Peter Dreier, a professor of politics and director of the Urban and Environmental Policy program at Occidental College, imparts this wisdom at the Roofline blog:
The current system subsidizes the rich to buy huge homes without helping most working families buy even a small bungalow.
The real estate industry—homebuilders, realtors and mortgage bankers—has lobbied hard to preserve homeowner tax breaks, arguing that they are the linchpin of the American Dream. This is nonsense. Contrary to the Times’ off-handed comment, this tax break is not a “prized middle class benefit.” Only a handful of middle class families get the prize—and the prize itself is quite small. Only 29 percent of the 65 million households with incomes between $30,000 and $100,000 receive any homeowner subsidy.
Twenty-nine percent of 65 million is 18,850,000 middle-income households. The average size of a US household is 2.59. Nearly 49 million middle-income people benefit from homeowner tax breaks – “only a handful,” says the professor.