The Obama jobs plan: An ethical take with Brad Hirschfield (video)

Sep 13, 2011

Join Brad Hirschfield as he talks about the ethical and moral issues raised by the week's biggest stories.

Hello and welcome. Today, we'll discuss President Obama's jobs bill, the GOP debate and the fighting around the HPV vaccination, and the hikers who may be freed by Iran. Let's get started.

Let's be clear, President Obama proposes raising taxes primarily from the wealthy. Even Warren Buffet came out in favor of this. While endless raising of taxes is not a good long-term solution, it's about time that the wealthy were asked to kick in a greater share. Why is this a problem?

On The Post's story about the President's plan today, commenter "vmidurk" said this is another instance of Obama encouraging "resentment of successful people." Do you agree this is an issue?

President Obama's proposal to generate revenue by increasing taxes on those earning more than $200,000 or $250,000 seems unethical. With this proposal, he is promoting an agenda of redistribution of wealth, although we hesitate to use those terms. Taxation of astronomical fund managers' earnings, for example, would seem much more appropriate, but perhaps they already have Obama in their pocket?

Whether to obtain the HPV vaccine is a private issue between a family and physician. The fact that the Republican debate spent an inordinate amount of time in-fighting regarding this issue is further baffling. What does the time spent in last night's debate on the HPV vaccine tell us about Republican voters, or at least what the candidates presume about them? 

Does it matter whether their release involves a "pardon" or a "ransom?" Isn't the point to get them home!? We need to do whatever it takes.

I take issue with your premise -- raised last week in regards to the motivations of the 9/11 hijackers -- that somehow religon is needed to prompt people to be good and do good things. We'd be much better off if we didn't need a religion to tell us to be good and instead had a non-religous religion - a way of living that embraces ethical and moral behavior. This will never happen, because of the fact that religon has always been about control. Your reaction? 

That's all for today. Thanks for watching!

In This Chat
Brad Hirschfield
Brad Hirschfield is the president of Clal - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He writes the For God's Sake blog for The Washington Post. A regular on Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network. he appears frequently on NPR, PBS, and CNN, and is routinely listed as one of America?s "most influential rabbis." His most recent book is You Don't Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.
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