Somehow I don't think President Obama had the home-mortgage interest deduction in mind when he mentioned the U.S. tax code before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week.
Yet winding down and eliminating this write-off for homes would be good for business. It's unfair, doing nothing to revive the housing market and can be put to better use shifting it to entrepreneurs to create jobs.
Most of the job creation in the U.S. economy comes from small businesses, which typically have no public shareholders to sate and are not primarily interested in fattening pay packages of overpaid executives.
The home mortgage deduction needs to go because it doesn't make housing less expensive, either. If anything, it makes homes more expensive because the subsidy inflates prices. Most homebuyers don't even itemize to take advantage of it. Nixing it would make homes more affordable.
As Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, wrote in this space: "It is one of the most regressive parts of the tax code, since it affects all house prices, including the price of houses bought by lower-income home buyers, who rarely itemize and get little benefit from the deduction."