OurValues.org readers who commented this week shared my concerns about Bill Richardson’s surprise withdrawal (Monday’s post) and the huge tax cut Obama plans as part of his economic stimulus package (Tuesday’s post).
Allan Schnaiberg said, “I felt discomforted by Obama’s decision (and uneasy because I didn’t know at all if Richardson’s withdrawal was coerced by Obama’s team). It seems that there are two value issues confounded here: (1) did Richardson abuse his position of trust? and (2) is he therefore untrustworthy for Secretary of Commerce? I have no clear answers for either of these.”
Noting that Richardson and most Latinos supported Obama, Ms. Aquino-Hughes said, “When it was all said and done Obama treated Richardson and his Latino community like ‘an unwanted stepchild.’” When Richardson was first nominated, journalist Ruben Navarette felt that Obama had ignored Latinos for the top Cabinet posts – defense, state, treasury, and attorney general.
Greg Mann argues that the tax cut won’t work because people will not use the added money to buy consumer items. Moreover, it misses the bigger issue: “Tax credits are great, but most people will have to spend their tax credits on the increased cost of their health care. Health care reform MUST be the first and number one priority of the first 100 days.”
Don’t get me wrong – my concerns about Obama’s decisions don’t reflect my lack of support. I am thrilled that he is our next president. But I view each decision as a microcosm of the big values questions. The Richardson issue is a single case of a larger issue – ideals about diversity and its proper role. Reviving the economy is not just a question of the right mechanical devices to do the job. It’s also a values question – the principles we use to decide on the best means to achieve the best ends.
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