How brave would a politician have to be to vote in favor of cutting the home mortgage interest tax deduction?
Very, according to a new survey by the American Institute of Architects.
According to the survey, almost 70 percent of voters — that’s the key word here, “voters” not just people — say that this popular tax deduction should not be repealed as a way to help cut the country’s federal deficit.
Now, I love this tax deduction as much as the next homeowner. My home gives me enough grief throughout the year, what with leaky basements and shoddy plumbing. It’s nice to nab that big tax deduction each year.
But there is actually a pretty good reason to repeal this deduction: It’s a regressive tax, meaning that it benefits the wealthier more than it does those who are struggling financially.
Back in July, the Atlantic writer Matthew O’Brien outlined the case for repealing the tax deduction. As O’Brien writes, the richest taxpayers get a bigger deduction because they own bigger houses and are in a higher tax bracket.
According to the story, the United States loses $100 billion on this tax deduction every year.
That’s a lot of lost money. So ask yourself, are you willing to give up this deduction? And will you feel the same way in April of 2013?
(Of course, you probably don’t have to worry. Politicians may say they’re willing to make the tough choices — and cutting this deduction would certainly be a tough choice politically if not economically — but they certainly haven’t provided much evidence that they actually mean it.)
— Dan Rafter