Re: “Our View: House speaker’s focus on jobs the right priority” (Dec. 29):

Thanks for highlighting House Speaker Mark Eves’ initiative in targeting Maine’s lagging economy as the No. 1 priority for the next legislative session.

It feels as though the administration of Gov. LePage has no coherent strategy for growing the Maine economy. He wants to cut income taxes again, although there’s little evidence that will boost our economy. As European countries are learning, we can’t cut our way to prosperity.

Closer to home, Kansas serves as an example of the folly of tax cuts and cuts to public spending being the path to growth. LePage’s efforts are driven by his ideology, not sound economic theory.

If growing opportunities for the people of Maine were a LePage priority, he wouldn’t have repeatedly vetoed the proposed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Not only would the working poor in Maine have had access to needed care, but jobs would have been created in health care, and our hospitals would have avoided the charity care debt they are now amassing, which undermines their financial stability.

As it stands now, our federal taxes are providing care for low-income residents of other states while our working poor get nothing.

Maine is losing an estimated $1 billion through the first three years the expansion would have been in place. This is why many Republican governors pushed their Republican-led legislatures to institute the expansion. They understood the potential economic boost.

LePage and his supporters like to tout his business acumen. Most savvy businesspeople understand that you have to invest money to make money. A well-educated, well-trained, healthy and well-fed workforce is an investment that we can’t get to prosperity without.

Mary Ann Larson

Portland