance for the poor and elderly. If Senator Kedzie achieves his goal of a "tax free and worry free" haven for retirees, how much will this impact our costs for state funded medical assistance when many of these retirees end up in a nursing home?

It is easy to play Santa Claus by offering tax cuts while it is much more difficult to propose spending cuts. If Senator Kedzie want to offer seniors and retirees a tax cut, he should also offer legislation to reduce spending to pay for it, especially when our state is so deeply in the red.

James from Lake Geneva
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