We Should Continue to Provide a Tax Break for Gains on the Sale of Owner-Occupied Houses (As N. Harold Buchanan)
Point & Counterpoint: Tax Incentives for Homeownership—A Lincoln–Douglas Debate, 32 ABA Section of Taxation NewsQuarterly 20
2 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017
Date Written: Winter 2013
In a stylized, parliamentary-style debate, one of the participants on the opposing team was not able to attend, so Neil H. Buchanan became N. Harold Buchanan and argued for the opposing side. Buchanan's alter ego noted that, because Congress has enacted an array of incentives to encourage Americans to buy homes, and because social expectations put a high value on home ownership, many people will "put all their eggs in one basket" by buying a home. The rate of return on home ownership is, however, extraordinarily low, which means that both Congress and social mores are pushing people to buy a low-performing asset. At the very least, we should allow middle class people to cash out of those investments without adding insult to injury by taxing their meager gains.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation