Thanks to Andy Wright for his April 13 column, “Maine Voices: Eliminating the state income tax won’t mean economic growth,” which did a great job of countering all of Gov. LePage’s weak arguments for the plan to end the tax.

Mr. Wright is correct. There is simply no evidence that lowering or eliminating the state income tax will encourage economic growth, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities researchers concluded in their March 2013 paper “State Income Tax Cuts: A Poor Strategy for Economic Growth.”

Because, by law, the state must balance its budget, what is most likely to happen is that future budget shortfalls will lead to cuts in services that we all rely on and increases in other taxes. Who will want to move to a Maine with roads full of potholes, an underfunded university system, failing public schools or cash-strapped public safety programs?

Like so many times before, LePage came to the table with the answer instead of with the question: “What’s the best way to stimulate Maine’s economy, help Maine’s people and attract people to the state?” He’s simply copying other Republican governors.

And while he’s claiming he’s doing this for Maine’s people, his administration is busy attacking Maine’s environment, the state’s economic trump card, by:

Supporting open-pit mining in pristine areas that are major draws for tourists.

 Undermining renewable energy sources such as solar, which would reduce the pollution threatening the Gulf of Maine fishing industry.

 Increasing timber harvesting on public lands beyond sustainable levels.

To him, Maine’s environment is expendable. LePage doesn’t see the big picture, and we are all paying the price for his short-sightedness.

Mary Ann Larson