Our governor has projected a number of catastrophes if the Legislature supports Question 2, an income tax surcharge of 3 percent on income over $200,000 to help fund education:

• Private-sector employment will be negatively impacted by 2,400 to 4,300 jobs.

• Real disposable income will be negatively impacted by $400 million to $600 million.

• Maine’s population will be negatively impacted by 800 to 1,400.

• Gross domestic product will be negatively impacted by $40 million to $160 million.

The analysis by the Maine Office of Policy and Management bases its predictions on a multitude of assumptions. These assumptions, although developed with mathematical calculations, are nevertheless assumptions.

I couldn’t find anything in the report that identifies the research behind the assumptions. For example, the report makes the assumption that “one-third of the tax increase would have been invested or spent out of state, reducing the effects on in-state consumption” and “that some of the approximately 16,000 affected taxpayers (either individuals or families) will make income changes – by sheltering a portion of their income – that will result in an 11 percent reduction of revenues received by the state.”

I’m fortunate to have an income over $200,000, and I know that I don’t spend one-third of it out of state or shelter it from state taxes. Maybe others do, but do we have information for the basis of these assumptions?

Given that the governor’s argument is based on assumptions, let’s make one more assumption: The people of Maine are right in choosing to invest in our children’s education. I’d rather make the assumption that Maine’s most important asset for building a better economic future is its children’s education. Let’s test that assumption.

Janice Cohen