Obama: Don’t Take Away MID for Middle Class

Commentators, bloggers, and the Twitterverse have been abuzz with praise for the rousing speeches coming out of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week, culminating Thursday night with President Barack Obama accepting his party’s nomination. But now that the political festivities have come to a close, where did housing fall in the ranks of Democratic priorities?

Although not as prevalently spotlighted as jobs, healthcare, or education, housing—specifically the mortgage interest deduction (MID)—did receive a nod in Obama’s acceptance speech.

“I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut,” Obama said in his acceptance speech. In a jab at what Democrats see as a Republican platform that favors the wealthy, Obama said, “I want to reform the Tax Code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000—the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president, the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.”

On Wednesday night, President Clinton also criticized the Republicans’ tax reform plan, saying it puts deductions such as MID and others in jeopardy, which would result in a greater tax burden for middle-class families.

At the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week, challenger Mitt Romney was mostly silent on housing. However, Republicans did pledge support for the MID—in the absence of tax reform. The party’s 2012 platform says, “We strongly support tax reform; in the event we do not achieve this, we must preserve the mortgage interest deduction.”

Obama also touched on the need for a consumer protection in the mortgage lending process, stressing the administration’s proposed guidelines to ensure borrowers are qualified and discourage risky lending.

“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,” Obama said.

Read more in REALTOR® Magazine’s Daily News: Obama Promises to Protect MID for the Middle Class

Erica Christoffer

Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing writer and editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at echristoffer@realtors.org.

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  1. Anne Meczywor

    Remember that Mr. Romney said after his acceptance speech that he only will talk about “what’s important” in his speeches. Not bringing it up, then, says a lot. It seems the campaign staff spends a great deal of time on “corrections” and filling in blanks. The Romney/Ryan ticket will not disclose what deductions are on the chopping block. Since mortgages over $1,000,000 are already exempt, and most buyers in that price range pay cash for their primary and second (and presumably fifth) homes, this is not a deduction likely to be seen as anything of importance to them. I think MID at all levels is in real trouble if this team takes over the Oval Office.

  2. Cheryl Llewellyn

    I’d really like to know what President Obama considers ‘Middle Class’. Does he take National Income or State Income? Or perhaps, he uses some other method. In some areas of the country it takes much more income to live the same lifestyle as other areas.
    Most people believe they are Middle Class and most likely would fall into a higher income bracket. What then?

  3. Glen Moegenburg

    Apparently, the MID is as good as gone if Obama is re-elected. I hope you have noticed that, in almost all cases, what he does is actually the exact opposite of what he says.

  4. Cheryl Llewellyn

    Keep in mind that ALL budgets must pass both the House and Senate. Both Obama and Roomey should be judged on Leadership and Skills. I watched both conventions and listened to both sides. I feel strongly that the Roomey/Ryan team will NOT take away the Mortgage Interest deduction. It is a clear business decision that a takeaway in this area would hurt Real Estate which is a main driver of the economy. Although MID and budget are extremely important, the decision can not be made by the White House alone. Important issues do not include excuses, blame and finger pointing.

  5. Connie

    We better be concerned, since whatever he says, he does the opposite…look out…he primary objective is to “dimish America”…that would be another way to accomplish that. I suggest that all go see the movie “2016” a real eye opener.

  6. Rosie R

    The MID is the least of our concerns in this Post Constitutional America. 

    President William Jefferson (BJ) Clinton, who brought total disrespect to “The Office of The President”,  was impeached and lost his law license is not someone who should necessarily be placed on a pedestal. The fact is that there was no surplus during the Clinton presidency ….

    “While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it’s curious to see Clinton’s record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.”

    In addition “Obamacare” is A Tax.  The IRS will be involved in collecting from those who do not purchase the mandatory health care insurance, while the government officials can will keep their Cadillac plans that “We The People” pay for. What’s to prevent the IRS from placing tax liens on private homes if we don’t pay up?

    Remember Kelo vs. The City of  New London”   (Eminent Domain) Look it up.

    Obamanation (One painting that says it all)

  7. Rich Seppa

    If you get half- 50%- of your yearly income from Earned Income not Capital Gains such as Dividend Stocks and other Capital gains instruments then you are most likely are in the middle class. Not the 5% of the Rich population which Romney will represent. Don’t be fooled!

  8. Richard Recuset

    Let’s hope for some change! To move “Forward” we need a president qualified for the job. A president that stands up for our ideals and principles, and especially one that’s fiscally responsible. We need a strong leader, and one that understands capitalism. Clearly, it’s not Obama. It feels like we’re falling apart as a country slowly but surely in every respect.
    Unless you’re ok with working hard while subsidizing those that don’t (spreading the wealth=socialism-lots of taxes & big government) Obama is your man.