Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Does the racism of Arizona Republicans know no bounds? Arizona Republican legislators plan to introduce a bill to deny birth certificates to babies born to undocumented immigrants, according to CNN. Clearly, these folks have not taken a civics class. “‘If you go back to the original intent of the drafters … it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens,’ said (State Rep. John) Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 — the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.” Um, John, no papers were required to allow your colonialist ancestors into the country. Can we please deport this guy?

In somewhat related news, meaning this candidate for governor of California ran racist ads against Latinos — I mean, immigrants! — Meg Whitman scares me. That is all.

Glamour magazine ran a disturbing story about the number of women who undergo breast augmentation surgery and do not know any of the risks, or that they will have to redo the surgery. Breast implants are the No. 1 cosmetic surgery in the country, with 364,000 women poised to undergo the procedure this year alone.

The St. Petersburg Times ran a bizarre story about a religious order associated with the Scientology church forcing young girls to terminate their pregnancies. The official stance of the church, which is the faith of a number of celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, is neutral on abortion.  

Podiatrists are urging pregnant women not to wear stilettos, according to BBC News. Oops, I missed that memo.

Helping run MotherTalkers, I often get pitches from vendors and non-profit organizations. Here is a neat website that includes all the rules and descriptions of the some of the most popular board games out there.

And I cannot believe I overlooked this one. Did you know that our Vegas has a blog? Here it is!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

130 thoughts on “Wednesday Morning Open Thread

  1. Pie

    I’m making pie this morning.  I wish I were going to be eating it, but it’s for teacher appreciation at the kids’ school.  Then I’m doing a massive clean of the house, taking my mom to look at two places (she’s finally agreed to consider the possibility of staying put), testifying in front of the faculty senate regarding the job situation, sending out a couple of inquiries and calling my shrink.

    DH apologized this morning and reminded me that it will all be okay.  I know I love the guy because just his arms and reassurance were enough to get me back on track, at least momentarily.

    • bakery

      You’re amazing, making pie today. I’d be at the bakery buying one.

      Glad things are better with your DH. Hope you have a good day, it sounds like a busy one.

      • Eh

        Don’t be too impressed.  I’m using frozen crust and this recipe which requires nearly no cooking.  It’s not rocket surgery.

        1 c. sugar
        □   3 tbsp. corn starch
        □   1 c. mashed berries
        □   1 tsp. lemon juice
        □   Berries to fill shell
        □   Baked pie shell
        □   Powdered sugar

        Cook until clear 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 cup mashed berries. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cool.

        Fill baked pie shell with fresh berries. Pie shell should be covered with powdered sugar.

        Pour the cooked glaze over fresh berries. Top with whipped cream.

        Good with strawberries.

        • love pie

          My mom and dad have apple trees. We’d pick apples and make kick ass pies. Love it.
          I love to bake. Hate to cook. So pies are right up my alley.

        • See? This is why I am lousy at baking.

          “cook until clear” with 1 cup of berries? How will that ever be clear? Don’t they mean translucent? I would cook and cook and cook and wonder why it never went clear.

    • good luck

      when you testify and sounds like you have a very busy day today. But most especially glad that your DH apologized that that you feel back on track, at least for the moment.

    • so glad

      about DH. It is all gonna be okay.
      Even your mom is coming around. Can you do a massive clean in one day? I’d need about five months. oy!  

      and mm, pie. (I can’t make piecrust either. It turns the air blue in the kitchen… )

    • That’s awesome, Laura.

      He sounds like a keeper, lol!  GOOD LUCK on your hearings today.  Boy you have a full day, treat yourself at the end of it, Ok?

    • oh, good

      I’m glad things are looking up at least a little bit.  Having the support of DH makes a huge difference.  It’s going to be okay, really!

  2. Pie

    I’m making pie this morning.  I wish I were going to be eating it, but it’s for teacher appreciation at the kids’ school.  Then I’m doing a massive clean of the house, taking my mom to look at two places (she’s finally agreed to consider the possibility of staying put), testifying in front of the faculty senate regarding the job situation, sending out a couple of inquiries and calling my shrink.

    DH apologized this morning and reminded me that it will all be okay.  I know I love the guy because just his arms and reassurance were enough to get me back on track, at least momentarily.

    • bakery

      You’re amazing, making pie today. I’d be at the bakery buying one.

      Glad things are better with your DH. Hope you have a good day, it sounds like a busy one.

      • Eh

        Don’t be too impressed.  I’m using frozen crust and this recipe which requires nearly no cooking.  It’s not rocket surgery.

        1 c. sugar
        □   3 tbsp. corn starch
        □   1 c. mashed berries
        □   1 tsp. lemon juice
        □   Berries to fill shell
        □   Baked pie shell
        □   Powdered sugar

        Cook until clear 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 cup mashed berries. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cool.

        Fill baked pie shell with fresh berries. Pie shell should be covered with powdered sugar.

        Pour the cooked glaze over fresh berries. Top with whipped cream.

        Good with strawberries.

        • love pie

          My mom and dad have apple trees. We’d pick apples and make kick ass pies. Love it.
          I love to bake. Hate to cook. So pies are right up my alley.

        • See? This is why I am lousy at baking.

          “cook until clear” with 1 cup of berries? How will that ever be clear? Don’t they mean translucent? I would cook and cook and cook and wonder why it never went clear.

    • good luck

      when you testify and sounds like you have a very busy day today. But most especially glad that your DH apologized that that you feel back on track, at least for the moment.

    • so glad

      about DH. It is all gonna be okay.
      Even your mom is coming around. Can you do a massive clean in one day? I’d need about five months. oy!  

      and mm, pie. (I can’t make piecrust either. It turns the air blue in the kitchen… )

    • That’s awesome, Laura.

      He sounds like a keeper, lol!  GOOD LUCK on your hearings today.  Boy you have a full day, treat yourself at the end of it, Ok?

    • oh, good

      I’m glad things are looking up at least a little bit.  Having the support of DH makes a huge difference.  It’s going to be okay, really!

  3. school

    So after searching for a new school for the past couple of months, we finally found one!

    It’s a local Catholic school and we LOVE it. It was so weird, as soon as we walked in and started the tour and meeting everyone, I just got this feeling it was the right place.

    It’s small, only one class per grade. And it just seemed like such a happy place, people were actually happy there. The teachers were so nice and so normal. The principal, Sister M., was amazing. You could just tell she was so loved and well-respected, and from our interview with her, I could tell why.

    And being back in a Catholic school just felt so right. I didn’t realize this until now, but it makes so much more sense for us to have our faith life and our education life together as one. All of the things I remember…First Fridays, May crowning, Mary statues, crucifixes up on the wall of each classroom, murals of 70s Jesus in the hallways, and of course learning religion in school, the faith was infused through everything. And of course, uniforms! Which are way cuter than they were when I was in school.

    And there was this overwhelming sense of family there, that it was all part of the parish family and part of the whole church. That’s how I always felt in Catholic school growing up, we were all a family.

    Anyway, so I am very happy and hopeful this morning!

    • That’s great news

      The Catholic school I taught in had that feeling and it was great.  Congratulations on finding a good fit!

    • great news

      so glad you found a school that feels right for you. I totally get that feeling of “this is the right place” and that people are happy there — exactly how our elementary school felt to me.

      I am sure it’s a load off your mind to have this decision made!

    • Awesome!

      There’s nothing like finding a great school for your kids, esp when it comes with that feeling of family.  Testify!! Good luck, I hope and pray your children thrive there.

    • Congrats!

      Ari’s school is housed in a former Catholic school, and I had the same feelings of nostalgia. We ended up going to the church that is still at the school.

      You’ll have to keep us updated. Congrats!

    • Isn’t it the greatest relief

      when you’ve had bad luck and then you find that school?  And small schools are the greatest.  I know it’s not practical for all public schools to be this small, but if you’re able to send your child to such a school, there’s really much to recommend it.

    • Excellent!

      I know just how you feel.  It’s wonderful when you just immediately feel the fit.  I had same experience with dd as soon as we landed at the school she ended up attending from K through 8.  Best decision ever.

      Congratulations!

    • Good luck, that sounds wonderful.

      We all attended Catholic schools in our family, the girls all went to Marymount School in Manhattan, the boys off to Fordham Prep in The Bronx. My DDs went to Marymount too and if if my parents didn’t help with the tuition, I could never have afforded it, though I suspect the tuition nowadays is astronomical. The days when RC school tuition was nominal were over decades ago.

      I don’t mean to denigrate public schools because there are may good ones and most people cannot afford a private alternative, but I do not think you can beat the quality of education in a Catholic school. Even with my parents’ help, we struggled with tuition for 3 girls, but in the end it was worth every penny.

      I’m still active in the Marymount alumni association, take a look at this link: http://marymountnyc.org. It’s really a great all-girls school.

      The ‘family’ feeling you have is an intangible you don’t get elsewhere. To this day, after having graduated decades ago and my DDs over 10 years ago, I still have that ‘family’ feeling for Marymount.

  4. school

    So after searching for a new school for the past couple of months, we finally found one!

    It’s a local Catholic school and we LOVE it. It was so weird, as soon as we walked in and started the tour and meeting everyone, I just got this feeling it was the right place.

    It’s small, only one class per grade. And it just seemed like such a happy place, people were actually happy there. The teachers were so nice and so normal. The principal, Sister M., was amazing. You could just tell she was so loved and well-respected, and from our interview with her, I could tell why.

    And being back in a Catholic school just felt so right. I didn’t realize this until now, but it makes so much more sense for us to have our faith life and our education life together as one. All of the things I remember…First Fridays, May crowning, Mary statues, crucifixes up on the wall of each classroom, murals of 70s Jesus in the hallways, and of course learning religion in school, the faith was infused through everything. And of course, uniforms! Which are way cuter than they were when I was in school.

    And there was this overwhelming sense of family there, that it was all part of the parish family and part of the whole church. That’s how I always felt in Catholic school growing up, we were all a family.

    Anyway, so I am very happy and hopeful this morning!

    • That’s great news

      The Catholic school I taught in had that feeling and it was great.  Congratulations on finding a good fit!

    • great news

      so glad you found a school that feels right for you. I totally get that feeling of “this is the right place” and that people are happy there — exactly how our elementary school felt to me.

      I am sure it’s a load off your mind to have this decision made!

    • Awesome!

      There’s nothing like finding a great school for your kids, esp when it comes with that feeling of family.  Testify!! Good luck, I hope and pray your children thrive there.

    • Congrats!

      Ari’s school is housed in a former Catholic school, and I had the same feelings of nostalgia. We ended up going to the church that is still at the school.

      You’ll have to keep us updated. Congrats!

    • Isn’t it the greatest relief

      when you’ve had bad luck and then you find that school?  And small schools are the greatest.  I know it’s not practical for all public schools to be this small, but if you’re able to send your child to such a school, there’s really much to recommend it.

    • Excellent!

      I know just how you feel.  It’s wonderful when you just immediately feel the fit.  I had same experience with dd as soon as we landed at the school she ended up attending from K through 8.  Best decision ever.

      Congratulations!

    • Good luck, that sounds wonderful.

      We all attended Catholic schools in our family, the girls all went to Marymount School in Manhattan, the boys off to Fordham Prep in The Bronx. My DDs went to Marymount too and if if my parents didn’t help with the tuition, I could never have afforded it, though I suspect the tuition nowadays is astronomical. The days when RC school tuition was nominal were over decades ago.

      I don’t mean to denigrate public schools because there are may good ones and most people cannot afford a private alternative, but I do not think you can beat the quality of education in a Catholic school. Even with my parents’ help, we struggled with tuition for 3 girls, but in the end it was worth every penny.

      I’m still active in the Marymount alumni association, take a look at this link: http://marymountnyc.org. It’s really a great all-girls school.

      The ‘family’ feeling you have is an intangible you don’t get elsewhere. To this day, after having graduated decades ago and my DDs over 10 years ago, I still have that ‘family’ feeling for Marymount.

  5. Thanks for the link!

    Elisa, that was very kind of you!  
    Sorry I’m not around as much right now, I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made here that are helping me through this rough patch.  

    GiGi is blogging again at One Lazy Liberal, btw.  The link’s over there.

  6. Thanks for the link!

    Elisa, that was very kind of you!  
    Sorry I’m not around as much right now, I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made here that are helping me through this rough patch.  

    GiGi is blogging again at One Lazy Liberal, btw.  The link’s over there.

  7. Over it!

    I’m over the rubber band with the bella band make your old jeans last thing. OVER IT. After Lily I never wore a single pair of lo-rise jeans again. Too much chubby belly hang, i wound up getting rid of them about 3 years ago. I hate the way they feel and look, I’m over trying it, i just feel huge. I only made it 15 weeks and it’s making me stabby.

    • clothes

      Just hit the maternity clothes girl! Ahhh, comfort is the key.

      I remember how sad I was when I had to go back to wearing regular clothes that didn’t have elastic waists lol

      • Me, too!

        I know a lot of women are happy to get back into their regular clothes, but I loved being comfortable every day for the first time in my life! Maternity wear rocks. Makes me look forward to being old and wearing elastic waistband pants again.

          • Totally thought of you

            In fact, my closing line was about that, but then I didn’t want to be rude, so I deleted it. : ) Glad you picked it up anyway.

    • It’s summer!

      Pull out the big loose dresses and tops.  

      And other that Paris Hilton, I know of no one that ever liked lo-rise jeans.

      • I need them

        I have an extremely short torso. So regular jeans come halfway to my bra strap, mid-rise sit at my waist, low-rise sit just below it.

        • I’m quite short waisted, too.

          But lo-rise just doesn’t work so well.  Sure, they come up further on me, but they weren’t cut to do so, so they never feel as if they fit quite right.

        • I like mid-rise

          because my waist-to-hip ratio is not compatible with jeans that come up to my waist — they are 1 or 2 sizes too big in the waist if they fit in the hips. This has always been the case, regardless of what size I am.  So I love mid-rise jeans because they don’t come up to my waist and I don’t have to worry about it.

          But the super low rise like “the kids today” wear — not for me.

          • me, too

            It is such a pain to find pants that fit.  I just got smart and took 3 pairs of work pants to a tailor and had her alter the waist.  For $13 a pair it was so worth it.  I tried them all on last night after I picked them up and they fit soooo nice.  

          • Opposite

            I have the opposite problem. No waist so if it fits in the waist it’s baggy in the hips.

            So low-rise work pretty well for me.

        • low rise for me

          They work great for those of us with no detectable waist.  With my shortened spine the bottom of my ribs sometimes make contact with waistbands – ick.  And with a negligible waist to hip ratio, it’s almost impossible to find jeans that neither pinch the waist nor balloon at the thighs.  Low rise lets me fit the jeans to my hips and buttocks and ignore the rest, just covering it with a loose shirt.

          • That’s what I do too

            I like the low rise ones that are not ridiculously low but not all the way to mid-rise if that makes any sense.  The ones that are low enough to only be worn with bikini style thongs are ridiculous on anyone over 25.  And for that matter I’d probably be uncomfortable with a young teen wearing them too.  I’m such a prude LOL!

            • another prude

              The only good thing that came of Abbey needing a back brace was that she can’t wear low rise jeans with it (they don’t stay up) and needs to have mid rise.  So saved us so many arguments about appropriateness.

  8. Over it!

    I’m over the rubber band with the bella band make your old jeans last thing. OVER IT. After Lily I never wore a single pair of lo-rise jeans again. Too much chubby belly hang, i wound up getting rid of them about 3 years ago. I hate the way they feel and look, I’m over trying it, i just feel huge. I only made it 15 weeks and it’s making me stabby.

    • clothes

      Just hit the maternity clothes girl! Ahhh, comfort is the key.

      I remember how sad I was when I had to go back to wearing regular clothes that didn’t have elastic waists lol

      • Me, too!

        I know a lot of women are happy to get back into their regular clothes, but I loved being comfortable every day for the first time in my life! Maternity wear rocks. Makes me look forward to being old and wearing elastic waistband pants again.

          • Totally thought of you

            In fact, my closing line was about that, but then I didn’t want to be rude, so I deleted it. : ) Glad you picked it up anyway.

    • It’s summer!

      Pull out the big loose dresses and tops.  

      And other that Paris Hilton, I know of no one that ever liked lo-rise jeans.

      • I need them

        I have an extremely short torso. So regular jeans come halfway to my bra strap, mid-rise sit at my waist, low-rise sit just below it.

        • I’m quite short waisted, too.

          But lo-rise just doesn’t work so well.  Sure, they come up further on me, but they weren’t cut to do so, so they never feel as if they fit quite right.

        • I like mid-rise

          because my waist-to-hip ratio is not compatible with jeans that come up to my waist — they are 1 or 2 sizes too big in the waist if they fit in the hips. This has always been the case, regardless of what size I am.  So I love mid-rise jeans because they don’t come up to my waist and I don’t have to worry about it.

          But the super low rise like “the kids today” wear — not for me.

          • me, too

            It is such a pain to find pants that fit.  I just got smart and took 3 pairs of work pants to a tailor and had her alter the waist.  For $13 a pair it was so worth it.  I tried them all on last night after I picked them up and they fit soooo nice.  

          • Opposite

            I have the opposite problem. No waist so if it fits in the waist it’s baggy in the hips.

            So low-rise work pretty well for me.

        • low rise for me

          They work great for those of us with no detectable waist.  With my shortened spine the bottom of my ribs sometimes make contact with waistbands – ick.  And with a negligible waist to hip ratio, it’s almost impossible to find jeans that neither pinch the waist nor balloon at the thighs.  Low rise lets me fit the jeans to my hips and buttocks and ignore the rest, just covering it with a loose shirt.

          • That’s what I do too

            I like the low rise ones that are not ridiculously low but not all the way to mid-rise if that makes any sense.  The ones that are low enough to only be worn with bikini style thongs are ridiculous on anyone over 25.  And for that matter I’d probably be uncomfortable with a young teen wearing them too.  I’m such a prude LOL!

            • another prude

              The only good thing that came of Abbey needing a back brace was that she can’t wear low rise jeans with it (they don’t stay up) and needs to have mid rise.  So saved us so many arguments about appropriateness.

  9. Ok…I know it’s probably

    just right wing garbage, but has anyone heard anything about Obama planning to get rid of the mortgage deduction?  Some right winger just posted an article over on FB, and ofcourse, it’s from a right wing blog…..but, I’d love a little ammunition….

      • Thank you.

        These rumors are rather like the stupid e-mails out there about watching out of used needles in the ball pits at McDonalds.  You know they aren’t true…if they were, they’d be all over the national media….

        • Does the Wall Street Journal count?

          Mortgage Reform Can’t Ignore Sacred Cows

          There is definitely a need for Mortgage reform.  The MID is definitely a sacred cow and gives an incentive for buying when one is not necessarily needed.
          I am probably more fiscally conservative than most around here, but i don’t see how we get out of this huge debt crisis (and it is a crisis) without all of making some serious sacrifices.

          • You know, I don’t have a problem

            with there being limits on MID.  We own our house, plus a few investment properties.  Truth be told, we probably shouldn’t get the same mortgage deduction on the properties held in our LLC.  Those properties aren’t mortgaged, but, if we did, I think deductions should be less than that on a regular household.

            I think we’re going to have to look at a VAT.  It’s the only way I can see that we’re going to get out of this mess.

          • care

            I wouldn’t care if they got rid of it as long as they grandfathered purchases prior. The prices are inflated due to it, so it wouldn’t be fair to revoke it on current mortgages.

            However, it is a sacred cow and I can’t imagine it ever going away.

            • I’d prefer a capped mortgage amount

              A capped deduction would target the middle class and encourage home ownership without subsidizing the rich, which is more or less what we’re doing now.  Most of this tax break goes to high income homeowners, while median income homeowners hardly benefit (since the advantage is only on the amount that exceeds the standard deduction.  There’s no way tax dollars should be offsetting the costs of million dollar homes.

              • Or, again, people like us

                who have several properties used for investment.  A break to encourage home ownership is one thing, but a break to investors?  Not so much.

                • I didn’t think that was available

                  Isn’t the home interest deduction limited to your primary residence and one second home as long as you live in it at least part of the time?  

                  • It might be…

                    I hope so.  Like I said, we don’t have a mortgage on any of our investment properties…and on those, it’s hard to justify a deduction since you can already claim things like depreciation that you can’t claim on a house you live in.  

                    • MID is only for

                      deducting the interest on a mortage. IIRC, it is only for your primary residence and a second home which is not rented out at all.

                      I agree that the current home price bloat is due in part to the MID.

                      If they do away with it, even by phasing it out, it will affect home prices as many people consider the deduction as “income” of sorts to offset the cost of the home.  

                      The MID costs the taxpayers of the US, over $150 Billion dollars a year in lost revenue at a time when the loss revenue is now going to result in lost jobs, lost opportunities to invest in renewable energy, clean water, better schools, etc.

                    • As I said upthread,

                      sooner or later we’re going to have to look at something like a VAT.  That would be along with our regular income taxes, ofcourse.

                    • not realistic

                      After the real estate crash we just endured, and continue to endure, I can’t see how getting rid of the deduction, which would cause even more drops in home values, would be politically viable.

                    • it would be difficult to achieve

                      That’s why I prefer a cap, perhaps dropping over a period of years.  This would of course disproportionately hit the coasts, especially CA – if you made only the first $300K of interest deductable, few Californians would escape the phase out.  I don’t know if there’s a way to cushion that impact.  But there are probably ways to structure the deduction better – for example, allowing the standard deduction and a capped MI deduction to be taken together.  

                      And overall I think downward pressure on the upper end of the RE market would be a good thing.  The crash we just went through wasn’t really a crash, just a market readjustment back to more realistic levels.  If we allow the bubble to reinflate we just set ourselves up for yet another cycle of pain.

                    • Second home

                      I think you need to live in it at least 3 weeks a year to deduct the mortgage interest.  Don’t quote me, but at least fairly recently it has been pretty low.  I don’t know if you can rent it out at other times of the year or not.

  10. Ok…I know it’s probably

    just right wing garbage, but has anyone heard anything about Obama planning to get rid of the mortgage deduction?  Some right winger just posted an article over on FB, and ofcourse, it’s from a right wing blog…..but, I’d love a little ammunition….

      • Thank you.

        These rumors are rather like the stupid e-mails out there about watching out of used needles in the ball pits at McDonalds.  You know they aren’t true…if they were, they’d be all over the national media….

        • Does the Wall Street Journal count?

          Mortgage Reform Can’t Ignore Sacred Cows

          There is definitely a need for Mortgage reform.  The MID is definitely a sacred cow and gives an incentive for buying when one is not necessarily needed.
          I am probably more fiscally conservative than most around here, but i don’t see how we get out of this huge debt crisis (and it is a crisis) without all of making some serious sacrifices.

          • You know, I don’t have a problem

            with there being limits on MID.  We own our house, plus a few investment properties.  Truth be told, we probably shouldn’t get the same mortgage deduction on the properties held in our LLC.  Those properties aren’t mortgaged, but, if we did, I think deductions should be less than that on a regular household.

            I think we’re going to have to look at a VAT.  It’s the only way I can see that we’re going to get out of this mess.

          • care

            I wouldn’t care if they got rid of it as long as they grandfathered purchases prior. The prices are inflated due to it, so it wouldn’t be fair to revoke it on current mortgages.

            However, it is a sacred cow and I can’t imagine it ever going away.

            • I’d prefer a capped mortgage amount

              A capped deduction would target the middle class and encourage home ownership without subsidizing the rich, which is more or less what we’re doing now.  Most of this tax break goes to high income homeowners, while median income homeowners hardly benefit (since the advantage is only on the amount that exceeds the standard deduction.  There’s no way tax dollars should be offsetting the costs of million dollar homes.

              • Or, again, people like us

                who have several properties used for investment.  A break to encourage home ownership is one thing, but a break to investors?  Not so much.

                • I didn’t think that was available

                  Isn’t the home interest deduction limited to your primary residence and one second home as long as you live in it at least part of the time?  

                  • It might be…

                    I hope so.  Like I said, we don’t have a mortgage on any of our investment properties…and on those, it’s hard to justify a deduction since you can already claim things like depreciation that you can’t claim on a house you live in.  

                    • MID is only for

                      deducting the interest on a mortage. IIRC, it is only for your primary residence and a second home which is not rented out at all.

                      I agree that the current home price bloat is due in part to the MID.

                      If they do away with it, even by phasing it out, it will affect home prices as many people consider the deduction as “income” of sorts to offset the cost of the home.  

                      The MID costs the taxpayers of the US, over $150 Billion dollars a year in lost revenue at a time when the loss revenue is now going to result in lost jobs, lost opportunities to invest in renewable energy, clean water, better schools, etc.

                    • As I said upthread,

                      sooner or later we’re going to have to look at something like a VAT.  That would be along with our regular income taxes, ofcourse.

                    • not realistic

                      After the real estate crash we just endured, and continue to endure, I can’t see how getting rid of the deduction, which would cause even more drops in home values, would be politically viable.

                    • it would be difficult to achieve

                      That’s why I prefer a cap, perhaps dropping over a period of years.  This would of course disproportionately hit the coasts, especially CA – if you made only the first $300K of interest deductable, few Californians would escape the phase out.  I don’t know if there’s a way to cushion that impact.  But there are probably ways to structure the deduction better – for example, allowing the standard deduction and a capped MI deduction to be taken together.  

                      And overall I think downward pressure on the upper end of the RE market would be a good thing.  The crash we just went through wasn’t really a crash, just a market readjustment back to more realistic levels.  If we allow the bubble to reinflate we just set ourselves up for yet another cycle of pain.

                    • Second home

                      I think you need to live in it at least 3 weeks a year to deduct the mortgage interest.  Don’t quote me, but at least fairly recently it has been pretty low.  I don’t know if you can rent it out at other times of the year or not.

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