The Sunday Telegram’s March 6 editorial (“State’s proposed cuts reasonable in this crisis”) addressed the state’s financial crisis and concluded that the governor’s proposed cuts to the benefits of public-sector workers and retirees were reasonable.

There is a significant issue, however, that the Telegram did not address. These cuts (many of which I agree are necessary in one way or another) do not stand alone. They are part of a larger question: the policy and fiscal choices in the governor’s budget.

You allude to the $203 million in tax cuts proposed by the governor as if they are a small issue. They are not, unless you look at them from the standpoint of the average Mainer, who will benefit minimally from them.

Looked at collectively, these tax cuts represent a large amount of dollars. If we cannot pay state employees promised benefits, how can we justify reducing taxes in the amount of $203 million? You called this “desperately needed tax relief” but didn’t answer the question: desperately needed by whom? You maintain that this cut in taxes is needed to spur the state’s laggard economy, yet provide no basis for this casual conclusion.

For those who see no connection between the question of public-sector benefits and the proposed $203 million in tax cuts, refer to the words of Sawin Millett, the state’s budget chief, who himself said that in order to pay for these tax breaks, the state needed to reduce the compensation provided to public employees through retirement and pension benefit reductions.

This budget is about making choices, which is at the core of any budget.

You should continue to address the important issue of Maine’s budget. But please do so in a balanced manner that puts into perspective the choices that our elected officials are making.