Obama Promises to Protect MID for the Middle Class

September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama in his speech last night to accept the Democratic nomination for president said he will protect the mortgage interest deduction for middle-class families.

“I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home … just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut,” he said.

The president’s speech focused heavily on preserving the financial health of middle-class households, and he said that any deficit reduction and tax increases that he would seek in a second term would not affect households earning up to $250,000.

“I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 — the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president,” he said, “the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a lot of millionaires to boot.”

Alluding to the excesses in mortgage originations during the housing boom and the subsequent mortgage crisis, the president touted the rules that are now in place to protect households from taking out loans for which they don’t have the ability to repay. “We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes, and so is the entire economy,” he said.

The president says in a Q&A for the September/October issue of REALTOR® Magazine, which comes out in mid-September, that he’s open to ensuring the rules don’t cut off the flow of mortgage credit to otherwise creditworthy borrowers.

“We will work with regulators to strike the appropriate balance for a healthy market that is open, fair and sustainable over the long term,” he said in the Q&A.

Read our coverage of Gov. Mitt Romney’s speech accepting the Republican party nomination.

—Robert Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine