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Letters: Evaluating tax loopholes

December 23, 2012

Re "California would pay high price in tax plan," Column, Dec. 19

Michael Hiltzik describes the impact on California taxpayers if a cap on federal deductions is implemented. Left unsaid is that the cap on deductions is a simple, expedient but cowardly mechanism to raise revenue. It treats every "loophole" equally rather than tasking our legislators to review the tax code and eliminate item by item those deductions that are unaffordable or obsolete.

What is lost in the conversation is that every loophole at some time had a purpose. Yet many of those deductions may have long served their purpose. On the other hand, eliminating some can be devastating. Capping the home mortgage interest deduction, which has a direct relationship to home values, would devastate middle-class net worth and the ability of millions of Americans to retire.

Courageous leadership would deal with deduction obsolescence and stand up to special-interest groups to reform our tax code.

Glen Esnard

Newport Beach

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