Sun is wrong on tax breaks for military retirees [Letter]

November 15, 2013

Your editorial absolutely missed the point concerning military retirees and taxes ("No to tax breaks for military retirees," Nov. 12).

It is larger than the military as well, so why not mention railroad retirees? This is simple math and I recommend you go to the VA website and pull down the by-state expenditures. You can compare macro veteran populations and payments. And when you do, you will see that states that exempt tax on retirement have significantly greater populations of veterans (like every Maryland neighbor).

Since you believe veterans are "better off financially than the average Maryland retiree" (disputable, and what does "on average" really say about the statistical difference?) they will invest, buy things, start companies and use their lucrative GI-Bill benefits in Maryland's many institutions.

The governor will fly 10,000 miles to attract investment in Maryland, but he need only adjust some laws at home. I liken the whole thing to the gambling debate not so long ago; why let Maryland folks take their money to other states when they can fill the coffers here? And they are filling them, with jobs and tourism an added advantage.

You are not alone when it comes to missing the point. The fiscal note attached to the 2012 House Bill 103 paints a bean counter view of revenues, but the discussion is about people and prosperity first, and then money. That is a far cry from your simpleton comment asking "where is their piece of the action?" If the legislature is confined to skewed and partial analysis, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Personally, I take offense at your claim that "career military pensioners receive about $30,000 more per year than Maryland's average household income." So what? How much more do career bankers, insurance brokers or newspaper people make? Are you opposed to a career in the military or unwilling to use the median household income? You have subjected your readers to a shallow analysis of the lieutenant governor's proposal.

Steve Pomper, Baldwin

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