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Assault on homeowners or, "You don't deserve deductions." - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
Assault on homeowners or, "You don't deserve deductions."
Has anybody else seen this shit? Or this?

Why am I just finding out about this now, almost a year after this got started? Why do I see echos of Kelo -v- City of New London in this? Where's the OUTRAGE and the news coverage? Why is the possible (later mostly-debunked) killer of Jon Benet getting press coverage while this sort of douchery is occurring on Capitol Hill? Why isn't this getting hours of air time on various television stations? Opiate of the masses, indeed. Ignorance shall reign and we all shall suffer.

It would appear that the American Dream is in actual jeopardy here. If I wasn't before, I am now Gravely Concerned about the direction our nation is heading in. I mean, seriously... we're talking about altering the very thing that makes the ownership of a home -- the essence of the american dream and the envy of lots of other cultures and nations -- a reality. When we start talking seriously about alterations like this there's something seriously wrong. So, is the deduction of mortgage interest a right, something afforded to us by the Constitution? No. But it's a privilege we award to those who have worked hard and who have shown they can do the due dilligence, think intelligently and are trustworthy of such high risk debts. America encourages home owners in an effort to magnify wealth and increase the standard of living for those who are dedicated to achieving a goal. Financially speaking I am doing pretty well for myself (at least for a 27 year-old unmarried male I think I am) and I am very dilligent about paying down my mortgage faster than my note holders may expect (average of $300/mo extra is going in towards principle), but that doesn't make me rich by any means. In truth it's only through tax code that says I'm allowed to deduct my mortgage interest that I'm really able to bear the cost of owning property and a house in one of Chicago's booming suburbs. Believe me, if I could move somewhere that wasn't exploding at the speed of light and still be able to work in my particular job arena at my acknowledged pay rate, I would.

This strike against the middle-class (and honestly the upper crust will be hit too, but the middle class will feel the biggest pinch because they've got the least margin for change) had better not be a result of an effort to offset the cost of our multitude of military actions -- if it is then the terrorists really have won. The idea of terrorism is, at the very root, to make your opponent so afraid or overextended that they end up waging an attack against their own base of power and ideals. Something this drastic is right up their alley as a goal.

To add to the fun: since the wiretap bill seems to be moving forward for warrantless monitoring of communications within the USA it seems to be simply a matter of time until privacy is an ill-remembered thing of the past. Have you had your daily allotment of Newspeak, citizen? Sounds alarmist, I know... but there was a time just a few years ago when I thought the Kelo ruling could never happen in our nation -- and I was proved wrong. Things do not indicate a trend towards improvement since then.

Do it in the name of love

Tags: , , ,
Current Location: home
Current Mood: angry angry
Current Music: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - American Dream

11 thoughts or Leave a thought
markvd From: markvd Date: September 20th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
You think $employer would let us telecommute from a raft in the middle of the pacific? We do have that new VPN working smooth...
nekosensei From: nekosensei Date: September 20th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
My God! Our country really is being led by imbeciles, isn't it?

i guess this is what happens when you dumb down education. You get politicians with shit for brains and a populace that is too busy watching tv to give a hoot...
doomsey From: doomsey Date: September 20th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am not at all convinced the mortgage-interest deduction (as well as the capital gain exemption) is a good thing. It distorts the housing market and is partially responsible for the run-up in prices in the first place. For a fixed supply, a subsidy will simply cause prices to increase until equilibrium is reached. This is also why lowering gas taxes doesn't tend to lower prices much.

Unfortunately, now that the deduction has been incorporated into housing prices nationwide, eliminating the deduction will screw people who bought in at the resulting inflated prices. Perhaps letting the AMT whittle away at the deduction is actually the correct way to address this, as it will tend to cap the deduction slowly.

captain18 From: captain18 Date: September 21st, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
My main concern is as you suggest the sudden collective woosh of a million homeowners' sphincters contracting at the sudden realization that they're now overextended. On the one hand, it'd be funny to point and laugh but it won't be funny if it suddenly triggers all sorts of other economic woe leading to unemployment for people who've never owned property in their life.
varro From: varro Date: September 21st, 2006 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
The reason they're trying to cut the mortgage interest deduction is to make up for the losses from eliminating the estate tax (or the "Inherited Wealth Tax", never the so-called "death tax").

Don't be fooled by the AMT language - Congress wants to make sure the Paris Hiltons of this world get their inherited money tax-free, while people who work get hit with both income and FICA taxes, as well as decreased deductions like mortgage interest...

nekosensei From: nekosensei Date: September 21st, 2006 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
In other words, if you're rich, you get to have your cake and eat it too, right?
linnaeus From: linnaeus Date: September 21st, 2006 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a cute idea, in a way-- the people who would be hit hardest by a low cap on the size of mortgage that can be deducted would be those who live in areas with inflated home prices, mostly in the Northeast, the West Coast, and booming cities like the Chicago area. Since these areas generally go Democratic anyway, a Republican congress can safely screw these folks over without pissing off too many of their constituents. I suspect/hope that if Congress is more evenly divided after the midterms this idea will get quietly scrapped.

I'd expect this to get scrapped regardless due to the effect it could have on housing prices, but then I expected public outrage to cause a flurry of legislation limiting the use of eminent domain after Kelo, so my faith in the democratic process isn't really doing so well at the moment.
aureth From: aureth Date: September 23rd, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Iowa's state legislature, pushed by the farm lobby, passed a pretty strong measure against Kelo-style land grabs this summer. Then, after the governor refused to sign it, they convened a highly irregular special session, and passed an override of his veto.

It was really quite impressive. Bipartisan, even.
From: schloss_adler Date: September 21st, 2006 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
You don't even want to get me started on the state of our democracy, or our tax system... I'm damn close to a one-issue (taxes) voter.

This idea, and the people who thought of it, need to spontaneously combust. I have ZERO faith that ANY politician has my "best interests" in mind. Ever. I have ZERO faith that any tax code change will occur to "balance out" the tax burden that this brain-damaged idea will create for MANY Americans (including yours truly). The only logical result of this, if past performance is any indication, is a massively increased tax burden on those who can afford it least.

Remember the traditional wisdom:

A "modest tax increase" usually costs us a few hundred dollars a month.
A "substantial tax cut" usually puts about $1.79 back into our pocket each month.

Public outcry and pressure needs to be applied to our legislators NOW.

wolfbrotherjoe From: wolfbrotherjoe Date: September 21st, 2006 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Not really arguing a whole lot on the rest of it, but I have a question.

That 'warrantless wiretap' bill - when I read it, it seemed to be focused on foreign communications. Can you point me at the part which deals with domestic communications?
rustitobuck From: rustitobuck Date: September 21st, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe the gubmint could stop using war for political gain (i.e. to keep the country complacent about things like wiretaps) and get off taxpayers' backs and out of their pockets.

The press coverage is on terrorism. Terrorism kills fewer people than heart disease, walking down the street, accidental falls, drowning...you get the picture. But it makes a great excuse to destroy personal liberty.

If that isn't the reason to snoop on Americans, the spectre of child pornography is.

You'll notice that when they talk about the AMT, most of the attention is given to how it affects those with stock options programs. So you know, the AMT is getting rich folks like it should...right. It was actually put in to go after some tiny number of really wealthy people who paid no taxes.

Never mind that in 2006 (or shortly thereafter), probably every two-income middle class family trying to pay skyrocketing housing costs is going to be socked with the AMT. Note how quiet everybody is about the fact that the AMT exemption for personal deductions is gone.

I got a raise this year for an exceptional review. The increased income just barely doesn't quite make up for the fact that I'm paying 20% more taxes than last year, thanks to the AMT.
11 thoughts or Leave a thought