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Unfair Provision in the Tax Code

June 11, 1985

"Deductions central to American values will be maintained, such as the home mortgage interest deduction," so sayeth our President. This is the one single deduction in the tax code that is the most discriminatory and unfair.

It is unfair to the millions or renters who are denied its benefits and it is unfair to the millions of homeowners whose homes are already paid for. It is, indeed, the "homeowner's welfare," as the rest of the taxpayers are subsidizing this deduction to the tune of $25 billion annually. To present a tax reform bill without reducing or eliminating this deduction is the apotheosis of cynicism.

Yet the political party that claims to be "more representative of the majority of the citizens of this country," specifically, the Democratic Party, utters not one word of disapproval over this "intentional oversight," giving tacit approval to the continuing rip-off of the renter, usually on the lowest end of the economic ladder and too often subjected to rapacious attacks in rent increases by landlords. Are the hands of this party less dirty?

Also unfair, but only to a lesser degree, is the deferral of taxes on the obscene profits on the sale of homes, as well as the complete avoidance of taxes on profits of up to $125,000 if you happen to be 55 or over and have lived in your home a scant three of the five years preceding the sale.

These gifts by both political parties to the landed gentry at the renter's expense have heavily contributed to the roaring deficit the entire country is now facing.

But patriotic Americans do not speak or write of these injustices to one segment of our society. Can you recall the last time anyone (newspaper columnist, editor or TV commentator) recommended that the elimination of these deductions would go a long way to alleviating the deficit? To do so would run the risk of being labeled as "un-American."

MARTIAL C. ESPARROS

Bell

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