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Before Ronald Reagan eliminated the deduction back in the early 1980s, Americans could write off the interest paid on credit card debt. With so many middle class people relying on credit cards (especially with the high gas prices) this proposal would be a "home run."

Just think how many people now use credit cards to make ends meet. Many folks are buying time (literally) by using credits cards to pay for gas & groceries. I would imagine with the foreclosure crisis some Americans are probably paying their MORTGAGES with a credit card.

Now let's think about it. Do RICH people carry credit card balances?

I'd wager that most young voters don't even know that at one time interest paid on credit cards was tax deductible.

Now is the time for Barack Obama to propose A RETURN to the tax deduction for interest paid on credit cards.

Originally posted to swaidely on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:02 AM PDT.

Poll

Should interest paid on credit card debt be tax deductable?

59%102 votes
40%69 votes

| 171 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would benefit greatly from this, but ... (27+ / 0-)

    no. There is no reason to encourage people to use their credit cards still more and figure they'll at least get a deduction.

    •  exactly, it would be counter to (13+ / 0-)

      a claim if fiscal responsibility and would only encourage more debt.

      •  So, you want to put banks out of business? (0+ / 0-)

        If people do not borrow, how do banks make their money???  You really want an economy without banks?  Jefferson might love you but Hamilton would think you really short-sighted.  :-)

        ...Former candidate for Congress.

        by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:17:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nationalize em. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous

          Why should banks exist as for-profits for individuals, rather than let the gov't lend money out, and the profits go to pay off national debt or fund infrastructure?

          Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

          by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:19:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  umm, no thank you.... (0+ / 0-)

            ... I don't want the Government in the business of loaning money to it's citizens.

            If the concept of for-profit banking bothers you so much then transfer all of your money to a credit union.

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

            by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:40:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't transferred it all there (0+ / 0-)

              but yes, I use credit unions too.

              Why does the concept of the Gov't loaning citizens money bother you?  Does it bother you as much as them loaning money to private for-profits, or public-private partner entities?

              Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

              by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:04:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  because I can choose to do business with a for (0+ / 0-)

                -profit.  I can't choose to do business with the Government.

                You asked me why the concept of the Gov't loaning money bothers me -- I would ask you why the concept of for-profit banking bothers you?

                Would you loan me your money for free?

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:09:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dunno, maybe. (0+ / 0-)

                  But I'd want to know more about you first, and why you needed it.

                  I've made dozens of no-interest loans and outright gifts to folks in need over the years.

                  Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

                  by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:48:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  good for you... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... and I've done the same on a smaller scale.

                    At the end of the day though I don't really have a problem with the concept of for-profit lending.  It used to be the cornerstone of the American dream (most of us can't save up 100% of the cost of a house or car) -- but we let greed and excess override common sense.

                    Actually, beyond finance I think that "greed and excess" pretty much summarizes the last 20 years.  God, I hope we learn our lesson before it's too late.....

                    A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                    by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 06:26:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  So, support the banks, max out your card? (0+ / 0-)

          That is idiotic

          •  you don't have to use your credit card to support (0+ / 0-)

            the banks.  Buy a CD.  That's supporting your bank and giving you something back for the efforts.

            I keep about half my savings in my community credit union even though I could earn a much higher rate if I placed it in a online bank.

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

            by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Well, it wouldn't encourage me. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      browneyes, Amber6541

      I hate using credit cards in the first place, but there's no good reason interest paid out to any loan, credit card or otherwise, shouldn't be tax-deductible.

      In my case, I've also been the victim of an unscrupulous step-child who my wife co-signed for.  He's stuck us with nearly $10,000 in credit debt.  I could use a little help come tax time.

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth. (-6.75, -6.72)

      by cn4st4datrees on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:07:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, then we need to end corporate write-offs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis, Amber6541

      for the interest on THEIR loans.  Right?  What's good for the goose is good for the gander...right?  And those houses, that we get to write off the interest on...do away with that, too???  

        And what is this about "not encouraging" people to use their credit cards???  There was a time in my life, between jobs, that I would not have eaten if I didn't have a credit card!!!!!  The personal debt for working families is not at historic levels because people "choose" to borrow.  They use credit cards because that is the only way they can make ends meet... because we have a screwed up economy that has lost any concept of a living wage...you know, where you work and you can live off what you make!!!!!...like folks did back in the 40s and 50s, when we built the economy from the bottom up with good paying jobs instead of the top down with tax cuts for the fat cats.

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:15:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No (16+ / 0-)

    Home loan and student loan interest is tax deductible in part because we want people to buy homes and get educations.  We do not want to encourage people to run up credit card debt.  

    I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

    by Mia Dolan on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:05:18 AM PDT

    •  The home loan tax deduction is a miserable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis, Mia Dolan

      failure.  It raises the price of real estate distorting the economy and led to the housing bubble.

      Also it is not good for the environment to encourage people to build bigger and bigger houses which this deduction clearly does.  This deduction also contributes to hideous suburban sprawl.

      Further it screws over poor people who in general do not own houses and it enriches the very rich who can take the most advantage of this deduction.

      •  or for people to refinance their mortgages (0+ / 0-)

        to buy more junk and end up with little equity and more debt

        What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

        by CParis on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:20:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

        I googled this issue to shoot you down, and didn't come up with much.  While your comment exagerates its points, you may be on the right track here.

        I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

        by Mia Dolan on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:32:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know what planet you are visiting from but (0+ / 0-)

        if you look back in history, it was the home mortage system that enabled ordinary working class people to buy home for the first time in our economy.  
          And how does a tax deduction "distort" the economy?  Bubbles are the result of speculation: alway have and always will!!!  Speculators do not care about taxes, that's why they are called speculators.
          And as for the environment.  It is cheap oil that has made turning farm land into home additions so profitable.  We see that now as home prices in Dallas suburbs are taking a hit while warehouses in the inner city are being converted to residences.  It is $4.00/gal gasoline that has changed the Dallas housing market not home mortgage taxation.
          And, as for the rich/poor issue.  The tax works equally for both.  I am a homeowner, retired on fixed income and hardly rich by today's standards, so disallowing our mortage interest deduction would be a significant blow to our cash flow!!!

        ...Former candidate for Congress.

        by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:37:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually the mortgage interest deduction didn't (0+ / 0-)

          enable anyone to buy anything.  People buy a house based on whether they can afford the payments.  So they figure the interest deduction into their decision to buy the house.  This immediately raises the  price of real estate.

          And why should people that do not own a house have to pay taxes to pay for yours?

          •  Well, that might be true, however, (0+ / 0-)

            having been a Realtor, that issue never came up in a closing I am been a party to.  But, true or not, it was not this deduction that got us into the mess we are in now.  That came about because of speculation, pure and simple, people not really interested in living in a house but in how much they could flip it for three years down the line.
              And about folks paying taxes so I can own a home...that's not how it works.  Renters pay the taxes that the owners owe....not mine.  You don't rent from me.

            ...Former candidate for Congress.

            by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:23:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Who is the "we" you are talking about? (0+ / 0-)

       It is not banks, that issue the cards; or the employers who continue to ratched down wages so people have little choice but use credit cards...and it isn't the politicians, who continue to give tax breaks to those least needing them and sticking it to those most needing them...like taxing their interest costs while KEEPING CORPORATE BORROWING COSTS DEDUCTABLE!  
        I'm a person; a corporation is a person.  Why aren't we treated equally???  Could it have anything to do with who has the most generous lobbyist????  

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:24:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We is the government (0+ / 0-)

        or the collective will of the people.  And that "we" have determined that the government should subsidize home ownership and education, but not credit card debt.  

        I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

        by Mia Dolan on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:35:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, in this case "we" need to rethink this (0+ / 0-)

          decision, because it is just one more way in which working class people are getting screwed over by their government!!!  It is time to send to Congress people who are dedicated to building this economy on a foundation of good paying jobs, not on gouging the middle class while giving tax cuts to the fat cats!

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:43:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry but I couldn't disagree more..... (21+ / 0-)

    ... carrying a credit card balance is not a sound financial decision.  The last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people to do so.

    This country needs to learn how to save and live within our means again.  The average American family has $9,000 in credit card debt and only saves around $392 a year.  What's wrong with that picture?

    A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

    by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:05:28 AM PDT

    •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis, Amber6541

      Presuming you have income...some people who have been victims of this Bush administration don't have income anymore...credit cards and meager payments is what they use to get between jobs...

      I think what is wrong is taxing income...should be taxing wealth...Assets minus liabilities...

      TexasDemocrat
      John McCain will never be over Macho Grande

      by TexasDemocrat on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:10:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with your sentiment but I must point out (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magenta, Menehune, browneyes

        that a lot of people I know who are having "hard times" right now are the same people who were out buying new plasma screen TVs back during the bull market.  If they had been a little bit more interested in saving and a little bit less interested in consumption then they'd be much better off today.

        I know there are people out there who genuinely got screwed through no fault of their own but I think there are better ways to help those people than by giving a tax deduction on credit card interest.

        Let's start teaching people how to save again.

        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

        by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:20:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, so let's spread that idea into the (0+ / 0-)

          corporate culture...like...how about disallowing corporate tax deductions on borrowing if they pay their CEOs monster pay packages.  
            If you are going to crack a working family's knuckles for upgrading their TV, maybe FAIRNESS DEMANDS we crack the knuckles of corporations who stiff their stockholders, and spend their earnings of that new Gulfstream or that relocated office to Florida.  Doesn't fairness...and good tax policy...demand equal treatment here?

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:05:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you.... (0+ / 0-)

            ... and as someone who is active in the stock market I'm quite disgusted with the obsession with short-term gain at the expense of long-term viability.  I'm quite disgusted with the golden parachute that CEOs get after running their companies (and my portfolio) into the ground.  Don't even get me started about the accounting scandals either....

            Our entire culture needs to change.  From Wall Street to Main Street.  Wall Street needs to invest for the future and not the next quarter.  Main Street needs to start saving again.  None of us are innocent here.

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

            by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:43:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't have income (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crookshanks

        you aren't paying taxes anyway.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:43:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  good point..... (0+ / 0-)

          ... so this deduction is useless to the people who actually "need" it anyway.

          All it would do is encourge those that like to live beyond their means.  "Ohhh, I can claim a tax deduction on this plasma screen TV I need!"

          So unless you want to talk about a tax credit it's all a moot point.

          A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

          by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:52:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Income sufficient (0+ / 0-)

          Income sufficient to keep up with the cards...many people live in two income households that are dealing with the loss of income...one spouse loses their job, but the bills continue because they use the cards as a bridge...

          I'm not saying people are not irresponsible, but having credit card interest deductions will go more towards middle class tax cut than capital gains tax cut that existed before...I'd reverse those...

          Either way, with $10 billion a month in Iraq, we're going to have to have a tax increase just to keep ahead of the tsunami...

          TexasDemocrat
          John McCain will never be over Macho Grande

          by TexasDemocrat on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:02:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, I totally agree, however, you have to ask (0+ / 0-)

      the question of why these folks owe that much.  And if you look at credit card debt and compare it to wages/costs for families you will find that as wages went down and costs went up CREDIT CARD DEBT WENT UP!
        What is wrong with this picture is that the average American family pays more for everything it needs to run a household and their income is going down. Borrowing is what they do just to hold their place in line, so to speak.  But you are dead right: borrowing to buy = higher costs and over time that is a REALLY BAD PLAN!!!  Well...for everyone but the finance industry!!!!  
        There is only two options available to fix this situation:

      1. Adjust wages and taxes to post WWII comparable levels and/or cut household costs (taxpayer funded health care, better mass transit, etc.) or
      1. Begin the process of moving middle class families out of the middle class!

        In case of the latter, I'm not volunteering and I damn sure don't want to see my son and daughter leading the way into that world!!!
        How about you...willing to take a cut in your life style???  :-)

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:57:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would be more willing to take a cut in my (0+ / 0-)

        lifestyle then I would be to go into debt to maintain that lifestyle.  Debt == slavery, IMHO.  It reduces your financial flexibility and effectively reduces your future earnings before you've even seen them.

        I would agree with your observations about wages vs. costs and I would strongly agree that we need to do something to address that situation.  In the meantime though we don't need to be doing anything to encourage people to go even deeper into debt.

        I know too many people that tried to use plastic to live beyond their means.  Wages vs. costs tells part of the story -- but greed is another part of it and one that we ignore at our own peril.

        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

        by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:05:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm glad to hear from you because you are the (0+ / 0-)

          ONLY PERSON IN MY WORLD that is not or has never been in debt.  I never met someone who has paid cash for everything!!!  That is a world I am totally unfamiliar with.  
            Tell me how you have done this and why you are spending this time on the DK instead of the beach on Koh Phi Phi.  :-)

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:11:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you are making pretty big assumptions about me... (0+ / 0-)

            ... I'd be curious to know what you are basing them on?

            Would you believe me if I told you that I made a bunch of stupid decisions in my youth which combined with expenses that I had no control over (medical and legal) resulted in my having to file Chapter 7?

            Go through bankruptcy and get back to me.  It gives you perspective on just how insidious debt really is.

            And no, I don't pay cash for everything.  I borrowed money for a car -- which I will have paid off 14 months ahead of schedule.  I bought a $10,000 subcompact -- not a flashy SUV or sports car.  I've also built a rainy day fund which totals up to two months of my income (working on getting it up to four), started a 401(k) and have even put a small amount of money directly into the market.

            None of that was easy -- out of my friends I have the oldest computer, oldest TV, oldest furniture, oldest clothes, etc, etc, etc.  I would rather look at the growing balance of my savings and investments than have any of those things.

            And yes, I would take a cut in my lifestyle before I'd reduce my savings rate or start borrowing money to maintain it.  I'm lower middle class as it is -- but even a drop in that lifestyle to what Americans consider "lower class" would still leave me living better than most of the people on this planet.

            I realize that there are people out there in debt through no fault of their own.  I know this better than most -- medical bills were the final nail in my financial coffin.  None of that changes the fact that as a country we place too much value on consumption/instant gratification and not enough value on savings and thrift.  We ignore this at our own peril.

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

            by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:28:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are making perfect sense! I just took your (0+ / 0-)

              comment in the wrong way.  And yes, we are more interested in consumption more that savings but how did we get that way?  We got that way, in part, because savings rates did not keep up with the cost of living.  What is the point of savings if I have less wealth at the end of the day than when I started.  It was the same disease that struck the equities market.  Why buy a stock and hold it when the value relative to those stocks that I could buy and flip in a bull market, was less?
                IMHO we have a perfect storm of a whole bunch of decisions that have moved us from an investment culture to a speculative culture...in economics, tax policy and in family financing.  We are always acting as if tomorrow is going to be a better day for reason totally unrelated to our personal work habit.  We still believe there is a free lunch...somewhere!  We are Charlie always being willing to take a kick at that football!  :-)

              ...Former candidate for Congress.

              by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:15:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                We got that way, in part, because savings rates did not keep up with the cost of living

                I bolded the most important part of your observation.  "In part".

                I've never disputed that we've faced income stagnation in this country.  What I dispute is the idea that it's solely responsible for all of our problems.

                I've helped numerous people get a handle on their finances since learning (the hard way) how to manage mine.  Care to venture a guess how many people I've seen paying $80/mo cable bills and eating out five days a week while wondering why they can't get ahead on their credit card balances?

                Care to venture a guess as to how many people I've seen buy $25,000 SUVs when a $10,000 subcompact would meet their needs?

                Or how many people I've seen buy expensive homes that they can only afford while both spouses keep working instead of buying something smaller that would be affordable if one of them loses their job?

                I guess what I've been trying to say is that we shouldn't confuse "need" with "want".  We have a lot of needy people in this country that legitimately need our support.  We also have a culture of "want" that runs all the way from Main Street to Wall Street.  Unless we change that we aren't going to remain competitive in the global economy.  The rest of the World isn't going to keep bankrolling our consumption forever -- particularly after seeing how much wealth has been wiped out as a result of the ongoing crises.

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:35:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are reading my mail again...in fact, mail (0+ / 0-)

                  from one of my kids that has a high-maintenace wife and three kids to match. You can hardly make them out to be victims of anything but their lack of self-control!!!...except for the fact that they were allowed to buy a house in spite of the fact that they still had a IRS lien on their earnings and had zero savings.  
                    We put railing at the edge of cliffs, not to keep people determined to jump over the edge, but to keep the unweary or careless from falling.  The housing industry used to have railing.  That they didn't for my son makes him not solely culpable for what has happened to him.
                    And, I agree, none of these factors can be blamed for the whole of the problem, it just is that I hear the self-control mantra from people who have never had to exercise it because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.  It is easy to lecture poor people on spending if your daddy is Mr. Got-rocks and they haven't worked a day in your life.
                    That just always puts my teeth on edge, because I know how little some people live on, how hard they work for what little they have and they hardly deserve being lectured to about thrift by people who spend more money a month than they make in a year.  :-)

                  ...Former candidate for Congress.

                  by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:38:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  totally agree on the "railing" (0+ / 0-)

                    The lending industry used to be just that... lending.  Now it seems to be more of a pusher industry.

                    BUY THIS NOW!  NO MONEY DOWN!  SAME AS CASH!

                    NO CREDIT?  NO PROBLEM!  BUY HERE PAY HERE!

                    GET THE CREDIT YOU DESERVE!

                    Want to know something disgusting?  My Chapter 7 was discharged in December 2005.  Less than three years later I have $10,000 (35% of my gross salary) in credit card lines.  And that was without really trying -- I could get more if I bothered to apply for it.  WTF is wrong with that picture?

                    except for the fact that they were allowed to buy a house in spite of the fact that they still had a IRS lien on their earnings and had zero savings

                    I blame greed.  Greed on the part of the homeowner that bought something they couldn't afford.  Greed on the part of the lender for giving them a loan that they should have known was beyond their means.  Greed on the part of Wall Street for driving so many lenders into the subprime business.  Greed on the part of Washington for passing tax cuts while financing two wars with borrowed foreign capital.

                    This problem goes from Main Street to Wall Street to Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue.  We are all guilty.

                    That they didn't for my son makes him not solely culpable for what has happened to him.

                    When my finances were going to hell I called up my credit card companies.  Was looking to close my credit cards to cut off future borrowing and pay down the balances.  Ended the phone call with a doubled credit limit.

                    Completely my own fault for accepting it and for using it.  But why the hell do they have to make it so easy?

                    I'd like to see better financial education in this country.  It's depressing to think of the number of people that can't even balance their checkbooks -- never mind understand concepts like compound interest or investing.  You can regulate and/or restrict the financial industry until the cows come home but that doesn't really address the underlying problem -- people just don't understand finance.

                    (Granted, the bastards do need to be regulated.... but Americans also need to be able to balance their checkbooks)

                    That just always puts my teeth on edge, because I know how little some people live on, how hard they work for what little they have and they hardly deserve being lectured to about thrift by people who spend more money a month than they make in a year.

                    I understand that sentiment.  At the end of the day I don't really blame most people -- our entire culture is geared towards encouraging consumption.  I also can't throw stones for making bad decisions -- my bankruptcy was almost entirely the result of them.

                    All I'd like to do is share some of the wisdom I learned the hard way.  If one person takes my ideas to heart and avoids repeating my mistakes then I've improved things just a little bit.

                    A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                    by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 06:21:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And that is just what sites like the DK is for. (0+ / 0-)

                      All I'd like to do is share some of the wisdom I learned the hard way.

                        That's what I try to do.  I was born in 1933, right in the middle of the Great Depression and came of age during the war years (WWII, Korea) and remember rationing of gasoline, sugar, cigarettes, tires and meat... and war bond sales.  But I also remember the post-war years and what made the economy grow...and it wasn't tax cuts.  
                        The Roaring Twenties began when anything over a million dollars was taxed at 73%. In 1944 it was 94% of everything over $200,000.  In 1948 taxes were cut to 83.13% of everything over $400k.  Between 1951 and 1963, those years when we were rebuilding Europe, Japan, fighting the Korean War and expanding the American economy, the taxes were, on average, a little more than 91% on everything over $400k.
                        In those days we believed that the best way to build an economy was to provide jobs that enabled a family to live and flourish on one income and that the economy was not served by creating an economic royal class.  
                        They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  It is also insanity when we ignore proven policies to pursue failed policies over and over again.  

                      ...Former candidate for Congress.

                      by Steve Love on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:40:37 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  On another matter.... (0+ / 0-)

                      Dick Armey says that the "Bubba" vote is still the vote that will not vote for a black man...with the direct inference that towns such as yours, with a high percentage of hourly working, church-going, PTA-joining, beer-drinking workers, would meet the profile of a "Bubba" town.  
                        Question:  1. Is that accurate?  Is "Bubba" still a racist or did the Iowa vote for Obama put that myth to rest?

                      ...Former candidate for Congress.

                      by Steve Love on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 08:38:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I can't speak for Iowa... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...but I don't believe the "Bubba" vote is a big deal here in Upstate NY.

                        Upstate NY is rural but it's not Southern Rural.  Like the rest of the Northeast our Republicans tend to be the fiscal Conservatives/pro-business types -- not the religious-right "values" type.  Values issues don't drive the debate around here.

                        Go a little further to the South (PA) or West (OH) and you start to see more of the values voters.  I think that Obama is going to have a hard time reaching them but I question whether that has anything to do with race.  A pro-choice progressive candidate was always going to be a reach for a lot of them, Hillary's performance notwithstanding.  (Even if she had become the nominee I think that she would have lost a lot of those voters come November)

                        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                        by Crookshanks on Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 07:59:12 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

    Politically could be smart move but personally wouldn't like to see anything to encourage people to carry balances on credit cards.

    •  You are making an assumption that (0+ / 0-)

      people choose to carry balances.  This assumption is an insult to the millions of working class people who would love to live in a cash-only world, but their employers, the global economy, their family's health/education/housing cost, and tax burden effects their ability to do so....all stuff beyond their control, unless they are willing to live under a bridge somewhere.
       My son just lost his home to the housing bubble.  Should he stop feeding his three children and wife to keep out of credit card debt?  And when he is struggling to make ends meet should we be making his job harder will making the fat cat's job easier?    
        I know that the fat cats look down on working people who would like a few nice things in life and are willing to borrow money to get them but do we in the DK family want to echo their elitist sentiments?  For most of us, we didn't chose this life.  We were dealt this hand and are playing it as best we can...and against the house odds. :-(

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:21:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually yes, John McCain carries a balance (9+ / 0-)

    of at least $100,000 on his credit cards with Cindy.

    Regardless, I disagree with you.  The Federal Government should not use the tax system to encourage people to incur more personal debt.

  •  I have very mixed feelings. (7+ / 0-)

    Mostly no.  It encourages credit card debt.

    But I have a home equity line of credit.  With a credit card.  I can use it for larger purchases and deduct the interest on it.

    Then again, that does discriminate against non-homeowners.  But I still think that overall it's a very bad idea.

    A hard on doesn't count as personal growth...

    by browneyes on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:07:53 AM PDT

    •  I don't even think home equity should qualify (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Magenta, craiger, SheLawyer, browneyes

      for the tax deduction.

      Too many people got into the habit of thinking that their home equity was as good as a savings account and borrowed against their homes for all sorts of discretionary spending.

      We should not be encouraging people to borrow against their homes.  We should be encouraging people to save.

      How about a tax deduction on the first $1,000 of interest earned on savings/CDs/investments instead of a tax deduction on debt service?  

      Maybe a tax deduction on the first $2,000 of interest earned on Government bonds?  That would encourage people to save and give the Government a means to borrow money from somebody other than China.  Think of the War Bonds during WW2.

      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

      by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:11:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is a very good idea. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis

        I love savings bonds.  It's a win-win for everybody.

        The only problem I would foresee with the elimination of HELOC interest deductions would be that people would keep refinancing their homes if they needed money.  If that's the case, some people may never actually have a lot of equity in their homes.

        A hard on doesn't count as personal growth...

        by browneyes on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:14:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the rates (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          browneyes

          limit refinancing more than deductions.

          I've refinanced twice, both times to lower my interest over the life of the loan.  I started out with a loan that would have me paying 125k in interest, dropped to 80k, then dropped to 30k interest, thanks to better rates.

          I'd much rather simply not pay the interest in the first place than be able to deduct it on my taxes.

          Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

          by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if you do not plan on selling your (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          browneyes

          home why do you care?  You only want equity if your kids are going to drop you off at a bridge somewhere when you get old.  :-)  If you plan on living in your home until you croak, why sweat the small stuff?
            But I agree, borrowing against your home gives worse odds than you get at Vegas!

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:28:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            Well, if you do not plan on selling your home why do you care?

            Because I'd rather own my home free and clear than continue writing checks for it each month?

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

            by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:54:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly? That's why our Jeep is paid off (0+ / 0-)

              and why we have just a few more years to pay off our home, which we will live in until they haul us out in a box.  :-)  I so love the qualtiy of the new cars.  It used to be that by the time you paid for the old clunkers they were ready for the junk yard.  Now, I will put 100,000 on my Jeep before I even think about replacing it.  :-)

              ...Former candidate for Congress.

              by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:07:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  nice! (0+ / 0-)

                Now, I will put 100,000 on my Jeep before I even think about replacing it.  :-)

                I bought my Suzuki Reno (subcompact, great gas mileage) for $10k with about 8,500 miles on it.  A new car for all intents and purposes -- just enough miles on it to take away the new car deprecation (brand new they were going for $15k)

                I'll have it paid off with about 65,000 miles on it.  With my current driving habits that will translate into at least three or four years of car with no maintenance (other than routine stuff) and no payments.  Hard to beat that.

                It's even better if you have the discipline and means to take that car payment you were making and sock it away somewhere.  If I can manage to pull that off for three years I'll have $12,000 in the bank and can buy my next car in cash -- and to hell with the lending industry.

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 06:32:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  You are gaming the system because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      browneyes

      you have a home with equity.  Guess what?  A lot of homeowners no longer have equity in their homes and so cannot game the system as you have been able to.  It is hard to add borrowing to your mortage, as you are doing, if YOU DON'T HAVE A HOME!!!

       Lucky you...would every working family be able to game the system like you have.  :-)

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:24:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Would Make More Sense (11+ / 0-)

    Is a return of the anti-usury laws that were in place in much of the Unites States until the mid-Seventies or shortly thereafter, in addition to a system of progressive taxation that made money lenders pay progressively higher rates of corporate tax on profits generated by progressively higher rates of interest charged on credit cards.

    •  This would be a great idea (6+ / 0-)

      Until the late 1970s early 1980s most state laws prohibited any interest rates on consumer debt that exceeded 12 percent.
      The removal of these provisions (with a push from federal law) led directly to the outrageous proliferation of credit deals that have put many people underwater

      •  That Change & The Monetization of Debt (0+ / 0-)

        ...the development of debt derivatives, and the globalization of trade in those debt derivatives is the cornerstone of Reagan-Thatcher economics.

        Though it remains unpopular to say so, the say truth is that Bill Clinton greatest failure -- and most profound betrayal of the Democratic base -- was his embrace of neo-liberal globalization of finance, in the Reagan-Thatcher mode.

      •  actually it wasn't that the states removed the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenskeeper

        provisions.  Most of the states still have usury laws on the books.

        What happened was SCOTUS ruled that a bank could "export" the usury rate from it's own state to the other states that it does business in.  Once that ruling came down a few states (Delaware and South Dakota) decided to do away with their usury laws so the banks would set up shop in their states.

        Good decision on the part of those two states -- they got tens of thousands of jobs and a huge new tax base out of the deal -- but kind of sucks for the rest of the country.

        I'd love to ask Senator Biden how he feels about this.

        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

        by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He was asked about this recently (0+ / 0-)

          and said that he was for holding the financial industry far more accountable for the insanity that has prevailed in recent times.  Used to work for a fellow who had this to say about customers: "You can shear a sheep twice a year but you can skin him only once."  There is no reason we cannot have a financial industry that "shears" us twice a year, it is the "skinning" that gets a bit uncomfortable and counterproductive as the recent crash reveals.  :-)

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:35:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  God! You are reading my mail!!! We know how (0+ / 0-)

      to fix this economy.  We did it back in the 30s and 40s.  All we have to do is elect some politicians who are not interested in reinventing the wheel...the SQUARE one at that!!!  :-)

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:30:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd get rid of mortgage deductability too. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    njhoo, penguinsong, browneyes

    The idea of home ownership as superior (societally) to renting is not something I accept, and it's part of our current economic distress.  I'd like to find a revenue-neutral way to give people deductability for housing expenses, period, not based upon whether they rent or (incipiently) own.  Of course, since we would be covering new people it would have to reduce the benefit or not be revenue-neutral, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it :)

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:09:49 AM PDT

    •  i agree but wont happen (4+ / 0-)

      why? renters are (generally) lower income Democrat voters.. Republicans would never approve this and would KILL democrats as tax-raisers.   As much as this makes sense, it would hurt the Dems for years.  

      Of course there are exceptions (I make very good salary and rent) to low income renters.. but in general, politically getting rid of this deduction is near impossible

      •  True, but over the longer term... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis

        ...I expect we'll get back to more renting, and higher down payments for those who do buy, so it may become somewhat more viable.  Also, if we really do establish a Democratic majority, the politics of everything changes.

        -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

        by Rich in PA on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:14:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but this would hurt getting a Dem majority (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Magenta

          80% of the country owns a home.,, and most are paying off a mortgage.. which means this will effectively raise taxes on many voters...

          If you couple this with an equal tax decrease then it is feasable (but really not because people are simple and will see this as a tax raise even if the net is no change in taxes)...

          The mortgage deduction is an emotional thing to homeowners and they see that as a perk of home ownership.

          If this is eliminated, many Dems may become Independent and Indies may change to Republicans

          And dont get me wrong. .I love this idea... just cant see it coming to frutition without massive political fallout...

          kind of like raising the age for social security benefits.. may make sense..but the consequences of doing it are deadly

          •  won't happen - would see the already fragile (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Magenta

            housing market completely collapse.  States like CA, FL, NV would go bankrupt - no one would be paying property taxes.

            What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

            by CParis on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:23:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  But... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mia Dolan

      I think there is debate as to whether home ownership is superior to renting, whereas I'm not sure there's much debate that carrying a balance on your credit card and paying lousy interest is that great an idea.

      But we could tie the housing credit to something else - get the gov't subsidizing Habitat for Humanity, maybe, by tying the credit to helping build homes for others, for instance.

      So you don't get credit for just owning a home, but you get credit for building low-cost homes for others.

      Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

      by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:16:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The home loan deduction also contributes to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        urban blight.  The blighted areas of cities in general do not benefit from this deduction, but people working in these areas do pay income taxes.  

        •  Are you saying (0+ / 0-)

          that the blighted areas are all rental areas rather than mortgaged homes?

          If so, I can see your logic that if we encourage A, then B, which we don't encourage, is relatively worse off.  As a single person, I feel the same about deductions or better rates for married couples.

          But the same logic says that ANY deduction that does not apply to all will inherently disadvantage whatever group does not receive the deduction.  Which might be true, but negates the use of all deductions as social engineering.

          I think government does have some legitimate need for monetary policies that attempt social engineering.

          Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

          by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:30:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  home ownership isn't "superior" from a sociatal (0+ / 0-)

      standpoint.

      It is somewhat superior from a financial standpoint.  Over the course of your lifetime your home is going to wind up being an investment more often than not.

      The problem is that people got greedy and started buying houses that they really couldn't afford.  They assumed that the value would just keep going up indefinitely and they could flip it and buy the next (even bigger) house with the profits.

      Stepping back and looking at the "big picture" this seems to be a problem all over the economy today.  People don't plan for the long term anymore.  It's all about short term gain.  This is one of the many things that we are going to need to change if we intend to remain competitive in the 21st century.

      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

      by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:33:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mia Dolan

        I would think that most societies value stability, and tying somebody down to a massive mortgage and fixed address pretty much stabilizes the populace.  Stability encourages community - if you live somewhere 30 years, you're a lot more likely to know and work with and help your neighbors than if you keep moving from location to location.

        It's also easier to 'plan for the long term' if you're staying in one place for the long term.

        Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

        by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:37:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is (0+ / 0-)

        People who own their homes take better care of their homes than renters/landlords do.  People who own homes live there longer and get to know their neighbors.  My neighborhood really is a community and people look after each other.  That was never the case when I was renting houses or apartments, usually for a year at a time.

        I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

        by Mia Dolan on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:50:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  painting with a bit of a broad brush aren't we? (0+ / 0-)

          People who own their homes take better care of their homes than renters/landlords do

          A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

          by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:57:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

            You have made some good points on this thread, but that is just downright stupid.  No, its not a broad brush at all.  

            I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

            by Mia Dolan on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:23:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think it is.... (0+ / 0-)

              ... any casual observation would reveal renters and landlords that take excellent care of their property/residences.  Just as any casual observation would reveal homeowners with lawns pushing eight inches, rusting disabled vehicles in the driveway, etc, etc.

              I've known my share of bad tenants and absentee landlords but living next to someone that owns their house is no guarantee that they won't let it go to hell.

              A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

              by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:50:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                Again, that's just plain stupid.  Sure, there are bad homeowners, and good renters.  But this isn't about mowing lawns and cleaning up yards.  This is about making investments in the housing stock.  Renters don't paint their houses.  Renters don't build additions on their homes.  And there is no reason to because renters won't see a return on that investment.

                I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

                by Mia Dolan on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:01:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that's not what you said: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mia Dolan

                  Sure, there are bad homeowners, and good renters.  But this isn't about mowing lawns and cleaning up yards.  This is about making investments in the housing stock.

                  This is what you said originally and what I was responding to:

                  People who own their homes take better care of their homes than renters/landlords do.

                  And I still maintain that you are painting with an overly broad brush there.  I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.  For what it's worth I would concede the point that most renters aren't investing in the housing stock -- though their landlords obviously are.

                  A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                  by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:39:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Homeownership has nothing to do with sociatal (0+ / 0-)

      values.  It is simply the major means by which an ordinary working family can build wealth!  You can rent forever but when they haul you out in a box you are still worth what you were when you signed that first lease.
        But, I agree, if corporations are persons under the law and their operating expenses are tax-deductable, then folks like you and me as PERSONS ought to be able to do the same...but isn't that what the personal standard deductions on our IRS filing are for????  What is it that you are asking for?

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:41:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It seems that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis, browneyes, Amber6541

    people are using their credit cards at a record rate already out of NECESSITY.

    Believe me, I haven't used mine based on some "tax incentive."

    Look what's already happening.

    I guess everyone would be renting houses if there wasn't a tax credit on mortgage interest then, right?

    "Living in fear is un-American."

    by swaidely on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:10:45 AM PDT

    •  for every person I know using them out of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Magenta, drbloodaxe, SheLawyer

      necessity I know two people using them because they want something right now and they don't have the money on hand to buy it.  And the person using them out of necessity might not have found himself in that situation if he had saved money instead of consuming back when times were better.

      Granted, my personal observations aren't a scientific study but I really don't think we need to do anything that encourages people to carry credit card balances.  Why aren't we talking about a tax deduction that would encourage people to save?  

      A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

      by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:14:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I use credit cards for almost everything. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mia Dolan

        I don't have to carry wodges of nasty dirty cash around.

        Thanks to swipers, available most places, I'm almost the only one that ever touches my card, whereas cash is touched by all sorts of strangers, with who knows what germs?

        I love direct deposit, online billpaying, and credit cards as a trifecta of avoiding germs.

        Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

        by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:22:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you realize that you are paying more money for (0+ / 0-)

          everything you buy as a result of the credit card tax, right?

          Every time you buy something on credit the merchant winds up paying a percentage (anywhere from 1-4% depending on his volume and other factors) of that transaction to the financial industry.

          Merchant agreements generally prohibit merchants from charging a different price for cash vs. credit (they can give a cash "discount" but they can't charge a fee or raise prices on card users) so this added cost gets passed along to all consumers.

          I use greenbacks wherever possible -- especially with local merchants.  Credit cards have their place -- they provide you with a lot of protection for large purchases (you can do a chargeback if the merchant delivers bad or defective merchandise and refuses to refund your money) but I'm not going to use mine for day to day purchases.

          I don't think my bank and Visa need to get a percentage of my grocery bill......

          A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

          by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:36:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, that is one negative aspect... (0+ / 0-)

            But if we nationalize the credit companies, then it would be all money flowing to and from the government.

            See how socialism cures all ills?  ;)

            Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

            by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:02:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And if we take over Fannie and Fredddie (0+ / 0-)

              AS WE HAVE, all that profit from the housing mortgage market can do to pay off the debt we taxpayers have run up in the last 28 years.

              ...Former candidate for Congress.

              by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:48:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  we already have a nationalized system for (0+ / 0-)

              exchanging wealth.  It's called greenbacks ;)

              A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

              by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:40:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But they're so dirty :P (0+ / 0-)

                I want the electronic exchange that avoids having to lysol things as people hand them to you :P

                Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

                by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:47:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  other suggestions..... (0+ / 0-)

                  Use your debit card as 'debit' with the PIN if you can do so without being surcharged by your bank (if you are surcharged then find another bank).  This imposes the lowest cost on the merchant.... it's usually just a flat fee for them and no percentage of the sale.

                  Next in line would be using your debit card as 'credit'.  This costs them a percentage of the sale but a lower one than would be charged for an actual credit card.  (Added bonus here if you use a credit union or small community bank: They get most of the fee.... Visa and the merchants bank take the rest)

                  After that comes real credit cards... even here you can help your local merchant.  Rewards cards usually cost them a higher fee so stay away from those at your local businesses.  Amex kills them -- some merchants with low volume will pay upwards of 5% to those bastards (Visa/MC are typically less than 3%) -- so stay away from Amex if you can.

                  A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                  by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 06:40:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not in a situation now that I need (0+ / 0-)

    that, but I have been in the past, so I can relate to the problem and think it would be a help at this time.  I think any change should be thoughtfully written, not just add the deduction.  Perhaps with income limits and/or some other limit (somewhat like the 5% of AGI on some Schedule A items currently).  

    Just think how many people now use credit cards to make ends meet. Many folks are buying time (literally) by using credits cards to pay for gas & groceries.

    We never know the worth of water `til the well is dry. Thomas Fuller 1732

    by Amber6541 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:11:04 AM PDT

  •  shouldnt reward carrying a balance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magenta, drbloodaxe

    people are using credit more than ever,.. but some idiots will carry a balance for the tax deduction... now granted if you are dumb enough to do that you deserve the negative financial consequences...

    but i dont see how this helps anymore than just cutting taxes for middle class americans

    •  You must never have been in a situation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis, Steve Love

      where you had little to no income through no fault of your own.  Not quite enough to keep a roof over your head and food on the table, and absolutely nothing for savings and investments.
      A credit card for gas and food was a life-saver.  Not ideal, but choices were very limited.

      We never know the worth of water `til the well is dry. Thomas Fuller 1732

      by Amber6541 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:20:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  less people would be in that situation if we (0+ / 0-)

        had a culture of saving and thrift instead of a culture of consumption.

        Most of us realize that some people wind up in that situation through no fault of their own (medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US) but I still don't think a tax deduction on credit card interest is a good idea for society as a whole.

        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

        by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:38:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, come on guy "culture of consumption" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541

          you are either an academic pinhead or a fat cat snob!  Working class people are hardly members of a "culture of consumption"...it is more like a "culture of survival!"  
            Working class people are just trying to feed their kids and keep a roof over their head.  And if you don't know people like that you need to put down your latte, leave your ivory tower and come down where the rest of us live.  South Dallas and Oak Cliff are not home to Gucci paradise!!!

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:56:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Amber6541

            you are either an academic pinhead or a fat cat snob!

            Nothing like attacking the messenger because you disagree with his observations.  I didn't know Karl Rove had a DKos account.....

            And if you don't know people like that you need to put down your latte

            How many times do I have to say that "Most of us realize that some people wind up in that situation through no fault of their own" before you stop assuming that I'm some sort of "fat cat snob"?

            South Dallas and Oak Cliff are not home to Gucci paradise!!!

            Dude, I live in Binghamton NY.  You've never heard of us but this is a middle class community facing very tough economic times, a dwindling tax base and no real prospects for serious economic improvement.  If you think I don't know what it's like "out there" you are sadly mistaken.

            Don't try and paint me as some sort of out of touch snob just because you don't agree with everything I have to say.  Do you seriously think that the United States doesn't have a problem with consumption?  We are 3% of the population of Earth and consume 25% of the resources.  What does that tell you?

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

            by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:15:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This message is out of sync with others. We (0+ / 0-)

              are cool.  And yes, I have never heard of Binghamton but I will Google Earth it and see where you live.  You and I are working the same side of the street because I have been hollering for years that we need to get our fiscal house in order, but the financial industry is fueled with OPM and so they could care less if Freddy or Fannie goes busted, they got their golden parachute and million dollar pay packages.  I grew up in the 30s and 40s and remember when CEOs made 14 times what the guy in the plant floor made.  Now it is 400 times and they feel entitled!!!!!! and for that they don't even have to have the company make money!!! just so the stock appreciates!!!
                Yes, I see Binghamton...where the Chenango and Susquehanna meet...a railroad town...probable a mill town at one time....probably served by barges in colonial times...love your ballpark down by the freight yard (How are the Mets doing this year?) and the flood in '06.  Did it get into down town?
                We came down I-87 heading back to Texas after attending a wedding in Dairy NH three years ago.  My first experience with New York other than New York City, which I have visited on numberous occasions.  Loves your country but imagine the winters are unforgiving.  Looks like land that follows the Ohio for most of its way to the Mississippi.  No land for wimps!!!  
               

              ...Former candidate for Congress.

              by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:03:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                The flood didn't really hit the City of Binghamton much.  It paralyzed it pretty good (virtually all the bridges were closed) but for the most part the city dodged the bullet.  Some of the nearby communities (look for Conklin on Google Maps) got hammered really bad though.

                In my old neighborhood we lived right on the Susquehanna.  The water came within six inches of over-topping the local flood wall.  Needless to say we were on edge for quite awhile -- but in the end the worst thing that we suffered was being without power for three days.  Can't complain about that when you see neighboring communities underwater.....

                probable a mill town at one time

                Not so much steel but there was a lot of industry.  My hometown of Endicott was the birthplace of IBM.  We were home to 'Endicott Johnson Corporation' -- at one time one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the United States (and the main supplier of the US Army during WW1 and WW2).  The flight simulator was perfected by a local businessman here (Google 'Link Trainer').

                It started a slow decline in the late 70s/early 80s.  For a time we had a bit of a boom with the defense industry -- that went away in the 90s.  It's starting to come back (Lockheed-Martin is a huge employer around here) but we all know how fickle that industry is......

                We do have a few things going for us.  We never really had a real estate bubble so we aren't feeling much of the effects from that crash.  Real estate is ridiculously cheap around here -- you can have a real nice house for under $100,000.

                but imagine the winters are unforgiving

                Depends on what you are used to I guess.  "Unforgiving" would be Syracuse or Buffalo with all the lake-effect snow.  We will get one or two real snow storms in the winter but for the most part it's your standard issue northeast winter.  Live around here and you don't really think about it too much.

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

                by Crookshanks on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 07:01:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I agree to a point, but as I said in another (0+ / 0-)

          comment, it should be written in a very thoughtful manner, and have income limits and other such things built in.

          We never know the worth of water `til the well is dry. Thomas Fuller 1732

          by Amber6541 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:06:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  maybe you should think of it as (0+ / 0-)

      HELPING people who are FORCED to carry a balance.

      "Living in fear is un-American."

      by swaidely on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:23:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interest deductions are inducements (4+ / 0-)

    to engage in borrowing.  The credit interest deduction was a sweetheart deal for interest-fueled financial institutions in a big push to embed the credit card business in the American economy, specifically Visa and Mastercard which were new.  AmEx and Diners Club were the predecessors but widely ignored by a cash economy.  It worked as planned, and now Americans are in hock up to their ears. One thing we don't need is more credit debt.  

    All I wanted was a Pepsi....

    by marcim on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:13:54 AM PDT

    •  not really - CC interest deduction was phased (0+ / 0-)

      out over 20 years ago.  Credit card balances didn't start to skyrocket until past 10 years or so - primarily driven by people using CC to meet expenses as their incomes have not kept up with cost of living.

      What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

      by CParis on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:27:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, join the "living wage" movement and make (0+ / 0-)

      credit card borrowing obsolete because everyone makes enough to pay cash for most purchases.

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:58:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Part of a whole series (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    I've thought that Dems should push a whole series of pocketbook laws (I wasn't aware this was once deductable) like this that would help average people out immediately and would force rethugs to defend screwing everyday folks.  My ideas (and they AREN'T exhaustive, please add more) were: setting a maximum credit card interest rate* and making credit card companies do more to thwart, and be liable for the costs of, identity theft.  

    * There was a maximum rate in the 1970s the Supreme Court threw out the law as poorly written and Congress never re-wrote it so states can now set their own rates witht he predictable result that rates have skyrocketed as states have increased the maximum amount to garner Credit Card Company biz.

    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" - James Madison

    by Hotspur18 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:17:42 AM PDT

    •  Capping the interest charged (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis, browneyes

      would be far better.

      The government giving you 'credit' is the government essentially giving you back money they take from you.

      The government saying 'you can't take more from them' is keeping the money in your pocket in the first place.

      Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

      by drbloodaxe on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:24:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do not favor tax deductions on general (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magenta, CParis, drbloodaxe

    consumer credit.  As many have noted, that tends to encourage irresponsible use of credit.  On the other hand, I do favor Federal usury laws on consumer interest rates and restrictions on the behaviour of credit card companies.  Just as I favor restrictious on 'payday loan' entities that effectively are practicing usury.  (And just as I favor stiff penalties for all of these over-the-top CEO/executive salaries.benefits/golden parachutes that truly do little to contribute to the overall economy.)

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:18:44 AM PDT

  •  Bad Idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drbloodaxe, Steve Love

    Government should use the tax code to encourage things that benefit society as a whole and discourage things that do not.

    Tax polluting industries.
    Tax breaks for non-polluting, job-producing industrites.

    Tax wasteful spending on stuff we really don't need (probably made in China)
    Tax breaks for food/medical costs.
    (although maybe not for junk food ;-)

    Tax developers that rape the planet.
    Tax breaks for people fixing up old, existing homes and businesses.

    Restructure the whole damn tax code to encourage us to do better.

    Instead we give tax breaks to those that have the best lobbyists that give the most money to politicians without regard for whether something benefits us as a nation.

    •  Maybe we should just get rid of all tax breaks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Void Indigo, browneyes

      in the  end people just game the system.

      •  rephrasing it. (0+ / 0-)

        Look at it this way....a coal fired plant externalizes its costs of cleaning up waste by just dumping it in the public airspace.  If I generate waste in my home, I have to pay to get rid of it. I can't (legally) just dump it in the county park or on my neighbors lawn.  Nuclear power is even worse.  The cost of dealing with their waste continues for 10,000 years.  So I say, why give tax breaks to companies that produce energy by externalizing their costs when we should be giving tax breaks to companies that are able to produce a much-needed commodity (power) without creating a social ill - (pollution).

        We all benefit from the oxygen produced by intact forests.  We don't give the landowners of these intact forests enough tax breaks to pay for the services they provide, but we'll bend over backwards to give tax breaks to companies to come into the country, clear the land, build a factory to provide a few hundred jobs.  Maybe we should be giving tax breaks to companies that can provide these jobs without such damage.  We simply can't compete for factory jobs with China/India/and soon - Africa - where land is cheap, labor is cheap and there are no pesky laws to protect workers & the environment.

        This conversation started about credit card interest.  Tax breaks there REWARD people for spending more than they earn.  Couldn't we all agree that is not a good thing to support?

    •  Gotta be honest. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Void Indigo, Crookshanks

      I have a little libertarian streak that makes me cringe.  Frankly, I don't like that the government uses our tax code to try to conform, reward, or punish any behavior.  

      I take advantage of the deductions that I can, of course, but the idea still bugs me.

      A hard on doesn't count as personal growth...

      by browneyes on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:27:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rewarding credit card debt? Bad idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magenta, drbloodaxe
  •  How (0+ / 0-)

    are you going to pay for it? Isn't it more important that we pay for universal health care than for something wasteful like this?

  •  Please think things through... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, Steve Love

    I mean, if you use your credit cards (even WITH an interest deduction) you still have to PAY the freaking interest every month until tax time, right? That would suggest you have this extra cash to pay the interest on your card just so you can "get it back."

    When you are stuck 5 days before payday with no gas and no money left in your pocket, you sure as hell aren't thinking about some "incentive" when you are forced to use your credit card.

    "Living in fear is un-American."

    by swaidely on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 08:36:09 AM PDT

  •  This is a terrible idea. (0+ / 0-)

    If this were the case, I would just borrow off of my credit card, invest that money, build a balance, then pay off interest and get a tax deduction.  Thanks for the taxpayer money, Uncle Sam.  It's not like you are miles into the red or anything.

    •  Even if credit card rates were so high that even (0+ / 0-)

      after the taxpayer deduction I was paying a higher percentage than the 12% or so I could make in the stock market, you are distorting the intertemporal premium on deferring consumption to be distorted, encouraging people to consume today more than they should.

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