Well, the Prosperity Gospel in some form goes way back, you can see a form of it in the concept of "Divine Right", of course.
But it's been having a major resurgence since the late 90's or so. Back then, that was really before the Prosperity Gospel monicker really made it mainstream, and it was generally referred to back then as Neo-Calvinism, as generally it was being pushed by individuals with a more Calvinistic background. This isn't really the case so much today.
The argument against it, is the argument that you see in this thread, that they're basically "doing it wrong". I disagree with this. Not that I morally agree with the tenets of the Prosperity Gospel..exactly the opposite...but that I think that the PG in one form or another or to one degree or another is the "path of least resistance" from the concept of an interventionist deity. This is also why I find you can pretty cleanly determine one's economic values from their religious language. If they talk about Jesus, chances are they'll oppose this sort of thing. If they talk overwhelmingly about "God" chances are they'll support this sort of thing.
This is the main reason why I'm "anti-theism", in that I believe that the belief in an interventionist deity is quite a dangerous thing. Enough people have their beliefs hedged into either deism or pantheism anyway that downplaying the outright theism shouldn't negatively affect positive religious communities.
One final thing. Yes, the Tea Party movement is by and large a mobilization of Prosperity Gospel/Neo-Calvinistic supporters.