There are six Republicans on the Supercommittee: Congressmen David Camp of Michigan, Jeb Henserling of Texas, and Fred Upton of Michigan and Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
They can all be reached via the Congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121.
Together with the House and Senate GOP Leadership these six Republicans are on the brink of a disastrous “deal” with Democrats that will reduce or eliminate the individual tax deductions for home mortgage interest, for state and local taxes and possible for charitable contributions as well.
These changes would hammer an already extremely weak housing sector, and immediately reduce the value of every home in America because the home mortgage interest deduction is part of the value of every house, whether or not its owners use the deduction at all. Proponents of this tax hike urge that it will fall only on the wealthy or the most expensive homes or just second homes, and this is nonsense, reflecting a basic ignorance of how the housing market actually works. Reduce the value of houses on the high end and you reduce the value of houses everywhere on the housing ladder. Reduce the value of second homes and you reduce the demand for homes, period.
Not only would every homeowner’s wealth instantly decline upon such an agreement, the banks and other financial institutions would also be obliged to recalculate the value of their holdings connected to home mortgages.
Any limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes punishes every citizen of high tax states severely. Capping the charitable deduction in any way would be a hammer blow on tens of thousands of not-for-profits, and if anyone tries to argue that people don’t give because of the tax deduction, they have never, ever been involved in fund raising, period.
So it is a terrible deal, and one that could only be cooked up by consultants inside the Beltway who haven’t lived outside of the City for decades, and who wrongly think they can disguise a massive tax hike on millions of Americans by calling it “tax reform.” This “deal” would shatter support for the House GOP especially as that new majority was sent back in 2010 to control spending, not reduce the budget deficit via massive tax hikes and new revenue streams. Focus-group tested rhetoric about “tax reform” and “growing the economy” works for focus groups, but not for voters who paid very close attention in 2010 and didn’t hear a single GOP candidate campaign on a platform of slashing the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for state and local taxes and the charitable deduction.
If the Supercommittee proposes anything remotely like this disaster, expect a full court press to push the GOP Freshmen in the House to oppose the bill, and watch as the Democrats on the ropes in Senate race after Senate race regain their footing as the GOP base concludes that it just doesn’t matter who they send back to D.C. or what they are promised, they will always end up with the short end of the stick and a growing federal government fueled by even more of their accumulated savings.
Call the Supercommittee and tweet to @JohnBoehner, @MajorityLeader @GOPWhip and @KevinOMcCarthy plus @robportman and @Seante_GOPs to communicate opposition, early and often, to this the worst trial balloon of decades of trial balloons.