Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

What did you think when you heard President Obama say, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Did this statement make you angry or nod your head? Prof. Elizabeth Warren shares this bitter ideology and has used it against Sen. Scott Brown.

I have frequently criticized Mr. Obama and his progressive agenda in these pages. My last letter argued against Obamacare and was challenged by Matthew Burke and W.R. Deeble. Mr. Burke satirized my comments, attacking conservative news outlets and the Tea Party. Mr. Deeble hammered Fox News, Mr. Romney and “17th century economic principles.” They mock the messenger as well as the message. Those who have dared question Mr. Obama have been chastised from the beginning. Yet I enjoy the debate.

While the country is split on the candidates, the data is in: the economy is sputtering and ready to slip back into recession. A new Associated Press survey finds that we are on track to achieving the highest poverty rate since 1965. Black unemployment is at a 24-year high. More Americans are on food stamps than ever. And the budget deficit grew by almost $60 billion in June meaning we will exceed $1 trillion for the fourth year in a row. Clearly, the Obama plan is not working.

Jack Fruchtman suggested in a recent letter that the answer to our problems is simple: tax the wealthy more. They can afford higher taxes and we should increase the inheritance taxes on the rich, he suggested. The top one per cent already pay 70 per cent of federal taxes and the top 20 per cent pay 95 per cent of the taxes. Why stop there? The new socialist president of France just imposed a 70 per cent tax on their rich.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that, “the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing Leviathan state and those like Mr. Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective.”

The Gazette is doing a great job encouraging this type of discussion as we contemplate the choices we face in the fall. Mr. Burke, Mr. Deeble and Mr. Fruchtman want bigger government and higher taxes. They want a smaller military. They want more federal and state regulation. They want more state-sponsored projects like Solyndra and Cape Wind.

They believe in the European socialist model favoring the collective over the individual.

As our economy continues to crumble, Americans are angry. We want answers. We want a president who will get us back on our feet. November can’t come soon enough for most of us.

Peter Robb

Holliston and Oak Bluffs