Has the GOP Abandoned the Ownership Society?

Has the GOP Abandoned the Ownership Society?
AP Photo/Doug Mills, File

Under the last Republican president, encouraging people to buy a home was an explicit government priority, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's “ownership society.” Bush proposed new tax credits to incentivize home-buying, pushed for loan guarantees and easier lending standards, and signed legislation providing federal assistance for down-payments and closing costs for tens of thousands of Americans.

Nearly a decade-and-a-half later, that GOP mantra is no more. The sweeping tax overhaul House Republicans introduced on Thursday would eliminate or scale back some of the biggest incentives for home-buying in federal law. It would lower by half, to $500,000, the cut-off for taking the popular mortgage interest deduction, cap the property tax deduction at $10,000, repeal the deduction for moving expenses, and force more people to pay taxes on the profits they earn from selling a home.

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