A recent conversation about a post over at The Gutless Pacifist, and the fact that I completed our family’s income tax returns this weekend have been turning my thoughts to how the government uses the tax code to encourage spending behaviors that promote the stability and well-being of society.
Obviously, the deduction for home mortgage interest encourages home ownership. People who own homes in a community (as opposed to renting) usually take more interest in that community’s growth. They’ve put down roots, and the assumption is that they will stay in that community for an extended time. They also pay property taxes to that community — another reason to participate fully in its affairs.