If you want to understand why the tax code is so hard to overhaul, consider the case of the mortgage interest deduction. The issue is so sensitive that the House and Senate are dealing with it in completely opposite ways.
To its many defenders and beneficiaries, the mortgage interest deduction symbolizes and subsidizes the American Dream. It promotes homeownership, which gives people a stake in stronger neighborhoods and safer streets. And, of course, homeownership is the ticket to the middle class.
By allowing homeowners to write off their mortgage interest expenses thus reducing their…

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