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October 17, 2012

Presidential Debate #2: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the home mortgage tax deduction

by Central Coast Lending
Home Construction (1)

The second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took place on Tuesday, October 16.  The “town-hall” structure of the debate had the two candidates take direct questions from audience members, respond, and then debate back and forth. Here is what Obama and Romney said about the mortgage market, mortgage tax deduction and the government regulation:

The word “mortgage” appeared just twice in the entire debate transcript. On Monday, October 15, we wrote an article profiling two popular mortgage tax deductions that could be in jeopardy: the home mortgage interest tax deduction and the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, the latter of which is due to expire at the end of the year.

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One question from the October 16 debate asked Romney to explain his position on the home mortgage interest tax deduction. From the NPR transcript:

Q: Governor Romney, you have stated that if you’re elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. Concerning the — these various deductions — the mortgage deduction, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and also the… education credits, which are important to me because I have children in college. What would be your position on those things, which are important for the middle class?

Romney used the opportunity to reiterate that his prime concern was to “simplify the tax code” in order to “get some relief to middle-income families.” If elected president, Romney would lower taxes across the board, while ”limiting” deductions (read: loopholes).

And so in terms of bringing down deductions, one way of doing that would be to say everybody gets — I’ll pick a number — $25,000 of deductions and credits. And you can decide which ones to use, your home mortgage interest deduction, charity, child tax credit and so forth. You can use those as part of filling that bucket, if you will, of deductions. But your rate comes down, and the burden also comes down on you for one more reason.

Romney continued giving details about his tax plan, stating that middle-income taxpayers would no longer “pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains, no tax on your savings.” You can read the full transcript HERE.

[Related: Mortgage tax deductions at risk

President Obama did not address the home mortgage interest tax deduction.


Central Coast Lending is a California mortgage brokerage based in San Luis Obispo County. With offices in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, and Arroyo Grande, Central Coast Lending is the top source for Central Coast mortgage, real estate, and home loan needs. To see why using a broker offers lower rates and superior service, click HERE. For a free, hassle-free online pre-qualification click HERE or call 805.543.LOAN to talk to one of our expert loan officers.

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