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What is your sacred cow?

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but you can do for your country” JFK

What is your sacred cow and would you give it up if it would get your country out of financial trouble?

I am a real estate agent and one of the sacred cows of the real estate industry is the mortgage interest deduction. I live in a rural area so my real estate earnings have always been modest. I have never sold a home to someone that was buying a home for the mortgage interest deduction. Most of my buyers are buying to have a home for their families. What this tells me is that the mortgage interest deduction is only useful for those with higher incomes than the average family in America. Don’t get me wrong I am not a “tax the rich” person I am a “tax everyone equally” person. I personally have never used the mortgage interest deduction because the standard deduction has generally covered what my itemized deductions would be. I also hate itemizing though I do both to see which has the best outcome.

I am fast approaching retirement age and I would be willing to give up my social security if it meant that my children and grandchildren would not be spent into oblivion before they had a chance to make a life for themselves. That being said when I first got out of the Air Force in the early 80’s the top marginal tax rate was around 70% compared to about 40% now. The reason things seem tougher now is not the tax rates but the purchasing power of the dollar you earn when compared to 30 years ago. In that last statement is a whole other blog on why pre-tax 401k deductions are not the best move you can make. Stay tuned.

Too many want too much from those who run the printing presses and whose livelihood depends upon getting re-elected. What would you do if you were in that position? Do you have the character required to say no to all the hands that are out wanting this favor or that? How strong are your ethics? I believe it was D.L. Moody that said something like this “Do right do right till the stars fall from the sky do right” good character is shown when you do what it is right even when no one is looking. Is that the nature of your character? If not then I’d venture a guess that you would crank up the presses just like the current wielders of the printing press switch are instead of making the tough choices required to get America out of this current financial mess.

But I digress- I say the mortgage interest deduction is peanuts in the grand scheme of things but you have to start somewhere.

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