Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

50 responses to “Are Obama & Romney Avoiding Housing to Avoid Talking About Killing the Mortgage Interest Deduction?”

  1. David Losh

    If owning a home is a financial decision, how many people would dump properties without the tax deduction?

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  2. Ira Sacharoff

    If I’m not mistaken, both Obama and Romney have stated that they are opposed to getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction. But what candidates say when they’re seeking office and what they do once they’re elected are often very different. Candidates say what they think the voters want to hear. Once elected, reality has a way of rearing it’s ugly head.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    President Obama is not talking about it because he wants to pretend it was other economic problems besides the financing of housing which got us into this mess. That way he can claim Romney wants to take us back to the failed policies of the Bush Administration. Funny, I don’t remember hearing Romney suggest bringing back 80/20 loans, pick-a-payment loans, no-document loans, etc.

    Romney probably doesn’t want to bring it up for the reason Tim suggests. I would note though that some people would benefit from the end of the deduction if it was dones as part of either a lowering of rates or increase in the standard deduction. But even for those people who would clearly benefit, President Obama would try to claim it hurt them, just like he’s tried to scare seniors about the proposed changes to Medicare even though no changes have been proposed for them.

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  4. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 2 – I think Romney has suggested a cap on the MID which would hurt those with very large loan amounts, who are presumably high income individuals.

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  5. softwarengineer

    The 2013 Tax Increases

    Are comin’ soon at a theater near you, its the Paranormal 4 spine tingler….put your 3-D glasses on and get ready for the show; and I hope you weren’t living from paycheck to paycheck….

    http://www.axtax.com/32421/Tax-Increases-Looming-in-2013/

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  6. ray pepper

    30 more minutes: !! http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82810.html !!!

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  7. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ray pepper @ 6 – Not sure what that has to do with the topic, but if Trump were the Republican nominee I’d be promoting President Obama.

    That said, I hope it’s something really damaging, but I doubt it will even be something real. Trump is an idiot.

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  8. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7
    Maybe Trump will endorse Obama. That should ensure Romney’s election.

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  9. Ahau

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4

    I disagree. The way I understand it, Romney’s plan would place a cap on all deductions and credits (he threw out $25,000), and reduce tax rates for all brackets by 20%. So while this would make the MID a larger part of the low-mid income’s “deductions and credits bucket”, his plan amounts to a much larger overall cut (in raw dollars and percentages) for those with high incomes.

    Looking at the tax brackets for joint filings (source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2011/09/30/2012-federal-income-tax-brackets-irs-tax-rates/)

    10% Bracket $0 – $17,400
    15% Bracket $17,400 – $70,700
    25% Bracket $70,700 – $142,700
    28% Bracket $142,700 – $217,450
    33% Bracket $217,450 – $388,350
    35% Bracket Over $388,350

    Under Romney’s plan, these brackets would go down to: 8%, 12%, 20%, 22.4%, 26.4%, and 28%, respectively. Thus, your tax rate reduction amounts to:
    $348 on your first $17,400 ($20 per thousand dollars income)
    $1599 on your next $53,300 ($30 per thousand dollars income)
    $3600 on the next $72,000 ($50 per thousand dollars income)
    $4186 on the next $74,750 ($56 per thousand dollars income)
    $11,279 on the next $170900 ($66 per thousand dollars income)
    and after that, those individuals with the highest incomes will get a reduction of $75 on every thousand dollars of their income, or nearly four times the tax reduction that will be allocated to the lowest taxable earners.

    So, for families with taxable incomes of $100K, Romney’s marginal tax rate cut would lower their taxes by $3,412. To make this cut in rates “revenue neutral” (as Romney claims he will), you would have to reduce those family’s deductions by an average of $17,060. (this seems like a plausible undertaking with either a cap or by eliminating common deductions such as the MID).

    But, if a family’s taxable income is $2M, Romney’s marginal tax rate cut would lower their taxes by $133,828. To make this cut in rates “revenue neutral” and make sure that the “top earners continue to pay the same percentage of the nation’s income tax” , you would have to reduce that family’s deductions by $477,957.

    Now, I’m obviously not a tax accountant (I’m sure some of you will find horrible flaws in my reasoning and my application of the tax code) and I don’t have the benefit of seeing any tax returns for those who earn millions of dollars a year, but I find it highly unlikely that most of them are writing off nearly 25% of their income in deductions AND that Mr. Romney will be successful in eliminating those deductions.

    Thus, for me to buy off on Romneys tax plan and agree that it’s plausible and won’t increase the federal deficit, I need to know the specifics on what deductions and credits will be cut and how that will factor into tax revenues. Otherwise, I can’t see it as anything but a massive tax cut for the wealthy at either the expense of the middle and lower class or the federal deficit.

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  10. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 8 – LOL, but apparently the item really is nothing. I doubt there’s anything in college transcripts which would be that damaging.

    http://www.tmz.com/2012/10/24/donald-trump-barack-obama-announcement-5-million/

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  11. Ahau

    So, by the end of my ridiculously long post, I forgot to respond to The Tim’s original question. In my opinion, I think the candidates’ silence on housing is attributable to a combination of factors. One of them is the MID deduction — no one wants to talk about eliminating it because there is no way to put a positive spin on this in a way that most of the middle class voters will comprehend and agree with. Another is the fact that the housing bubble and subsequent aftermath (if indeed we are in the aftermath) is not a ‘win’ for either candidate: regardless of the cause, Obama’s administration saw massive drops in home values; and, as far as we’ve seen, Romney doesn’t have anything in his plan to raise home values other than his broader economic package (so he has to establish that his economic package will create jobs before he can talk about helping housing). Finally, the national focus has been so strong on jobs, healthcare, and taxes, I think the people who are in a position to ask these questions (like the debate moderators) have glossed over housing in favor of other topics.

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  12. Tim McB

    RE: Ahau @ 9

    Well said.

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ahau @ 11:

    One of them is the MID deduction — no one wants to talk about eliminating it because there is no way to put a positive spin on this in a way that most of the middle class voters will comprehend and agree with.

    Not to mention the fact that way too many people have enough mortgage interest that they can itemize. It would be a very hard sell for them.

    Another is the fact that the housing bubble and subsequent aftermath (if indeed we are in the aftermath) is not a ‘win’ for either candidate: regardless of the cause, Obama’s administration saw massive drops in home values; and, as far as we’ve seen, Romney doesn’t have anything in his plan to raise home values other than his broader economic package (so he has to establish that his economic package will create jobs before he can talk about helping housing).

    I think it would hurt President Obama more, because I don’t think he raised any alarms during his stint as Senator, and probably voted for things that hurt the market. Assuming you consider being Senator being a person in power, he was in power and did nothing.

    What is surprising is that there’s been little discussion of helping people stay in their homes. Apparently that is to small of a minority to make it worth pissing off the majority. I find that surprising.

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  14. Blurtman

    The war continues.

    It is time for the US middle class to align itself with

    1.) Hezbollah
    2.) The Assad Regime
    3.) The Baader-Meinhof Group
    4.) Code Pink

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  15. Wazzuner

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved to limit the MID to somewhere around the conforming loan balance to get more revenue in the door, not to mention it was discussed some time ago of capping it at 500,000. I would prefer to not limit it on primary residences and throw out the issues regarding second / vacation homes. Does anyone find it odd you can write off the interest on a trailer or boat (size dependent) as it’s a “2nd home”? In the end I think this country needs to fess up and deal with the $16T we owe or down the road things will get bad…..

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  16. Doug

    RE: Ahau @ 9

    It seems to me that Romney wouldn’t be able to get all these savings from just the BIG deductions (that he says he will remove) like medical, mortgage, student loans. He’ll also have to reduce or remove the standard deduction. And that would be pretty crushing. i know that would definitely screw me over.

    I’ll make just over 5 figures this year, with ~$13.5k in withholdings (I overpay a bit on purpose, filing as single). Reducing my overall tax rate by 20% would be a bit of a wash for me compared to the standard deduction. But I WOULD be taking a big hit, since I itemized big last year, being a student with a new mortgage. I know a lot of middle-class people in the same boat. If this is revenue-neutral, and the middle class is taking it in the pants, I don’t see how this is anything other than a big gift to the richest Americans.

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  17. Doug

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13

    Well, there’s the FHA streamline, which is a fairly no-lose practice. That’s helping some stay in their houses.

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  18. Danny

    My question is- what impact would that have on home prices? I don’t particularly care about the deduction, I made sure I can afford the house without a deduction and I use anything I get back as fun money.
    My concern is whether a larger portion of buyers count on mortgage deductions to support current median prices. I’m more worried about the price of my house dropping.

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  19. m-s

    Surprised that no one has mentioned the other housing perk, the capital gains writeoff for “profits” on selling a house. Maybe a) nobody HAS any profits on selling a house anymore, b) one can add the costs of remodel, etc over the lifetime of ownership to reduce the gains, and c) it doesn’t happen often enough to matter as a significant lost revenue. I bought in 1994, so I have some a), and done about half the expected profit’s worth of b) improvements. Still, I’d like not to have the hit when I sell…

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  20. HappyRenter

    Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction: Would this find broad public support?

    Most Americans either own or would like to own a home. Any president pushing for the elimination of MID would have to work really hard to persuade the “People” and Congress that it is a good thing ;)

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  21. Carl

    Get rid of all deductions, except to charitable organizations. For corporations, no more tax credits/subsidies (think green energy, oil drilling, farm subsidies, etc. . . ). Keep tax rates the same for $142k and above joint filers (i.e. 28% and above marginal rates). Lower tax rates on the 15% and 20% brackets. Close military bases in Europe. Extend social security qualification age by 5 years, but phased in over next 10 years. Cap spending increases by government to CPI.

    Tough medicine, but has to be done.

    Carl for President 2016.

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  22. Doug

    RE: Carl @ 20

    Why should social security cuts be ‘phased in’? Why should 20 and 30-somethings have to pay full price for the boomers who bankrupted the system, then get shafted themselves? It’s Romney and Ryan’s plan, and I hear very few pundits talking about how downright immoral it is. What happened to not putting everything on the shoulders of the youngest generation? That’s EXACTLY what a plan like that does. Why not just give the program a 5% payout haircut and be done with it? extending it by 5 years is just cruel, and totally unnecessary.

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  23. Kary L. Krismer

    By m-s @ 18:

    Surprised that no one has mentioned the other housing perk, the capital gains writeoff for “profits” on selling a house. Maybe a) nobody HAS any profits on selling a house anymore, b) one can add the costs of remodel, etc over the lifetime of ownership to reduce the gains, and c) it doesn’t happen often enough to matter as a significant lost revenue. I bought in 1994, so I have some a), and done about half the expected profit’s worth of b) improvements. Still, I’d like not to have the hit when I sell…

    It’s not really relevant because the first $250k/$500k of gain is tax free! That’s even lower than the cap gain rate. ;-)

    I don’t have a problem with that exclusion, because it’s largely a tax on inflation, particularly now.

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  24. Doug

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 22

    “Particularly now?”

    Do you mean because homes are appreciating much more slowly, or because inflation is high? (which I would dispute)

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  25. Carl

    RE: Doug @ 22 – Because a good plan pisses off everyone. In the case of the social security cuts, my proposal pisses off the Boomers who see the finish line moving farther away and pisses off the 20-somethings who have to carry the freight for the Boomers.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that on social issues, I am a big “don’t care”.

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  26. Doug

    RE: Carl @ 25RE: Carl @ 25

    Ok, so we’re not meant to take anything you say seriously because you’re contrary for contrary’s sake. Noted.

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  27. Blurtman

    RE: Doug @ 21 – Why doesn’t the younger generation have 5-10 kids? Then SS would be taken care of. Or, allow more baby producing immigrants, but educate everyone, and raise the wage level for US citizens.

    It’s those selfish DINKS and metro-sexual, low testosterone males that are the problem. And xenophobes, too. Mira Japon.

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  28. Blurtman

    Torpedo the favorable carried interest tax treatment. Tax as income. Leave the mortgage interest deduction alone, or the cute dog gets it, see.

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  29. Azucar

    By Doug @ 22:

    RE: Carl @ 20

    Why should social security cuts be ‘phased in’? Why should 20 and 30-somethings have to pay full price for the boomers who bankrupted the system, then get shafted themselves? It’s Romney and Ryan’s plan, and I hear very few pundits talking about how downright immoral it is. What happened to not putting everything on the shoulders of the youngest generation? That’s EXACTLY what a plan like that does. Why not just give the program a 5% payout haircut and be done with it? extending it by 5 years is just cruel, and totally unnecessary.

    I don’t think 20 and 30 somethings would be “getting shafted themselves” if the social security age is increased. Increasing the age at which people can start collecting benefits is, in my opinion, appropriate/reasonable because life expectancies have increased and continue to increase. Over the past 30 years, life expectancy for Americans has increased from 74 to 78 (according to http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN?page=5 )… it was increasing even faster than that before (from what I could find, life expectancy at birth for US citizens was 49.2 years for those born in1901, 59.2 for those born in 1931, 59.9 for those born in 1961, 74 for those born in 1981, and 78 for those born in 2011.

    Doesn’t it make sense that those people should qualify for benefits starting later in life, considering they should (statistically expect to) live longer and collect the benefits until a later age of death than previous generations? How is it “shafting” those people to adjust the age at which they can start to collect benefits to try to keep pace with the age at which they’re statistically likely to stop collecting benefits?

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  30. Gary Bracht

    The article has a point…why else? Maybe because the only other reason would be Housing is too difficult to understand for our candidates and it isn’t as simple as blaming mortgage brokers for our housing bubble or the resultant problems. Consequently, it is far easier to say nothing and not show their ignorance. That would be my spin.

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  31. Jill Schlicke

    It’s obvious to moi.

    The Nat’l Assoc of Realtors is a huge, powerful lobby. Add The Mortgage Bankers Association of America and together they are a powerhouse lobbying group. Both these groups tend to push almost exclusively Republican candidates in all 50 states bc the Right has been a long time friend-with-benefits to Realtor and Banker business concerns.

    So now we have a budget crisis….Gov Mittens isn’t going to come out of the closet and smack NAR and MBAA with a hint of bye-bye to the mortgage interest tax deduction. He is going to talk out of both sides of his butt like he’s been doing this entire time.

    e.g.
    He’s pro-choice…no he’s pro-life…..pro-choice….pro-life.
    It’s a great tactic bc ppl tend to listen only to what they want to hear.

    In addition, neither candidate has given us a clear statement on what their administration will do to stop the colossal red ink factory also known as Fannie and Freddie. Mainstream America doesn’t understand the secondary mortgage market and it isn’t one of Pres Obama’s “top priorities” so we continue on without the voters knowing what Gov Romney or Pres Obama would like to do with our secondary mortgage market.

    It is a sham of a mockery of a sham. It’s a sham-mockery.

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  32. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Jill Schlicke @ 31 – Funny how people forget how candidate Obama pivoted to the center in 2008. Pivoting after the primary happens every four years, and has since at least 1968.

    Abortion though is a funny issue, because some of those who are pro-life have exceptions for rape and incest and some don’t. Thus there are at least three positions you could take on the issue, not just two, and it’s possible to support two of the three, making it appear as a flip-flop. Also, you could be pro-life but recognize the current state of Constitutional law, again making it appear you’re flip-flopping. I think the latter is what’s happened with Romney.

    You also have as an election issue something political leaders largely can’t decide, especially on the national level (ignoring the fact that President Obama probably considers conception to somehow involve the Interstate Commerce Clause.) The next president might appoint two Justices during the next four years, but even that’s a double edge sword. Appoint someone who favors abortion rights and you likely appoint someone who would gut the First Amendment, if the four of the existing pro-life Justices on the Supreme Court are any guide. Which would be worse? Overturning Roe v. Wade, in which case abortions would still be legal in many states, including Washington? Or having a case decision which allows any government, including the Federal Government to restrict speech?

    Finally, you have really knee jerk reaction on the issue, such that issues get improperly analyzed or even totally ignored.

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  33. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 27

    Actually Social Security Was Suppose to Be a Locked Box

    And America’s depopulating 1.7 birthrate the last 3 years [hoooooray!!!! BTW] has nothing to do with funding Social Security, theoretically speaking. The recipients [yes, the Baby Boomers too] put more in it than they’ll spend BTW, which is normal retirement planning for 401Ks too [you don't know how long you'll live].

    So why do we need to lower wages with more population density in America to prop Social Security up? Because our louses in the government robbed the cookie jar and spent it on who knows what like drunken sailors….now its part of the $16T deficit….also, overpopulating America with lower and lower wages makes sense to our new bosses in the futures [Chinese Overlords] but does not make the American deficit better, its making it FAR WORSE…..especially adding more and more medical, welfare, food stamps, schools and other social costs.

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  34. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 33 – Where do you think the SS money was going to go? Do you think they were just going to suck 10% of most peoples’ earnings out of the economy each week for decades?

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  35. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    Let me Guess Kary

    You’re not paying in to SS?

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  36. gr8day

    Acuzar @29 –

    I agree on starting SS later. SS was created to SUPPLEMENT a retirees income for a certain number of years (10?). Now that we live longer, it seem appropriate to make the starting age later. If that “x” number of years used to go from 62-72, now it should go from 67-77.

    I recently read an article that stated SS is only in trouble for about an 8-10 year period. One of the many fixes is adding income by allowing younger immigrants into the country legally. Another is making all the illegals, legal. Then more are paying in for this time period where we are short.

    Also – I believe that the baby boomers had a responsibility to elect people who would keep their SS funds intact. Since they did not, they will need to collect benefits a little later, or have less of them.

    To stay on topic – the MID – I think BO and MR are not talking because they either do not know what to do…or what they know we need to do will not get them elected. Probably the latter. Somehow the MID developed into some kind of sacred cow – where it cannot be touched. Because we as a nation have been fiscally irresponsible, we now need to cut some of the deductions we allow. If MID cannot be cut – perhaps a good trimming will do.

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  37. Kary L. Krismer

    By softwarengineer @ 35:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    Let me Guess Kary

    You’re not paying in to SS?

    Do you not know how the system works? Self-employed people have to pay in more than employed people, because they have to make up part of the employer’s share. So, yes I’m paying into SS.

    My comment though was about your lockbox idea, where you’d have over 10% of earnings held out of the economy indefinitely. That would be an even bigger anchor on the economy than what President Obama has been.

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  38. gr8day

    Carl @ 25-

    You stated “Oh, I forgot to mention that on social issues, I am a big “don’t care”.

    I often think that we as a society have not been able to separate the “unable to work” from the “unwilling to work”. In my lifetime I have seen both. Most of us would help those unable (disabled, elderly etc) but when it comes to the unwilling……….

    I do not mind paying taxes for schools, roads, bridges, and to help the “unable” to provide for themselves. But when I see the “unwilling” using my tax dollars for their fancy coffee and salon nails, then I get upset.

    Social issues have become part of the fabric of our elections/taxes/neighborhood/schools etc.

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  39. ChrisM

    RE: gr8day @ 36 – Little known fact, but illegals are already paying into Social Security, and legally they are entitled to withdraw their money when they meet the same requirements as legals, with the add’l requirement that they receive the benefits outside the country.

    I’ve long suspected that the govt was counting on illegals contributing, but not withdrawing, but more people are learning illegals are currently entitled to the money.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21732.pdf

    A more readable treatment here:
    http://brucekrasting.com/ss-to-pay-100s-of-billions-to-illegal-workers/

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  40. 3rd Generation

    Enough of the Three (or more) Stooges fest.

    Another topic please.

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  41. Doug

    RE: Blurtman @ 27

    Generation X is so small because boomers stopped having kids to focus on their careers. Metrosexuals have nothing to do with it.

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  42. Doug

    RE: gr8day @ 38

    How do you know that people getting coffee and their nails done don’t have jobs? are you psychic?

    Also, if the boomer generation is living to 78, but you’re ONLY penalizing the youngsters by raising the retirement age after the boomers retire, then yes you’re screwing the younger generation. Hard. If the boomers (and more accurately their elected politicians) put SS in a pickle by taking money out of it, and living so dang long, we’re going to make the younger generation work until they’re 70?

    There’s no work for most 65-70 year old people.

    If we’re actually going to be serious about this, why not just cut it by 5%? I have yet to hear why raising the retirement age by 5 years is preferable to this, outside of boomers just want to get theirs and couldn’t care less about the rest of us.

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  43. Jonness

    By Jill Schlicke @ 31:

    It is a sham of a mockery of a sham. It’s a sham-mockery.

    I used to have this terrible nightmare where I went back to high school and had to fit in as an older and wiser student. One day, I realized the dream comes true every 4 years at election time. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only person trapped inside of this terrible nightmare.

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  44. Jonness

    By Doug @ 42:

    Also, if the boomer generation is living to 78, but you’re ONLY penalizing the youngsters by raising tIf we’re actually going to be serious about this, why not just cut it by 5%? I have yet to hear why raising the retirement age by 5 years is preferable to this, outside of boomers just want to get theirs and couldn’t care less about the rest of us.

    The boomers were lied to as children and told there was a Santa Clause, and all they had to do to live the easy life was to be obedient to the preordained rules. Is it possible, after a life of living off of Santa’s credit card, the boomers are suddenly going to admit they selfishly screwed their own children and grand children all the way to their graves? Let’s face it, the boomers are addicted to spending other people’s money, and they are in denial about the ethical issues involved.

    The facts are, the boomers spent all their money, they are broke, and it’s time to cut them of the heroine. It will be painful, but it’s a necessary step in allowing them to grow up and experience reality before we plant them in the ground and forever forget about them. It will be difficult to break them of their Santa Clause delusions in order to lead them toward a much deeper and more purposeful reality. But we at least owe them that much for giving us the gift of life and bringing us into this world.

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  45. David Losh

    Getting rid of the Mortgage Interest Deduction would tank the Real Estate market. Any time I make more money some Real Estate agent tells me I should own more property, and I have bought that argument from time to time in the past.

    Until you get to a certain point of income you need every deduction, and paying a mortgage, in the past, used to seem like a good idea.

    Now it seems ridiculous to keep a mortage for any reason. We will need to get the price of Real Estate back to a price where one, the avergae wage earner can afford housing, and two the price of that housing will need to be much closer to a cash price.

    The foreclosure market is supposed to be based on cash. That’s what is so screwed up. Housing sold at auction is crap that the buyer thinks they can get some bank to lend on. A little paint, a roof, and bam it’s bank financialble again? No it’s still crap.

    We don’t have a viable, sustainable, vibrant housing market that is based on asset value. We need all of the tricks we have, and then some, to keep people holding onto the Dream of owning a home.

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  46. What We’re Reading: Oct. 20 – Oct. 26

    [...] this presidential campaign, housing has been ignored. Why? Housing hasn’t been a feature in the debates or on the campaign trail. Seattle Bubble speculates [...]

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  47. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 45:

    Until you get to a certain point of income you need every deduction, and paying a mortgage, in the past, used to seem like a good idea.

    Paying a dollar to save 30 cents on taxes is never a good idea. That’s a very naive way of looking at things.

    Depreciation, on the other hand, is different, although the benefits of that may be questionable now if rates increase (recapture). Also, someone brought up SS taxes yesterday, thinking somehow real estate agents didn’t pay SS. Well, landlords don’t pay SS taxes on their rental income. So there can be tax reasons to own real property, but paying interest is not one of them.

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  48. Doug

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 46

    I’ve got a 3.25% fixed mortgage now. Between inflation and the write-off, it’s ALMOST like they’re paying me to lend me the money. But we’ve just now gotten to that point, with insanely low interest rates.

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  49. Doug

    RE: Ahau @ 49

    Meh, I don’t see my house dropping below purchase price. We bought pretty dang cheap. And either way, the house:income ratio is 1.75:1, so we’ll be fine.

    We did itemize a ton of charitable deductions, and I’m a student, so we did get a hefty chunk back next year, and I’m getting the ‘full benefit’ of my mortgage deduction over the standard deduction. I realize this won’t exist in perpetuity :-)

    I think it’s odd you don’t count inflation against the interest. My wages have done a pretty good job of tracking inflation, and my monthly payment is going to be a lot easier in 10 years than it is now!

    Also, I think you’re perhaps mixing up the set target interest rate with Quantitative easing?

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