A Star is Born Again
Star Parker calls to mind the reformed smoker who has no tolerance for smokers. She was a wayward youth until she found Christianity, and now brooks no wantonness by disenfranchised members of society. She preaches a tough gospel of straightening up and flying right.
There may be some legitimacy to parts of the syndicated newspaper columnist’s message. Society is not helpful to people who live irresponsibly, then blame others for their misfortunes, by excusing their behavior and giving them free rein to continue their intemperate ways. The problem is that people who “see the light,” as Ms. Parker claims to have done, often become extreme and rigid in their thinking. In doing so, they contradict what they supposedly stand for. The Protestant Reformation theologian John Calvin is a prime example: As magistrate of Geneva In the 1500s, he oversaw 58 death sentences in five years including the slow burning at the stake of a friend who disagreed with him.
Ms. Parker preaches that the way to end poverty is with stable families and strong moral values. She may find agreement with that by some sociologists. But she also condemns homosexuality, same-sex marriage, birth control and divorce, and it is in these positions that she goes particularly awry. Christianity is a religion of tolerance and forgiveness, accepting the premise that no one has a monopoly on righteousness: All people stray from the straight and narrow path. And it does not hold that a person’s natural sexual orientation is sinful just because it is different from that common to most people.
In following the dictates of her narrow-mindedness, she deviates from the truth. In a column a few days ago in the Palm Beach Post, she supports President Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy, paid for by the lower economic classes. “I have been watching liberals for 25 years claim they are ‘for the poor’ and then enact policies that hurt them,” she writes.
George H.W. Bush
Really? The 1950s were a prosperous time for Americans, when the tax rate for the wealthiest individuals was 91 percent. And the rich didn’t have nearly as much money then as they have now. When Ronald Reagan lowered the top tax rate to 28 percent, the nation’s debt burden soared, prompting George H.W. Bush to violate his campaign promise and raise the top tax rate to 31 percent. Bill Clinton raised it to 39.6 percent, and strong job creation followed. George W. Bush lowered taxes for the rich, and the economy went to hell.
Ms. Parker condemns a country that “punishes success.” But the success she writes of is brought about primarily by the masses of workers, not by corporate brass who receive compensation 350 times greater than that of the average worker. Bringing that compensation down to a reasonable level – say, 20 times the worker’s salary, like it was decades ago, when the nation prospered – is hardly punishing those top executives, but merely rewarding them according to what they are worth. The wealthy, especially today, are so unconscionably well-off that about the only thing they can do with their surfeit of money is park it in the bank, where it does little for the economy.
But here’s the columnist’s remark that is breathtakingly dishonest: “The last eight years under liberal control have been a disaster economically.” In 2009, after George W. Bush’s incredibly irresponsible policies, the economy came close to coming apart and putting people in bread lines like those of the 1930s Great Depression. Millions of job losses occurred. Eight months after the “liberal” President Obama took office, the massive ship known as the economy turned around, and job increases were recorded every month since then. True, wages have lagged, which is understandable in the face of wholesale opposition by the Republicans to everything that Obama fought to accomplish. Time and again, he pleaded for infrastructure spending and was rebuffed. Now, with the Republicans in total control, they’re calling for such spending, and will brag relentlessly about how it produced jobs and helped the economy.
Ms. Parker criticizes the high corporate tax rate, never mentioning that the myriad loopholes allowed such huge corporations as General Electric to pay an average of 5.2 percent income taxes over the 15 years until 2016, and Verizon to pay 12.4 percent.
Tax Plan Soaks the Poor
She concludes by saying: “The Trump plan to cut business and personal taxes is great for Americans of all backgrounds.” The biggest tax breaks in the plan go to the wealthy, who already are staggeringly rich. Another instance of dishonesty by Ms. Parker: The “trickle-down” effect has been proven wrong every time it’s been tried.
Ms. Parker would be well to reflect soberly on the process by which she transitioned from one extreme to another, leaving her with a strong bias against the very segment of society that Christianity, the religion she devoutly embraces, stands up for.
#JohnCalvin #StarParker #Verizon #ProtestantReformation #RonaldReagan #GeneralElectric #GeorgeWBush #BillClinton #GeorgeHWBush