I’m glad that M.D. Harmon laid out his rationale for “cutting to prosperity” in Friday’s paper (“Unlike Democrats, Gov. LePage has Maine taxpayers’ best interests in mind”). This helps me understand where conservatives are coming from.

Problem is, his rationale doesn’t hold up. The states he lists as low-tax and high-prosperity are Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia.

These states are prospering because they have large populations that can afford to invest billions in infrastructure, education and business development.

With populations ranging from 6.5 million (Arizona) to 27 million (Texas), individual taxes can be low while available funds to invest are high. For example, North Carolina invests $979 per capita in higher education, while Maine invests $601.

Any businessperson will tell you investment is necessary for growth. In Maine, we need to invest in education, roads and bridges, broadband and business development. With the exception of broadband, we’ve cut our investment in all of these in the last four years under Gov. LePage.

The fact is we’ll never be able to cut our way to prosperity. Worse, conservative policies have put us on a vicious cycle. It’s the same cycle experienced by poor developing countries: low investment leading to lower growth, leading to lower ability to invest, leading to even lower growth.

So I ask M.D. Harmon, Paul LePage and other conservatives: Is this what you really want?

Sue Inches

North Yarmouth