In an increasingly crowded 2016 Republican field, True Believing Mormons™ are faced with a number of dilemmas. There’s no Mitt Romney this time around, let alone a Jon Huntsman. Who can carry the banner into November of next year and fight the evil of the Obama-Clinton doctrine?
And let’s not even joke about Bernie. Pff. Bernie. They made a movie about him.
Sure, many of you are probably thinking it’ll be wise to stick with someone ostensibly electable, like Jeb Bush (boring), George Pataki (who?), Marco Rubio (he left Mormonism, so, um no), or John Kasich (ok, he’s actually nice).
Or maybe you like to roll the dice and pretend Rand Paul has a chance in the River Styx of getting the nomination, or Ted Cruz can just wear everyone down through unfettered obstinance.
Or rather, the king himself, Mr. Trump, will lead us on our quest for both international and domestic glory. I fully expect President Trump to walk into the Kremlin, point his finger at Putin, and decree, “You’re fired!” And Putin will actually go along with it. Such is the respect garnered by Donald.
But there’s someone we’re forgetting: Dr. Ben Carson, the man who stood up to Obama in a way that can only make Jan Brewer jealous. Ben Carson gets Mormons, so we should elect him.
Ben Carson! So soft-spoken. So meek. Yet so wise.
Mormons, Dr. Carson is the only candidate with a tax proposal in line with tithing. In fact, in the recent GOP debate, he said that the position he holds on taxes is based on tithing:
“…that’s why I’ve advocated a proportional tax system. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. And everybody gets treated the same way. And you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of all the loopholes.”
But surely such a policy can only work in a religious context, where social services, infrastructure, education, and so much more are not dependent on a paltry 10 percent, right? Not so fast.
In the early days of the Territory of Deseret, church and state were pretty heavily intertwined even if they were separate on paper. Tithing also served as a tax on the church and a tax on the state, though there were two revenue streams in Deseret Territory governance.
Russell Stevenson, host of the Mormon History Guy podcast and author of For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, explains:
“Revenues for the functioning of the territory came from two sources: tithing monies for the needs of social welfare and for the building of most infrastructure–after all, there was so little by way of currency that tithing in labor and kind had to fill in the gap.
“There was a territorial property tax amounting to 1/4 percent of the appraised value of property owned in the territory. In 1858, while the Territorial Legislature was still in session (before the army came that summer), it removed the territorial tax entirely. Then when the federal government came to town, you see a starker division between Church and state–starting ca. summer 1858.”
So there we have it. American turf has run on tithing before and it can run on it again.
Also, if Dr. Carson has his druthers about him, he’ll push for that quarter percent tax instead of this ten percent nonsense.
Now to be clear, Dr. Carson’s own website doesn’t delve into specifics on his tithe/tax, instead calling for “wholesale tax reform” and to “end the IRS as we know it.” But he’s on the record with the Malachi love, so that’s good enough for us.
No one comes close to Dr. Carson here. Rand Paul supports a 14.5 percent flat tax. Is that 10 percent? It’s not. End of discussion.
Rick Perry has, in the past, supported a 20 percent flat tax.
Rick Santorum once talked about nixing the VAT in the US, except there is no VAT in the US. So…
And don’t even get me started on Hillary.
My dear Mormons, Ben Carson has read scripture and figures if it’s good enough for Abrahamic faiths, it’s good enough for US fiscal policy. How can we argue with that? The kicker, though, is whether we can conflate Mormon tithing with US income tax, like the olden days. Who’s with me?
Obviously, you have freedom to choose your candidate and party. But now that you’ve clearly chosen the Republican Party, use common sense. This solves the entire dilemma. We’ve gone from 17 candidates to one. Ben Carson espouses the only view directly in line with Mormon belief. He is our Mitt. Minus the holdings in the Caymans.
Now that we’ve solved this, what should we do until next November?