Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

The Retirees Speak by maliab
April 27, 2011, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Economy, Hawaii Sunshine | Tags: , , , , ,

Perhaps the Hawaii House of Representatives decided that they wanted to live a bit dangerously.  Because despite the criticism that has followed the proposal to tax pension income (opposition that helped lead to the defeat of the measure in the State Senate . . . and of which opposition the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii played a vocal part), the House decided to keep the bill alive for additional consideration this week.  However, one wonders whether they will be rethinking that decision in light of the attention the measure has drawn from one of the country’s most influential interest groups, the AARP.

Political pundits have long commented (and even joked) about the influence wielded by the AARP, but that comes with the territory when you’re able to mobilize the large numbers of likely voters that the AARP generally reaches.  And this week, that mobilizing force turned its attention to Hawaii, with a “telephone town hall” meeting that drew over 7000 people to discuss their concerns over Hawaii’s plans to tax pension income.  Not surprisingly, many callers expressed concern over the possibility that the retirement income they depend on would be reduced if the measure carries.  If the House drops the legislation in response to this increased pressure, perhaps Hawaii’s citizens can take heart in the fact that this kind of unified action can get real results.

(Of course, I do have one major criticism of the thrust of the AARP Town Hall, and that is the fact that many of those opposed to the pension tax expressed a preference for taxing businesses.  Instead of doing further damage to our already difficult business climate and strained economy, why not look to decreasing state spending instead?)


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