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This holiday season should demonstrate once and for all that conservatives do not have a monopoly on faith and family values. As a matter of fact, if the holidays are about generosity to those in need and a celebration of hope, joy and peace, then this year Santa and his Elves were played by President Obama and the Democrats, and the Grinches who almost stole Christmas were casted with Republican actors. Though there were some elves that tried to go on strike, the President marshaled enough support from his party to extend federal unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. But, Obama had to give the Republicans in Congress something that they care about much more than the jobless people who didn’t fund their campaigns. In order to make sure our fellow Americans receive the help they need, the President had to compromise and extend the tax cuts, that were passed under former President George W. Bush, for the most affluent members of our society.

Now, Republicans have argued since the Reagan era that any tax increase for wealthy Americans (in this case, the 2% of households making over $250,000 per year) would have a negative impact on the economy. This theory has been referred to as “Trickle Down Economics“. The idea is that if you provide the best tax benefits for the richest individuals and corporations, along with government subsidies, the financial standing of the average person will gradually improve.

Democrats, on the other hand, tend to believe that those who have reaped the most rewards from our financial system should pay substantially higher taxes. In turn we get better social, health and educational programs – at least in theory – that improve the quality of life for most Americans and close the economic divide. When our economy is doing relatively well, these philosophical arguments seem rather abstract. But, when one party is willing to obstruct or filibuster any unemployment extension legislation that doesn’t keep the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% income earners, than the political differences become very concrete.

Read more at Rod’s Blog.

Rod Garvin writes about faith, politics, culture and entrepreneurship. He is currently producing a reality-style documentary and is a founding member of The Connection @ 3301. You can visit Rod’s blog at and follow him on Twitter @rodgarvin.