As Dennis reports, homeowners are allowed to deduct the interest paid on mortgage balances up to $1 million, including on second homes, as well as on $100,000 worth of home-equity loans. The deduction overwhelmingly benefits wealthier families, partly because they tend to have larger mortgages and pay more interest, and partly because most low- and middle-income Americans do not itemize deductions on their tax returns.
“The outcome of that debate could have profound long-term effects on homeowners across the country — and particularly those in the Washington area, who tend to benefit from the tax break more than many other Americans due to the region’s hefty home prices and high incomes,” Dennis writes.
This week’s Color of Money Question: What do you think of the possible elimination of the mortgage interest deduction? Send your responses to email@example.com, and put “Mortgage Interest” in the subject line. Be sure to include your full name, city and state.
Many stores got an early start on the holiday shopping season by opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. So I wanted to know, “What did you think of the new Black Thursday?”
Here’s what some of you said:
“The focus of Thanksgiving Day should be on family and friends -- coming together in fellowship over good food, making wonderful memories and cherished traditions,” wrote Patricia Hines of Albany, N.Y. “People that put the emphasis on getting out to the sales on Black Thursday miss out on all that, and unfortunately, so do the sales staff that have to report to work that day, and the end result is: increased stress, family drama, and possibly shoppers out in public under the influence of alcohol. The sales may be there every day from now until February but will your family? That’s something to think about.”
Thea Kester of Ashville, N.Y., said Black Friday is a nightmare that she refuses to even approach.
“Moving it back into Thanksgiving Day is an obscene travesty. There is no reason that we need to extend this orgy of crazed consumption any farther than we already have. I will shop, as has become my habit, in the mornings of December, on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, when the stores are not crowded, and I will make thoughtful choices without the pressure of fifty other people all grabbing for the same item. Then I will go home and bake Christmas cookies.”
“I think addictive shoppers do not buy more when businesses extend their hours; they just shop more,” wrote Lois Berkowitz of Oro Valley, Ariz.
Tia Lewis contributed to this report.
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