Ethics & Religion
July 21, 2016
GOP Platform: Good & Bad
By Mike McManus
The Republican Platform flatly opposed the Supreme
Court's ruling last year that forced all states to offer same-sex
It noted that 50 million Americans voted for a state constitutional
amendment that limited marriage to the union of opposite sexes which was
overturned by "five unelected lawyers who robbed 320 million Americans
of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the
union of one man and one woman....
"We do not accept the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage and we
urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a
constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the States."
This was an important new goal. The GOP also asserted that "Every child
deserves a married mom and dad" - impossible in same-sex marriage.
The Platform also backed "the right of business to support traditional
marriage," by refusing to serve a same-sex wedding, "in accordance with
their religious beliefs."
It also asserted that the "Declaration of Independence's proclamation
that all "are endowed by their Creator" with the inalienable right to
life includes "the unborn child" who has a "fundamental right to life
which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the
Constitution." And the GOP called on Congress "to ban sex-selection
The Platform also opposed "the use of public funds to perform or promote
abortion or to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood," America's
biggest abortion provider. It received $542 million in federal funding
and ended the lives of 333,000 babies in the womb. The GOP also urged
"Congress to make it a crime to acquire, transfer or sell fetal tissues
from elective abortions."
"If there's a phrase that describes who we are, it's `protectors of
life," said former Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a meeting of the Family
Research Council. "There's been no government created on the face of the
earth that has freed more people, saved more people than the United
However, Newt Gingrich warned that if ISIS acquired a weapon of mass
destruction, it might kill 300,000 Americans, not just 3,000 as in 9/11.
"We have been lucky. Pakistan and North Korea have acquired nuclear
The Army is shrinking to a size smaller than it was in 1940. With wars
ending in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps that is reasonable, but the GOP
Platform calls for increased military spending.
However, the Platform also states: "The federal fiscal burden threatens
the security, liberty and independence of our nation. The current
Administration's refusal to work with Republicans took our national debt
from $10 trillion to nearly $19 trillion today. Left unchecked, it will
hit $30 trillion by 2026."
Add to that Trump's proposed tax cuts that would add $12 trillion to
The GOP's answer to that? "A constitutional requirement for a federal
balanced budget, a "Balanced Budget Amendment."
Frankly, that appears to me to be a PR gesture. Where is the budget to
be cut? The Platform correctly notes that "More than 100 million
Americans depend on Medicare and Medicaid for their healthcare; with our
population aging, that will increase...Medicare's long-term debt is in
the trillions, and it is funded by a workforce that is shrinking
relative to the size of future beneficiaries."
However, the Platform simply asserts, "These important programs must be
brought under control before they consume most of the federal budget."
How? The GOP offers no specifics. Here is what it should have said:
"Since Medicare was passed in 1965, Americans are living five years
longer. Yet the age when Medicare is given has remained fixed at 65.
Therefore the age at which Medicare is given should be slowly raised
from 65 to 67. No one is who 55 or older would be affected, but
millennials would have to work for two more years before getting
That would save $140 billion over a decade, according to the Committee
for a Responsible Budget. America has already gradually raised the age
for Social Security to 66. It should also rise slowly to 68, saving
another $160 billion over 10 years. Another option: federal and military
employees should pay half the cost of their retirement, not 1/16th,
saving $73 billion.
Similarly, tax reform would close loopholes that benefit only the rich.
Mortgage deductions should be eliminated for second houses, or mortgages
over $500,000. Payroll deductions for Social Security do not increase
for those earning more than $118,500. Why not?
We do not need a Balanced Budget Amendment, but a willingness to balance
the budget that is utterly missing in the GOP Platform.
Copyright (c) 2016 Michel J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a
syndicated columnist. For previous columns go to
www.ethicsandreligion.org. Hit Search for any topic.
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same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,