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2017-08-05 — yahoo.com

As Matthew Desmond, author of "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City," wrote in May, it's actually one of the main entitlement programs in the United States. "But by any fair standard," Desmond wrote in the New York Times, "the holy trinity of United States social policy should also include the mortgage-interest deduction -- an enormous benefit that has also become politically untouchable."

Many countries like Australia, Canada, and Britain don't have this deduction, which is ostensibly there to increase homeownership. Economists don't think this necessarily works, however, instead simply allowing for the purchase of larger houses and benefiting the wealthy. According to the Tax Policy Center, it's a very regressive policy, disproportionately helping boost the top 20% post-tax income.

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In April, the administration released its tax proposal, and while it indicated that it would "protect the homeownership and charitable gift tax deductions," the proposal sought to double the standard deduction, which would effectively mute the mortgage deduction benefit for many American homeowners--except the wealthiest.

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Despite being one of the most expensive tax breaks, costing the country--mostly the renters, who don't get the benefit--$77 billion in 2016, Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will face massive blowback should they pursue this policy. And not just from homeowners--from renters too. After all, homeownership is consistently cited as a being a part of the American Dream, a dream many renters hope to realize someday.

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