‘Foong on Finance’ with Keat Foong: Staying Alive

The final proposal from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was shot down at the end of this week. But don’t worry, at least some Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as probably the President himself, are eager to keep the the package’s ideas alive through next year.    

Recommendations from the President Obama-appointed co-chairs include: eliminating or limiting the mortgage interest deduction, taxing dividends and capital gains as ordinary income‑and eliminating the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.  

The proposal of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-chairs got only 11 votes, not the supermajority 14 votes that are required from commission members in order for the plan to go to Congress and the White House for consideration.

As to be expected, some groups in the real estate industry had strong words to say regarding this final plan. If adopted, it would bring a “huge tax increase on millions of middle-class,” says National Association of Home Builders Chairman Bob Jones. Another effect could be: a “devastating impact on both present and future homeowners,” in the words of Michael Berman, CMB, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

As it is, the middle class believes it is shrinking and hurting. Maybe President Obama’s plan should not place the emphasis, if that is indeed the case, on making the Middle Class pay disproportionately.

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