We are saying a similar thing. However, let's consider the bigger picture. Over the years the tax system has become more and more complex, with special interests pleading for a change in the rules to benefit them and succeeding.
We can move on to this point but first do we agree that the renter is out what the owner-resident is allowed to retain: the disposable income from the interest-rate deduction ($400 in our example)?
Let me assume you now agree with this. If so the question remains which way to achieve parity. You point out that deductions are problematic because they give Ďspecial treatmentí to some. That's certainly true. Others are left holding the bag.
The idea of focusing on deductions to renters (and all other who donít have an interest-rate deduction) is a way of respecting the rights of home owners to keep their hard-earned salary (to pay for their American Dream) while demanding respect for all others to keep their hard-earned income, too. I donít want to hurt home-owners and you donít either (youíd compensate the loss of deduction with a general tax decrease).
In other words, what we are saying is that everyone gets an interest-rate deduction even if you donít have a loan. Iíd allow that to expand so that even those that donít itemize get that deduction (increase the standard deduction to a flat amount plus a percentage). This will eventually make deductions irrelevant by giving them to everyone.
This is just a simple way of saying letís help everyone get a lower tax by bringing down taxes for those who donít have the aid of a deduction. Politically it is difficult to oppose deductions because people wonít believe ďbut youíll still pay less when we lower the rates.Ē I donít blame them. Rates can go back up and youíll be without the aid of a deduction. (I give Peter Schwartz credit for this point circa 1980s.)
People donít trust the government. Iíd focus on the injustice and those who are unfairly paying the tax burden. Itís a way of raising peopleís awareness of the unfairness while not attacking those who already have a chance to keep their income. I donít want to pit owner-resident against renter. I want to welcome the renters (and others) on board the freedom train by allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned income. I focus on those who benefit. I agree with that blogger. Letís focus on the positive.