Friday, May 7, 2010

I Can't Push This Enough

Yet another argument in favor of ending the home mortgage deduction (gleaned from Free Exchange). The only thing I'd like to add is that I believe the arguments in favor of encouraging home ownership are some of the weakest policy arguments I'm aware of. Since it's hard to get rid of an existing bad policy, for an example read about attempts to allow selling wine in supermarkets here in New York, I'd suggest putting in a grandfather clause for existing home mortgages rather than a permanent credit. I also think this would help get rid of the housing overhang since it would give an incentive to buy sooner rather than after the grandfather clause would expire so there's another reason for doing it.


  1. I agree with that. Either way, the result is to push down home prices and, in the short term, reduce mobility, but if you grandfather the mortgages, at least those of us who already have them can afford the places we're in now.

  2. I guess another idea would be for the government to pay off the portion of existing mortgages equivalent in interest to the existing deduction. Either way, not a simple transition but right is right.