Why They're After Your Favorite Tax Break

Behind the push to eliminate the home-mortgage deduction

There may be nothing more American than the home-mortgage deduction, which came into being in 1913--two years before the New York Yankees wore pinstripes. This deduction has helped make the American Dream affordable and has contributed to a run-up in the homeownership rate to 69% from 44% during World War II. In recent years, the mortgage deduction hasn't just helped folks get into a house, it has given them the most valuable tool for managing their finances since the piggy bank: tax-deductible home-equity loans and lines of credit. Just try to find a rate on a credit card or construction loan...

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