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Are you a fair and honest person?
Probably not. Try this simple test:
Would you support the elimination of the tax deduction for mortgage interest?
If you're a normal person, you'll react by having a psychotic episode.
"Of course they can't take away my special benefit !
How could anyone ever conceive of such a thing !!
It's just not possible !!!
What kind of horrible monster are you !!!!????"
Well, it may not be possible, but that's only because normal people are selfish and dishonest.
There's no reason in the world that people who are making house payments should have their taxes reduced just because they're making house payments. This whole scheme is the politicians' payback for contributions from the contractors and construction unions who are building all those houses that have to be sold to someone, with Uncle Sam lubricating the process by giving the mortgage-payers tax deductions.
It is absolutely, positively unfair. All the poor people and the old people who live in mature, paid-for properties have to make up that tax revenue so that contractors and unions can profit, and so that rich people with new houses can get lower taxes, and use the money for all the things that rich people use their money for.
Remember the lesson about people who are honest versus people who want to "win". The belligerent readers among you will respond: "Okay, you don't take the deduction and the rest of us will !"
So that's fair, everyone else gets a deduction but I don't?
No, it's not fair.
Nobody should get it.
But, do I ever penalize myself for my ethical convictions?
Oh, hell yes.
If you never take a hit for your ethics, you have no ethics.