Pubdate: Mon, 01 Apr 2002
Source: Greensboro News & Record (NC)
Copyright: 2002 Greensboro News & Record, Inc.
Author: Lawrence B. Morse


Letters to the Editor News & Record

Tens of millions of middle-and upper-class households are declaring their 
home mortgage interest as a deduction as they file their federal income 
taxes. For a household in the 27.5 percent tax bracket, that means that 
every $1,000 of declared interest saves that household $275 in federal 
income taxes.

The interest deduction subsidizes the cost of buying a home and means that 
families taking the interest deduction live in federally subsidized 
housing. The Supreme Court recently ruled that an entire family could be 
removed from federally subsidized public housing if a family member or 
guest were involved in narcotics.

Why should middle- and upper-class neighborhoods be denied a similar 
drug-cleansing policy? We probably can't exactly evict folks from their 
federally subsidized homes, for they own them.

But maybe we should deny them the subsidy if a family member or guest were 
involved in narcotics. Maybe without the subsidy the family will no longer 
be able to afford its house and will be forced to sell and leave the 

Or maybe we should not have drug policies that are so seriously class-biased.

Lawrence B. Morse, Greensboro

The writer is an associate professor of economics at N.C. A&T State University.
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