Obama vows commitment to mortgage tax break

Republicans, in their party platform, vowed to eliminate deduction

If reelected, President Barack Obama would not touch the mortgage-interest tax deduction for middle-class families, he said last night during a speech accepting his party’s nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Instead, any tax increases or deficit reduction measures would be aimed at households earning more than $250,000 per year, he said.

“We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes, and so is the entire economy,” he said.

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Obama’s stance marks another distinction between the Democrats and Republicans, who pledged to eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction as part of their party platform. GOP candidate Mitt Romney introduced a summary of his housing policy plan on his campaign website earlier this week.

Although critics have said abolishing the tax break would make it more difficult for middle class individuals to purchase homes, the Republicans say it would help pave the way for income and corporate tax cuts.

The deductions cost the U.S. $80 billion in 2009, according to a study by the Congressional Budget Office.– Leigh Kamping-Carder