The GOP keeps talking about reducing or capping deductions a.k.a. loopholes as a way of raising revenue. But no one is talking about the POLICIES behind some of those very important deductions. We want to create policies that encourage behaviors in society and the marketplace that benefit us all. Yet no one is talking about that or highlighting it. The Democrats need to get into this.
1. Mortgage Interest deductions
2. College Loan Interest deductions
3. Charitable giving deductions
These are all items that we need because they encourage outcomes we want in society. More below the fold.
Mortgage interest deductions help folks afford their homes. Homes provide a place for a family unit to live, have a long term vested interest in community, maybe raise children, etc. So there's a policy behind that mortgage interest tax deduction; the policy to encourage and support home ownership and anchor communities with this pillar in our society.
College Loan Interest deductions offer students a break from the skyrocketing cost of college. We want to encourage folks to go to college and grad school. We need educated, well trained people to get the jobs that keep business and innovation thriving. So there's a policy behind this deduction.
Charity. We want to encourage charitable giving. The benefits are many. Hardly a reason to go into this, but charities provide food, shelter, medicine, medical research, etc. We want to encourage giving as we can.
Personally, I think that we should keep these deductions as they are and not cap them. They're good policies and good deductions. But these are the pieces of the debate I'm not hearing about in the media.
Also, if you remove or reduce deductions, the net effect is that people who had these deductions will pay more in taxes. So if that's the end result, why not just raise rates. That's a much more even-handed fair approach because it would impact everyone in a socio-economic bracket, but leave the deductions where they are because we want to continue to support home-ownership, college educations and charities, etc.