Wednesday, 4/13/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

73 responses to “Wednesday, 4/13/11, Public Square

  1. Freebird1971

    Donald Trump is gaining more momentum ahead of his potential 2012 presidential run.

    A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out today finds Trump tied with Mike Huckabee atop the field of potential GOP White House contenders. According to the poll, Trump and Huckabee both garner 19 percent support among likely GOP voters. Sarah Palin comes in second, with 12 percent, while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are tied atthird, with 11 percent support each.

    If this is the best the GOP has Obama is a shoe in

    • wicked

      As was often heard in the ’70s/’80s: Gag me with a spoon.

      • indypendent

        When I read your comment, I thought of the time Richard Nixon was on The Laugh In Show and he said…..

        “Sock it to me”

        I think even Richard Nixon would look at the current crop of Republicans and scratch his head in amazement and wonder….

        I’ve said this before – Reagan invited the Religious Right into the inner sanctum of the GOP and since that time, they have harnessed their power.

        This is also the time when the Republicans blew their budgets sky high and left huge deficits – but it was okay with their followers because they had God on their side (or so the fairy tale goes) for all those social issues like gays and abortion.

        Religion and politics should never mix…

  2. Many Americans were appalled when it was revealed recently that General Electric would pay no taxes for 2010, despite U.S. profits of over $5 billion.

    But I doubt that there is a single top tax attorney or chief financial officer in the country who was all that surprised. You see, these people are denizens of Loophole Land – a very different place than W-2ville where most Americans live.

    In Loophole Land, nothing is quite as it seems. Yes, there is a top corporate tax rate of 35 percent, but it is well understood that nobody actually pays that. On the contrary, many companies pay nothing at all.

    How can this be?

  3. 6176746f6c6c65

    Well, I’m not a “top tax attorney”, but I wasn’t surprised at all. Note, BTW, that NOL carry backs and carry forwards are not limited to large, publicly held, multinational corporations; even Bob & Ray Junkyards can avail themselves (or itself, as the case may be) of this “loophole”.

    There is something to be said for closing these loopholes. There is also some validity to the idea of not subjecting corporate income to taxation, just as there is validity to imposing a “consumption tax” on corporations. There are other ideas that have viability, e.g., a “value added tax”.

    That said, a rational business owner, corporation, whatever, has an interest in maintaining the status quo ante, as that has been the foundation for many decisions that have been made. This, in some ways, benefits the residents of W2ville, if their pension plans, life insurance carriers, etc., are invested in the stocks of corporations utilizing the system to advantage. Any ideas about reforming the IRC in this area (which really needs to happen) must take the interests of these third-party beneficiaries into account, or the law of unintended consequences will surely apply to the detriment of these folks.

  4. Whether as an individual or a corporation we can gain by remembering these wise words —

    “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – FDR

    The starkest difference between the two major political parties seems to be this.

    • wicked

      Too true, fnord. And the followers of those who have much (aka those who have more and act like they have much) may someday get to walk a mile in the shoes of those who have too little. Then we get to hear the screams of inequality…and there’ll be no one who cares to listen.

  5. indypendent

    Trump being the leader of the GOP pack says more about the quality of the current GOP pack than it says about Obama.

    In the past few days, there has been the discussion about how the two parties treat each other.

    I can throw the political mud just as good as any Republican can (which is half the reason I do throw it back in their face just to show their hypocrisy), but one of my very best friends is devout Catholic, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, a Tea Party supporter (the Original Tea Party – not this hijacked group) and a 24/7 Fox News listener.

    With all those differences between us – how come we can still be best friends?

    That is because we are both mothers and grandmothers. We both are very concerned about the future our kids and grandkids will have to live and pay for simply because we have two parties so deeply divided that nothing – NOTHING – gets done.

    We do have different views of how to do things – but we both agree that this country spends money we do not have and we have no sense of priorities anymore.

    She and I are more alike than we are different – because we choose to accentuate the common areas between us. We can sit all afternoon and talk about anything and everything.

    When politics comes up – she says her view and I say mine and then we say – yeah, but the powers to be will do whatever they want anyway.

    But you know what – WE the PEOPLE need to take the control away from the powers to be and start acting like a united country again.

    And the best place to do that is in the voting booth – we need to get everyone involved in the voting process. Especially the younger voters becaudse they are the ones that will be paying for all the mess the powers have made in the past few decades.

    Eisenhower was the last Republican president to have a balanced budget and he warned us against the military industrial complex. We need to go back and revisit Eisenhower and learn a few things.

    But I hear even Eisenhower is now being a called a RINO?

    Imagine that – a RINO……this is what the powers to be have accomplished in their creative voodoo economics mess the past few decades.

    • indypendent

      P.S. – when I talk about the need to get everyone involved in voting – the current quest of the GOP to tighten up voting registrations does not exactly scream ‘welcome all’ to the voting process.

      And the current quest of the GOP birthers demanding a birth cetrtificate (which has already been provided) from a sitting president does not exactly make you think they are a party that welcomes everyone – now does it?

      • indypendent

        And let’s not get into the debate of about illegals voting,.

        I see no reason not to provide a photo I.D. when I vote – but let’s demand that of EVERYONE – not just those we suspect of being ‘not like us’.

    • Freebird1971

      Having friends who believe exactly as you do would be very boring.I have several friends,some who post here on a regular basis, that I have very little in common with politically. We all love this country and want what is best but we don’t see eye to eye on how to go about it.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      What isn’t said is that if these managers bet wrong, they can loose a like amount in the same period of time. Of course, if they do, they won’t be doing this very long.

      There is no doubt that these activities add nothing to the economy. This is pure gambling, nothing more, nothing less. As such, the imposition of the “Robin Hood” tax makes perfect sense to me, that’s why it will likely not happen.

  6. It’s a slide show, take a look —

    World’s Highest Tax Rates

  7. Obama’s “bad negotiating” is actually shrewd negotiating

  8. Where’s the LIKE button!!! I LOVE that cartoon!

  9. indypendent

    I was listening to MSNBC this morning and Tom Roberts was the host.

    Anway, there were two men with him and they are part of a small group of millionaires and billionaires (whose counting after the first few millions?) who has formed a group of wealthy Americans willing and wanting to pay more taxes.

    One man actually said that America should be the land of equal opportunity and fairness. He did not say that everyone should be millionaires – but they should at least have the opportunity to become millionaires if that is their goal.

    And how can the average American have that opportunity when the majority of the money is in the control of a small percentage of the population?

    Isn’t it a shame their group has such a small number – but I’m glad we are seeing some of these wealthy individuals come out and take a stand about paying more taxes.

    I suspect these two men will be called all kinds of names – but I call them true Americans that deeply care about what kind of country we live in and leave for future generations.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      The promise of the opportunity to be a millionaire is one of the big impediments to real tax reform, be it income, estate, or gift. This promise is illusory for the overwhelming majority of the “average citizens” out there; deep down, they know it, but they keep holding on to the slim reed of hope which the promise evidences. I’ve been watching this scenario play for my entire adult life, and continue to shake my head.

      The best way to become a millionaire? Choice of parents. 🙂

      • wicked

        LOL Amen!

      • indypendent

        And the best way to become a billionare after the choice of parents is to know how to get the most taxpayer money to keep your ‘businesses’ rolling in the record profits.

        BTW – I have never aspired to being a millionaire. I much prefer definition of being rich in the way my grandpa taught me – being rich with the loves of family and friends – and knowing how to be content with what you have in this life.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      I’m sure the sarcastic among us will point out that these folks may make voluntary gifts to the government, federal, state and local, should they wish to pay more in taxes. Just don’t expect many to follow their lead.

      • wicked

        Did anyone notice that Bill Gates has fallen from the list of the wealthiest Americans? Does anyone remember that he and others announced that they would give a large portion of their fortunes to help others? They were attempting to make this worldwide. Could these two things go hand in hand?

      • indypendent

        Like I said – this group does have a small number of like-minded people.

        But to give Bill Gates and Warren Buffet both credit – they have been consistent in giving money away – in as much as they can perhaps?

        But those examples are few and far between……

        like 6176 said – don’t expecct the many to follow the lead…

      • wicked

        Thank you, indy! Buffet was the other, but names don’t always float through the muck in my brain to reach the top, and thus to my mouth/fingers. LOL

  10. indypendent

    I keep asking this question but I have yet to hear any answer from those on the right willing to give my tax dollars to wealthy corporations..

    If $100 billion is cut from the budget and then we turn around and give that same $100 billion to wealthy corporations – where is the savings?

  11. indypendent

    Moonshadow said ;
    That’s what I was saying the other night, fnord. How do I know who to believe?

    Unfortunately, the way our media is currently set up being all corporatized, the truth will always be tainted either left or right – whichever way the current highest bidder is paying for ……

    That’s why I think NPR and PBS are important to keep on air. And if it takes my tax dollars to help them stay on the air – so be it.

    I’d rather have my tax dollars go for a valiant effort by the public media to keep the truth somewhere in the middle (where it usually lies) than for my tax dollars to go to another CEO to line his pockets with another million dollar bonus when he lays off another bunch of Americans.

  12. Lowered rates have meant a lot less tax revenue, not more. That’s a plain fact. America, we have a revenue problem.

    • indypendent

      You make a valid point. I heard an analogy this morning that makes it perfectly simple and understandable:

      If a family’s budget is spending more than they take in – they cut spending where they can and then, if needed, they take on a second job or change jobs to bring in more money.

  13. indypendent

    This may be another perspective on the cartoon above but what if busting the recovery WAS the goal?

    Think about it……..

    When I heard Harry Reid practically get on the floor and thank that US Chamber of Commerce guy for getting the budget bill passed to avert the government shutdown – I just about vomited.

    Who voted for this Chamber of Commerce guy to even be IN the budget negotiations?

    If this unelected guy was in the midst of Congressional negotiations – does that many lobbyists, corporate CEO’s and preachers against abortion were also in that group? And who else was in that group?

    Our government should belong to US the PEOPLE. I don’t remember the name of the Chamber of Commerce guy’s name on the ballot – do you?

  14. The False Debate on the Debt

    In the ever-so-smug company of the rich and powerful it is a given that there is never to be any expression of remorse or other acknowledgement of the pain they have inflicted on the lesser mortals they so cavalierly plunder. It’s convenient for them that the media and the politicians, which they happen to own, rarely connect the dots between the scams that made the rich so rich and the alarming rise in the federal debt that is crushing this nation.

    • indypendent

      There used to be a time when it was taught that the root of all evil was money….

      ‘But in today’s society – when we worship and admire the Mr. Potters of the world rather than George Baileys of the world (from “It’s a Wonderful Life”) – things will continue as they currently are until one of two things happen :

      1) all the working class people are dead and gone due to being outsourced, overworked, working for less wages

      2) all the wealthy Americans finally get religion and realize they are not the prize turkey at the fair. And they actually need the working class to keep them wealthy.

      Between these two scenarios – my bet is on the 1st one because the 2nd one is not likely to ever happen.

  15. indypendent

    wicked said – They were attempting to make this worldwide. Could these two things go hand in hand?
    Now, see this is where I fault the churches of today. I know there are some churches that do great work in helping others with desperate needs – but those with the largest golden crosses and the fanciest dressed preachers are not exactly on the cutting edge of helping those less fortunate – unless they are in some third world country and then god knows where the donated money really goes???

    • indypendent

      I don’t know about you, but I’ve been subjected to the same telelvision commercials with the same brown-skinned little children begging for me to send 35 cents a day (the price of a cup of coffee) to help these needy children to get out of poverty for the last 25+ years.

      While I am all for helping poverty-stricken children to get out of living in filth – I have to wonder why the conditions of the same filthy conditions have been permitted to continue for 25+ years?

      And the white man begging for money seems to have gotten fatter in the last few years – so do you think he has missed any meals?

      That’s what I meant by god knows where the donated money really goes???

      P.S. – And, sad to say, we have our own poverty stricken children in America. And I suspect alot of this problem is due to our own government policies. For every person in Section 8 housing, there is a landlord loving that Section 8 government money every month in his own pockets.


    • wicked

      Maybe I should’ve clarified what I typed. By “worldwide” I meant they were trying to get the wealthiest of other countries, worldwide, to agree to do the same, helping those in their countires and others, too, I’m sure.

      It’s been a few months since I read this, and I don’t recall that a lot of those who could actually did agree, but there were a few ‘foreigners’ who did.

      I’d help more, but I imagine that others, like me, are trying to keep their own heads above water. I donate the little I can to the places/groups I believe are actually using that money to help others, not just pay office staff.

      And as to paying office staff, I’m sure those mega churches indy talks about have some huge staffs that are being well-paid, and very little of the coffers goes to those who need it the most.

      • indypendent

        I know of a well known mega church here in north wichita that had 10 preachers on their staff. I know this because a patient wanted her preacher to come to the nursing home to pray with her. When called, this mega church receptionist asked – which one, we have ten here.

        Wow – ten preachers and they still could not send out anyone because she had not been attending regularly? Hello, she was in a nursing home and bedfast.

        wow – just wow…..

    • indypendent

      I love Anthony Weiner – he is a hoot!

      But how can you shame people for being hypocrits when the same people do not care?

      In order to feel shame, one has to admit they did wrong. And that boat sailed a long time ago when the Religious Right has given their blessing on everything in the current GOP agenda.

      Now really, if these folks were capable of shame – do you really think several of their male elected officials would have the nerve to show their faces in Congress (and actually have supporters vote them back in) after the public dicslosure and media attention of their multiple adulterous affairs?

      I watched Alan Simpson (a former Republican Senator from Wyoming) a few days ago on Chris Matthews saying that the current GOP crop of GOP is hard to watch because they diddle with their secretaries and then wonder why they are called hypocrits.

      Diddle??? – I’ve not hearrd that term in years……I just about fell off my chair laughing….

    • wicked

      My hero!

      Too bad Alan Grayson isn’t there with him.

      • indypendent

        I’ve seen Alan Grayson on MSNBC quite a lot lately.

        I think Alan Grayson is getting the last laugh down in Florida now that their new govenor is showing his true colors.

        Hell, the guy showed his true colors even before the election, but the tea party still pushed this particular flavor of tea and voted him in.

        Sometimes people seem stupid to me and then they go and prove me right. Everyone who voted for the Florida Gov Rick Scott deserves everything they get from him – and more. IMHO

  16. indypendent

    wicked wrote: Maybe I should’ve clarified what I typed. By “worldwide” I meant they were trying to get the wealthiest of other countries, worldwide, to agree to do the same, helping those in their countires and others, too, I’m sure

    I feel the same way about those foreign countries that could pay for their own military needs and not have us being their pit bulls for them, ready to fight at the drop of a bone to gnaw on….

    BTW – Wicked – I agree with you, I help when I can and I help those whose groups I know do good work.

    And on the flip side, the groups that I know do NOT do as they preach – I never send them one penny.

  17. 6176746f6c6c65

    I’m about to “say” something that will very likely anger many. With that warning, here I go…

    The intervention of man has affected the natural order in many ways. One such way is the work done by charitable organizations to “feed the starving children”. One reason they are starving is that there are more people in the area where the child is than can be supported by the land. Before well-intentioned intervention, these children (many of them) would have died. This would reduce the population, putting it back into natural balance of some sort. This was accounted for in the birth rates of these countries; as infant/child mortality was high, there were more children born, in the hopes of continuing the family through the future.

    Subsequent to the intervention, there are more children living longer. Unfortunately, the customs of the group haven’t changed; large families are still being produced, and more are living to maturity. This places additional strain on the resources, making wars inevitable as clean water, e.g., becomes more and more scarce.

    Should we refuse to contribute? Not unless you are more cruel than I. What needs to happen is contraception, reduced birth rates, etc., which will lessen the need. Until then, we’ll see more appeals in the media, with the hired gun looking better fed as he pockets his fee…

    BTW, all efforts of the U.S. charities, imho, whether churches, other non-profit orgs, foundations, whatever, should exclusively be directed at our domestic poverty problems. Were I Shah, this would be a condition to 501(c)(3) status.

    • indypendent

      I agree with you 100% ….

      But when we get into contraception – then that big boogeyman of religion pops its ugly head and God forbid we actually accomplished something.

      But I will go even further than you did by putting your head on the chopping block – I think the current situation with Medicare is much the same scenario.

      People are living longer and using up much more health care dollars than are in the pot.

      I’m not advocating any death panels here – so call off the Alaska God police LMAO – but it is simple math to figure up we have a limited pot of money (due to less workers contributing) and we have more people taking more and more money from the pot – so something has to give.

      We have spent alot of money on technology to keep people living longer – but yet nobody wants to pay taxes for any services.

      On what scale of common sense is this even feasible?

      • indypendent

        Is it really the right thing to do when a nursing home patient is in their late 90’s and changes their advanced directive from a Do Not Resuscitate to Full Code because some doctor talked one of their grown children into talking mom or dad into trying dialysis or putting in a feeding tube or putting them through major heart surgery?

        Now I believe every person has the right to choose whether to be resuscitated or not – but when that person’s choice is changed due to a family member’s choice – is that right?

        I’ve seen this scenario play out too many times.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        indy, I’ve seen this as well. I won’t go into specifics, but this has raised its head more than once. I have always found it remarkable that the interferer usually is the child who has been away, and hasn’t been involved with the parent for many years, and comes in at the last minute to make everyone else who has been involved angry. Oh, well, the doctor doesn’t want to admit failure, the child feels guilty, and the other members of society pay for it all….

      • Very soon (when I feel capable) I want to tell you the story of the for profit harvesters of organs who show up and want to take over the care of a patient — go against the DNR because the patient isn’t dying quickly enough and all that profit for potential viable organs may not be made.

        All because of a little “Organ Donor” notation on a driver’s license.

        When a doctor comes in where you’re standing at the bedside of your loved one and the doctor turns you toward him, puts both hands on your shoulders and assures you he will join you in federal prison (this is where they’ve said they’ll send me if I don’t honor my Mother’s wishes) before signing the orders for the medicine they want administered, when the doctor and the patient aren’t making the decisions about those end-of-life decisions somethings really, really wrong!

      • After I tell you my story if you keep that notation on your driver’s license you will at least be well informed of what it means and all its implications.

        I will take that off and leave those decisions to my family after they’ve consulted with my doctor and have evaluated the circumstances.

        I actually hope to be able to educate everyone I can get to stop and listen to me. There is definitely another side to this story!

      • indypendent

        fnord – I’m sorry to have even brought this issue up if I caused you any painful memories.

        But you’re right – it is wrong on so many levels.

      • You know indy, everything kinda hurts nowadays and of course you didn’t cause pain! You’ve been one of my biggest comforts!

        It’s just a subject I want to discuss someday when I feel I can.

      • indypendent

        maybe 6176 knows the answer to my question…

        If I have a DNR -can anyone from my family come in at the last minute and object?

        I’ve heard that is possible in Illinois – but in Kansas???

        I’ve told all my family if they hook me up to all kinds of tubes and artificial life – I’ll come back to haunt them.

        And I think they believe me!!

      • indypendent

        fnord – it is a subject we all need to discuss on an adult level and not broken down into some bumper sticker or 30-second soundbite for the media to analyze for days – at least until the next ‘hot’ news item.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        indy, you asked “can…”. Yes they can. Will they be successful? Not under the Kansas Natural Death Act, unless the objector is able to demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person executing the DNR was not legally competent at the time the same was executed.

        My wife executed a DNR in her last days. I was in favor of it and supported her decision (at an emotional cost), as this had always been her wish. It bothered her sister a bit, because of what she observed during her visits. I’ve a bit of a story to tell, too, one which I’m not quite ready to share. I don’t know what you folks are going to think, but there are a few negatives perceived by some as to how a DNR may be interpreted by the care facility. This was not so much my feeling in our case (although I’ve a strong opinion or two), but most definitely was the joint feelings of my two daughters and sister-in-law. fnord, maybe we ought to collaborate on a two-parter, when we are both ready.

  18. Robert

    Generally the people that are living longer are the ones with wealth or better jobs. Raise the damm cut off rate above $109,000. I’ve heard a Boeing retiree on average lives 2yrs after retirement. I think the real problem in this country is that the well to do have had it too well-too long!

    • indypendent

      Are you talking about the social security tax income limit?

      I thought the Medicare tax was taken out regardless of how much a person makes but the social Security taxes are capped.

      Am I mistaken?

      probably is – with the current economy – just how many people are making the kind of money a Boeing retiree made during their lifetime?

      I suspect not many – I know the average working class person today does not have union-like wages and a good benefits package like it used to be.

      As for your comment about the well-to-do having it so good for so long – I agree with you.

      But I do not begrudge anyone the success if they work hard for it and use their own capital/money for the risk they take.

      But where I really hate it is when these professing capitalists use taxpayer money to make themselves wealthy and these are the folks that do not want to pay any taxes for the country. somehow these folks have made paying taxes a four-letter word – much like the word compromise in governing. It’s taboo.

      • indypendent

        probaby = problem is…

      • Robert

        I don’t begrudge success either, but their should be common sense on wealth. I always go back to Ike’s tax rate after the war, and when did a oligarchic society become exceptable in this country. I’ve heard 400 people own 50% of the wealth in this country, I can’t even understand or grasp how wealthy that is. Me thinks something wrong with the distribution of wealth, especially when we fire teachers and cut corporate taxes. I liked Clinton’s tax rate. In a better world the only choices the republicans should have on tax rates is Eisenhower or Clinton. To hell with Paul Ryan!

    • Robert, if the Republicans have their way America will be like any other third-world country. Those with the means have a chance for life-saving health care, others just die. And it won’t be a matter of dying at an old age, it will be a matter of dying from something quite treatable if only you’d had the money. Productive members of our society will die due to lack of money — if the Republicans have their way.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        An it will be the decedent’s fault for not having the money. Just ask any of those cretins who promote the wonderful advantages of HSAs coupled with high-deductible medical insurance, etc., which reduces income taxes. Of course, this is an example of that which can only benefit those who don’t need every cent to exist…

      • Robert

        I really believe all of are healthcare troubles began when hospitals became incorporated. Remember when they were non-profit, but that was socialism. At it’s best I might add!

      • indypendent

        Wasn’t it during Nixon’s administration that health care was changed?

        There are some things in life that should not be corporatized – health care and churches.

        I think I just summarized why I am not a Conservative Christian Republican…

        Although I am a registered Republican. I like the nickname RINO. It sounds like a twin to DINO – Dean Martin. Wow – a member of the rat pack. LMAO

      • indypendent

        There are church-related hospitals that are non-profit but they are still in the health care industry game – and unfortunately they have to participate in the game to cover their costs.

  19. indypendent

    I keep hearing about the wealthy’s taxes do not need to be raised because we need the economy to grow.

    I keep hearing about the wealthy corporations needing taxpayer money to make a profit.

    but yet I see wealthy corporations sitting on record profits and the wealthy still have those Bush tax cuts that were extended even after ten years. – but what do not see is the economy growing.

    Hmmmm……do you think we keep doing the wrong things?

    How can any living plant thrive when just the top gets the moisture and nourishment? It’s the root system that needs to be nourished and watered.

    Anybody with a basic knowledge of science knows that – maybe I just discovered why these same folks that love the wealthy corporations and those wealthy folks are also the same people that want abolish education?

    especially science classes….

  20. WSClark

    One thing to keep in mind as the budget wars play out and the Ryan Plan is viewed by some, many GOP’ers, as feasible and a good solution, is that there is a provision in the plan that will be quite beneficial to the seriously well-off and extremely harmful to the average Joe and Jill, and the housing market.

    The Ryan plan reduces income taxes on at the top bracket from 35% to 25%, a huge decrease. It also eliminates estate taxes and capital gains taxes.

    And here’s the ‘kicker.’ It makes up for lost revenue by eliminating the mortgage interest deduction.

    Like the old cartoons – BAM! POW!

    The rich get richer and the little guy pays for it.

    As our foul mouthed VP would say, “This is a big fuckin’ deal!”

    Don’t let the GOP slip this one by. Obama would certainly veto any such legislation, but then he would be open to the accusations that he is fiscally irresponsible because the bill would also cut spending. This is the GOP plan, in writing, more tax cuts for the top earners at the expense of the working man, not to mention that eliminating the deduction will be a kidney punch to the housing market and the middle class homes will see a further reduction in value.

    Don’t let them get away with it.

  21. 6176746f6c6c65

    The elimination of the mortgage interest deduction (for those able to itemize) is the only part of the whole darn thing I might support. I’ve been in favor of eliminating this deduction for 35 years or so.

    The purpose of the deduction was to give assistance to folks coming out of the depression by indirectly subsidizing the purchase of a residence. This would increase demand, allowing more folks to be put back to work, etc. For decades, this was the only “personal interest” that was deductible. There was a brief period when all types of personal interest was deductible, but that was eliminated in the 1980s, leaving only the mortgage interest deduction.

    I know WSC is not in this situation, but with the standard deduction for married, filing jointly, being $11,400 for 2010, I question just how much benefit the mortgage interest deduction affords the average taxpayer.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Not to mention that the deduction increases the interest rate some half to three-quarters per cent over the true cost of money, and (as WSC alluded to) inflates the sales/purchase price of residential real estate at least 10%. These two factors underlie my personal objection to the deduction.

      • indypendent

        My husband and I have not been able to use the mortgage deduction for several years because the standard deduction always came out to be the better way to go for filing our taxes.

        Now if all of our out-of-pocket health care bills and/or health insurance premiums were deductible – that might have put us over the top wherein itemizing deductions would have been the better route to go.