It’s perplexing. When it comes to the tax reform agenda proposed by Gov. LePage, I don’t know whether to admire his boldness or be worried that he can’t think for himself.

Last December, the American Legislative Exchange Council released its “State Tax Cut Roundup” summary of 2014 legislative sessions. Kudos were given to states that followed its Principles of Sound Tax Policy.

For example, they support broad-based taxes, a low overall tax rate with few loopholes and an end to estate taxes (which they describe as “death taxes”). Sound familiar?

ALEC says: “(Taxes) should not be used to punish success or ‘soak the rich.’ ” So Gov. LePage has proposed lower income tax rates (not to punish success); an end to estate taxes (not to soak the rich), and higher broad-based sales tax with fewer loopholes (so we tax nonprofit organizations).

ALEC also advises that states “resist temptation to use the tax code for social engineering, class warfare or other extraneous purposes.” Gov. LePage continues to block Maine’s access to Medicaid benefits for low-income households. Improving the health of fellow Mainers is apparently social engineering or an extraneous purpose though obviously not class warfare.

ALEC cautions to be “mindful of how its tax decisions affect local governments … with the taxpayer caught in the middle.” Oops. How does ending state revenue-sharing payments not catch every property taxpayer in the middle?

Then there’s Gov. LePage’s sales tax proposal. We know that sales taxes hit low-income families hardest. They must spend every nickel, so every nickel is taxed. Not so with wealthy families. It’s OK to soak rich tourists from away, as Maine is “open for business.”

This is not boldness. He is following orders from his masters at ALEC. Mainers, be bold. We don’t follow orders.

Douglas Posson

Rockport