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Mortgage interest tax break vital to maintain

To the editor:

I see the spin is already starting with regard to the home mortgage interest tax deduction (Thursday Review-Journal). Alan Mallach, senior fellow for the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, tells us that the interest deduction is a “bad thing” and does not encourage home ownership. Huh? What planet does Mr. Mallach live on?

Others in Washington have labeled these mortgage interest deductions as “tax entitlements.” I have read that the president’s deficit commission will suggest as part of its final recommendations that these interest deductions be axed.

Enough already.

I am a hard-working homeowner and taxpayer. I have not walked away from my mortgage, even though I have watched my home’s value drop by 40 percent or 50 percent in recent years. Meanwhile, I am involuntarily picking up the tab for those who have walked away from their devalued homes. And now the government wants to take away my mortgage interest deduction?

No. Absolutely not. Homeowners must draw the line here.

I know I speak for many other homeowners when I say that part of my budget calculation when buying my home was the mortgage interest deduction. If the government takes that deduction away, it will blow a big hole in many household budgets. Not only that, but it will cause even more devaluation in the already cratered housing market.

Unfortunately, most of us homeowners are too busy working and paying taxes to find time to counteract the “spin” that is being fed to us, and we are not in a position to do much about it anyway. I can hope only that some smart economist will do the math and present a cogent argument to scrap this bad idea.

We need somebody in power to champion the case for homeowners. We need to kill this idea now, before it takes on a life of its own. Otherwise, the government will proceed to put the final nail in the housing market coffin — and in homeowners.

Vivian Scott


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