So, I'm standing in line, waiting to board an airplane when I hear a CNN news reader mention an idea to modify the mortgage tax deduction.
The panel found that current tax breaks for homeowners, such as the mortgage interest deduction, encourage wealthier taxpayers to buy bigger houses and do little to help others purchase homes.
That contributes to rising home prices and pushes less wealthy taxpayers toward risky loans, said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “We are starting to see some significant pain here,” she said.
One change discussed would lower the $1 million limit on mortgages eligible for the interest deduction to an amount closer to average housing prices, with adjustments for geographical differences. The panel also considered converting the current deductions into a credit, among other ideas.
What's missing is the amount the "average housing prices" is listed as being. The number I've seen is $350K.
Well, in my area, most of the homes being built, start above that price. However, I don't live in a "rich neighborhood". I live in a middle class neighborhood.
This would cause a housing market crash you would not believe. This would follow with a recession or depression.
This proposal is a "soak the rich" scheme that will catch ordinary middle class people. This is up there with the AMT.
After the criticism of his disastrous handling the Katrina disaster, President George Bush promises a reconstruction programme of $200bn for areas destroyed by the hurricane. But the first and biggest beneficiaries will be businesses that specialise in profiting from disaster, and have already had lucrative contracts in Iraq; they will gentrify New Orleans at the expense of its poor, black citizens.
The power elite of New Orleans -- whether they are still in the city or have moved temporarily to enclaves such as Destin, Fla., and Vail, Colo. -- insist the remade city won't simply restore the old order. New Orleans before the flood was burdened by a teeming underclass, substandard schools and a high crime rate. The city has few corporate headquarters.
The new city must be something very different, Mr. Reiss says, with better services and fewer poor people. "Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way: demographically, geographically and politically," he says. "I'm not just speaking for myself here. The way we've been living is not going to happen again, or we're out."
Black politicians have controlled City Hall here since the late 1970s, but the wealthy white families of New Orleans have never been fully eclipsed. Stuffing campaign coffers with donations, these families dominate the city's professional and executive classes, including the white-shoe law firms, engineering offices, and local shipping companies. White voters often act as a swing bloc, propelling blacks or Creoles into the city's top political jobs. That was the case with Mr. Nagin, who defeated another African American to win the mayoral election in 2002.