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Friday, September 24, 2004

Found at SKB's blog:

"Bush's ideas for "tax reform", however, would eliminate deductions on mortgage interest. This one single provision of the tax code is probably responsible for more people becoming homeowners than just about anything else. Take it away and you take away one of the incentives that makes part of the Great American Dream possible for many families."

This assertion, of course, has been made by John Edwards on the campaign trail. Edwards' statements about eliminating the mortgage deduction are misleading in the sense that the Bush administration has been discussing proposals to simplify (and totally restructure) the tax code. This is a reference to the often discussed "flat tax". Edwards makes it sound as if the president wants to eliminate the deduction with all other things being equal, which just isn't the case. Personally, I don't believe that a flat tax will be implemented in my lifetime, but it's not such a bad idea (eliminate the IRS, tax consumption instead of earnings... I think these are admirable goals).

By way of comparison, Senator Kerry is on record as wanting to eliminate many of the same deductions, but not in the context of a flat tax:

Claremont, NH, Friday January 23rd: “We need to scour the tax code and I’m going to take out of it, any benefit, any reward any incentive."

Now does Senator Kerry mean to say that he wants to eliminate the deduction for mortgage interest? Not explicitly. However, it can be implied. Read that statement again: ANY benefit. ANY incentive.

In summary, I think Edwards' statements are another attempt by the Kerry campaign to attribute a policy change to the president that is simply not true.


.: posted by Dave 10:44 AM

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