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