It is amazing. The Grand Old Party, especially the Tea Party part of the party, claims to be people of faith. However, it seems that most have 'bought into' the Prosperity Gospel.
What is the Prosperity Gospel? It is a movement that rose to prominence in the 1950's in the US. Wikipedia defines the movement as, "Prosperity theology teaches that Christians are entitled to well-being and, because physical and spiritual realities are seen as one inseparable reality, this is interpreted as physical health and economic prosperity."
This gets carried to the extreme. In other words, they believe:
"God loves me. Since God loves me, God gave me wealth. God does NOT love you. That is why you are poor. Since God does not love you, I should not 'waste' the wealth that God gave me, to help you."
That is not the Gospel of Jesus.
So, how do Republicans carry this over to our world and the United States government? It carries in many ways, particularly tax policy.
The Platform approved at the RNC this past weekend says:
"We must begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes, and regulates. Jefferson’s vision of a “wise and frugal government” must be restored."
And, "Lowering taxes promotes substantial economic growth and reducing regulation encourages business formation and job creation."
And, "Inflation diminishes the purchasing power of the dollar at home and abroad and is a hidden tax on the American people. Moreover, the inflation tax is regressive, punishes those who save, transfers wealth from Main Street to Wall Street, and has grave implications for seniors living on fixed incomes."
And, "Taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations."
So, what are these saying?
It is saying: Our tax system needs to be overhauled, particularly by lowering taxes. Lower taxes promote capitalistic growth, which results in more freedom. So, the highest concern is about freedom.
Notice the phrasing in the last paragraph. First it says that funding essential services like care for those who cannot care for themselves is important. Then, we should be 'rejecting' of redistribution of wealth to ineffective programs. Is this suggesting that Social Security is ineffective? Yes!
There is no more important program than Social Security. Before Social Security, more than a third of seniors were living in poverty. That is not true now. However, this Republican presidential nominee and his vice-presidential nominee want to dismantle Social Security. Social Security uses 4 cents of each dollar on administration and 96 cents on actual health care for people. The Republican platform wants to ensure that insurance companies can get 20 cents to 46 cents of each dollar to go to corporate profits, like 'Golden Parachutes' for CEO's, leaving only 80 cents to 54 cents of each dollar going to actual health care for people.
This begs the question of why the Republican Party believes that insurance companies need to make a huge profit on health care. It also begs the question on why the Republican Platform is seeking to call Social Security an "entitlement", when each of us has paid for these benefits over decades of working. We have earned these benefits and paid for them, and as some would say, "It is OUR MONEY! It is NOT an entitlement! And, We Want It Now!"
The Republican platform is found here: http://whitehouse12.com/republican-party-platform/
For those who believe that I'm being too hard on the Republican Party, wait for next week when I aim my sights on the Democratic Party and Platform.