The Mansion Subsidy

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For years, progressives have been denouncing "welfare for rich"—government subsidies to big business, pork-barrel Pentagon contracts to weapons makers, huge tax breaks for wealthy individuals, and most recently colossal contracts for post-Katrina reconstruction to politically connected companies like Halliburton. No one was shocked when Republicans proposed cutting funds for Medicaid and Section 8 housing vouchers, while preserving—even expanding—subsidies for affluent.

So it may surprise some observers that President George W. Bush's commission on tax reform is now debating whether to reform one of the largest subsidies for the rich—tax breaks for wealthy homeowners. The panel is scheduled to make its recommendations to the president by November 1.

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