Consequences of cutting mortgage tax break

Some say 'average' family would end up paying higher taxes

Every few years, some committee floats the idea of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on primary residences. It came up in again in Washington, D.C., recently, along with the possibility of delaying Social Security payments for many of the bouncing baby boom generation. My reaction to these proposals in a "normal year" had always been: If the mortgage interest deduction must be on the chopping block, why not first start with second homes, weigh the results, then re-evaluate?If eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on primary homes is deemed critical, why not reduce the maximum amount first, test and revisit? Traditional assumptions about the benefits of homeownership have become subject to debate. With a gradual rise in interest rates during the next few years also looking likely, isn't this a curious time to discuss the chance of taking away a long-standing housing benefit?"Of course, the Realtors will always oppose," said John Tuccillo,...