So Harford County Executive David Craig wants to eliminate income taxes on the rich, blow a $775 million hole in the budget and implement "zero-based budgeting" to keep spending under control ("Tax cuts for the rich," Feb. 21). Obviously, Mr. Craig is not a student of history, or he would know that Jimmy Carter tried that with the federal government in the 1970s and it was an unmitigated disaster. It seems all we get from Republicans these days are gimmicks and straw men, but solutions to real problems from them seem to be in short supply. Here is a news flash for Mr. Craig: Businesses are not fleeing Maryland as you claim because we have one of the most educated populations in the country. While his school system in Harford County is marginal at best, the county I live in (Montgomery) has one of the best.

I'm sorry that the rich people of Harford County can't afford to buy new Bugatti Veyrons these days, but surely their tax dollars are going to other pressing needs like fixing potholes, repairing bridges, paying police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians and let's not forget educating the youth of Harford County. Maybe Harford is not attracting new businesses because CEOs and executive boards wisely see the pennywise and pound foolish administration of the county by Mr. Craig. That's why they are moving to Montgomery instead, where they know they can find a populace educated enough to manage their affairs with the sophistication and intellect they require.

Maryland leads the nation in students who actually pass Advanced Placement exams, an accomplishment that was achieved largely through the liberal Democratic leadership in Howard and Montgomery counties. Nowhere did I see Mr. Craig's county scoring high marks in this area. To me and business investors, that statistic speaks volumes.

Brad Schwartz, Olney

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