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03/12/2009

Righteous Anger

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I am not exactly sure who Matt Miller is, aside from the fact that he writes for The Daily Beast, but I love his column today. Just a little taste of Miller going after those who claim Obama is igniting a class war with some of his new tax proposals:

A closer look [at the tax plan] should reassure the GOP and Democratic tax writers that under the Obama plan, America’s top earners, far from being punished, will still retain their traditional place at the top of Uncle Sam’s housing and charity dole.

Let the mortgage deduction illustrate the point. Under Obama’s proposal, top earners will be able to deduct mortgage interest only at the 28 percent rate, not at the 35 percent rate (or the 39.6 percent rate, once Bush’s tax cuts expire). What does that mean exactly? Today, every $1,000 in mortgage interest (or charitable gifts) generates $350 in tax savings for top earners; under the new plan, the tax savings would be only $280.

To be sure, this represents a sudden and disorienting loss for top earners, who were accustomed under the previous regime to having their taxes cut even during a time of war. But here’s the comforting part: That $280 per $1,000 mortgage subsidy is still a lot more than the $150 subsidy per $1,000 that millions of middle-income homeowners in the 15 percent bracket enjoy. And it’s an infinitely bigger federal housing grant than the zero awarded by Uncle Sam to the masses of Americans who rent (or who will shortly, once they’ve been thrown out of their homes).

So many things to get the blood pumping these days it's hard for a person to sleep.

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Austin Diaz

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