Comments about ‘A tax plan that economists love (and politicians hate)’

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Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

When "government" decides that an expense to one party is not allowed to be exempted by that party, it has taxed us two times.

Mortage interest is taxed to the mortage company as income. If it is not allowed to be a deduction to the person who pays that interest, it is double taxation.

Kearns, UT

Mortgage interest is taxed to the mortgage company as income. If it is not allowed to be a deduction to the person who pays that interest, it is double taxation.

Mortgage interest is built into the cost of the home as well as the loan. Banks see the amount being paid to them as income because it is repaying a debt. There shouldn't need to be a deduction on an interest amount because it was there at the beginning, it isn't something that comes up each year like taxes.

Try replacing Mortgage with Car Loan or Student Loan, you don't get deductions for the interest paid to those loans, why should you get one for your house? That is just a subsidy from the government that shouldn't be allowed.

There is no difference in providing a personal subsidy or a subsidy to a company. All subsidies are bad and need to be stopped. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Don't rely on others to help pay your bills. If you need the deduction to afford your house, you are on welfare, even if you don't realize it.


Of course, all these taxes would need to be replaced by a federal sales/consumption tax, called a VAT tax in many countries or GST in Canada. The VAT tax would be significantly higher than the 7-9% sales tax we are accustomed to paying. Many/most countries have a VAT tax and a federal income tax, but not a state income tax.

First, people need to listen to the complete show, not just the clip and read panelist Dean Baker's comments. The economists also favored legalizing/decriminalizing pot (and instead regulate and tax it) and taxing carbon emmissions, even raising gas taxes. Dean Baker points out many problems with the tax changes they came up with and ends "those are my complaints against the Planet Money candidate's platform for now. He/she will have to do a bit more work to get my vote, even if I did help to design the platform."

Hayden, ID

This is such a no brainer! Cut government spending! Problem solved and the economy skyrockets and no one needs to pay more in taxes!

salt lake city, utah

"This is such a no brainer! Cut government spending! Problem solved and the economy skyrockets and no one needs to pay more in taxes!" No brainer..perfect description of someone who thinks that's the solution.


I listened to the program and thought it made sense. Since we have economists why don't we listen to them?

Dump all government spending like tax deductions.

Hayden, ID

@ pragmatistferlife. Okay, lets do it your way. Increase government spending, increase the national debt,raise taxes and destroy the economy. Opps, that's been Obama's plan for 4 years too. How's that working out?

Salt Lake City, UT

Mountanman, your taxes have not been raised. At least not on a federal level. Nobodies have. The economy has not been destroyed. Not even close. In fact (yes, I know you don't use facts to form your opinion), the economy is healthy and growing. Pragmatistforlife did not say a thing about what plan he supports.. Not one word. But then again you like fighting straw men, don't you?

Hayden, ID

Mark. What planet are you living on? The national debt is over $16 trillion and growing by abt $1 billion each day. We have more people on food stamps than at any time in history. The average net worth of every American has decreased by over 40% in the last 4 years. Obamacare is the largest tax increase in the history of the nation. More Americans are living in poverty than 4 years ago. Gas prices are at all time high and food prices are inflating by double digits. Straw men? The straw men are those who continue to support the policies that produce these facts.

salt lake city, utah

Mountanman..So I take it you've completely forgotten about a little thing called the great recession that occurred..before..Obama was elected. 700,000 jobs lost a month, stock market lost two thirds of it's value, home prices cut in half. GWB responded by increasing the annual deficit from 500billion a year to 1.4 trillion in '09.

Now we are virtually the only economy other than China and Brazil that has positive gdp growth and has added private sector jobs..so how is it working out..pretty well I'd say.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Any tax plan that allows individuals to manipulate their tax will not be a fair and effective tax plan.

The only fair tax plan is a tax plan that taxes the one single thing that is the most common denominator of all activity. That one thing is personal income to the individual.

All personal income for every recipient from any and all sources of income without exception and without deduction must be taxed. Further the individual must not have any knowledge of or control over the income for which he is taxed.

To accomplish this, requires an enforced partnership between government and business activity with in the sphere of the United States of America.

All personal income is inherent in the money paid out by a business operation. All costs, all dividends, all money that leaves the business is income to someone. By applying a flat rate to that outflow and remitting that to the taxing authority, each and every recipient of that income is taxed automatically without any need of personal action.

Hayden, ID

Pragmatist Obama supporters have only emotion to base their support of him. Why are Obama supporters so willing to accept the corruption (Solyndra, A123, fast and furious, White House intelligence leaks,the Benghazi coverup and lies and his failures in the economy if not on emotion only? Why do you demand so little of your president and so much from everyone else?

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The point of the mortgage tax deduction is to encourage home ownership which is considered to be desirable.

I think that they should reduce the mortgage tax reduction so that you can only get a deduction for the first $300,000 of your home. You should not be able to get it for a second home and you should not be able to get it for a $5 million home.

The fact that people can get a mortgage interest deduction for really expensive houses and that this has been going on so long is because a lot of congressmen from both parties wanted to help the affluent.

(I think that we should raise taxes on the rich. I am not delusional, it won't solve the deficit problem and I think that Mountainman would support me on this, it won't make much of a difference, but whether you agree with me on this, at the very least, let's stop giving benefits to those who don't need them.)

Salt Lake City, UT

Mountanman, what planet do I live on? Why, I live right here in the good old U S of A.

I'll tell you where I don't live. I don't live where conservative spin meisters on talk radio and the Internet spout nonsense such as the economy is being destroyed or taxes have been raised while their willing stooges lap it up. I don't live where low information people can rattle off a list of "facts" totally out of context and think they have proven something. I do visit there at times, but afterwards I am very happy to leave and return to the world of reason, where people do understand context and how to provide well thought out opinion on issues, and they even know how to spell mountain.

Anything else you want to know?

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